Last year I wrote several posts about the personal informatics trend – using technology to track our habits and various aspects of our physiology. At that time I noted how coupling devices with sensors to automatically collect data would help to bring personal informatics into the mainstream. Now we are seeing Ford Motor Company investigating the use of contact-less sensors embedded in the driver’s seat. The sensors can detect the electrical activity of the heart and can thereby monitor electrocardiogram data.

Another recent offering is from Nyx Devices, whose Somnus Sleep Shirt accompanies sensors with a small data recorder. The sensors monitor a person’s sleeping respiration. In the morning, the user can upload the data from the recorder to their computer and over time get a view of their sleep patterns for help in controlling insomnia and other sleep disorders.