Biohacking and wearable technology insights from SHIFT 2016

A man wakes up and gets ready to start another work day. He is surrounded by gadgets during sleep, giving him tips on what to eat, how to exercise, how much liquid to drink and how to manage stress level. The man slices apples brutally, as if they were his enemies in a thriller movie, exercises, goes to work. This is how much energy the gadgets give him. That’s not even close to the full list of what the gadgets do, but the man in the video doesn’t look overwhelmed by data he receives about his body. He uses it to increase his productivity and enjoy every day — a moment later, he is laughing while having a dinner with two friends.

The man in the video is Teemu Arina, the founder of Biohacker center, who gave a keynote speech at SHIFT 2016. Two friends in the video that he just showed to SHIFT 2016 guests are his co-authors of The Biohacker’s Handbook. Teemu is the technology specialist in this trio, Olli Sovijärvi is the doctor, Jakko Halmetoja is the nutrition expert. Together they developed the idea of biohacking as making technology work for the benefit of one’s body.


Biohackers use technology for optimizing health and wellbeing. It starts with small self-experiments with immediate results (what happens if I start wearing a posture tracker?) and moves on to long-term experiments. Then the biohacker gathers the data all gadgets collected and visualizes it to get a bigger picture and design new experiments.

Teemu uses this manual himself. His experiments started when he realized that, as an entrepreneur, he needs to optimize the work of his body to get more things done. During his keynote speech, he showed the map of his one year activity in Helsinki where he lives and works. The map clearly showed the cycling track from home to work with small dots in other neighbourhoods with bars and entertainment venues.

“When I looked at the map, I realized that I don’t have a life,” Teemu joked.


At the same time with Arina’s keynote speech, there was another speaker talking about similar topic. It was co-founder and CEO of Thalmic Labs, Stephen Lake with a speech about the future of wearable technology. People listening to him were tweeting “Oh no, we all will turn into cyborgs”. Arina’s keynote excited the SHIFTers in a different way.


Teemu Arina has a professional career of over 15 years as a technology entrepreneur, author and speaker. He is one of the forefront thinkers on the intersection of the human and the machine, social media, digital work and online learning. He is a Leonardo Award laureate (European Corporate Learning Award under the patronage of European Parliament and UNESCO) for “Humanity in Digitization”. Mr. Arina is the founder of three award winning technology companies, ambassador for Rockstart Digital Health accelerator.

The CEO of Thalmic Labs, Stephen Lake is a biomedical engineer, inventor, and entrepreneur in emerging technologies. He is the co-founder and CEO of Thalmic Labs, the company behind the groundbreaking Myo armband, which measures the electrical activity in your muscles to wirelessly control computers, phones and other digital technologies with gestures. A visionary for the future of interaction between humans and machines, Stephen aims to make wearable computing interfaces seamlessly blend the real and digital worlds.