Sergio Bogazzi lives in Rome and is a computer expert with the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization. He has accumulated life experiences around the world. As a hobby, he collects data on his family: He records and analyzes their physiological parameters, physical activity, hours of sleep, and the daily habits of his wife and their three daughters. Based on his data, he has discovered which are the most annoying symptoms of his allergy, the times when his daughter most often gets sick with bronchitis and the criteria for scientifically selecting a neighborhood to live in.
Some readers might remember Furio, the character in the movie Bianco, Rosso e Verdone, who, before leaving Rome, would call the Italian Automobile Club to find out whether, at an average speed of 80-85 km/hour, he would leave behind the 982 millibar low pressure front. Instead, Bogazzi is part of a much trendier tribe than Furio; he’s an adherent of the so-called “quantified self.” Thanks to digital technologies, these individuals monitor the various aspects of their daily life and translate them into data to analyze.
The first core community was born in 2009 in California, inspired by futurologists Kevin Kelly and Gary Wolf, the founders and respected writers of Wired magazine. Since then, groups of self-monitoring digital enthusiasts have sprung up around the world. The University of Groningen in the Netherlands even houses a research institute dedicated to the topic. In about a month, the quantified selves will meet in Amsterdam for their world conference.