Category Archives: Health

Health data monitoring device/software including weight, bodyfat, blood pressure, pulse, galvanic skin response, body temperature

My teeth are spying on me

In a short paper presented at the 17th annual international symposium on International symposium on wearable computers (alongside UbiComp’13) in Zurich, there was this interesting paper on a device that could potentially be made wireless and battery powered (prototype was neither) to detect compliance with a diet, smoking, drinking or to detect dental problems like teeth grinding.  There are articles about it in the Daily Mail and other popular media as well.  Privacy implications if your teeth spy on you?

A new activity tracker which also includes heart rate, but not automated…

Withings have announced their competition for the FitBit, the Pulse. It competes directly with the FitBit One but additionally tracks heart rate if you put your finger on the sensor (not automatically as we would have hoped, for that you need the Basis). I still use the FitBit Zip in preference to all the others because it overcomes one of the major usability faults my participants have complained of: the charge sync cycle. The Zip will store its data for up to a week but will opportunistically sync whenever it finds any fitbit low power bluetooth station, including a smartphone app. I don’t have to do anything and I get an email if my zip hasn’t found a fitbit station within a few days.  The FitBit One needs to be charged at least once a week while the new Pulse claims a 2 week charge life. If that’s true then for me it would probably be good enough to switch from the Zip (battery replacement every 2-3 months).  Although Maarten suggest the HR is not very accurate (as some have claimed about Basis):


@yankeeinlondon bulky, great display, inaccurate/slow heartbeat measurements, nice app integration

— Maarten den Braber (@mdbraber) June 23, 2013

Emotion Sensing: Q Sensor

This device (which is on the expensive side) claims to track emotions:

Below are some links to publications and case studies, but I’m waiting to find out if anyone is able to do any useful lifelogging with this device for ‘ordinary’ people.
2 publications on the Q sensor: (try searching “Affectiva Q” in Google scholar, there’s recently been a fury of activity regarding the Q sensor 🙂


Recent case studies using the Q sensor:

  • SPDF: Autism use case
  • Curling and Cadwels: Therapy use case
  • Bentley College:  Usability use case
  • BBC Special on the Q sensor (video):