Mass Body Index: Bio-OS, a Biological Operating System


Session Title:

  • Digitization of Biological Data

Presentation Title:

  • Mass Body Index: Bio-OS, a Biological Operating System




  • Mass Body Index describes an ongoing project being developed by i-DAT called Bio-OS, a Biological Operating System. Bio-OS builds on the i-DAT’s ‘Operating Systems’ (www.?op-sy.?com) initiative (Arch-OS, CO-OS and Eco-OS). These open tools for gathering data from environments (buildings and landscapes) and organisms (crowds and bodies) will be focused on delivering dynamic and interactive outputs through a range of technologies (such as social networks, streaming media, mobile phone Apps, Full Dome environments, etc). These ‘Operating Systems’ dynamically manifest ‘data’ as experience in order to enhance perspectives on a complex world.

    The intention of Bio-OS is to make the data generated by human biology tangible and readily available to the public, artists, engineers and scientists. The Operating Systems project explores data as an abstract and invisible material that generates a dynamic mirror image of our biological, ecological and social activities. The Operating Systems project proposes a range of tools and initiatives that have the potential to enhance our ability to perceive and orchestrate this mirror world.

    Bio-OS builds on this open technical framework to offer the opportunity to collect and manifest biological data. Dynamic visual and sonic experiences derived from human movement are being tailored to enhance public understanding of the collective, mass biology. In this context Bio-OS and its distribution and engagement mechanisms provide an open tool for public engagement with a domain that is primarily owned by medical, scientific fields.

    Bio-OS provides accessible (through hacks, wearable devices, phone Apps and domestic and public health technologies and social media tools) that are being deployed in daily life for monitoring health and activity. Data collected from these tools feed dynamic databases that facilitate a shared understanding of the mass body index through visualisations and sonifications – a data body culture of health.

    Bio-OS implements processes topically described as the ‘Internet of Things’, in this case the human body becomes a networked and shared ‘thing’. Bio-OS generates a rich mix of quantitative and qualitative data. Collectively these processes establish an open participatory ‘techno-ethnography’, mechanisms for evaluating engagement and participation through a rich mix of qualitative and quantitative data.

PDF Document: