Right now consumer internet is expanding in two interesting ways.

On the one hand, we can dispatch small sensor-packed devices into the world around us – the air, oceans, even space.

On the other hand, connected sensors are beginning to probe the microscopic world inside our bodies. They track our blood, stress, sleep, brain activity and even our digestion.

There’s a secondary industry forming around making sense of all the data these probes spew into the cloud.

Last year I tried to woo data visualization geek, designer Anand Sharma to come work on Set, but he was too busy working on his personal website. I didn’t think more of it at the time, but when he launched his site a few weeks later, I was among the thousands who were blown away by his stunning real-time visualizations of where he went, what he ate, and how he exercised.

When Anand decided to make the technology he’d developed for himself accessible to everyone, I invested in it, as did True Ventures, where I am right now an entrepreneur in residence. Yesterday Anand and his co-founder Eric Florenzano launched their company, Gyroscope. It pulls together streams about your life and health from your various sensors and apps, and publishes everything in one visual, personal profile.

Before everything converged on Twitter and Facebook, social media went through a phase of multiple apps. The health and wellness space seems like it’s now in that early pre-convergence phase. Several sleep and activity trackers, blood pressure monitors, body scales, and other sensors are duking it out.

And just like with social media, there’s also a desire to bring all that wellness data together in one place.

This is the most interesting thing about Gyroscope. Once you’ve connected all your apps and devices, it starts showing you the different data sets side by side. For instance, looking across how you work, eat, sleep, travel and exercise during a given day, it’s suddenly obvious that each affects the other.

It’s early days for Gyroscope and the quantified self industry is still nascent. But when the data is put together and starts telling a meaningful story, it could become just as important to people as Facebook is today.


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Jamie Harper
May 19th, 2015 at 7:52 pm (#)

As Facebook has given us (sometimes scary!) insights into what friendship/society (local and distant) means to us; so internal sensors inform us about what it means to be healthy (in mind and body). Meanwhile external sensors (off-world) inform us about our universe, as ever was (Hubble etc). It’s fascinating to think that data may start to rival science in informing us about reality; science being the theory supported by the evidence, and (digital) data being the evidence that informs the theories.

What a time to be in tech… :)

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