Carry Small, Live Large

IDF Fall 2008 - Can technology really convince us to live healthier lives?

Intel continued to push the idea of capturing sensory data when Mary Smiley – Director Emerging Platforms – took to the stage. Smiley put forward the “Carry Small, Live Large” or CSLL idea, where a small mobile device can have a large impact on your life – at least that’s what Intel would have us believe.

Smiley’s vision for CSLL is based on the evolution of mobile devices and their ability to capture the user’s sensory data. The data captured will give an indication of the user’s environment, physical state and potentially mental state of mind.

As a demonstration Smiley showed an application of CSLL. An individual was connected up to a number of wearable sensors, which sent data to a mobile device. The sensors included a heart rate monitor and an accelerometer worn on the belt. The heart rate monitor obviously measures beats per minute and gives an indication of physical exertion, as well as potential stress levels. The accelerometer meanwhile will measure the user’s movements, or lack thereof.

The user can augment the data gathered from the sensors with additional information, such as a rolling calorie count for the day, coupled with what types of food have made up that calorific content. The analysis of all this dynamically gathered data will allow the user to improve their lifestyle and potentially become healthier.

Of course all this data is only of any use if the user is actually willing to make the suggested lifestyle changes in order to live a healthier life. The problem is that most of us know what we should or shouldn’t do to be healthy, but very few of us are willing to make the sacrifices that we know we should. Despite the fact that everyone knows that eating junk food, drinking too much and avoiding regular exercise is detrimental to our health, few of us are willing to do the right thing and improve our lifestyle. So, will being told dynamically to get up and exercise regularly, eat healthily and reduce your stress levels really work? I’m not so sure…

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