World of Health IT

I got invited to give a talk on my research in quantified self as part of the World of Health IT Conference at the mHealth Symposium.

WoHITInterestingly the conversation recently have moved more towards discussing the potential of self-tracking in healthcare. And sure enough the conversation during the Q&A session was primarily focused on the potential and the consequences for the healthcare system (and patient) in the future. Some addressed this as a question of power and who has the upper hand (doctors and the system losing power), but I believe it’s not productive for the conversation to see it that way. Of course the stakeholders will eventually need to change their roles, but improved tools will be beneficial for all stakeholders. The conversation continues…

Quantified Self Global Conference 2013 in San Francisco

This week I’m attending the Quantified Self Global Conference 2013 in San Francisco.


Quantified Self, Personal Informatics, and Life Logging has gained increased attention among scientists and researchers. So at the conference I will be leading a breakout session on QS Research, where we will discuss challenges, opportunities, and future directions in this research domain.

Per Bækgaard new PhD student

Per Bækgaard joins the lab as a new PhD student in the Cognitive Systems Section at DTU Compute under my supervision and co-supervised by Michael Kai Petersen. Per will work on the Eye Tracking for Mobile Devices project. The working title of the PhD project is Enhancing User Experience on Next Generation Mobile Devices by Combining Eye Tracking with Biometric Data. Welcome, Per!

Andrea Cuttone new PhD student

Andrea Cuttone joins the lab as a new PhD student in the Cognitive Systems Section at DTU Compute under my supervision and co-supervised by Sune Lehmann. Andrea will work in part on the Sensible DTU project and use that as an experimental platform for his PhD project. The working title of the PhD project is Data mining and visualization tools for human behavior data. Welcome, Andrea!

TEDx Talk: Human Data for Life

My TEDx talk entitled Human Data for Life from the recent TEDxCopenhagenSalon event is available.

Over the last couple of years self-tracking has gained increased interest with the availability of smartphones and low-cost wearable sensors. The increasing quantities of data that we can capture about human behavior and interactions are key to future improvements in health and well-being.

Crowds, Bluetooth and Rock’n’Roll: Understanding Music Festival Participant Behavior

Our paper on Crowds, Bluetooth and Rock’n’Roll: Understanding Music Festival Participant Behavior is available in arXiv. At a large music festival (8 days and 130,000+ participants) we applied Bluetooth sensing to discover Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones carried by the participants, which enabled us to observe patterns of behavior in terms of participant mobility and offline social interaction. An overall summary of the mobility data collected during the 8 day festival is shown below.

A nice popular summary of the article was made by MIT Technology Review in Music Festivals, Bluetooth Monitoring and the Behavior of Crowds.

Gyldendal Book Launch Event

event_241693872I got invited to give a talk at Gyldendal as part of a book launch event for the book “Det man måler er man selv” about the self-tracking phenomenon. The author is Anders Høeg Nissen.

In my talk I discussed some of the perspectives on self-tracking and quantified self and used our smartphone brain scanner as an example of how we can measure our brains.

The picture is courtesy of Thomas Harborg.

TEDxCopenhagen talk: Human Data for Life

On May 17th I was invited to give a TED talk as part of a TEDxCopenhagen Salon Event focusing on technology organized by TEDxCopenhagen and The Danish Society of Engineers (IDA).


The theme of the event was ”Breaking Currents” and the ambiguous wording of the theme inspired me to the ambiguous title of my talk: Human Data for Life.


Videos from the event should be posted within a couple of weeks.

Quantified Self Conference 2013 in Amsterdam

As part of my participation in the fourth Quantified Self Conference I chaired a breakout session on QS Research where I motivated the discussion by presenting some of our ongoing research, including the Smartphone Brain Scanner and the Sensible DTU project. There is a growing interest and increasing number of researchers and scholars participate in the QS conferences, which was apparent from our breakout room being completely full.


App for the DTU Annual Party

A group of my students from my Mobile Application Prototyping class (spring semester course 02827) has developed an Android app for the DTU Annual Party, which allow the participants at the party to navigate through all the events and see where and when the events are and set alarms.


The app is available for download in Google Play. Congratulations on the nice work to Adrian Alan Pol, Albert Fernández de la Peña, and Javier Calvo Torres.

Personal Informatics Workshop @ CHI2013

As part of the ACM CHI2013 conference we held our two day Personal Informatics Workshop and hackathon. We had a record number of submissions and accepted 24 papers. Google had kindly sponsored the workshop with a number of self-tracking devices that participants could use as part of their hackathon projects.


During the two day hackathon five groups developed personal informatics concepts and systems and we concluded the workshop with a joint meetup with the local Quantified Self Paris Meetup Group where the groups presented their results.


QS Spiral: Visualizing Periodic Quantified Self Data

As part of the Personal Informatics Workshop at CHI2013 we presented our paper QS Spiral: Visualizing Periodic Quantified Self Data. The paper is co-authored with Andrea Cuttone and Sune Lehmann.

spiral1 spiral2

In the paper we propose an interactive visualization technique QS Spiral that aims to capture the periodic properties of quantified self data and let the user explore those recurring patterns. The approach is based on time-series data visualized as a spiral structure. The interactivity includes the possibility of varying the time span and the time frame shown, allowing for different levels of detail and the discoverability of repetitive patterns in the data on multiple scales.

Quantified Self Bay Area Meetup #29 in Berkeley

Along with 100+ other QS’ers I participated in the Quantified Self Bay Area Meetup #29 in Berkeley tonight, as well as enjoyed the nice view from Skydeck in Berkeley.

QSMeetup29BerkeleyBut of course enjoyed most the quite varied mix of show&tell talks and interesting conversations with people deeply engaged in self-tracking – to understand the phenomenon deeper.

E-learning User Experience Engineering

During three weeks in January my colleague Michael Kai Petersen and I had the opportunity to teach our course on User Experience Engineering with the twist that it was also offered as a KAIST e-learning course together with the KAIST Division of Web Science and Technologies (WebST). Students from KAIST could tune into the  lectures that were being streamed live in the morning here, which were in the afternoon in South Korea.
UXEIn terms of e-learning I found that a major challenge is the high level of interactivity in the course. Throughout the three weeks students continuously work on assignments that involve conceptualizing novel prototype gesture interfaces which are presented and evaluated in class. While the Adobe Connect for eLearning environment offers sharing of multiple content elements (streaming video, slides, notes, discussion, etc.) the technology is still a barrier. That is, latency is an issue and the bandwidth is still limited in terms of offering a seamless and transparent dialogue that is an integral part of the interactivity and evaluation that is a core element in this course. Most importantly it was a great learning experience.

Cognitive Measurements at the Quantified Self Conference

Together with Yoni Donner (who’s behind Quantified Mind) I did a breakout session on the topic Cognitive Measurements at the Quantified Self Conference at Stanford.


Our motivation was to put more emphasis on cognitive measurements in the QS community saying that measuring cognitive functions is difficult but provides a much richer understanding of ourselves compared to single-dimension measurements (such as steps taken, heart-rate and weight) that have been the primary focus of the QS community…