Activity logging, quantiﬁed self, and more
We have recently seen everyone getting on the bandwagon, wristbands, shoes, tennis rackets, health sensors… on the bandwagon, wristbands, shoes, tennis rackets, health sensors…etc. to capture and display data for the person using the device in a manner that enhances a relevant experience of some sort.
Activity tracking has been around for a while, think of your credit card which collects your buying behavior and displays that physically or electronically. Yet new devices did make the concept sexier due to the methods of collection and display of data.
The reason such a phenomenon is noteworthy is the proliferation of applications in different areas, which in our opinion is only the beginning. We pack more sensors (GPS, movement, heat, voice, light…etc.) into these devices collect more data which leads to devices with higher levels of situational awareness that help us better perform tasks or enhance experiences.
Another very simple yet lovely logging solution is the Get Narrative camera (see image below) where all you have to do is make sure it securely attached to your shirt (it could be attached to anything) and it will automatically take a picture every 30 seconds leaving you with a visual biography of your life that you can manipulate using a mobile app.
Categories of this genre of devices are increasing drastically. Not long ago we just had tracking devices, but now it’s also planning and tracking, monitoring, visual biographies and more. Of course we will soon start to see more functions converging into single devices which is the typical evolution of such technologies but more will spring but to perform different functions.
Microsoft’s Health Vault takes this phenomenon to the next level. Regardless of what could have been done better or the amazing available features, such a platform puts forward a springboard for all those great products. The Health Vault, as the name suggests, is a platform that hosts all health related information irrespective of where it comes from. A person can hook up his or her blood pressure monitor, weight scale and activity tracker (to name a few) and have all that displayed in one place.
The ﬁnal note for this section relates to what to expect next. “Think mobile” has been a buzz word for a while now and we think it should be replaced with “think sensors” (since mobile devices themselves are becoming more valuables because of the sensors that are packed into them) we believe that more sensors, affordable and ready for integration, will be available in the market and in turn the different combinations of these sensors will result if amazing new devices and apps (that can hook up to platforms like the Health Vault)