Quantified Self – The measuring of oneself

Hypertension, weight, workout, sleep, mood, diet, sex: the supporters of the Quantified-Self-Movement are interested in all and any activities or bodily functions. They summarise their whole life with numbers and statistics. They capture the data with special equipment and tools and provide their own data online to share with their community – total self control. This trend of self measurement – which is described by the term “Quantified self” for the whole movement – will be analyzed in this project.

Lightrings for quantified selfer gives them the opportunity to also know everything about the light, that shines on their body. A light sensor attached to an Arduino Pro Mini registers the currant light value twenty times per hour and calculates the hourly and daily average. The quantified selfer shouldn’t get lost in the vast quantity of numbers, but they should get a sense of their data at first sight. To help with that there is a simplified visualization, that uses the system of tree rings to clarify the collected data. Every ring stands for one value – minute, hour or day – and the whole circle unites several minutes, hours or days into days, months or years. The ring in the center shows the average of the whole circle. The varying light values are visualized with the help of the HSL color model. However the H (hue) and S (saturation) stays always the same, only the L (lightness) changes depending on the light value. The brighter it is at the moment the brighter the color gradation – and reverse.

The project was exhibited at the Hybrid Symposium “Digitale Selbstvermessung” (video) and re:publica 2012.


Skills used:

Prototyping, Arduino, Processing

Completed in:



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