Semi Automatic

Doh! Time to Throw Away Your Fitbit?

There is a growing crowd of geeky, self-righteous researchers and businesses — like Social Workout — exploring the bleeding edge of personal wellness "tracking," i.e. tracking your every heartbeat, footstep, and sun salutation. One of the basic articles of faith in this field has been that more automation is always better. That is, if a person can carry a fitbit or Nike+ device which eliminates the need for them to manually enter their activities via keyboard, they are more likely to collect the data, and thus benefit from it. Now, however, researcher Anind Dey of Carnegie Mellon has made a surprising finding: Too much automation is counter-productive:

Manual collection of information means the collector is focusing on the data (whenever collection occurs) and has the opportunity for short reflections, and can keep abreast of the data more easily. We have found that completely automating collection removes these opportunities and can actually hinder individuals in keeping track of and making sense of their data.

In short, a bit of manual data entry is actually a good thing. Long live mlogging! (Via Project HealthDesign via Quantified Self.)



got my fitbit this weekend, thank you sw!  i'm going to set it up this week and report back.

starry04's picture

My fit bit the dust and now I am mlogging my every move on the fitbit website. It's so tedious, and then I have to add 5 minutes of typing every time I update until they send a replacement . :(

whatodds's picture

Interesting! When we integrate SW 2.0 with Fitbit, you'll be able to use both!

Oliver's picture

@oliver: will you integrate garmin too?

msh258's picture

Yes, eventually. But may need to do a focus group, however, to determine what the priorities are....

Oliver's picture

that would be awesome!

msh258's picture

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