Archives March 20, 2012

Sensory Overload?

by Barry P Chaiken, MD

For many technology geeks the long march through ever more sophisticated televisions, computers and other electronic toys has run its course. The new buzz at Consumer Electronics Show (CES) drew its energy from the integration of electronics, Internet, social networking, and data analysis. The key to achieving that harmony of technology is through sensors, devises that collect vast amounts of data from an almost infinite number of sources. Fortunately, the technology arrived recently to deliver these sensors inexpensively and with very powerful capabilities. This opened the floodgates to allow entrepreneurs to utilize these unique devices in previously unimaginable ways.

Early adopters of sensors rally around the concept of “self-tracking, collecting information about one’s self to improve their lives. Whether to lose weight, sleep better, eat healthier foods, or manage chronic disease, these sensors provide an inexpensive, easy method to measure physical condition (e.g., heart rate, blood pressure) and behavior. This allows users to discover insights that can be applied to improve one’s being.

Some innovators see “gamification” as a way to encourage self-tracking. Gamification turns everyday activities into games by awarding points and merchandise, and encouraging people to compete with their friends.

Excerpts from: Sensory Overload? PSQH, March/April, 2012



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