Joe Baldwin Dirty Polymath

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Sterts Dev Diary 7/28/13

This was an email I sent to another developer (and my first sales pitch); a good start to the Sterts development posts:

My new platform, called Sterts (internet meme-ish for stats and statistics), that I am working on revolves around the idea that we have all these avenues to tell people what we like and what we are thinking but do not track how we feel. Are you able to focus but are dragging physically? Or got tons of sleep last night but just can't stay on task? What if you could track these things over the course of a week or a month and start seeing patterns in how you feel and could use that in advance? Or see that your team is dragging that day and take them out to lunch or mini-golf. Could you see on a given day where you are at a low point that everyone else around you is as well? What could that mean for you with your own well-being to know that?

I got the idea while watching Iron Man 2, when he is measuring his blood for toxicity levels and compared the device to what my brother-in-law measured himself with before he lost his battle with diabetes. Wouldn't it be great, I thought to myself, if we could measure all kinds of things from our bloodstream....I don't get hungry, just crabby when I need to eat. Could a sensor measure that? A step further... could something measure and notify us when we are in a bad mood? Or even predict it before it happens? As far as EEG technology has come, even close enough to say that affordable consumer tech is around the corner, the technology to measure how tired you are or your mood does not exist. But we do it all the time in the analog world: by asking "How are you today?". We have devices that ask us things all day - "do you want to read this email?", "Do you remember you have an appointment today at 10am?"

The app measures two pieces of data - hitpoints and mana (like in a video game). Hitpoints would be your physical and mana your mental for the day in the form of a red and blue bar each, respectively. The ideal expression of this platform would be through Google Glass (and the inevitable competitors) to display these stats over a persons head through augmented reality overlays as you look at them, just like in a game. This is currently technologically feasible, and inevitable regardless of the squeamishness around facial recognition apps. Even with smartwatches down the road with heartbeat monitors you will not have something that can measure how you "feel" so this is applicable long-term. Heart rate and blood pressure data could be added into the same system, however. Doctors could access this data (or even monitor it) to diagnose the progression of a disease or an effectiveness of a treatment. The same data would be of interest for sociologists, marketers, economists, etc coupled with geographic data and age, sex, education level and income. What would the collective mood of humanity look like as seasons change or tragedies and triumphs unfold all over the world?

Click here see a YouTube demo of the base functionality, and the resulting Tweet demonstrating the Twitter Card functionality. I am nearing completion on the iOS app and hope to have it submitted to the app store by the middle of August. It is currently mid-refactoring from the last addition of features and style overhaul. If you are not reading this on the Sterts site, you can see one of the badges in action in the left navigation of my blog.

Once approved in the app store, I will be getting the first round of users in for closed-beta testing. If interested, contact me via @joebaldwin