The notion that we can quantify and measure our lives is a newly widespread idea that has been driven by the proliferation of ubiquitous powerful processors that we carry in the form of smart phones around with us. The first personal analytics or personal metrics applications, not necessarily always in combination with the smart phone, were health-related, such as the famous “Fitbit” and Philips’s DirectLife, and Zeo’s headband that measures sleep. The Fitbit itself device which is essentially an accelerometer attached to the wrist of worn in a pocket. The device measures steps taken, calories burned, stairs climbed, sleep etc. These numbers are downloaded into software where they can be examined for trends and setting and tracking goals.
It has been said that self-quantification, or “personal analytics” is a way of defense against the imposition of guidelines of “official knowledge”. By measuring intimately numbers of an aspect of our live, for example health in terms of miles walked or calories burned, we ensure that decisions made at the individual level on our personal behalf are backed by numbers. In the same vein it should be possible to track or quantify much softer aspects of our life. That’s the goal of treehouse.io. In this way the quantification of self becomes much more tightly tied to the idea of self-actualization.
Treehouse.io is an online app that lets its users enter past achievements and future dreams (or future achievements). The tracking will appeal to the same philosophies that have driven the health analytics wave, namely that the recording, tracking and quantification of “goals” themselves is a way to motive. After all, the sciences is a long story of learning measurement and control thereafter. One might say that Treehouse.io is the “Fitbit for our dreams“. If it goes well, then perhaps Treehouse.io will one day become the synonym of Achieve.
(Photo Credit: Tom Fahy/Creative Commons)