10 Jan 2012
Everyday, every hour, every minute, every second, awake or asleep, we humans generate information. Not just consciously, by speaking, writing, drawing, painting, but unconsciously too.
Every time we move.
Every time we breathe.
Every time our heart beats.
With countless vital statistics, like blood pressure, our temperature, our immune response to myriad foreign agents in our bodies, the lean muscle content in our bodies.
It's only relatively recently that we've been able to gather much of this information at all - via blood tests, Sphygmomanometers and the like.
Increasingly, such information can be gathered silently, un-invasively, continuously, often with little more than the mobile phone we carry around with us.
I believe this creates an opportunity to revolutionize human health, and happiness, by helping us know ourselves better.
The challenge for designers and developers is how to take what will be an enormous amount of information, often traditionally meaningful only to experts (120 over 90, is this good or bad?), and help anyone know themselves better, and make better decisions about their choices.
Human Computer Interactions to date have for the most part, indeed have overwhelmingly been, about active human interaction - people typing, clicking, tapping, and otherwise directly, consciously providing information.
I see the next revolution in HCI being where software and systems take the vast amounts of information we generate simply by being, and present that back to us, in ways that make us healthier, fitter, happier.
Rudimentary pieces are there. With services as simple as Foursquare or Gowalla, Nike Plus, Runkeeper, with devices like Withings wireless scales and blood pressure monitors.
But it's what's next that interests me.