Chapter 3: Onlive
Before I’ll tell you what I propose to build in our first Smartup, it’s good to remind you that Smartup Zero is part of an overarching mission. We have to figure out how to repair and sustain our delicate ecosystem for all life on our planet. That only can be the ultimate goal. Of all the puzzles we need to solve in such a journey, we need good informed and connected people foremost. The more we have of those, the bigger our chances on success. Therefore, our first job should be to build a new independent information system that is reliable, trustworthy, robust and overall makes people make smarter decisions and come up with better ideas to help transform their own communities.
What’s also good to have in mind is that what follows next will be subjected to review and open for debate in the validation phase of the Smartup. Nothing is set in stone beside the mission and vision I’ve set out.
To turn the smartphone into a reliable, trustworthy and robust tool for intellectual progress and problem-solving for everyone on this planet.
Onlive is a new frontier, located between the online world and the offline world. It’s a place where the best of both worlds blend together naturally and enforce each other. It’s a place where it’s all about getting people in the real world better connected and informed. Onlive is a social information network for the real world. It’s a frontier where technology is just the instrument and not the music itself. An instrument to support humans to be better, to be smarter, to be more resilient, to be more creative and to work together with purpose. Onlive is an answer to the call for a more balanced digital live where the power is with the people and the people are with each other, growing as a group, working together as a group, making smarter solutions as a group, for the sake of a smarter society that works to keep this planet habitable and more fair for the majority of people on this earth, and not just the privileged few.
The product how we designed it:
Onlive is a mobile app that acts like an operating system for people to interact with their physical world and the people around them. It connects groups of people with the situation they are in by facilitating specific interactions between group members and their immediate surroundings. Focussing on local connectivity for groups of people, Onlive connects people with other near people, devices, organisations and buildings, anticipating on the implications of the Internet Of Things, Augmented Reality and new Bluetooth technologies that are opening up a new frontier for mobile experiences that can enable people to share, create and use more valuable information to come up with better solutions together that are applicable in their own communities.
Until now Onlive was a collaborative R&D project where all kinds of different Dutch organizations have been working together on creating a Proof of Concept (POC) that should have allowed us to start creating test- and business cases and start creating a vivid community of users, developers, and our first customers. The full research report you can read here.
It was always the idea to build Onlive with a small group of different organisations that represented the stakeholders for the platform. We found a lot of organizations who wanted to join the consortium. Including research facilities, universities and corporations. Nonetheless our funding ran dry and the project was bound to dissolve in oblivion, was it not for the Smartup idea to pop up in my mind. Onlive had a funding problem because it is just not fit for the normal startup method. The idea is too complex, too big and not commercial enough (although there is a solid business model to discover). I needed a different method to get funded. The idea was too great to leave it alone. So i didn’t.
I did not leave it alone because I believe Onlive is bound to become a reliable and robust tool for people to start changing their own communities from within. It strives to become an incorruptible tool for people to enable them to become active workers on solutions instead of being passive consumers of products. Onlive wants to be like Wikipedia but then with a business model that works for those who work to keep Onlive independent, functional and trustworthy. Onlive wants to create trust among people because trust is the only basis for effective collaborations.