Despite having no flashy eye-catching appliance on display in the IFA innovation hub, polypoly perhaps embodies the IFA NEXT spirit more than most.
The Berlin-based start-up claims to be “revolutionising the way data is handled” by creating an international co-operative of individuals and businesses, which can bypass traditional data centres. Offering its customers the chance to retake control of their own private data is the starting point of this concept, but it goes much further than that. Having developed the technological infrastructure to connect a Europe-wide collective of citizens, polypoly aims to challenge the power of data monolopists: instead of being the unwilling and unrewarded raw materials for unsustainable and unwieldy corporate data factories, users can harness their own existing resources via a virtual supercomputer which exists only in their private connected smartphones. Not only does this potentially remove the huge CO2 emissions burden of traditional data server centres, but citizens can also generate their own digital income by renting out otherwise unused computer power at their disposal. The ecological, economical and social advantages are augmented by the polyVerse’s commitment to affecting legislative and tax implications of democratising data storage. “A data economy that’s fair, transparent and green” is the message.