Harrisburg University Accelerator business receives patent for “Smart Data” technology

What if data could do more for you?

andrew-hacker-dirIt’s a question that Professor Andrew Hacker, founder and CEO of MistIQ Technologies, thinks he’s found the answer to – and it’s led his company to receive a patent for a new technology called “Smart Data.”

“We use data to share photos, send emails and connect with friends, but many people don’t think beyond that,” said Hacker, who’s company joined HU’s Accelerator Program in 2015 and is the first business to graduate from the system.

“Essentially, the new data structure consists of any piece of ordinary data surrounded by software logic that allows the smart data to do various things,” Hacker said. “With Smart Data, we can usher in a whole new paradigm of active data, where we can do the things we want more securely, efficiently, quickly and intelligently.”

By using some of the resources and connections that Harrisburg University offers, Hacker grew his business – and the arrival of his patent in September is a symbol of his innovation in technology.

“We’re proud of Andrew’s accomplishments and are honored to have him as a valuable member of Harrisburg University,” said HU President Dr. Eric Darr. “MistIQ’s patent shows the community that the University supports local people doing great things, and it gives our students a great example of what you they can accomplish in the growing field of technology.”

A growing relationship with HU

Hacker’s layered relationship with Harrisburg University started in 2015 when his business — which specializes in data security, analytics and intelligent data infrastructure — was brought in as part of HU’s Accelerator Program. He also became HU’s Cybersecurity Expert in Residence in early 2016.

Hacker has used some of his connections at HU to develop his product and grow his business. He’s worked closely with Dr. Rigved Joshi, HU’s director for Accelerator and Entrepreneurship Programs, who is helping Hacker create a business model and reach out to potential investors.

MistIQ is in the development phase of its full product, which will be released in 2017. Hacker and his group are currently seeking $2.5 to $5 million in funding, and Harrisburg University has helped tremendously in that effort.

“Andrew is a perfect example of what we want to see happen in terms of helping companies,” Joshi said. “He is a feather in our cap at this point. We are hoping for more companies like his.”

MistIQ also employs six Harrisburg University interns, providing real-world experience to students.

“Seeing a student excited about something is very rewarding for me,” Hacker said. “The university is a great place for that. They’ve got established relationships with organizations that can provide those opportunities.”

What is Smart Data?

MistIQ Technologies’ new Data Defined Computing takes the focus away from “big centralized applications” and instead focuses on more effectively handling data.

The traditional solution of collecting and storing enormous amounts of data is turned inside out. Each piece of data is given intelligence so that it understands where it came from, where it needs to go, and what it needs to do. Data is in the driver’s seat, and each piece of data is essentially an artificial intelligence agent.

The pieces of Smart Data are processed in a widespread Active Data Transformation Fabric that allows them to make decisions and take actions based on their own internal logic. Each piece of smart data is secured individually, to allow value derived from the data to be shared while the original data is protected.

Together, the Smart Data and Active Data Transformation Fabric enable Data Defined Computing, which merges processing and data into one.

How can Smart Data be used?

MistIQ is building a Smart Data fabric that can be easily used in a range of industries, including healthcare, Smart Energy, Smart Cities, manufacturing, transportation, and financial sectors.

In the long-term, the Active Data Transformation Fabric will weave together all types of available processors, providing a way to allow potential partners such as Cisco, GE Predix, and SAS Event Stream Processing to incorporate MistIQ Technologies’ patented technology into their existing infrastructure products.

It also could be used to benefit healthcare, which faces some of the biggest concerns with patient privacy while still being able to share and analyze information to improve treatments.

In the cybersecurity arena, one of the ways MistIQ can leverage Smart Data is to have it notify a user if data has been stolen.

“It’s almost like a built-in alarm,” Hacker said. “It’s very appealing to people concerned with cyber security.”

Smart Data also could work for the credit card industry, which has experienced its share of breaches.

While protecting the credit card data is essential, Hacker said, he is looking at a technology that would render stolen information useless.

“Coming up with the idea – that’s the easy part. Doing something with it and getting it to the point where it affects the broader scale is the difficult part,” he said.

An example of innovation at work

A constantly changing world demands creative thinkers and risk takers with the knowledge and education to do great things.

That’s why Harrisburg University prepares its students to be history makers on the lookout for new, better ways of living life.

“We believe that knowledge can change the world,” Dr. Darr said. “While it’s easy for us to boast about our offerings, it’s people like Andrew who can truly share their experiences of working with HU. We think his accomplishments are truly worth celebrating.”