Quantified self + web of things

The cycle of interaction between our bodies and minds often go unnoticed until they manifest in illness or professional diagnosis. However, micro-expressions such as nail biting, restlessness, and teeth grinding often arise well before more severe conditions develop. What if we could raise our awareness of the changes in our mental states that are affecting our bodies in otherwise invisible ways?

Would this externalization encourage us to change our behavior? Probably awareness alone is not enough. What if that awareness could be correlated with other known factors such as time spent on the computer, or visits to the gym, or sexual activity. Would the ability to self-conduct analysis on our micro-behaviors further elicit behavior change? What would be the benefits and costs of sharing micro-behaviors with our caretakers: loved ones, healthcare providers, etc?

Before we can begin to answer these questions, we need a more robust set of tools with which to gather behavioral data. The quantified self movement, combined with embedded computing or what google is calling “the web of things” promises to make this future possible.

“Everywhere is information processing embedded in the objects and surfaces of everyday life.” ~ Adam Greenfield Everywhere: The dawning age of ubiquitous computing

Even today, products such as the Fitbit, the Jawbone Up, the Withings scale and blood pressure cuff, and the Zeo sleep monitor are beginning to record and feedback this information. However, this is only the beginning.

Concept sketch for networked water bottle by Shaik Ridzwan.

It is easy to imagine a future populated with sensors that offer a more robust picture of not only our fitness, but our holistic health and wellness. Also the devices today do little to leverage known behavioral incentives such as peer groups and gamification. Not to mention they act only as recorders, doing little to actually shield us from damaging behavior.

Worry Stone

I would like to add to the existing suite of networked objects, and capture something outside of fitness: anxiety.



Reframing health to embrace design of our own well-being by Hugh Dubberly,
Rajiv Mehta, Paul Pangaro and Shelley Evenson

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