A lot of people make new year’s resolutions that involve a better version of themselves. In fact, this doesn’t stop with new year’s resolutions. We’re always looking for ways to better ourselves. Either through reading, exercising, learning new skills, or even exploring the world. This constant strive for improvement is a good thing, but are we giving ourselves the best chance for success?
This past Christmas, I gave my wife a fitbit Flex (as she requested). If you’re not familiar with wearable tech, the fitbit Flex is a wrist band that tracks your steps, calories, and other metrics to help you better understand your activity.
Since then, it’s acted as a great accountability tool and she’s even competed with family members in fitbit’s social challenges. Overall, the fitbit has been great at helping to encourage progress in her personal goals.
Watching this relationship has made me think about the current status of tech as it relates to our personal development.
There are so many input devices and services in the market that range from health & fitness such as the fitbit to productivity such as Todoist and Wunderlist. Millions of Americans use these devices and services everyday to input terabytes of data with only a small percentage of output, all in hopes of reaching personal goals.
So how can we increase the output value of these devices and services to help us reach our goals?
One way is to allow these devices and services to communicate with each other to answer critical questions these goals require answers to. Basically, connect the data together and show correlations between data sets.
For example, does working out in the morning and burning greater than 500 calories make me more productive throughout the day? This could be a combination of fitbit data and Todoist data. It’s this type of correlative insights that could provide that missing piece to increasing the success rate of achieving our personal goals.
A recent study has shown that employees who are armed with wearable devices in the workplace increase their productivity by 8.5 percent and their job satisfaction by 3.5 percent.
It’s interesting to think about all the different data sets there are and how one might shed light on the other. With this, there has been a lot of talk and discussion around the “Quantified Self“, a term coined in 2007 by Wired editors Gary Wolf and Kevin Kelly to describe people with an interest in “self-knowledge through self-tracking.”
I think the current status of wearable tech and services that provide platforms for input is relatively young. As things progress, I hope integration between platforms becomes the norm.
I’d love to see a startup try and tackle this by creating a platform that allows users to aggregate all of their input devices and services. Then, deliver correlations between that data back to the user.