Thursday, April 18, 2013

Google Summer of Code Update

Hi All,

Over the past week many people have asked similar questions, and since there are probably a lot of other people who are wondering the same things we decided to start an FAQ.  We also re-organized the project list to focus on the things that were seen as most useful for the Funf community.  Some projects have been cut, and others have been clarified with improved descriptions to help applicants focus on what matters the most.  Specifically, we are looking for GSOC students to help build out components and capabilities for Funf that other developers could use as they use the framework, instead of developing end-user applications on top of Funf.

We defined 3 main topic areas: (1) Funf Core, (2) Funf In A Box, and (3) Funf Tools. Within each topic area, we listed a bunch of things we want to do - no one person will be able to do all of them, but we’d like you to tell us what specific sub-topics interest you and how you would be interested in contributing to them. Depending on our applicants and final student quota, we hope to end up with multiple students per topic area who would split up the different tasks among them and hopefully be able to collaborate with one another.

For more information, check out the revised Funf GSOC Project Ideas doc.

Finally, please remember to formally submit your application via the GSoC website once the submission period opens on April 22nd. Please do not just send us your application via email and assume that you have applied, since it will not be considered...

Funf Team

Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Behavio Team is Now Part of Google!

One final piece of good news in a very eventful week: 
We are very excited to announce that the Behavio team is now part of Google!

First things first - we as individuals will continue to maintain and develop the Funf open source project, in case you were concerned.

Following is the full announcement posted on the Behavio site:

The Behavio Team is Now Part of Google!
We are very excited to announce that the Behavio team is now a part of Google! At Behavio, we have always been passionate about helping people better understand the world around them. We believe that our digital experiences should be better connected with the way we experience the world, and we couldn't be happier to be able to continue building out our vision within Google.

We would like to thank all of you who have followed and supported us and our work over the past few years -- from academia, through our open source project, and into our work at Behavio. In addition, we would like to express our appreciation to the Knight Foundation as well as the organizers and judges of the SXSW Accelerator, who believed in our vision and in us, and gave us the push that started the wild and amazing ride of the past year. Finally, thanks to all of you who have given us your advice, your support and, most valuably, your time.

In the comings days we will be shutting down our closed alpha program. Going forward, we will continue to maintain the Funf open source project, and look forward to working on exciting things within Google.

-The Behavio Team

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Announcing Funf Version 0.4!

The Behavio team is very happy to announce a major version update to Funf, our open source mobile sensing framework, accompanied by respective updates to Funf’s two user-facing components (Funf Journal and Funf In A Box).

In the time since our last major version update (Funf 0.3) last year, we’ve had a chance to see how the framework has been used by developers and end users. In addition, we compiled our own “to do” list of features that didn’t make it into the 0.3 release.

Our high level goals for Funf 0.4 were to increase reliability and performance, as well as minimize effort for the developer. This last part includes both developers who are using the standard Funf API and Android library to build apps, as well as developers working on their own probes and extending the Funf framework at the lower levels (a “probe” is the basic component type in Funf which is responsible for sensing or detecting some type of data, and reporting it to software clients who requested the information. Funf 0.4 comes with 38 built-in probes!)

Most of the changes in this release are under the hood. It is a major release, and as such it breaks some compatibility with Funf 0.3 based apps.

The following diagram illustrates the high-level structure of the updated Funf architecture:

Funf phone-side architecture: high-level

Key updates:
  • Funf now runs as a single service instead of a service per probe.
  • Internal communication now implemented using internal function calls in the same JVM rather than inter-process communications. 
  • Probes: Probe data exchange re-architected to use a GSON/JSON implementation.
  • Pipelines: Generalized pipeline interface.
  • Configuration: Extensive redesign of the configuration process
  • Time normalization improvements. In particular, added ability to set configuration values of less than 1 second.
  • Added dependency to modified Gson 2.1 library (see downloads page)
  • Bug fixes.
For additional details see the detailed 0.4 release overview.

If you’re a user of Funf Journal, Funf In A Box, or any other Funf-based app that has been upgraded to version 0.4, you’ll enjoy higher stability and reliability out of the box.

Funf Journal: New version and updated look

We’ve also refreshed the look of Funf Journal to match the Android style guide, and tested it with devices running up to Android 4.2 Jellybean.

For all components, please let us know if you find any issues with this release.

Finally, as Funf was also just accepted to Google's Summer of Code program, if you are a student and interested in spending the summer contributing to Funf (and being paid by Google), you should consider applying.

We hope you enjoy Funf and find it useful!

Funf accepted to Google Summer of Code!

We're very happy to update that Funf was accepted into the 2013 Google Summer of Code!

Google Summer of Code (GSoC) is a global program that offers student developers stipends to write code for various open source software projects. Google's team works with many open source, free software, and technology-related groups to identify and fund projects over a three month period ($5000 US per project). 

Through Google Summer of Code, accepted student applicants are paired with a mentor from the participating projects, thus gaining exposure to real-world software development scenarios and the opportunity for employment in areas related to their academic pursuits. There's also potential for the student to continue working on the project towards academic theses and class projects.

Our official GSoC information is here, where you can also find the list of our proposed project ideas. However, we hope and expect that applicants elaborate on these ideas and also propose their own. In the next few days we'll be updating the instructions for submitting applications.

Applications are accepted between April 22 to May 3rd. From now until April 22nd we'll be happy to discuss proposal ideas with potential applicants. For more information and eligibility, check out the FaQ and other information on the GSoC site.

Also, if you have developed with Funf and would like to be a mentor for a student project, you can apply to be a student mentor before April 22nd.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Funf selected to present at Google I/O!

Somewhere between Electronic Arts and Intel Corporation, you'll find Funf!

Funf has been selected to participate in the Developer Sandbox at Google I/O, Google's developer conference running June 27 - 29 in San Francisco. We'll be demoing and speaking with developers all through Thursday, June 28. Stop by for a demo and chat!

Funf Developers - Shirt Winners!

A while ago we put out a call for Funf developers to send us what they've been doing with the framework in exchange for a chance to win an awesome Funf shirt. We had quite a few responses and it was great to see what all you've been working on! True to our word we have selected a couple developers to receive a limited edition* neon-green** Funf shirt.
And the winners are <insert drumroll here>:

Name: George Popescu (EPFL)
Project: GroupFun, a system for recommending mobile music to groups of friends based on their sensor data.

Name: Hossein Falaki (
Project: Ohmage is an open-source participatory sensing technology platform. It supports expressive campaign authoring; mobile phone-based data capture through both inquiry-based surveys and automated data capture as well as temporally/spatially triggered reminders, data visualization and real-time feedback; privacy respecting data management; and extensible data exploration.

And for a look at the shirts:
Our professional shirt models
*   And by limited edition I mean limited by the total number of shirts we ever make.
**  Alternatively titled Funf green or green-screen compatible green.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Introducing Behavio!

It's been an exciting 8 months since we first released Funf into the wild. We've seen amazing projects built on the framework and have been energized by the excitement of the developer community. Now, we're excited to reveal the next step in the development of Funf. Earlier this week we were announced as one of six media innovation ventures being awarded more than $1.37 million by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Our new company, Behavio, will work towards opening access to, and helping make sense of, the data routinely collected by mobile phones. This award will allow us to continue developing the open source Funf framework and support its growing community. Behavio is a spin-out company from the MIT Media Lab, and grew out of our research work and field experiments of the past several years where we have won several awards, including the 2012 SXSW Accelerator Award and three Google Research Awards.

The Knight News Challenge accelerates media innovation by funding breakthrough ideas in news and information. More at

Stay tuned for more updates!