What is Quantified Self?


Quantified self describes the phenomenon of consumers being able to closely track data that is relevant to their everyday lives 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. Mobile apps also share a central role in this idea by providing easy-to-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. Novel devices, too, are enabling people to track their lives automatically, such as the Memoto, a camera worn around the neck that is designed to capture an image every half minute. As more people rely on their mobile devices to monitor their daily activities, data is becoming a larger part of everyday life.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to academic and research libraries?

  • I'm not sure there is much relevance to libraries except in assisting consumers with analyzing their data. Not sure that universities would be able to store massive personal data. - dianeb dianeb Apr 9, 2015
  • Libraries can be a source of data to feed into the quantified self. eg number of books borrowed/read, articles downloaded read, amount of time in library - aarontay aarontay Apr 10, 2015 I agree with Aaron, amount of time in library, locations in the building that the student(s) spend the most time, and other data we might not have imagined yet could be useful for creating services. - mstephens7 mstephens7 Apr 11, 2015 Agree in terms of learning analytics, UX design, student journey - invaluable - go pros - DaveP DaveP Apr 14, 2015
  • - jan.howden jan.howden Apr 12, 2015 The growth of use of devices for common metrics such as steps gives some hope that we can encourage the use of these for students to understand their study habits. Recent research into reading and attainment led by Huddersfield University (UK) should put active reading at the heart of any devices aimed at students. We should actively engage in the development of such self analysis to aid the students to develop their participation in their programme of study. Other data such as sleep pattern data shown as relevant to attainment in the 2014 NSSE (US) survey along with data on reading habits could be part of a powerful personal development profile system. If students were willing to share their data, it could demonstrate to cohorts what behaviours contribute to success. - DaveP DaveP Apr 14, 2015
  • - g.payne g.payne Apr 14, 2015 Memoto could help with a "Design thinking" approach to service design - providing the user observation input into the process, and assisting with usability testing for online services.

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • The Quantified Building - data gathered on usage of the building, memoto, NFC, products used in retail like Ituma - 3D in-location navigation, product and service offerings - using mac addresses of devices to spot patterns, returners, visitor behaviour - DaveP DaveP Apr 14, 2015
  • Although nascent, using consumer sensor products to collect health data for medical research is a very interesting area. The clearest example of this new frontier is of course Apple's ResearchKit initiative. - erik.stattin erik.stattin Apr 20, 2015

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on academic and research libraries?

  • - jan.howden jan.howden Apr 12, 2015 If we engage with it, and lead on developing the metrics around it, it could help us improve our impact. This could include embedding it with apps for digital and information literacy or ensuring that students are steered towards and have digitised 24/7 access to key learning resources - including readings. If students were willing to share their data this would open up a rich source of data for the learning community as well as library development. - DaveP DaveP Apr 14, 2015
  • add your response here

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?


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