Category Archives: reviews
There have been many studies since the emergence of mobile phones that have aimed to show the extents to which using our phones can distract the brain, as well as how they can be detrimental to the cognitive development of children, but just as there are these studies, there are also many developers who have aimed to turn mobile phones into tools that we can use to train our brains.
For the past several months I have been testing the CNS Tap Test, a mobile phone adaptation of the Finger Tap test often used by neuropsychologists and fitness professionals to measure the status of the central nervous system. The objective of this measurement experiment was to see if I could use this app to measure more objectively my physical and psychological health (I currently use subjective scales). The results were interesting but not sufficiently conclusive to include this test in my self-tracking inventory.
I recently purchased Tinké sensor, and have been using it for the past couple of weeks. The full review will be coming later (I still need to accumulate enough data), but so far I LOVE IT! My first impression is: it is extremely easy to use! Just plug the sensor into your mobile phone, launch the app and tap on the screen. It also provides a lot of interesting metrics, which I hope to use in my self-tracking experiments and projects. Here is a quick breakdown.
As you may already know, a couple of weeks ago I attended the 2013 Quantified Self Conference in San Francisco. This was my very first QS conference, and even after two weeks I still feel overwhelmed. The program was full of amazing and inspiring presentations, engaging and thought-provoking “break out” sessions, and demo sessions for cutting edge QS products and services. I also got to meet a lot of interesting like-minded people, including some “movers and shakers” of the QS space and A LOT of readers of Measured Me blog. In today’s post, I will would like to offer a recap of some of the things that I found especially interesting.
On Monday, September 30, Quantified NYC group has held its 23th meetup. The event was graciously hosted by Projective Space which offers collaborative community space to over 60 startups. With over a hundred people in attendance, interesting demos and inspiring presentations (quantifying Starcraft gaming skills, predicting choice of clothes based on weather forecast, and other self-quantified awesomeness!), it turned out to be a great evening. Here is my brief report on what I saw and loved:
Talking 20 is a young biotechnology start-up in California that aims at making low-cost, at home blood tests that could be used to track twenty essential amino acids (hence the name). In October 2012, I responded to their call for support on Twitter and purchased “T20 Starter Pack” home kit for ten dollars. I paid 12 dollars (2 dollars to cover shipping), and a couple of weeks later received the kit, which I mailed back to them in December. After waiting patiently for ten months, I can finally share with you what I learned from my blood test. Drumroll, please…
Check out awesome Quantified Self magazine on Flipboard created and curated by Alex Melnikov of VisualData (Russia). Over 600 articles on dozens of topics from self-tracking to mobile health to newest gadgets and and apps for self-monitoring and self-experimentation. Contributors are always welcome!
A couple of weeks ago, I shared some lessons that I learned while tracking my diet for over six months. One of the conclusions was that tracking diet is one of the most cumbersome aspects of self-quantification/self-experimentation, mainly due to the lack of passive measurement tools and often overwhelming amount of nutritional information to collect and deal with. That naturally let me to the question: how can we make the diet tracking process easier? What would the perfect tool for tracking diet look like? The longer I am pondering this problem, the more I realize that we are talking not about a single stand-alone gadget or app, but rather a small ecosystem that includes digital scale, mobile phone and content. Let me now elaborate.
If you have not noticed yet, the “modus operandi” for this blog and my self-tracking efforts is a bit different this year. The month of January was spent collecting data, testing apps and services, and blogging about various QS issues, and month of February was dedicated to analyzing collected data, reviewing tools, and sharing insights and recommendations. So I thought it would be helpful if I summarized briefly what I learned during the last two month, in one post.
One of the diet-related tools that I tested in January was 80 Bites app. Dubbed as a “pedometer for your mouth”, this simple app let’s you track how many “mouthfuls” (“bites”) of food you take during the day, and how much time, on average, you spend chewing the food between the bites. The premise behind the app is that eighty “bites” a day is usually enough to feel full and satisfied, and limiting your food intake on the long run can help you to shrink your stomach and eat less. I am not sure about the latter, but using this app for several weeks definitely helped me learn to eat my meals more mindfully. I also discovered something new and interesting about my eating habits from the data that I collected.