The Quantified Sex Life: Apps Track Data in the Bedroom

(Image credit: <a href=''>Couple in bed photo</a> via Shutterstock)

As the so-called quantified self movement gains footing, there's no shortage of gadgets and apps to help people track their latest physical coups, from their fastest mile to the "biggest air" they've achieved on a snowboard.

But the desire to measure performance apparently isn't confined to the athletic arena — now it is possible to gather personal performance data in the bedroom, too.

A new mobile app called Spreadsheets aims to keep track of its users' loudest, longest and most zealous encounters in the sack. [Sexy Tech: 6 Apps That May Stimulate Your Love Life]

According to its website, the Spreadsheets app relies on a smartphone's accelerometer to monitor movement, and uses the device's microphone to measure audio levels. (The app makers promise it doesn't record, or play back audio or video from its users' encounters.)

Spreadsheets then crunches that data to give a statistical and visual analysis of performance, showing the noise level, thrusts per minute and duration of each session. Those metrics alone may not be the best determining factors behind good sex for everyone. But perhaps mobile technology as it stands is not yet equipped to measure the more nuanced aspects of sexual prowess.

Spreadsheets isn't unique in its quest to quantify the love lives of the smartphone-enabled. Another new app called Kahnoodle is designed for committed couples trying to keep the fires burning in their relationship. It sends push notifications to remind users to initiate sex and do thoughtful things for each other. It also lets partners collect "koupons" for sex or domestic chores, and keeps track of users' relationship give-and-take with a "love tank," that reads from full to empty.

Kahnoodle's launch prompted some snarky objections to its gamified approach to relationships. One Digital Trends story read, "If you need an app to tell you when to have sex, it's over."

But the app's creators would beg to differ.

"Novelty works like an endorphin," Kahnoodle's founder Zuhairah Scott Washington told the Atlantic. "Couples have a desire to go out and do something new, but oftentimes they're tired. The mobile app… incorporates a lot of research on what makes relationships successful, but gamifies it to make it fun, makes it fun to do the work required to keep relationships fresh."

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Megan Gannon
Live Science Contributor
Megan has been writing for Live Science and since 2012. Her interests range from archaeology to space exploration, and she has a bachelor's degree in English and art history from New York University. Megan spent two years as a reporter on the national desk at NewsCore. She has watched dinosaur auctions, witnessed rocket launches, licked ancient pottery sherds in Cyprus and flown in zero gravity. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.