Monday, September 26, 2011

Smartphone as pedometer: another digital tool for the Quantified Self movement

The Quantified Self (QS) movement has been generating a tremendous amount of buzz this year and I've jumped into the QS movement with several devices. Right now, I'm mainly using the Fitbit (I got my Fitbit at the e-Patient Connections 2011 thanks to the fact that Klick Pharma handed these out to all the attendees), but I also intend to use the Zeo during sleep and the BodyMedia Armband monitor.

Are you familiar with the QS movement? Here's a brief description: Quantified Self is a collaboration of users and tool makers who share an interest in self knowledge through self-tracking.

For those who are not interested in purchasing additional hardware and wearing more gadgets on your waist, arm, or head, consider this: you can use your smartphone as a QS device. This is because most modern smartphones includes a built-in accelerometer to detect movement. Hence, your smartphone can become an accurate pedometer if you wear your phone on your belt. However, this also means that you'll need to keep it on your waist all the time to accurately measure your physical activity. If you're like me and you keep your smartphone in your pocket, then the pedometer apps won't be very accurate. Plus, some pedometer apps may drain your smartphone battery.

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