The Vertex App October 2014

One Quantified Self App To Rule Them All, Part II

After a couple more weeks of research, feedback, and taking a break from thinking about Quantified Self anything for awhile, I’ve made another major refinement in my vision for a single, unified, open, modular quantified self app. Let me pique your interest: it goes well beyond the quantified self space. Oh and I named it, finally - “Vertex,” because the app is the intersection of many data streams.

The core philosophy behind Vertex is that it’s modular. Every feature is a plugin. Every data-importer is a plugin. Every correlation detection algorithm is a plugin. Every visualization UI is a plugin. Anybody can write plugins. This opens up the possibility that we can use a single app while benefiting from many people’s work. This means that we no longer have to wait for a given company to develop an integration with a certain piece of hardware — we can decide to be impatient and develop one ourselves.

But it gets more exciting. There’s nothing about Vertex that is specific to the quantified self world. It’s an app that will be useful to the entire “internet of things” world. It’s not just Fitbits and Jawbones that could be integrated with it; you will just as easily be able to connect your Nest, Raspberry Pi, or your AR Drone.

It will be stream based. Gulp did a great job of creating a build system using streams. I think this will be ideal for quantified self data too. Plugins will be npm modules.

And again drawing inspiration from Gulp, creating a plugin will be as easy as publishing an npm module prefixed with “vertex-”. You will be able to search for and install plugins from within the app via a plugin manager.

So now I am actively looking for smart people to help me refine the architecture, API, and design. Send me an email if you want to chat.