Moreover I had the opportunity to attend the keynote by Arthur Stone on “Challenges remaining for the field of real-time data capture”, including his shout out to the “Quantified Self Movement”, as he phrased it. During the Q&A I asked him to elaborate on the role of QS from his perspective, to which he responded: I think it’s really interesting that people are becoming so interested in monitoring themselves and get feedback about themselves. To me it seems like again maybe we should think about what they are doing and what they are saying and talk to them. And perhaps talk about the hypothesis generation, because I don’t see them doing the kind of stricter scientific research that we need to do in order to confirm the associations. But I think, I mean it’s great that people are doing this and are interested in this. It’s a little worrisome that the big corporations are getting into this – I mean maybe it’s worrisome, maybe it’s great. I’m not sure. Something is happening now and I don’t know quite how this is all going to turn out.
This year the workshop was framed as the “Disasters in Personal Informatics: The Unpublished Stories of Failure and Lessons Learned”. The idea was to stimulate a discussion on the challenges involved in conducting research in personal informatics. Nine interesting papers were discussed in three themes as part of the workshop program: Personal Informatics in Life, Data Collection and Quality, and Engagement in Longitudinal Studies.
My PhD student Andrea Cuttone and I presented our work: “The Long Tail Issue in Large Scale Deployment of Personal Informatics” discussing issues in carrying out Personal Informatics research as part of our large-scale SensibleDTU study.
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.
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.
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.
I’m now a visiting scholar at Stanford University where I join the Calming Technology Lab to work on aspects of personal informatics and quantified self for future pervasive and wearable computing/sensing systems.
An article in the danish newspaper Information discuss how “Electronics keeps an eye on your sleep and diet”. The article discuss how technologies including mobile phones and mobile applications can support people in self-monitoring of weight, exercise, sleep, etc. also in a social context. In addition how these types of applications are also turned into games to make the activities fun and motivating.