Sundays 8pm to 11pm on Radio 2

New Episodes at CBC Music

New Episodes at CBC Music

Need more Strombo Show? Head over to our page on CBC Music for new episodes, playlists and video extras.

CBC Music Past Shows



This App Records The Details Of Your Life — Including How Happy You Are
February 6, 2014
submit to reddit

Nicholas Felton, a Brooklyn-based designer, has quantified every waking (and sleeping, for that matter) moment of his life since 2005. In 2012, for example, he spent 79 hours collecting all sorts of data about himself — and then released his findings in a book, his own personal annual report. Now, he's made that self-reporting process possible for the rest of us. Well, those of us who are into that sort of thing, at least.

The new app, called Reporter, works like your own personal, nagging journalist tagging along with you wherever you go. It buzzes your smartphone several times a day, asking you questions like "Where are you?" "What are you doing?" and "Who are you with?"

When you answer, the app pulls in other data including the current weather, your physical activity (using your phone's built-in pedometer) and noise levels in the surrounding area. You can also add extra questions like "Are you happy?" to get a better sense of what your life was like in that moment in time.

If it all sounds a little intrusive — that's not the goal. "We don’t own your data, but we try to show it to you in new ways and help you be aware of what you’re emitting," Felton told The Verge. At a time when so many people are Tweeting, Instagramming and Facebooking so much of their lives, Reporter is trying to pull those moments together into a coherent accounting for yourself, not others.

Users can map out their personal information in various ways: a chart of when in the year they were happiest, for example, or which weeks they were most productive.

"My [own] reports are driven mainly by curiosity," says Felton. "I have questions that tech can’t answer for me yet, like how does my behaviour change based on who I’m with? It’s cool to explore the foreground of what will be possible."

Via The Verge


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Submission Policy

Note: The CBC does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that comments are moderated and published according to our submission guidelines.