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Keeping Track "Quantified Self Show & Tell: Gadgets for Gathering Data"

Press Release Date 
Friday, 18 June, 2010
Riding an up-and-coming Silicon Valley phenomenon, a nouveau circle of tech thinkers and tinkerers will take the stage to "show and tell" the latest in self-tracking gadgetry - everything from accelerometers and GPS transceivers to mood trackers and heart-rate monitors - in its first-ever South Bay meet up at The Tech Museum. "Gadgets for Gathering Data," is an open invitation to Bay Area self-monitoring enthusiasts to show new tools and share their stories, creative ideas and experiments on how to capture data in quantifiable units in fitness, sleep patterns, work hours, weight watching, coffee drinking, productivity and DNA sequencing, among dozens of other areas. "The meet ups are electric. You meet brilliant people, see leading edge ideas that often haven't even been publicly released, and come away with new energy and inspiration for your own projects," said Alexandra Carmichael, director of Quantified Self, the group credited with exposing and nurturing the self-tracking trend just a few years ago. Why self-monitor? Humans make errors, of fact and judgment. Our streams of attention are laden with blind spots and gaps. Sometimes we can't even answer the simplest questions. Where was I last week at this time? How long have I had this pain in my knee? How much money do I typically spend in a day? These weaknesses put us at a disadvantage. We make decisions with partial information. We are forced to steer by guesswork. We go with our gut. That is, some of us do. Others use data. Today there are more than 175 websites dedicated to self-tracking. Dozens of self-monitoring and self-reporting devices are in use and universities are increasingly exploring the concept. Quantified Self events now occur in New York and Boston and more are planned in other major cities. "Self-tracking is fast becoming one of the most intriguing methods of personal assessment, evaluation and, perhaps most important, discovery," Peter Friess, president of The Tech Museum, said. "The fascinating ideas and technologies that emerge from these events truly capture the spirit of Silicon Valley and dovetail perfectly with the museum's mission to engage people in experiences that educate, inform and provoke thought." WHAT: A fun, enlightening night of self-tracking presentations, workshops and idea/tool sharing by up to 100 experts and enthusiasts. FREE and open to the public. To sign up, go to http://www.meetup.com/quantifiedself/ WHEN: 6 - 9 p.m. Tuesday, June 22, 2010 6 - 7:30 p.m. - Social hour and workshop fair 7:30 - 9 p.m. - Short "Show & Tell" talks about self-tracking and self-experiment WHERE: The Tech Museum, 201 S. Market St., San Jose CA About The Tech Museum The Tech Museum is a hands-on technology and science museum for people of all ages and backgrounds. The museum - located in the Capital of Silicon Valley - is a non-profit learning resource established to engage people in exploring and experiencing technologies affecting their lives. Through programs such as The Tech Challenge, our annual team design competition for youth, and internationally renowned programs such as The Tech Awards presented by Applied Materials, Inc., The Tech Museum celebrates the spirit of Silicon Valley by encouraging the development of innovative ideas for a more promising future. About Quantified Self Quantified Self began with an observation by Kevin Kelly and Gary Wolf in 2007 that people were using technology to track their lives in new ways. They started the Quantified Self blog and meetup to document tools, gather a community, and learn about the different self-tracking experiments people were doing. The group has grown to 1,000 members in three cities, with a culture of sharing ideas and answering the question "What did you learn from your self-tracking?" With applications in health, fitness, sleep, productivity, education, and life logging, self-tracking is set to go mainstream as people increasingly focus on data to help answer their questions and tell their stories. CONTACTS: Roqua Montez Director of Public Relations (510) 875-4276 rmontez@thetech.org Alexandra Carmichael Director, Quantified Self labs@quantifiedself.com