For me the quantified self conferences are like coming home: getting inspired by hundreds of people who share the same passion. It is hard to make a choice but in this post I would like to list my top three experiences of this QS conference edition.
1. Lonely at the top is the TrueSense wearable bio-sensor kit. It is “the first affordable, ultra-compact, ultra-low-power, bio-signal acquisition kit that allows bio-signal capturing anywhere, any time and on multiple body locations.” And oh yeah, it costs 35 Euro and is OpenSource(!)
I’ve had a nice half hour demo from Fu-Chieh Hsu the inventor and manufacturer of this sensor set. It can track: brainwaves, heart-rate (and deduce breath-rate from that), muscle tension, movement, posture and electro smog. Both real-time (using wifi) or as a logger (it can store at least 11 hours). The nice thing is that you get the full spectrum of waves. It is raw data, not ‘cleaned’. So you yourself can separate muscle movement from brainwaves for example. Another great thing is that you can use several of them on different places on your body. And there is the ability to set markers using the two buttons on the controller.
I haven’t had time to experiment yet. But watch this space for applications and experiments in the near future.
2. My second choice is my own breakout session “Tracking Breathing as a Unifying Experience” which I’ve described here. The reason for it being in my top three is that is was such a valuable experience to get feedback on my new wearables. The participants were enthusiastic and genuinely interested in the topic. It has really given my project a boost.
3. Last but not least are the nice and interesting conversations I’ve had with so many people. Every break I’ve met new people and learned about they’re ideas and projects. No matter at what table I sat down, it was always inspiring. That’s what makes this conference so great. I’m looking forward to the things that will emerge from all those conversations.
There was of course a lot more to see and hear about. Here are some of the runners up (in no particular order): Poikos to make a 3D image of your body with your smartphone (without taking your clothes off), LifeSlice for capturing webcam images of your face and screenshots. Things I’ve been thinking about and working on too. Unfortunately only for the Mac. Empatica for real-time stress measurement in teams. This is closely related to our e-Pressed project. There was Memoto, a life logging device which was discussed in a broad discussion. I’ve had plenty of experience with life logging in my project North-South feeling back in 2008/9. I also included heart-rate and pictures taken in the bathroom and toilet. Using Memoto will definitely reduce time spend on data cleaning and parsing. The last project I want to mention is One year in paper by Merel Brouns. It immediately reminded me of my recently finished piece Reversed Calendar.
Merel logged one year of her life in an analogue way using coloured tape and paper. I liked her addition of the daylight hours, using grey for night time.
And of course lots more…