Consumers Self Tracking of Their Behaviors and Actions People have always demonstrated interest in learning about themselves by tracking and measuring their behaviors and activities. Quantified self technologies tap into this interest in the form of mobile apps, wearable devices, and cloud-based services that make the data collection process much easier.
Quantified Self - New Market Growth Opportunity
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.
New Mobile Applications - Future is Now!
Mobile apps also share a central role in this idea by providing easyto-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.
Capturing Life Every 30 Seconds
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.
Bridge: Quantified Self - Self Actualization
People have always demonstrated interest in learning about themselves by tracking and measuring their behaviors and activities. Students already spend time in formal classroom settings gathering data about themselves or research topics. Quantified self technologies tap into this interest in the form of mobile apps, wearable devices, and cloud-based services that make the data collection process much easier.
Improving Health and Fitness
Popular incarnations of the quantified self movement have materialized in the form of health, fitness, and life streaming tools. The Fitbit, for example, is a small wristband that tracks wearers’ daily activities, including sleep patterns, steps taken, and calories burned.
Real-Time Tracking / Sleep and Diet
Through wireless and automatic syncing between the Fitbit and smartphones, tablets, and laptops, users can see real-time progress across their devices. The Jawbone Up wristband employs similar functionalities, allowing wearers to track sleep, movement, and dietary information that is automatically populated in the accompanying mobile UP app.
New Social Media Opportunity
The experience can easily turn into a social one as people can share their accomplishments with other users and team up to track and achieve specific goals. Other wearables that have garnered worldwide attention have deeply integrated self-tracking tools, including Google Glass and iWatch, but the high prices — and in some cases, the low availability — of these devices have some pundits concerned that quantified self technologies are a luxury for the upper class.
Early Adoption in Higher Education Institutions
The Quantified Self Institute, for example, is an initiative by the Hanze University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands that brings international and regional partners together to conduct research on different methods of self-tracking. This organization is well positioned to lead the quantified self movement into higher education institutions with recommendations on effective applications.
Relevance for Teaching, Learning, or Creative Inquiry
With the growing use of mobile apps and wearable technology, individuals are creating an exponentially increasing amount of data. The quantified self movement is breaking ground by integrating these data streams in interesting ways. Self quantifiers, for example, can create healthier living plans after monitoring their sleep, exercise, diet, and other important patterns.
People and Pets
The new mobile app Whistle even enables people to do the same for their dogs. It is imaginable that if test scores and reading habits gleaned from learning analytics could be combined with other lifestyle tracking information, these large data sets could reveal how environmental changes improve learning outcomes.
Mobilizing Medical Care
Quantified self technology also has the potential to shape the future of some industries. In the medical field, for instance, doctors are using not only traditional medicine but also data that individuals self-collect, such as heart rate, blood pressure, and sugar levels.
Anticipating Health Problems
Advancements in the field could enable computers to search for patterns and help physicians more accurately diagnose or anticipate health problems before patients step foot into the building. Educators at the moment can only hypothesize about a new era of the academic quantified self, but interest is strong and growing.
One of the current barriers for the mainstream adoption of this technology revolves around privacy concerns. The quantified self movement is about people sharing what they learn about themselves for the greater good, but there is a vulnerability to exposing personal information that will need to be addressed over the next four to five years.
Cost / Benefit Analysis
This could include a cost/benefit analysis about what data should be collected, what data should be shared, who should be responsible for making those decisions, and how to build the most effective and safe online communities of practice.
Johnson, L., Adams Becker, S., Estrada, V., Freeman, A. (2014). NMC Horizon Report: 2014 Higher Education Edition. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium.