The Portable Peoplemeter Initiative: Wearable Sensor Technologies and Embodied Labor

Jennifer Hessler

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Contemporary wearable gadgets that monitor our biometrics, map our movements, track our exposure, or remind us about the tasks we need to complete have become part of our everyday outfitting. While these wearable devices enhance the efficiency with which we accomplish our goals and even empower us with deeper, datafied insights about ourselves, they also further implicate us as laborers, extending the hours that we are “on” at work, and entrench us within corporate consumer data regimes. These “sensing technologies” that we wear, which detect and store information about our bodies or environments, reconfigure our experience of embodiment, labor, and space. In fact, these devices are so pervasive that scholars like Mark Andrejevic and Mark Burdon (2015) have argued that contemporary society, especially in regard to surveillance culture, is best characterized as a “sensor society.”
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLaboring Bodies and the Quantified Self
EditorsUlfried Reichardt, Regina Schober
PublisherColumbia University Press
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9783839449219
ISBN (Print)9783837649215, 3837649210
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sep 2020
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameAmerican Culture Studies
PublisherColumbia University Press


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