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How the Age of Quantified Self Helps us Know Ourselves Better

18 February, 2015 | Article Source: Natasha Singh  |   (No Comments) | 18,532 Views

Wearable app development technology

How the Age of Quantified Self Helps us Know Ourselves Better

“Quantified self” is the idea that we can use technology to analyze ourselves, much in the same way we might analyze the performance of a piece of technology or the status of our bank accounts; we can get hard numbers that provide clear trends and actionable paths toward improvement. Knowledge is power, as they say, and the phrase rings true: corporations spend a great deal of money analyzing themselves. Athletes often have entire support teams dedicated to tracking their statistical performance. So how can we apply this to consumers?

The Rise of Sensors & Wearables

The goal is to monitor and analyse various aspects of our lives—how we sleep, eat, exercise, work, etc. That data is the key, but getting that data is the challenge. More specifically, how can we access that data in a way that effectively circumvents human error? Data is only useful if it is representative of the truth. To that end, we turn to computers, but computers are digital, and our lives are analog—bridging that gap is the first hurdle.

Through certain wearable apps and sensors, we can measure the wearer’s location and movement to infer an understanding of their activities. From that we can determine time spent moving vigorously (i.e. exercise), walking, or time spent sedentary.

These tracking devices have proven to be very successful, and have been incorporated into people’s lives, providing tangible assistance in improving health. Large companies sometimes utilize them in workplace health programs. They are the lynchpin of the quantified self, but we build up from there.

The Software Side

Using the data gathered by these sensors, the task falls into the hands of software makers to manipulate, analyze, and display in useful and informative ways. This means producing readable graphs and tables, isolating trends, making predictions, suggestions, and more. The possibilities here are enormous.

For now we have some very good examples in the health & fitness sector. Devices like the Fitbit automatically upload data to the cloud, where it is curated into a user-friendly set of statistics. Other companies do similar automation in the fitness industry, and it works very well, as we’ve seen more and more consumer interest there. The key takeaway is that the automation and convenience are primary enablers—without these, consumer adoption is much lower. Wearable technology predictions of 2015 throws light on some key aspects.

Through apps, users can view graphs and data that inform them of their own habits and allow them to change their lifestyle accordingly. We’ve proven that technology can successfully create useful data regarding our lives, so the question from here is: what else can we quantify?

New hardware can be created that specifically tracks new criteria. New software can be created that iterates and improves on the analysis and data available, or that utilizes old hardware in new ways. These tools can provide consumers with enormous power for self-improvement, you just need to find the data.

Software Developers Inc is a Silicon Valley app design, development, and marketing studio. We work hard to stay up to date with new technologies and trends like Quantified Self, and we’re happy to pass on our expertise to our clients. Contact us today! You can call us at 408.802.2885, or by email at team@sdi.la for a free consultation.

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