If there are two truisms in the area of physiological computing, they are: (1) people will always produce physiological data and (2) these data are continuously available. The passive nature of physiological monitoring and the relatively high fidelity of data that can be obtained is one reason why we’re seeing physiology and psychophysiology as candidates for Big Data collection and analysis (see my last post on the same theme). It is easy to see the appeal of physiological data in this context, to borrow a quote from Jaron Lanier’s new book “information is people in disguise” and we all have the possibility of gaining insight from the data we generate as we move through the world.
If I collect physiological data about myself, as Kiel did during the bodyblogger project, it is clear that I own that data. After all, the original ECG was generated by me and I went to the trouble of populating a database for personal use, so I don’t just own the data, I own a particular representation of the data. But if I granted a large company or government access to my data stream, who would own the data?
The Quantified Self Europe presentation videos are now online. Enjoy!
I recorded my heart rate using the body blogging system and my daily mood using Moodscope for three months in 2011. I wrote about the aim of this project and some intermediary experiences in previous blogs and would now like to talk about my final impressions and what I learned from combining the two systems. I presented these results at the Quantified Self Conference in Amsterdam in November 2011.
Last month I attended the inaugural Quantified Self Europe conference over in Amsterdam. I was there to present a follow-up talk to one I gave back in 2010 at Quantified Self London in which I described my experiences in tracking my heart rate along with publishing it in real-time over the Internet.
The Body Blogger system as it became known, after a term Steve came up with back in 2009, was only really intended to be used to demonstrate what could be done with the BM-CS5 heart monitors we’d recently purchased. As these devices allowed wireless real-time streaming of multiple heart rate monitors to a single PC there was a number of interaction projects we wanted to try out and using web services to manage the incoming data and provide a platform for app development seemed the best choice to realise our ideas (see here and here for other stuff we’ve used The Body Blogger engine for).
Having tracked and shared my heart rate for over a year now I’ve pretty much exhausted what I can do with the current implementation of the system which I didn’t spend a whole lot of time developing in the first place (about a day on the core) and so my Amsterdam talk was pretty much a swan song to my experiences. During the summer, I stopped tracking my heart rate (then fell sick for the first time since wearing the device, go figure I’d of liked to of captured that) so I could work on the next version of the system and loaned out the current one to Ute who was interested in combining physiological monitoring with a mood tracking service. Ute was also in attendance at Amsterdam to present on her experiences with body blogging and mood tracking (for more information on this see the proposal and first impressions posts).
As with my previous reflections post, I’ve posted rather late so if your interested in what happened at the conference check out the following write-ups: – Guardian, Tom Hume, and Alexandra Carmichael. The videos of the day I imagine will be online in the coming month or so, so if your interested in the particulars of my talk you’ll need to wait just a little bit longer, though I do cover a few of the topics I talked about during my CHI 2011 (video) talk (on the issues associated with inference and sharing physiological data).
Way back in June, I planned to write a post prompted by Kevin Kelly’s talk at the Quantified Self conference in May and a new word I’d heard in an interview with David Brin. Between then and now, the summer months have whipped by, so please excuse the backtracking – those of you who have seen the site before will have heard of our bodyblogger project, where physiological data is collected on a continuous basis and shared with others via social media sites or directly on the internet. For instance, most of the time, the colour scheme for this website responds to heart rate changes of one of our bodybloggers (green = normal, yellow = higher than normal, red = much higher than normal – see this for full details). This colour scheme can be mapped over several days, weeks and months to create a colour chart representation of heart rate data – the one at the top of this post shows a month’s worth of data (white spaces = missing data).
At the beginning of the year I proposed to track my mood via Moodscope (subjective measure) while body blogging (physiological measure), what follows is my initial impressions so far in using these technologies before presenting my conclusions at the Quantified Self Conference in Amsterdam in November.
This week see’s the release of the talks presented during the Sharing the Physiological Experience session. To view these talks and more please click here. For guidance about the session 4 talks please consult the abstracts listed below.
This release marks the end of the CHI 2011 Brain and Body Designing for Meaningful Interaction workshop videos. I’d like to thank our presentators for allowing us to share their talks on the Internet and for choosing our workshop to present their research. Without you the workshop could not of been the success it was. Hopefully these videos will go some small way to bringing your excellent research to a wider audience, and if not they can always be used to explain what exactly you do to family and friends.
Admin: Please welcome to the site our new Physiological Computing blogger.
My name is Ute Kreplin and I am a new PhD student at Liverpool John Moores University under the supervision of Dr Steven Fairclough. My PhD research topic is on Neuroaesthetics with a focus on “interest” in the aesthetic experience and its psychophysiological underpinnings. I am also very interested in positive psychology, which I am pursuing through studies at the University of East London. I am combining my interest in positive psychology and physiological computing in this blog, which will hopefully be my first of many.
Well there goes by another year I don’t get to spend the holidays playing with the Wii Vitality. I’m beginning to think Nintendo have given up on the whole idea of biofeedback adapted gaming given the lack of noise they’ve made since the platforms original announcement in June 2009. I originally bought my Wii on the premise that Nintendo was going to start the ball rolling on integrating biofeedback interfaces into mainstream games, and to that effect have speculated several times on the type of experiences we might see and how they would work (e.g. action games, lie-detection, relaxation and fitness). However it looks like this device will remain vaporware for the foreseeable future. Continue reading
I recently did a talk at the inaugural Quantified Self London meetup about my experiences as The Body Blogger for which we now have a video.
For more information about the event you can read the review by Adriana Lukas as well as a writeup of my experience in running the system as I presented. As you can imagine my heart was pumping pretty fast.