Reflections on Quantified Self London
I was in London last month to attend the inaugural meeting of the Quantified Self London group set-up by Dennis Harscoat and Adriana Lukas. For those of you unfamilar with the Quantified Self (QS), it’s a community of self-trackers (i.e. people who monitor aspects of their life) who are interested in what they can learn about themselves (more info about QS here). The community usually gets together periodically over in the US (where the group orignally started) to discuss their latest projects (e.g. what are they tracking, what tools do they use, what did they learn about themselves) and has recently gone global with QS groups popping up all over the place.
At QS London I was presenting my work on the The Body Blogger and given the informal setting it allowed me to discuss some of my more crazyier application ideas (e.g. dream manipulation). While the meet-up was only small in size with 3 presentators (inc. myself), the talks were highly stimulating and sprouted lots of discussion. We also had Dan Brown show up from the state side QS group just to add that extra level of authenticity to the meeting. I’m not really going to mention much about what went on during the event as Adriana has already written up a review and videos of each presentation are expected to be online soon. If you see my heart flat line over the coming days it was from the embarrassment of watching myself present.
Overall it was a fun get together especially with the added entertainment value of me tweeting my heart rate in real time as I was presenting. I’m not exactly sure how many people in the group could access my heart feed during my talk but I’m sure it was pretty funny to watch as normally my heart rate is around 60-70 bpm (at rest, sitting down) and for most of the event I was pushing 100 bpm which I normally only see when I’m out walking (and I walk pretty fast). If you check out my body’s twitter you can check out what my heart rate was as I presented by backtracking to the 23rd of September. There are three events of interest: (1) my rush to finish my power points at the hotel which lasts from 3:00 – 5:00 pm, (2) introducing myself to the group at 6:48 pm and 3) the talk itself which starts at 7:09 pm.
If I recall correctly, the QS London group intends to meet-up several times a year. If your UK based and interested in getting involved (e.g. if your interested in self-tracking and what to know more about the projects in your area or wish to share your work and/or ideas in a friendly environment with your fellow self-trackers), which I throughly recommend, you can join the group here.