History of the Quantified Self

History of the Quantified Self

In 2007, The Quantified Self which was founded by Gary Wolf and Kevin Kelly focuses on “self-knowledge through numbers”. The quantified self is the idea of externalising the body through data to learn more about it, and is the process that creates the bridge between each person’s biological and personal information and the technical products in life.

Among the diverse mix of technology early adopters, technology evangelists, fitness buffs, personal development junkies, body hackers and patients suffering from various health problems, they share the same belief that gathering and analysing data about themselves can enable them to take steps to improve their lives. This method is also commonly known as “self-tracking”, “body-hacking” or “self-quantifying”.

New technologies, such as smartphone applications, global positioning system devices and physical activity trackers, have allowed individuals to track most aspects of the user’s life, including their mood, heart rate and amount of sleep. While people have been using various tools to track themselves for years, for example a simple stopwatch allows runners to track their racing time, new technologies have made the process less cumbersome. However, it is not just about the tools used, but also about asking good questions and looking for smart answers.

Previously, methods of quantitative assessment were difficult. But now, data-gathering is automated and record-keeping and analysis can be completed through the use of simple Web apps.

The first ever Quantified Self meetup was held in Kevin Kelly’s basement, and the community has grown exponentially across the world. Today, February 11, 2016, the global community has 214 groups with 62,138 members worldwide.

 

Recommended articles:

Zensorium | 3 Benefits of Using Fitness Trackers
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Resources

Live Science | What is the Quantified Self?
Meetup | Quantified Self
Quantified Self | Self-Experimentation: A Call for Change
The Economist | Counting every moment
UC Berkeley School of Information | The Quantified Self Community & Context

 

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