Tag Archives: books

What We Are Reading

We’ve put together an nice list of articles for you to enjoy this weekend. As always, please get in touch if you have something you’d like us to share!

Articles
Finding Patterns in Personal Data by Kitty Ireland. Another great post from Kitty about using personal data to uncover interesting, and sometimes surprising, patterns. Some great examples in this post!

The Tale of a Fitness-Tracking Addict’s Struggles With Strava by Jeff Foss. Just because you can track, and you can get something out of it, might not mean you should. (I had a similar experience on a recent trip to Yosemite so this article was quite timely.)

Algorithmic skin: health-tracking technologies, personal analytics and the biopedagogies of digitized health and physical education by Ben Williamson. Quantified Self and self-tracking tools are not limited to only being used by conscious and willing adults. They’re also being developed for and used by a growing number of children and adolescents. What does this mean of health and fitness education, and how should we think about algorithms in the classroom and gym?

Seeing Ourselves Through Technology: How We Use Selfies, Blogs and Wearable Devices to See and Shape Ourselves by Jill Walker Rettberg. I just started this book and it appears offer some interesting perspectives on the current cultural shift toward technically mediated representation. The book includes a chapter on Quantified Self and is available for download in PDF and EPUB under a CC BY license.

Show&Tell
Why Log Your Food by Amit Jakhu. Amit started tracking his food in March (2014) and has since learned a few things about his preconceived notions about his diet, food, and what it takes to keep track of it all.

Even When I’m active, I’m sedentary by Gary Wolf. Gary and I used our recently released QS Access app to download his historical step data. Using some simple charting in Excel we found some interesting patterns related to his daily movement.

Visualizations
SleepJewel
When Do I Sleep Best by Jewel Loree. Jewel presented her sleep tracking project at a recent Seattle QS Meetup. The image above is just a small piece of a great set of visualizations of her data gathered with SleepCycle and Reporter apps.

20min
Lightbeam Visualization by Simone Roth. Interesting tool described here to track how your data and web activity is being tracked. You can check out the Firefox extension here.

Minard It’s About Time by Hunter Whitney. A nice post here about the different methods of visualizing temporal data.

Respiration Machine 0.3 (bellows) by Willem Besselink. A neat physical visualization and art project that represents breath using a Hoberman sphere.

From the Forum

There has been a lot of great discussion on the forum lately. Check out some of the newest and most interesting topics below.

QS Access App
Hypoxic – An App for Breathing Exercises with HRV Tracking
Sleep Tracking & Hacking Google Hangout
Personal Analytics Service for Software Developers
Using Facial Images to Determine BMI
The Right Tool? (tracking and plotting sleep)

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Kendra Albert on Tracking Reading

At the beginning of 2013 Kendra Albert set herself a very ambitious goal of reading five books a week. After tracking her reading by using Goodreads and writing short book reviews she realized that what she was reading wasn’t matching up to what she wanted to read. Watch her short talk with and the Q&A that follows to see how she used her tracking data to help her break out of her typical consumption pattern and include a more diverse set of authors. (Filmed at the Boston QS meetup group.)

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Rajiv Mehta on Tracking Reading

“Papa, what should I read?”

Sometimes a simple question can lead someone down an interesting path towards self-tracking and understanding. In the case of Rajiv Mehta, his daughter’s interest in reading led him to start tracking his own reading behavior. In this wonderful talk, Rajiv walks us through his method for tracking his reading as well as what he’s found out about his habits over the last four years.

This talk was filmed at our 2013 Quantified Self European Conference. We hope that you’ll join us this year for our 2013 Global Conference where we’ll have great talks, sessions, and discussions that cover the wide range of Quantified Self topics. Registration is now open so make sure to get your ticket today!

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What We Are Reading

We hope you like these links, articles, and ideas that we’ve enjoyed this week.

From Gary Wolf

Apple Gives Massive Nod to Wearable Tech in New iOS7 Update: This analysis of iOS7 changes for wearable technologies argues that the iPhone’s future as a QS hub matters more than the much hyped and hypothetical Apple Watch.

Drawing Dynamic Visualizations” [video] – Many clues here in this Bret Victor talk about the future of understanding our personal data. Be sure to check out the supplemental material on his website.

The Scientific Life: A Moral History of a Late Modern Vocation, by Steven Shapin: I’m finding this book very influential in shaping my reaction to some of the pious statements about “real science” that I encounter in discussions of the Quantified Self movement. Here’s an interview with Shapin that includes a link for the book.

From Ernesto Ramirez

Quantifying the body: monitoring and measuring health in the age of mHealth technologies: A thoughtful research article by Deborah Lupton exploring to sociocultural implications on self-tracking on health and identity.

A Timeline of Smartphone-enabled Health Devices by Mobihealthnews: A great look back at the how far the field of mHealth has come since 2009.

Lifeloggers by Memoto [video]: This short documentary explores the world of lifelogging through various interviews with experts such as Gordon Bell and Steve Mann.

A Personal API by Naveen Selvadurai: Naveen, co-founder of Foursquare, has started to open up his data in the form of an “personal API.” He’s challenged developers and the broader QS community to see what they can do with this data. Right now his API allows access to sleep, steps, weight, fuel (Nike Fuelband), and places.

We’ve also noticed two open challenges that might appeal to the QS community:

The Economist-Lumina Foundation Quantified Work Challenge: The Economist and the Lumina Foundation are asking for your thoughts on what “potential objective inputs or data and potential methods of collecting and reporting that information that organizations could use to build a personalized “skills tracker” for individual employees.”

Chart.js Personal Dashboard Challenge: Use the open source chart.js javascript visualization library to create your own charts and graphs based on your personal data.

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