Media Blowout

Trying to find free time to write something is always somewhat of an uphill challenge. In the meantime here a few links about my recent meanderings, enjoy!

  • Interview in ACM XRDS Crossroads on EEG setups.
  • Podcast by LJMU OpenLabs on Physiological Computing (for the transcript click here).
  • Video presentation of my Quantified Self Europe talk – Lessons from a year of heart rate data.
  • Photo series from BodyLab a business innovation event ran in-conjunction with LJMU Openlabs.

Reflections on Quantified Self Europe

Cross posted on PhysiologicalComputing.net
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).
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Will the Wii Vitality every reach 99% of all customers?

Originally posted on PhysiologicalComputing.net.
At a recent investor conference, Nintendo was rumoured to of stated that the reason the Wii Vitality has not been released was because it only works for 80% of players and before they release it they want it to work for 99%. If this issue concerns the physiological game mechanic (i.e. only 80% of players can control their physiology according to the requirements of the game mechanic), then the product will be on hold for a very long time.
Note: For the purposes of this post I’m going to assume Nintendo are experimenting with a heartbeat (HR) rate based biofeedback relaxation game which they’ve alluded to previously at E3 2009. However what I’m going to say applies equally to all physiological game mechanics I know of and should be borne in mind when developing your own physiological game.
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Time Keeps on a Slippin

Originally posted on PhysiologicalComputing.net.
Most people I know who work in the field of physiological computing purchase off-the-shelf sensors for their research. There’s nothing specifically wrong with this, most of us are not engineers and nor do we have the time to become one as our interests lie elsewhere. At LJMU all our equipment is off-the-shelf and we have some damn fine devices which we’ve used in our work (e.g. see my review of the BM CS-5 cheststrap). However I’ve noticed we place a lot of faith (and money) in these devices to do what they say on the tin (e.g. see the issue I raised last year about the software bundled with BioHarness). Personally I like to know the limitations of any equipment I’m using, and if I find anything outside the spec I’ll try to figure out why (sometimes to my detriment as you’ll see below). Its not that I’m particularly troubled if a sensor has any defects as I don’t expect them to be perfect, the problem I have is with defects I don’t know about as they can make things, problematic to say the least. For example the first off-the-shelf sensor I ever worked with was the WaveRider Pro a 4 channel biofeedback device which had a slight problem with counting time.
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