TECHNOLOGY NOTES

Find Me

Search

24/7 - More Self Quantifiying

I documented a pretty in-depth self-quantification project a little over a year ago where I combined a Fitbit Ultra and the Fitbit Aria scale. Sticking with it wasn’t a big problem because I could see quick results of my tracking pretty quickly. As I mentioned during my excursion into physical self-awareness, just being informed of how much we walk, sleep, eat and drink brings a sense of choice to what was completely automatic before. Habitual patterns that went unnoticed before became glaring after just a few days.

Choosing to walk a few more steps, eat one less cookie or take stock of how much beer we actually drink causes a gradual shift in our conscious choices that create lasting effects on our unconscious thought.

Like all experiments, it came to somewhat of a fading end a few months ago. I still carry my Fitbit and track steps but that’s more out of habit than anything. Tracking diet seemed to lose its usefulness once I knew my patterns and realized the general awareness I had gained still was informing my choices.

The new iPhone 5s presented an interesting set of possibilities with its motion sensing and tracking capabilities. I thought about how I always have my phone with me. Plus it is always charged (unlike the Fitbit which gets forgotten on occasion) and, given its ubiquity, it has a readymade window into my personal statistics given the right app and motivation.

A friend pointed me to a site to take a peek at some iOS interface elements being used by an app called 24/7. It looked like “just another tracking app” but I started delving into the pages that described it and was intrigued enough to plunk down my $0.99USD and see what it could do.

24/7 combines the functionality of several apps that I currently have on my iPhone.

It does the following:

  • Sleep pattern tracker
  • Alarm clock (which can target your light sleep cycle for easier wake-ups)
  • Pulse monitor that uses the camera and flash
  • Motion tracker and pedometer
  • Activity reminder that will pop up a message if I’ve been too sedentary for my own good
  • Snore/apnea recorder
  • Almanac with sunrise/sunset and night length
  • Weight tracking and charting
  • Walk recorder
  • Goal setting for exercise (steps)
  • Nap timer and a white noise/sound generator.
  • Data export as a CSV file (sleep, walks and steps)

Not bad for for the price, huh?

I’ve been using it for a while now and find that the data and reporting in the app seems robust and the functionality seems to work as advertised. I had some minor issues with the alarm clock not working one morning but I think it is because a new app version was released overnight which my iPhone decided to update (as I had asked it to do, so I can’t really complain) causing the app to shut down. There was no harm done since I always set a backup alarm using the system alarm clock when I use a third party app. At this point, I know using an app-based alarm clock can be somewhat finicky on the iPhone and plan accordingly.

For the price, it’s hard to beat 24/7. It has allowed me to reduce the app clutter on my phone and, since my phone is always with me, the motion tracking data is very accurate. I can’t wait to see if the developers integrate any other functions because the app has become a one-stop-shop for my renewed interest in personal tracking metrics. It is almost like having a dashboard view of how you spend your day at a very atomic data level. I imagine there would some interesting insights that could be gleaned and reported to the user if the data could be coalesced in unexpected ways.

App Store Link($.99)