This fictional story uses technological advances in the fields of sensor technology, personal area network communications, and ambient assisted living, to explore the possibilities for future assisted health and wellbeing. It occurs in three time frames: past, present and slightly into the future (Sept 2011). Most of the hardware mentioned in the story is working, either in everyday life or is under development by companies for specialist sports and leisure applications. However the sensor to predict acute myocardial infarction is speculative and may be seen as the ‘holy grail’ of sensors, facilitating prediction of adverse events, and allowing preemptive treatment. Communication within the personal area network and to/from the Internet, realizes the concept of an “Internet of Things”. As always the software struggles to catch up with the hardware, in order to provide a usable and reliable system. The software is depicted as a set of communicating intelligent agents, under the control of a dubious ‘virtual’ coach, and this introduces uncertainty and mystery. The story unwinds during the Berlin marathon 2011, a fitting setting to test whether stress can be assessed using ambulatory technology. Hans Fallada's novel, “Alone in Berlin” set in the 1940's and David Bowie's Berlin trilogy of alternative music recordings, produced in the late 70's, provide ominous and foreboding backdrops to the story.
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