What is Quantified Self?

Quantified self describes the phenomenon of consumers being able to closely track data that is relevant to their daily activities through the use of technology. The emergence of wearable devices on the market such as watches, wristbands, and necklaces that are designed to automatically collect data are helping people manage their fitness, sleep cycles, and eating habits. Mobile apps also share a central role in this idea by providing easy-to-read dashboards for consumers to view and analyze their personal metrics. Empowered by these insights, many individuals now rely on these technologies to improve their lifestyle and health. Today’s apps not only track where a person goes, what they do, and how much time they spend doing it, but now what their aspirations are and when those can be accomplished. Novel devices, too, are enabling people to track their lives automatically, such as the Memoto, a camera worn around the neck that is designed to capture an image every half minute. As more people rely on their mobile devices to monitor their daily activities, data is becoming a larger part of everyday life.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • In Utah, some FCS educators have wellness programs/challenges where they use Fitbits to collect data (e.g. sleep, water consumption, distance, steps, floors etc.). These educators have noticed an increase in healthy behavioral changes when participants can instantly see how they stack up against their peers. - paul.hill paul.hill May 30, 2016
  • 4-H programs across the board have "healthy lifestyle" initiatives. In a tech-infused world, the ability to connect with others around the quantified self has the potential to be very powerful...on scales ranging from the individual to the organizational. - andersonb andersonb Jun 4, 2016

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • - jeff.hino jeff.hino Jun 2, 2016Perhaps this topic would be better positioned under the IoT (Internet of Things)--currently called Networked Objects. Wearable internet connected devices are one of many examples of IoT.
  • Perhaps the potential for linkages between entities like the health care sector and the service sector. Enhanced access to one's own data should open up avenues of negotiation, leaner efficiencies, and greater demand for customization between the individual and the entities they interface with. - andersonb andersonb Jun 4, 2016

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on higher education?

  • - jeff.hino jeff.hino Jun 2, 2016IoT devices such as those included here provide the means for health professionals---including Extension Health professionals--to participate in the analysis of the Big Data coming from these devices. That data is providing the capacity to make broad cultural assessments of social behaviors and their affect on personal health.
  • I think it greatly enhances the potential role of Extension as a valued partner to the ISV's that help determine the course of certain technologies (particularly wearables). - andersonb andersonb Jun 4, 2016

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

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