Personal Informatics at UbiComp2014

At the 2014 ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing (UbiComp 2014) we had the 5th international workshop on Personal Informatics.

pi_ubicomp2014This year the workshop was framed as the “Disasters in Personal Informatics: The Unpublished Stories of Failure and Lessons Learned”.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.

ESOF 2014 – Science in the City

This week we are showcasing our research in Quantified Self and Network Science at the EuroScience Open Forum 2014 (ESOF) Science in the City festival. Our tagline is: Which factors motivate you to take more steps?

With smartphones and new wearable devices it is possible to measure many different aspects of our lives, including exercising, sleep and mood. But the question is if this technology can change our habits?

esof2014_science_in_the_city_booth

Our team from DTU Compute uses Science in the City as the foundation for a scientific study – and we use the official SciCity app to do this. We have included a step counter feature in the app and use the app to study the factors that motivate to take more steps. Our study is based on the two exciting scientific fields: Quantified Self and Network Science.

Quantified Self addressing how self-monitoring (for instance apps on smartphones or wearable gadgets) influence our self-perception and Network Science studying the mathematics that describes structure and dynamics in our social networks. Via family, friends, and colleagues, we’re connected to a global social network. In many ways, our social networks show who we are. And our research shows that this information reveals which fundamental values and interests characterize us. We use information about the connections on, e.g. Facebook to explore which factors motivate the user to take more steps.

TV2 Go’aften Danmark on Quantified Self

I appeared on the TV2 “Go’ aften Danmark” show tonight (May 12) to discuss the phenomenon quantified self (in Danish: selvmåling) and also the potential for our future health care system. The hosts were really good sports, as they had themselves been self-tracking steps, weight, body fat, activity, and mood for about a week.

goaftendk_20140512_1 smallThe show is available on the TV2 Play website (subscription required) starting out with a general discussion of quantified self and self-tracking and in the end of the show we discuss the future potential of self-tracking.

QS Europe Conference 2014

This weekend (May 9-11) I attended the Quantified Self Europe Conference 2014 in Amsterdam. Yet again a very packed conference program with lot’s of interesting presentations, show&tell, breakout sessions, and as usual 10 different things going on at the same time.

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I presented our poster on Visualizing QS Data Using Time Spirals (PDF), which got a lot of attention from the conference participants. The poster was co-authored with my PhD student Andrea Cuttone, and collegue Associate Professor Sune Lehmann.

QS_Spiral_Poster

In addition I led a breakout session on “Strategies for Managing Personal Data”, which led into an interesting discussion of strategies, tools, and the common struggle experienced by multiple participants that personal data management is still a largely complex process.

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.

QS2013Global_Poster

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.

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.

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.

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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.

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.

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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…

Personal Informatics in Practice workshop at CHI 2012

Presentation of research paper “A Cross-Platform Smartphone Brain Scanner” at CHI 2012. The Personal Informatics in Practice: Improving Quality of Life Through Data workshop will be a gathering of researchers, designers, and practitioners exploring how to better support personal informatics in people’s everyday lives.

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Guest Post on the Quantified Self Blog

quantifiedself_logoAuthors of articles for the Personal Informatics in Practice workshop at CHI 2012 in Austin, TX on May 6, 2012 have been invited to write a summary for the Quantified Self Blog. Our Blog Guest Post is a summary of our paper “A Cross-Platform Smartphone Brain Scanner”. It is authored by Jakob Eg Larsen, Arkadiusz Stopczynski, Carsten Stahlhut, Michael Kai Petersen, and Lars Kai Hansen.

The workshop will be a gathering of researchers, designers, and practitioners exploring how to better support personal informatics in people’s everyday lives.

My 5 minutes as a Quantified Self “Rock Star”

I presented our Smartphone Brain Scanner at the first Quantified Self Conference in Europe. Since I believe in the eating your own dog food mantra I was wearing the neuroheadset and using the smartphone brain scanner while giving my short Ignite Talk.

If you thought giving an Ignite Talk was stressful (a 5 minute presentation accompanied by 20 slides each displayed for 15 seconds, and the slides automatically advance) then try giving a live demonstration of your research prototype meanwhile :-)

Feeling like a rock star was during the break after the presentation where I got to talk to so many interesting people from the quantified self community that were interested in our research.

Electronics keeps an eye on your sleep and diet

nokia_sports_trackerAn 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.