In 2011 the British science fiction anthology series “Black Mirror” screened an episode entitled “The Entire History of You”, set in an alternative reality where most people have “grains” recording everything they do, see, or hear, and allowing them to play back their memories in front of their eyes or on a screen.
Intrigued by the idea of self-tracking and life-logging I decided to experiment how much information of myself I can quantify and what sort of data I can produce. Most information is collected using an iPhone an Apple Watch and Apple’s Health App, such as steps, walking and running distance, calories, flights climbed, heart rate, workouts, and sleep duration. An iPhone App called Gyroscope did the job of collection data on places and modes of travel. A Withings Smart Scale keeps track of weight, a plugin called RescueTime of computer activity, the App Realizd of phone usage, MyWater for water and coffee intake, Spotify for music, Google Calendar for dates and meetings, IMDB for movies, and an App named Nomie for a number of additional things, such as mood, alcohol, etc. The values were exported in csv format and then read by a custom Processing script, which transformed them into visual graphs. The experiment was conducted over a period of roughly two months. Retrospectively I can conclude that albeit especially active self-tracking, which requires direct input versus passive self-tracking, which runs automatically in the background can be quite exhausting, it is an extremely interesting experience, not only for self-improvement or as an activity log but especially as a tool for design. Using personal information for the creation of objects will thus be the next step of this endeavor.