March 28, 2017
More than ever we’re relying on technology to quantify our daily lives– be it through “lifelogging,” chronicling our every experience and thoughts with selfies and tweets, or self-tracking our inputs and performance with wearables and smart apps. But the quantified-self movement has evolved far beyond counting steps, calories, and the number of z’s you get.
Wearables from head to toe
…there’s an app for that and in some cases some advanced device to help capture never-before-conceived-of data.
While reports find the wearable market slower to grow than originally thought, 17.6 percent of adult Americans (44 Million people) are wearing an accessory or smart clothing for data tracking, and 58 percent of smartphone users in the US have downloaded a health application. More and more, we are eager to gather as much information about ourselves as possible, share it with friends, and use it as motivation to become more fit, healthier, and happier.
For the head, there’s a plethora of online Om apps, like our San Francisco neighbor Calm.com, designed to help you reduce anxiety, sleep better, and feel happier through mindfulness and meditation. Taking that mindfulness a step further, mood tracking apps like Moodnotes log and monitor your mood, providing personalized insights that encourage positive daily habits.
Down to the toes, Sensoria has developed technology that’s being infused into clothing, like their smart socks to track foot strike quality, as well as the standard metrics of heart rate, cadence, and speed, meant to improve running performance. Sensoria has also partnered with Orthotics Holdings to develop the Smart Moore Balance Brace, which helps prevent falls for people with balance and stability issues.
In between, there may be too much information
Yes, there’s an app for just about everything and as it would seem, a wearable for just about everywhere. British Condoms has introduced a wearable called the iCon Smart Condom, a ring to be worn over a condom to track data such as calories burned and other “activity” specifics. They claim that “all data will be kept anonymous but users will have the option to share their recent data with friends,” begging the question, why? Users may be drawn to this wearable for similar reasons as traditional fitness trackers– with the goal of self-knowledge for self-improvement, but there is another benefit to the data collected. According Adam Leverson, lead engineer on the i.Con project, the device will also have “built-in indicators to alert the users to any potential STI’s present.”
The accelerated adoption of smart phones, improvements in data storage and processing, and advancements of biometric sensors, like accelerometers, plus the fascination of life-documenting on social platforms– has led to think tanks and start-ups galore, all focused on bringing new technologies to quench our human thirst for self-improvement through numbers.
In our case, we see the opportunity to combine advanced optical technologies and the ubiquity of smartphones to bring vision tracking to anyone interested in learning more about their eyes. By testing your vision regularly, you can create a digital record that maps your vision history and you can identify changes or irregularities in test results that indicate a need to visit an eye doctor between regular appointments.
With so many to choose from, we are interested in which ones you’ve found inspired or inspiring. What’s your favorite health and fitness app? Share with us on our Facebook.page.