The Quantified Self. Biometrics with visual measurement = powerful tool

Gary Wolf, journalist and author, The Quantified Self

Gary Wolf, journalist and author, The Quantified Self

At AprilAge, we do a lot of listening to, and reading about, research into biometrics.   Here's a very interesting, 5-minute TED talk by Gary Wolf, who is a contributing editor at Wired magazine, where he writes regularly about the culture of science and technology (as well as many other topics). He is also the co-founder, with Wired colleague Kevin Kelly, of The Quantified Self, a blog about "self-knowledge through numbers."

As Gary says, “The self is just our operation center, our consciousness, our moral compass. So, if we want to act more effectively in the world, we have to get to know ourselves better.”

There are many personal devices on the market now to measure all sorts of things about ourselves:  our sleep, our moods, our diet, our spending, our exercise, our heart rates and blood sugar levels to name a few.   But what is the end result of all of this measurement?    Do humans measure things about themselves to "improve"?   Do any other species measures things?

It is an interesting question to ponder from our perspective, since the APRIL face aging software can be used as a tool to show the effectiveness of measuring various things about ourselves, particularly in the health and lifestyle areas.   What if a doctor showed you a picture of yourself before he or she started to measure caloric intake and energy output for the purposes of improving your weight and fitness levels?   Then, after following a diet and exercise program and achieving desired goals, showed you another picture of yourself, thereby documenting the results of the measurements visually, as well as biometrically?   The old saying, "A picture is worth a thousand words" could take on new meaning and, we believe, become particularly impactful since you can see the personal results of the measurement.