What is Quantified Self?


Quantified self describes the phenomenon of consumers being able to closely track data that is relevant to their daily activities through the use of technology. The emergence of wearable devices on the market such as watches, wristbands, and necklaces that are designed to automatically collect data are helping people manage their fitness, sleep cycles, and eating habits. Mobile apps also share a central role in this idea by providing easy-to-read dashboards for consumers to view and analyze their personal metrics. Empowered by these insights, many individuals now rely on these technologies to improve their lifestyle and health. Today’s apps not only track where a person goes, what they do, and how much time they spend doing it, but now what their aspirations are and when those can be accomplished. Novel devices, such as the Memoto, a camera worn around the neck that is designed to capture an image every half minute are enabling people to track their lives automatically. As more people rely on their mobile devices to monitor their daily activities, personal data is becoming a larger part of everyday life.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • - jasper jasper Feb 19, 2016 Where I think this becomes relevant for museums, is when QS and Big Data (and smart algorithms, machine learning, etc.) meet. I love the case of UnderArmour (see http://www.wired.com/2016/01/under-armour-healthbox/) where a connected shoe is the starting point for a better fitness experience and a healthier life. Imagine your fitness app partnering with a museum (or ideally, many museums) and suggesting you, on a holiday in London, New York, etc. a personalised tour by all your favourite artworks, connected in such a way you get your exercise, are indoors when it rains, and end up in a good restaurant. Future! :-)
  • There is potential for having a real impact in terms of evaluation-- to be able to pick up the biometeric data that goes along with the experience of being in the museum, looking at objects, going on a tour, participating in a program, could all be incredibly informative.... as well as seriously creepy. So pros and cons here, and bit ethical questions. - jfoley jfoley Feb 29, 2016

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • - jasper jasper Feb 19, 2016 I believe we should merge this topic with other topics, and consider Quantified Self simply as a set of sensor and data points that combined with other trends offer entirely new services to people. Quantified Self will have a hard time appealing to non-geeks, but for instance UA's shoe is Quantified Self without the geekiness, and with the mass market appeal that may ultimately make this trend transformational.
  • Agreeing with Jasper on combining topics. - jfoley jfoley Feb 29, 2016
  • Something to also consider is someone's wish to not be quantified. That is, not have their data and information tracked. The museum might offer a respite from a world where data points are constantly tracked and considered. How might the cultural sector offer opportunities for both visitors who utilize quantifying technologies but also those who don't find it appealing?- margaretsternbergh margaretsternbergh Feb 29, 2016

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on education and interpretation in museums?

  • - jasper jasper Feb 19, 2016 Exhibitions responsive to your mental and physical state, educational programmes tailored to your learning patterns (i.e. in timing, but also in content), etc. etc.
  • Agreeing with Jasper again [[user:jfoley|1456767771]* Agreeing with jfoley here. The idea that we could use biometric data for evaluation would be fascinating but require a good deal of consent so it would not be creepy. It might be difficult to do on a large scale. This could also be useful in thinking about art or museum experiences as an overall wellness experience. Does close look result in lowered blood pressure?- margaretsternbergh margaretsternbergh Feb 29, 2016
  • On the flip side, could we use data or information from a "quantified" visitor to determine how best to create their visit? It could result from a combination of self-reported and aggregated data. Perhaps we might know that they have had an elevated heart rate all day and send them to a more calming gallery. This might be useful in providing accessibility options. For example we might be able to know that they are hard of hearing and immediately give them an assertive listening device before they go on a tour. If they have a sight problem, we could give them larger printed text label. Or, perhaps we use other reported data to determine their learning style- suggesting a group event for interpersonal learners or a hands-on activity for kinesthetic learners. - margaretsternbergh margaretsternbergh Feb 29, 2016

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?


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