Case Study: I am monitoring myself… Will U or will U not?


See me, feel me, touch me, heal me

As news arrives that future smart homes will have available monitoring applications that track your breath and breathing patterns and can be programmed to provide reactive notifications if your breath or breath patterns vary from what is the acceptable ‘norm’, here is a case study from today’s human subjects who are tracking already, in this case perhaps the most measured patient ‘presenting’ in the world.

Numerico ergo sum

Larry Smarr, an astrophysicist and computer scientist, could be the world’s most self-measured man. For nearly 15 years, the professor at the University of California at San Diego has been obsessed with what he describes as the most complicated subject he has ever experimented on: his own body.

Smarr keeps track of more than 150 parameters

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Technology and attendant plethora of apps now allow a growing number of people to track the minutiae of their lives as never before.

James Norris, in his 30s and an entrepreneur in Oakland, California, has spent the past 15 years tracking, mapping and analysing his “firsts” – from his first kiss to the first time he saw fireworks on the Mall in Washington, D.C.

Laurie Frick, 59, an Austin, Texas, artist, is turning her sleep and movement patterns into colourful visualisations made of laser-cut paper and wood.

And Nicholas Felton, 37, a Brooklyn data scientist, has been publishing an annual report about every Twitter, Facebook, email and text message he sends. More than 30,300 people are following his life on Twitter.

Most extreme are “life loggers,” who wear cameras 24/7 , jot down every new idea and record their daily activities in exacting detail. Their goal is to create a collection of information that is an extension of their own memories.

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An estimated 5 million Americans are already using wearable devices to sync their lives to the cloud