Our life is much easier since technological breakthroughs allow us to monitor our daily life. There are many apps that allow you to measure different aspects of our activity; from health to productivity and through our mood or sense of humour. But these apps not only help you keep record of your activity, but they compile and analyse data to help us improve every day.
Self-tracking is not something new. As Stephen Wolfram did, although probably to a lesser extent, we all have measured our activity. We usually keep record of what we spend every month or we measure the exercise we practice every week.
But this process of compiling personal data is much simpler and automatic now that wearables have appeared. Although wearables first appeared in mid-70’s, since the prototype Quantimetric Self-Sensing was introduced in the market in 1996, there has been huge progress in the field.
The most spread use of these devices is related to health. Many doctors’ daily routines got simplified as they can keep under control some disease and health indicators. Keep track of symptoms such as headaches, calories burned, breathing and sleeping patterns is now much easier. We cannot forget about the social component of Quantified-self. Sharing our progress with everybody else is an essential ingredient to being encouraged and to improve.
However, self-tracking is now being used also in businesses in order to improve the productivity of employees. Many companies use wearables and other devices to measure performance and to improve employees’ motivation and productivity. There are also many who, at an individual level, use a combination of wearables, apps and gadgets in order to measure activity and to improve time management while increasing their personal productivity.
Gary Wolf, an editor of Wired newspaper, suggests that there is an increase on self-knowledge thanks to self-tracking. The data provided by this type of devices and apps will be an important business in the future. This information will be of great importance to the advertising market as well as to marketing and services sector.
Data can be used to make important progress in the field of medicine. In a few years, people will use their self-tracking data to generate biometric CVs that are able to show through data how suitable they are for a job position. These tools can help companies to take decisions, to motivate their personnel and to manage their teams, as well as to better manage the personal and collective time of workers.
Most apps are now focused on creativity and emotions. Measuring it and even trying to modify it. But what is sure is that keeping record of different aspects of daily life is at everybody’s reach. In the last year, due to smartphones, self-tracking has stopped being a trend to become a habit embraced by more people every day. We have no excuse that keeps us from improving.