Wearable Horizons: The quantified lifestyle


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For Imperica's Wearable Horizons event, Andrei Ismail talks about his experiences wearing a number of tracking / wearable tech devices - and hacking them.

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Wearable Horizons: The quantified lifestyle

  1. 1. Quantified Lifestyle Andrei Ismail @aismail85
  2. 2. About me ● 28 yo Software Engineer / Bucharest, RO ● PhD in Artificial Intelligence ● Really passionate about sensors
  3. 3. Why am I here today? ● share my use-cases with 3 wearables at the same time ○ FitBit, JawBone, BodyMedia ● connect with people with similar interests
  4. 4. Why am I wearing 3 of them? ● actually I own 4 - a Basis watch too! ● got rash from Basis, searched for a replacement with vibrating alarm ● ended up with BM + Jawbone, bought FitBit by accident
  5. 5. What do I use them for? ● measured jetlag effect on myself after a long flight ● lose weight (12 kg in 3 months while eating 2500 calories per day: measure metabolism) ● improve my lifestyle in a sustainable way
  6. 6. Can’t you do that w/o wearables? NO. Big progress is made through small increments. You cannot sense a 10% improvement, while sensors can (subject to their accuracy).
  7. 7. Details about my use-cases ● sleep - more is not always better ○ after waking up with Jawbone, not going back to audio alarms! ○ backup alarms for 1 month; use FitBit as a backup ● losing weight ○ started to factor sleep in to break vicious cycle ○ able to sleep better & lose weight by shifting meals
  8. 8. How many metrics do I track daily? Over 20. Sleep (qty & quality). Expenses. Coffees. Calories in & out. Steps. Weight (evening/morning).
  9. 9. Why do I track them? Long term goal: sustainable lifestyle improvements. I pivot my metrics every 2 weeks (usually keep adding more, instead of removing old ones). Google Spreadsheet + manual entry
  10. 10. Take a peek at my spreadsheet :) Only part of the metrics here :)
  11. 11. How do you know it’s working? By measuring indirect effects. E.g. 1. you have a higher energy level if you start drinking less coffee 2. you are able to perform better in training if you eat better (using MET/min)
  12. 12. Is wearable data trustworthy? Some of it. FitBit is recording steps while I am driving or playing board games sometimes. Correlated 30 days worth of data.
  13. 13. Correlation between my 3 devices
  14. 14. Can we use it in real-time? Probably not. The only use-case I have found is to check progress for 10k steps/day. Drains battery. Bluetooth technology still immature. What can I do with that data once you push it to me in real time?
  15. 15. Best real-time use-case: toddlers Onesie which streams pulse data to parents’ devices. Fear based! Nothing actionable. But data is inaccurate. See B1 support forums for problems while working out. Ppl are recommending chest straps (less autonomy).
  16. 16. So what can we use it for? Statistical analysis of all sorts. Actionability comes from your own needs.
  17. 17. My own data is now Open Source http://github.com/aismail/vitals I am now officially your lab rat :) Why? I want all the help I can get to make quick, efficient lifestyle improvements.
  18. 18. Let me show it to you :) ● sleep visualization ● steps visualization In progress: activity/calories
  19. 19. APIs landscape & TOS Usually the companies producing these gadgets own your data. Unlike social media, API ecosystem is starting out closed rather than open (e.g. Twitter). Quite a bit of trouble to pull high-res data.
  20. 20. Are they comfy? Depends on the person. ● FitBit Force / Basis B1 - rashes ● JawboneUP starts breaking down after ~4 months, but it’s classy ● BodyMedia is bulky but at least barely visible for men
  21. 21. Device problems BM strap poorly built / clunky software JB breaks down / gets stuck in clothes / does not analyze sleep unless you press btn FB counts steps wrong / sleep analysis UI
  22. 22. Let’s keep in touch @aismail85 http://aismail85.tumblr.com http://gitub.com/aismail