QS Show&Tell #9 – Recap
October 29, 2009
The QS Show&Tell #9 was very fun and interesting. Here is a quick recap with links.
We met at Stanford courtesy of Martha Russell of Stanford’s MediaX, and the evening began with Martha’s intro to her program, which links visionary research to industry applications. A list of fall seminars at MediaX shows a bit of what they are up to. The seminars are open to the public, and full of interesting things for QS types. Martha hosted as at the Wallenberg Hall Learning Theater, a great experimental learning space with high walls, three projection screens, and balcony viewing.
Steve Brown’s presentation of 3banana came at a more fair and leisurely pace than at the last meeting, where he was stuck at the end of a long night of talks. Steve was the creator of Health Buddy, a pioneering self-tracking system, which he sold to Bosch Healthcare. 3banana is a more general tool, and Steve talked about his goal to augment human intelligence through giving us access to more efficient external memory. Steve’s talk showed a couple of self-tracking trends we’ve already noted coming together, including SMS as a tracking lingua franca and structuring data with hashtags.
Mark Carranza gave an update on his Social Memory Experiment, first presented at a QS last December. He is working toward taking his personal memory tracking system and releasing it as a social app, and invited all interested parties to help. More on Mark’s interesting work can be read here at this earlier post: The Social Memex.
We got to meet Margie Morris, the inventor of the “mood phone” in person, as she was visiting the Bay Area. Margie’s work was described in an earlier QS post: The Mood Phone and the Circumplex Model. Trained as a clinical psychologist, she is a senior researcher at Intel’s Digital Health Group. She played us some excerpts from videos with users discussing possible applications. One of the users in the video, a male working in a technical field, explained to the interviewer his practice of concealing his mood in order to avoid conflict, and speculated about the usefulness of a technical system to reveal actual emotional states. This provoked some interesting discussion of the social dimension of mood tracking.
Alexandra Carmichael invited everybody to take advantage of the stellar QS Scientific Advisory Board. These are professional researchers who are willing to field questions about self-tracking and self-experiment, which Alex will collect and transmit. The questions and answers will be published here, so that others can take advantage of the advice. Experiment design, statistical analysis, or other topics are welcome. Alex published her invitation on the blog a few weeks ago, in this post: Introducing the Quantified Self Advisory Board! Take a look at it and see the excellent resources available to you. (Video of her talk is here.)
Brian Mossop, who blogs at The Decision Tree, a blog about predictive medicine and the future of healthcare, presented an idea for a new smoking cessation company, that gave smokers a decreasing “budget” of cigarettes and rewarded them with permission to smoke cigarettes (withing the budget) when they met exercise or other goals. Brain’s father was a smoker, and he suspects that methods of self-tracking and simple rewards, plus some social encouragement, will be helpful to people trying to quit. (Video of his talk is here.)
Finally, Robin Barooah showed the results of his coffee and concentration self experiment. He posted here about it already. (See: The false god of coffee.) His post was widely linked, with mentions on BoingBoing, Hacker News, and Freakonomics, and is now the most commented post on QS. Thanks Robin for a great post!