Low Friction Personal Data Collection - QS Portland


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Aaron will be discussing his challenges with finding self-tracking tools that make it easy to collect data with minimum effort on his part. This is a preview of the talk that Aaron will give at the QS Global Conference in San Francisco in October.

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Low Friction Personal Data Collection - QS Portland

  1. 1. Low Friction Personal Data Collection @aaronpk • aaronparecki.com Quantified Self PDX • September 2013
  2. 2. Things I track consistently  Location: GPS (since 2008)  Location: Checkins (since 2009)  Sleep (since November 2011)  Weight (since October 2011)  Steps / Activity (since November 2011) @aaronpk
  3. 3. Things I track consistently  Location: GPS (since 2008) iPhone  Location: Checkins (since 2009) Foursquare  Sleep (since November 2011) Jawbone UP  Weight (since October 2011) Withings Scale  Steps / Activity (since November 2011) Jawbone @aaronpk
  4. 4. Things I track inconsistently  One photo every day – off and on since 2007 – various apps  Bike Rides – Usually rides only > 1 mile – Strava  Heart Rate – During bike rides or other activities – Strava  Food I Eat – Aug 19 - present – text file on my phone
  5. 5. Publishing My Location aaronparecki.com  One decimal point of precision (about 5km)  City name  Local time and timezone
  6. 6. Publishing My Location Automatic reply to an SMS  Four decimal points of precision (within a block)  City name  Local time and timezone
  7. 7. Publishing My Sleep aaronparecki.com/metrics  Also includes the city I slept in from my GPS data
  8. 8. Publishing My Weight aaronparecki.com/metrics
  9. 9. Location 2008 - Present @aaronpk
  10. 10. Hardware GPS Logger (2007) @aaronpk
  11. 11. GPS-Enabled Phone (2008) @aaronpk
  12. 12. Geoloqi on an iPhone @aaronpk
  13. 13. Stored in PostGIS  Queryable by timestamp or by area
  14. 14. Timezone API Created with github.com/esri/Terraformer curl http://api.example.com/?lat=45.5118&lng=-122.6433 { status: "ok", timezone: "America/Los_Angeles" }
  15. 15. SMS Interface Google Voice sends me an email with the SMS You send me an SMS Your Phone Google Voice Google Voice sends you an SMS from my phone number A Gmail filter catches it and forwards it to my web server Gmail notification of SMS then sends an email reply to the “from” address of the SMS notification aaronparecki.com My web server retrieves my location data * it would also be simpler to use Twilio for this, but I like that the SMSs are to and from my own number, hence the Google Voice round trip
  16. 16. @aaronpk
  17. 17. Weight Oct 2011 - Present @aaronpk
  18. 18. Withings Wireless Scale @aaronpk
  19. 19. Weight Data Flow IFTTT sends me an email with all the data Withings API reports to IFTTT Withings Scale IFTTT A Gmail filter catches it and forwards it to my web server and creates a new post Gmail notification aaronparecki.com * the Withings API was too difficult to use directly, so I had to go through IFTTT as a proxy. I would love to find a simple Ruby/Sinatra or PHP app that someone else has written as a template!
  20. 20. Withings Wireless Scale @aaronpk
  21. 21. Withings Wireless Scale Geoloqi Acquired @aaronpk
  22. 22. Sleep Nov 2011 - Present @aaronpk
  23. 23. Sleep Cycle App  Place your phone on your bed  Requires your phone to be plugged in  Can wake you up at an appropriate time @aaronpk
  24. 24. Original Fitbit  Tracks steps, activity, and sleep  To track sleep, requires you wear it around your wrist  I was not able to sustain this because of the extra effort of using the wrist strap  Long button press to put into “Sleep” mode, gives visual feedback but no vibration (timer starts running) @aaronpk
  25. 25. Jawbone UP  Always on my wrist, so I never forget about it  Battery lasts 8-10 days  Long button press to put into “Sleep” mode, gives visual and tactile feedback @aaronpk
  26. 26. Sleep Logs  Times are localized using location data  Timezone is found using Terraformer  Using a reverse geocoder to add City, State, Country @aaronpk
  27. 27. Sleep Logs by City
  28. 28. Sleep Logs by City
  29. 29. Sleep Logs Nov 2011 – September 2013
  30. 30. Sleep Logs Nov 2011 – September 2013
  31. 31. Private Database Public aaronparecki.com
  32. 32. Some patterns are only visible after looking at a long-term dataset. @aaronpk
  33. 33. Low Friction I set up systems to passively collect data so that I have lots to work with later! @aaronpk
  34. 34. Thanks Aaron Parecki @aaronpk aaronparecki.com