Meet the 'most connected man' in the world

SAMANTHA MURPHY KELLY
Last updated 17:22 17/03/2014

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This post was originally published on Mashable.

And you thought managing a smartphone and an inbox was exhausting.

Forty-five year-old Chris Dancy is known as the most connected man in the world. He has between 300 and 700 systems running at any given time, systems that capture real-time data about his life.

His wrists are covered with a variety of wearable technology, including the fitness wristband tracker Fitbit and the Pebble smartwatch. He weighs himself on the Aria Wi-Fi scale, uses smartphone controlled Hue lighting at home and sleeps on a Beddit mattress cover to track his sleep.

Even Dancy's dogs are tracked via Tagg, which logs their daily activities.

Although this type of lifestyle would be tiring to many - with numbers running his day - Dancy calls it motivating.

"I started five years ago when I noticed my doctor was having a hard time keeping up with my health records," Dancy told Mashable. "Around the same time, I worried that the work I did on the internet could be lost if [there's] a service shutdown. In an effort to collect this information, I started looking for ways I could gather data when I didn't have time to write things down."

Dancy, who says he's always been tech-savvy and has a background in IT, explains that staying connected has allowed him to get more out of the way he lives.

"I've lost 100 pounds (45 kilograms) and learned to meditate," he says. "I'm much more aware of how I respond to life and take steps to adjust to my environment. I've also formed better habits thanks to the feedback I'm getting."

With so many devices to choose from, Dancy says his favourite wearables are the Body Media fitness tracker and the Pebble. He also prefers products that offer contextually aware information, such as Google Now and Google Glass.

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"I am most passionate about feedback that is haptic - vibration or subtle environmental changes - such as lighting that changes to suggest the weather is changing," he said. "I do take days off with little to no tracking from wearables, but because I have so many systems that automatically track what I'm doing, it's impossible to truly disconnect."

As more companies look to integrate smart technology into products - from smart toothbrushes to tennis racquets and refrigerators - Dancy believes it's only a matter of time before people adopt a lifestyle closer to his.

"There are mountains of data in everything we use at home, even when it's not 'smart'," Dancy said. "By the end of the decade, there will not be a job on earth that hasn't been changed by smart objects, wearable computing or personal information."

Although Dancy believes more people should infuse smart products into their lives, he cautions when to share personal information.

"I feel empowered but a bit scared by the looming future of connected humans that can't handle Facebook much less a relationship with their life data," he said. "I do think it's urgent that people look at the data they are creating and giving away.

"So much of our value to our employers, family and peers can be used in ways to make our lives better - instead of lining the pockets of mega-institutions that want to keep our attention."

Mashable is the largest independent news source covering digital culture, social media and technology.

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