03 June 2013

The Quantified Self. Something I'm keeping an eye on...

Sitting here in Taiwan, about to attend Computex 2013 and I was reminded of a little clip I saw in a magazine flying over. It's all to do with the Quantified Self. This idea that as technology improves and gets smaller, we can measure more about our bodies and what we do with them. Then we can process that data to do... well, we're not sure yet. Get healthier. Gain understanding.

Quantified self is something I'm going to be keeping an eye on at Computex 2013.

Quick definition:
The Quantified Self is a movement to incorporate technology into data acquisition on aspects of a person's daily life in terms of inputs (e.g. food consumed, quality of surrounding air), states (e.g. mood, arousal, blood oxygen levels), and performance (mental and physical). Such self-monitoring and self-sensing, which combines wearable sensors (EEG, ECG, video, etc.) and wearable computing, is also known as lifelogging or sousveillance. Other names for using self-tracking data to improve daily functioning are “self-tracking”, "auto-analytics", “body hacking” and “self-quantifying”.

An example of the quantified self you may have seen: The Nike Fuel Band. Both pedometer and accelerometer, this piece of fairly sexy exercise-wear measure your activity levels. Theoretically, it knows the difference between running and weights. Plug it into a computer, upload your data (spotting the value to Nike yet?), play the game, compete with your friends, earn Fuel points (an activity measure levelled out by BMI to help people compete "fairly") and join in the Nike Fuel experience. That experience, of course, includes eCommerce.

The example I saw on the plane. HAPIfork. A fork that measures your eating speed and a couple of other things. I think it may light up as you eat as well - but of course. Cheesy example, sure. But a sign of this trend. It always starts cheesy, until everyone is doing it.

Will definitely be keeping an eye on any signs of The Quantified Self becoming a bit more mainstream.