The digital movement know as “quantified self,” that aims to track, measure, compare, improve, and share our vital statistics, and the activities we undertake, has a new addition. Human is an iPhone app that encourages users to move for at least 30 minutes every day.
Human is based on the idea of simplicity, going against the need for wearable technology weighed down with sensors, and complicated reporting statistics. Instead, it aims to bring health and happiness in a way that sustains app usage.
The app uses already existing smartphone technology in the shape of location services and accelerometers that are capable of being combined to passively track a user’s physical activity accurately, including the mode of transport. Co-founder Renato Olmos doesn’t want to sell people hardware, he wants to help them be happier.
While there are apps that already take a passive approach, there is one other factor Olmos wants to combat – complexity. Most apps feature an overwhelming amount of data, often suited to professional athletes as opposed to a casual user. Human uses simple data and design aimed at achieving one goal, walking, running, or riding for at least 30 minutes per day.
It can also track stationary activities like yoga, but you have to tell the app you are currently undertaking the activity.
In addition to a graphical display of where you are relative to the daily 30 minute, Human pushes encouraging, congratulatory messages when you achieve your goals – awarding additional points for reaching 60 or 90 minutes.
There are plans for the app to get more sophisticated and integrate with other aspects of your smartphone. But this would be to tell you to get off a bus a few stops early so you can get your daily 30 minutes, and still make it to work on time. In contrast to adding more information and complicating things.
Whether or not this simple approach will appeal to everyday users is yet to be seen, but the app is available now.
Image via Flickr