Three Wishes From Exactly Ten Years Ago

October 23, 2018


Exactly ten years ago, at an early Quantified Self meetup, Joe Betts-La Croix expressed “three wishes” for tools to make data collection for self-tracking easier.
Joe asked for:

  1. A simple database that would accept data inputs from anybody using fairly simple and adaptable formats (for instance .xml) and just hold it there, eventually allowing other people to upload tools for analysis so we could do interesting things with the data, like run statistical analysis, or simply graph it. Joe wanted something extremely simple.
  2. Devices that will send data to a simple, private data store using wifi. For illustration, he describes a scale that will send his weight data automatically, a blood pressure monitor, and a blood glucose monitor.
  3. An app for his phone designed to allow quick manual entry of any value, which is then transferred to the data store.

It’s interesting to look back on this from exactly ten years and ask: To what extent have these wishes come true? What turned out to be the hardest problem?

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