Amsterdam QS Meetup Recap #1

September 25, 2010

Our first Quantified Self Show and Tell in Amsterdam took place on September 20 at Het Volkskrantgebouw. More than sixty people showed up to attend and some even came from Germany and France! Sebastiaan ter Burg kindly provided us help with the video and photos. All the videos can be found on Vimeo and all photos on Flickr.

After a short welcome and introduction to QS by Maarten Den Braber, our sponsor Ben van Laarhoven from Digigadgets started off with a show and tell about devices used for health-tracking. He showcased several gadgets like a heart monitor and a system for tracking cadence and speed on a bike. Lastly he spoke about the Wahoo connector which aggregrates data streams from several devices to your iPhone. 
Peter Robinett from Bubble Foundry presented his own spreadsheets for productivity tracking in which he used his own color-coding. He would predict his productivity per week according to his calendar and as the week passed would compare and reflect on the difference between his prediction and reality.
Co-organizer James Burke gave a short talk about adding analytics to his relationship. He and his partner would award or subtract points per event for a period of 3 months towards the start of their relationship.
Martijn Aslander presented the possibilties with personalstats.nl, a system used for general self-tracking built from modules containing questions. Currently development is quite slow, but in the near future iPad and iPhone apps are planned for production.

Concentration and meditation van be measured with electrodes. Beer van Geer gave a presentation on how he designed an application based on the Neurosky platform, a portable brain interface controllable by meditation.

Sheryl Cababa and Marie Perez from Philips talked about the development cycle of the Philips DirectLife, from a concept in 2006 to a full product in 2009. The DirectLife is built on top of several models used to motivate people to get up and move. (We reached our Vimeo limit, so this video will be online later) Co-founder of Withings, Cedric Hutchings showed the Withings scale. And he donated a scale to a lucky visitor, who guessed the nearest weight of our host, Maarten.
Matt Cottam from Tellart explained how he used open-source and self-made electronics to produce sensors used in training for health care and to motivate children at different schools into activity and sports via some clever persuasive behaviors tied together with some game design priniciples. Our last speaker Yuri van Geest from Singularity University explained and discussed technologies to be encountered along our way to continual technological acceleration. 
Discussion continued in the bar following the event as we had to leave our location at 10:00pm. Next time we will try to improve the sound quality for the Q&A. So to conclude, our first QS Amsterdam Meetup was simply amazing!

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