BBC Monitor Me documentary about Quantified Self

If you’re interested in health and technology you will enjoy it. Just made me think again how much we need really good dashboard designers and data visualizers to make information out of all this data we’re collecting.

We’re only just beginning.
BBC Monitor Me documentary about Quantified Self

“…They’ve [those simple devices] managed to help people to change their behavior in ways that were otherwise impossible before…”

From Youtube:

Dr Kevin Fong explores a medical revolution that promises to help us live longer, healthier lives. Inspired by the boom in health-related apps and gadgets, it’s all about novel ways we can monitor ourselves around the clock. How we exercise, how we sleep, even how we sit.

Some doctors are now prescribing apps the way they once prescribed pills. Kevin meets the pioneers of this revolution. From the England Rugby 7s team, whose coach knows more about his players’ health than a doctor would, to the most monitored man in the world who diagnosed a life threatening disease from his own data, without going to the doctor.


Join Somehow

At Somehow we are looking for smart people to join our company to make wonderful things. We design mobile applications that make work better. We design apps for people who clean large corporate offices and hospitals or for people who park cars.

Our process always starts by interviewing employees and joining them during their working day. With this information we start making prototypes and a business case. Our goal is to use data and technology smart and creatively to make someone’s life better. At the same time we generate enormous amounts of data. Which we visualize by designing easy to use interfaces that give new insights and competitive advantages to our clients.

If you’re looking for a job or internship and like data, mobile interfaces and empower people, get in touch.

  • Project manager
  • Internship designer (Dutch description on Fontanel)
  • Mobile ‘Jack of all trades‘ allround developer, Android/iPhone(optional) and database wizard who has CTO ambitions
  • Backend developer, PHP. You know what to do with large amounts of data

Send me an e-mail at wilbert [at] or a message on Twitter.


Our office/studio is situated in Amsterdam in the old Volkskrant building.



Data & touch points

Onderstaand filmpje van IBM is erg gepolijst, maar het illustreert heel goed expertises die belangrijk zijn en nog veel belangrijker gaan worden. Data en touch points moeten meer inzicht geven en helpen om veel van onze grote problemen op bijvoorbeeld het gebied van energie, geld en zorg op gaan lossen.

Data is er al heel erg veel, maar komt er nog veel meer. Alles wat digitaal opereert genereert data. Data is niet per definitie hetzelfde als informatie, maar analyse, ontsluiting en koppeling van data heeft de potentie om tot heel erg veel informatie en nieuwe inzichten te leiden.

Touch points. Data is zinloos zonder interfaces die het verzamelen van data of het verbinden van data mogelijk maken. Dit kunnen bijvoorbeeld mobiele applicaties zijn, maar het zijn ook sensoren of API’s; interfaces waardoor machines met elkaar kunnen praten.

Als je weet hoe je data om kunt zetten tot nieuwe informatie of hoe je goede interactie met die data kunt ontwerpen dan kun je de wereld veranderen.

Experiments Featured Journalism Live Web Projects

Analyzed what Twitter votes (graphic)

Based on Twitterpoll by Erik Borra I made this visualization. The animation is created form filtering tweets on content. If someone says he or she voted for Obama or McCain this information is stored and turned into numbers. This creates an election poll based on tweets.

You can say Twitter is pretty much in favor of Obama. To update the results refresh the page.

A point goes to Obama if the regular expression /vote.*?obama/i succeeds, it goes to McCain if the regular expression /vote.*mccain/i succeeds, else it is undecided / unrecognized.

The animations that led to this animation

Interactive Video Live Web Notes

Castrol Perfomance Index, for those who love live statistics

Castrol Performance Index screenshot

Note: this post ended up in my drafts and should have been posted during the European Championship, sorry :)

Statistics are wonderful and the web as a central mechanism to connect databases creates a great mechanism to share and interact with data.

One great example of statistics is the Castrol Performance Index. For this European Championship the Castrol Index distributes all the games data live on the web. You can immediately see which player played where and how they are doing.

You can compare players, ball possession, shots on goals and more. All this information is live during the game. The exciting part of these kind of websites is that they add something to television that only the web can add. It doesn’t make it more interactive, but it does give it more information depth.

Suddenly the game that looks so simple gets a new layer of data and statistics. I didn’t know that for example the Dutch goalkeeper van der Sar already ran over 1300 meters in the first 34 minutes. Did you know that most of the players run around 10 kilometers during a game.

I can see that players that should be attacking spend most of their time on the wrong part of the field. This information adds context to the video footage, and it is context only interactive media can add. I don’t have to see this data all the time, I can just open it when I’m interested in how the players are doing.

I don’t know if this is what interactive television should be, but I really like how this is adding an extra dimension to live footage.

See also this earlier example by the Dutch Broadcaster NOS