Quant junkies: The future is now

October 4, 2012: 5:00 AM ET

Want to keep track of every piece of personal data in your life? There's probably a tool for you.

If you want something done, do it yourself, the old saying goes. It's a philosophy that fuels the "quantified self," a growing movement toward tracking one's life with the help of technology. It extends far beyond Nike's (NKE) groundbreaking Nike+ running app: Devotees can dutifully track fitness routines, eating habits, even medical conditions. And companies are developing tools for nearly every scenario imaginable. Here are just a few.


RunKeeper employs a phone's GPS to track activities like running and cycling, and through its Health Graph lets users compare performance. Devices like the Fitbit apply a data-tracking method called actigraphy to gauge movements during sleep.


The Spiroscout sensor, an inhaler attachment, uses satellite data to show asthmatics locations that may worsen their condition. The Boozerlyzer, built to measure blood alcohol levels, can be doctored to track drug intake and side effects.


With GreenGoose's sticker-size sensors, everyday items  -- toothbrushes, toys, even pets -- transmit data back to an egg-shaped base station. Users can keep track of information such as how often they've brushed their teeth or if someone walked the dog.

This story is from the October 8, 2012 issue of Fortune.

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JP Mangalindan
JP Mangalindan
Writer, Fortune

JP Mangalindan is a San Francisco-based writer at Fortune, covering Silicon Valley. Since joining in 2010, he has written on a wide array of topics, from the turnaround of eBay to the evolution of net neutrality. A graduate of Fordham University, Mangalindan has also written for GQ, Popular Science, and Entertainment Weekly.

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