The Quantified Self: Past, Present, & Future

jawbone

My coworker wears a Jawbone UP. One day, I asked if he’s heard of Quantified Self.

“No. What’s quantifiable self?”

I get this question a lot and it’s surprisingly difficult to answer.

When I tell him it’s “self-knowledge through self-tracking”, I am met with a blank stare. “So what…” his eyes say. “What does that mean and why should I care?”

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A Perfectly Boring Lifestyle in Any Exotic Place

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Warning – this post has absolutely nothing to do with QuantifiedSelf, data, privacy, or devices. It’s about travel – a topic that predates my personal involvement with QS, and one of the drivers for Mark and I to quit our jobs over the last year. Yes, we may have read the 4HWW a few too many times.

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Accuracy vs. Precision in Today’s Devices

ACCURATE, NOT PRECISE

Everywhere I look, there are new QS devices.  Our fresh resource guide has over 25 categories, and includes almost 200 tools. You can now choose between multiple wristbands and a few apps to track your sleep when a few years ago a Zeo was your only option.

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Can the Quantified Self Be Your Competitive Advantage?

This post was originally posted on Prescouter. See the original article here.

“You can’t manage what you don’t measure.”

We all know this quote. It reminds us of our businesses and their performance metrics - cash flow, conversion rates, customer engagement, etc. When uncertainty arises, we look at the data for clarity. For new features, we test a solution, track key measures of success and adjust as necessary. To ensure we make the best decisions, we collect and analyze data.

Like our businesses, our personal lives are full of uncertainty. What makes us happier, healthier, and more productive? What makes us perform at our highest level? The original quote still holds true – we can’t manage what we don’t measure. To optimize ourselves, we need to measure ourselves. Technology is now enabling us to collect new and relevant data. There are sensors in our phones, wristbands, watches, glasses, and even our clothing. Your diet, sleep, exercise, heart rate, gut health, DNA, alertness, and more can be tracked and analyzed. What could all this data teach us?

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This post was originally posted on the ConnectedHealth Blog. See the original article here.

We think and talk a lot about helping people achieve health and financial security. As with anything, there are many ways to approach the health side of the equation. For some, this means adopting the “Quantified Self” approach – using personal tracking devices to measure health and activity, and using the insights gained to change their behavior. A number of us on the ConnectedHealth Team have started using some sort of tracking device (FitBits, Jawbone UP bands, and even cell phone apps), with some interesting revelations and results that we’ll share in an upcoming post or two.

But, before we get into that, we wanted to set the stage and provide a bit more background on the Quantified Self (QS) movement and its potential to help people achieve better health. To help us do that, we invited Mark Moschel and Eugene Granovsky to give us their perspective on this growing field and their predictions for its success. [click to continue…]

This post was originally posted on Technori. See the original article here.

I want to begin at the end: “Imagine you are lying on your deathbed. Life is almost over.”

This is the request that was made at the closing talk of the Quantified Self conference in Amsterdam earlier this month. The room was silent. Everyone’s thoughts were diligently projecting into the future and reflecting on the past.

“What do you remember? What do you regret?”

Here we were, 350 self-trackers who came together based on a passion for hard, quantitative metrics—and we were reflecting on the soft, qualitative emotions that will inevitably accompany our end.
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This post was originally posted on Technori. See the original article here.

A transformation is happening.

People, like you, are taking control of something conventional wisdom has told us is not ours to understand: our health. Why are we fat? What makes us feel sluggish? What causes our disease? How can I improve? Today, we ask our doctors. Tomorrow, we will ask our data.
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Introducing the QS Resource Guide

For the past year, Eugene and I have explored what the Quantified Self means and how it could be applied to our lives. We’ve had a unique perspective, crafted from a combination of roles: individuals who self-track, entrepreneurs who build tools in the space, and meetup organizers for the Chicago community.

We have seen a lot of information shared about the topic. Many of the articles are really fantastic and worth reading. However, as the number of articles and the number of gadgets available to consumers grow each day, it becomes more difficult to keep track of it all.

The Problem: as the amount of Quantified Self content increases, finding available tools and relevant information is becoming more challenging.

To address this problem with a simple solution, we are releasing our QS Resource Guide. We have aggregated the best resources for beginners, cataloged relevant information for different industries, and compiled a complete list of available tools (organized by function).

As the Quantified Self landscape continues to change, we will update the guide so it remains relevant. It will be a “living list”, inspired in part by Steve Blank’s excellent Startup Tools list.

If you believe there is an article or tool that we missed, or if you have any general feedback/suggestions to improve the guide, shoot us an email.

Check it out here: QS Resource Guide

Privacy from a Developer’s Perspective

The Problem – Privacy

If you use the internet, you are creating a trail that can be linked to you forever. Most of these companies are even hiding their plans in plain sight – their TOU statements. As a consumer I’ve done what I reasonably can – I try to read these statements and have even signed up for disconnect.me. Here in QS Chicago we’ve even featured a couple of guests whose theme was data privacy. My favorite talk at the QS conference this Spring was on privacy and how companies are dealing with it.
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The Major Pro and Many Meh’s of MyBasis

I’m asked what I think of myBasis watch all the time. I received mine on January 4th, so I was one of the earliest users. For those that ordered on the first day, you’ll empathize with the 45 minutes it took to refresh the order form.

Now that I’ve had it for six months, I wanted to share my thoughts on the device.

The Major Pro – Heart Rate!!!!

Can I include any more exclamation marks here? I would have bought this watch no matter what else it did, how it looked, or how much longer I would have had to refresh the purchase page. I’m deeply curious about how my body reacts to different environments, and heart rate’s a much better indicator than hypothesizing about my feelings.

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