The IT Integration and Proprioception Engine. Does it Really Exist?
April 28, 2015 10:52 AM   Subscribe

This is a weird one and I apologize in advance, but I'm short of time and gobsmacked. Can anyone doing advanced networking stuff confirm or deny the existence of a software tool for network architecture modeling called the IT Integration and Proprioception Engine (IT-PIE)?

I'm editing a document on deadline and one of my sources wants me to talk about our company's experience with something he called IT-PIE. I went back to him already and asked for more detail on IT-PIE and got back a spellout: Information Technology Integration and Proprioception Engine.

Okay, beyond that actually being IT-IPE, I am unable to find a single reference anywhere on the Internet that would confirm there is such a thing. Literally. Zero hits. By contrast, "Leprechaun," a thing I know is not real, gets 13.8 million hits. IT-PIE, zero. Use of the term Proprioception in an IT context: nothing. When I post this, it will apparently become the first online use of those words in that order in human history.

This guy is in a different time zone (and kind of prickly to work with) and I don't have the time or the inclination to go back to him again and say "is that a real thing, or something you made up, and can you prove it?" Are you, advanced networking expert, aware of such a thing? Can you point me to a web page that would at least lend some support to the idea that it exists? If it explains something - anything - about what it does and how it's used, that would be awesome. Thank you in advance, hive mind.
posted by Naberius to Computers & Internet (14 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I suspect he's pulling your leg. I've never heard that term, ever and have been in the business for quite a few years now.

Sounds like it could be related to the mythical left-handed screwdriver.
posted by jquinby at 11:02 AM on April 28, 2015

I believe the IT-PIE is used to provide networking support for turboencabulator operators.
posted by eschatfische at 11:10 AM on April 28, 2015 [5 favorites]

Ask him if it has LRF support...
posted by thelonius at 11:11 AM on April 28, 2015 [2 favorites]

And then send him 25 pizzas, COD.
You're on deadline, dude, and he knows it.
posted by alwayson_slightlyoff at 11:18 AM on April 28, 2015

Close your eyes and lift one of your hands up off the keyboard. Do you know where your hand is even though you can't see it? That's proprioception: the sense of relative position of our bodies.

What in the world that would have to do with computer networking - other than someone needing a fancy word to use while pulling someone's leg - is beyond me.
posted by komara at 12:17 PM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]

Searching for "it pie" in Google only leads me to web marketing agency, so I'm trained to think this is some SEO/Pepsi Blue.
posted by advicepig at 12:27 PM on April 28, 2015

FWIW, it sounds like the interface that enables you to move things around on a display by waving your hands. I've only seen it in movies and don't know if it's commercial, experimental, or mere sci-fi.

That said, my suggestion is to email a relevant contact in your company and ask whether they're involved with that specific technology, giving the name of the prickly dude and saying that he specifically wrote you for information about it.

That way you cover yourself.
posted by JimN2TAW at 1:10 PM on April 28, 2015

Best answer: Google found me a trademark filed in Mar 2014 (more). Includes this statement: "Computer software for enabling greater insight and cooperation in the IT environment, namely, through the provision of awareness of the location, movement, and orientation of devices within an IT infrastructure ..." etc.

I can't find anything related about the owner (VAE Inc), but they seem to be "a full service IT Infrastructure Solutions company."
posted by cdefgfeadgagfe at 2:14 PM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: (more)

and, from that link, VAE's other trademarks include the specific wording"IT PROPRIOCEPTION", applied for in 2014.

Huh. I don't know what "the provision of awareness of the location, movement, and orientation of devices within an IT infrastructure" is supposed to mean, but it actually exists. That's a pretty big coincidence.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 2:24 PM on April 28, 2015

Could it be related to these guys?
I don't speak Finnish but Google Translate seems to show that they're a GIS company of some kind.
posted by jferg at 6:04 PM on April 28, 2015

There's not any possibility this could be related to neural networks and not network architecture, is there?
posted by jferg at 6:11 PM on April 28, 2015

PS> I'm not a network architect, but I work in related fields, and haven't ever heard of any such thing.
posted by jferg at 6:18 PM on April 28, 2015

I don't know what "the provision of awareness of the location, movement, and orientation of devices within an IT infrastructure" is supposed to mean

It sounds like a technology for self-learning network topology. Such stuff does exist, and I'm in a position to know, however unfortunately I'm not in a position to reveal more.
posted by HiroProtagonist at 8:10 PM on April 28, 2015

Response by poster: Whoa, a trademark search? Very clever cdfer... cfdeag... good idea, dude!

Yeah, I'm pretty sure that must be it. This VAE's office is like a three minute drive from mine. Based on the building it's in, I'm going to guess it's some three guys and a part-time receptionist software operation with a weird product that we cut some one-off deal for and that we're probably their only real customer for it - I mean they apparently aren't even claiming it on their own web site.

That would make it a real thing technically, but I'm more comfortable now with the decision I ultimately made because of time pressure - to just write around it. Even if it was real, I didn't have enough information to do any more than just name check it, and doing that wouldn't have added any value for our audience because they wouldn't know what the damned thing is either.

Thanks everyone. I love my work. Really, I do.
posted by Naberius at 8:17 AM on April 29, 2015 [4 favorites]

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