This Week in Context (20130816)

Quite a few stories related to contextualization, big data, and the internet of things peaked our interest this week; emotion sniffing phones, automating your coffee fix, crowd-sourcing the weather based on smartphone battery temperatures, … . Here’s the roundup with a selection from David & Ann‘s reading lists. 

  • Emotion Sniffing is the Next Bizarre Trick Your Phone is Learning
    Kit Eaton touched on ’emotion logging’ beyond Quantified Self, and looks at monetization in the form of mood-adapting services or third-party apps, and at using a user’s mood as an active factor in game storylines. (Ann)
  • More Connected Homes, More Problems
    Does more connected homes mean more problems? Rachel Metz writes in MIT Technology Review why you should be wary of “Internet of Things” devices. Don’t let that stop you, though! Embrace the technology, just make sure it’s in a safe and secure way. (Ann)
  • The new age of algorithms: How it affects the way we live
    Robert Lehrman explains Big Data and its consequences using three prime examples: librarians archiving every tweet ever produced, preempting the fall of trees on power cables to prevent blackouts, and predicting flu outbreaks based on Google search queries. Five pages worth the read, regardless if you’re new to Big Data or a data shepherd already. (via Ann)
  • Is Tapingo the future of all business?
    Robert Scoble interviews Daniel Almog, CEO of Tapingo, an app that kicks food ordering straight into the Age of Context. For instance, the app learns about your coffee drinking habits and makes sure it’s hot and ready, waiting for you at that coffee place you always frequent. (via David)
  • How phone batteries measure the weather
    A strong correlation between smartphone battery temperature and the weather allows for live, crowdsourced weather tracking. To take full advantage of the potential of smartphones in meteorology, OpenSignal is releasing the WeatherSignal app. It allows you to export a cvs of your ‘weather history’ (and other interesting sensor readings), so can make a lovely addition to your Quantified Self toolbox too. (Ann)

Bonus item: the most interesting app purchase from Maarten‘s iTunes receipts:

Spreadsheets – Quantified Self for Couples
For anyone who was wondering how far the Quantified Self movement will be going, the Santa Monica based start-up Ardenturous Labs just provided an answer by releasing their iPhone app, Spreadsheets.  Spreadsheets aims to provide loving couples with various kinds of statistics about their love life. By taking advantage of the iPhone’s accelerometer and microphone, the app will measure properties such as decibel levels and ‘thrusts per minute’. Stats can be compared across sessions and various kinds of achievements can be unlocked. And while the app doesn’t record any sound or doesn’t upload any of your stats, you can still share your performances with your friends (and family?) through Facebook or Twitter! (Maarten)

We’re all left wondering if to get the most accurate recordings, you’re supposed to put your smartphone on the nightstand or on the bed, or if you best just keep your clothes on and your phone in your pocket.

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