What Passive Trackers do you use?

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I have a dashboard that aggregates and visualizes my personal data in real time (https://qself-dashboard.herokuapp.com/), and I’m now trying to think of what other passive tracking data I can add to my dashboard. Ideally, these passive trackers have an API or are easily scrapable so that I can programatically pull the data and visualize on my dashboard).

Right now I’m able to track the following without any significant user input:

Time spent online, along with productivity and unproductivity (Rescuetime)
Meditation time: insight timer
Steps and location (Moves)
Chess (lichess.com)
Weight (Withings smart scale)
Pomodoro time (Toggl.com)
Todo’s (Todoist)
Time spent programming (Wakatime)
Top artists and songs for the month (Spotify)

What’s your definition of “passive” tracking? Stepping on a weight scale or using a meditation timer isn’t much effort, but I wouldn’t consider these passive trackers, either. The Moves app is semi-passive, since you end up having to review and correct the data once a day or so (or at least I did)…

For tracking sleep, Emfit QS is a good passive option, as you can completely forget about it once it’s set up.

To me passive tracking is mostly about minimizing significant user input. For example, when I meditate I am going to have a timer turned on regardless, so might as well use a timer that logs my minutes and can be accessed with an API of sorts.

Yeah I thought about adding sleep although my sleep doesn’t deviate too much so not sure if it’ll be all that interesting to track

I’d call that “lazy” tracking :wink:

Depending on how you watch movies, Trakt.tv can be set up to keep track of what you are watching automatically.

If you drive a car, Automatic or Dash can collect interesting data passively.

Logos - you mention meditation. I was a long time user of the Equanimity App, which created an easily exportable tabular log of my meditation dates, times, and notes. Apple broke it in the iOS update and I’m looking for a new meditation timer/tracker. Do you have a recommendation?

My main lazy tracker is Where Have I Been for location data. (https://erlibird.com/go/where-have-i-been)

I would not mind passive tracking through out the day… would love that.

But would like to be able to see my “specific” ones in more detail.
For e.g.

  • Lets say 24 7 granularity is less
  • I’d like a more detailed Logging of say:
  • 1-1.5/2 Hr long:
  • Warm Up + Workout + Mobility + Yoga stretching + Meditating
  • I’d like to see a CURVE of the ups & downs of the HR through that time.
    That’s kind of what I’d like to be able to get “active” insight on… even if all day is just “less granular”
    Maybe even supplement the Tracker with a Chest based HR Tracking Band.

I like Insight Timer (https://insighttimer.com/) they offer an export option in CSV that you can use python to scrape and import

Thanks, will check out.

How does the Emfit QS compare to the Oura ring in terms of accuracy and access to your data? (I’m mostly interested in HRV and time spend in each sleep stage

I wouldn’t use passive tracking for HRV, and sleep stages are just educated guesses with any of these devices.

Why not use passive tracking for HRV?
What would you use instead?

HRV obtained from passive tracking seems to work well enough for some people, but I see two problems compared to taking intentional readings: 1. already noisy data can end up being even more noisy because the readings may not be taken under comparable circumstances, and 2. manufacturers often don’t divulge how they calculate HRV from passive readings (and may change how they do so any time).

If I bought an Oura ring, then I would wear it the entire night. Wouldn’t that be comparable circumstances?

Isn’t there only one way to calculate HRV?

At the risk of deviating too much from the original question, it’s good to consider the physical requirements to track HRV. Tracking intervals between heartbeats requires a significantly higher sampling frequency than tracking regular heart rate (typically over 250hz!). This is a significant drain on battery.

The battery drain is why most consumer wearable devices opt for tracking HR instead of HRV. And the ones which track HRV typically track it in a limited fashion (only occasionally at night, only on-demand, etc.)

I love my Oura but I’m extremely skeptical of its HRV tracking due to the tiny battery. I put more trust in the Emfit QS with a dedicated power source. Or even the Scosche Rhythm which is basically one giant battery.

I’m using Oura + Emfit + Scosche while sleeping but have not compared the HRV results for all three devices yet. This would be an interesting experiment!


Would like to hear what you discover :slight_smile:

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I would also be very interested in the results of that experiment!

Can you recommend any other?