Fitness Go

Project Title
Fitness Go

Project Description
As technology becomes more and more seamlessly integrated into people’s daily life, using devices such as computers and smartphones have become inevitable to complete needs from work to entertainment to basic daily needs. They often become so invisible due to the frequent appearance in our life that we don’t realize that we are spending too much time using them until this causes problems. Due to this reason, it has caused a lot of modern life health issues such as back pain and etc. To address this issue and provide a solution to this problem most people are experiencing on a daily basis, Fitness Go uses technology to … Fitness Go intends to help people realize how much time they are spending sitting down vs not sitting down daily by visualizing it in a graphic form. Sensors are used to attach to the sitting area of pants to gather accurate data. Through visualization, Fitness Go attempts to help change users’ behavior.

Design considerations
Intended user: Anyone who lives a modern lifestyle
Intended application: To sense time people spend sitting down vs not sitting down
Response mechanism: Data visualization on screen
Software and communication protocol: Processing and serial communication at the moment of writing the documentation. Although the preferred communication protocol would be wireless WIFI
Interface area: On the sitting area of people’s pants, it won’t affect people’s daily activities as it’s integrated into people’s outfit.
Who does it sense: The wearer of the piece
Material used: 1 analog sensor made out of: conductive thread, velostat, conductive fabric, normal fabric
Scale of the interface: medium to big, however it integrates with wearer’s outfit around the buttocks
Mood and interaction type: The piece hopes to engage the use in the least intrusive way. However it does aims to change people’s behavior by giving them a mind alert how much time they are sitting.
Mapping of sensor data: The sensor data is gathered over time and mapped to a graphic visualization on screen. The time of sitting and not sitting are both measured and visually represented in different colors on screen.

Visuals
Work-in-progress

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Final images

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Video of the interaction

Code
https://github.com/jessiez0810/Wearable1

Project Context
With fitness trackers paving the way for normalizing wearable technology in a daily life context, more attention has been paid and exploration has been made to this growing industry. While some designers look at the aesthetics of wearable technology, others tend to use it to create social meanings and reflect on their own self-image, personality and lifestyle. As Myant’s CEO has suggested that our largest organ of our body is our skin and it alone gives off a lot of information about us, we can use this information to help us understand ourselves better.
Based on these concepts, I decided to explore the relationship between technology and my own body because I am very aware of the fact that I don’t fully understand myself. Starting off, I started asking myself the question what can my body tell myself? What sort of actions and behaviors am I engaging with on a daily basis with or without consciousness? Are these behaviors something I need to get rid of and/or improve on? These questions led me to think about my personal conditions of my body and eventually landed on the idea to create something that measures the amount of time I spend sitting. My personal health has in fact been impacted by this and I have started developing lower back pain. One time it got so severe that I could not pay attention to classes because of the pain. I later shared this story to some friends around my age and what surprised me was that a lot of them have the same problems. Some complained to me that even if they wanted to avoid sitting too much, sometimes it’s just unavoidable to sit for a long time because their work requires them to sit in front of a computer almost all day. This made me realize what I am experiencing is not just a single phenomena. With technology sunk into our daily life, we adapt our behaviors accordingly. Even though they are sometimes harmful to our well-being.
Therefore, to design a wearable that will inform us of our own harmful behaviors and try to change them by exposing how much we are doing it is the initial cause for this project. Much has already been done in this field especially with smart watches such as fitbit and apple watch which sends a message to wearers who’s been sitting too long . However, research has reported some discontent towards smart watches because of its inconvenience. To me personally smart watches are not an inconvenience as I wear one daily. However, I do know many people don’t like the idea of wearing something on their wrist. Moreover, having to take it off to engage in daily routines such as taking a shower also can cause people to forget to put it back on. Therefore, I decided to make something that integrates with people’s outfit in a less intrusive way, by putting soft sensors and circuits directly into their outfit. To go even further, I put the microcontroller inside the pockets of pants to both hide it and minimize the discomfort of having a hard plate sewn onto the pants.
For the output, I decided to use data visualization on screen to visually displayed the data. Due to its straightforward and clear nature, people will immediately build the connection and understanding of graphic representation and their behavior in real life. It serves as a reminder and a wakeup call for people who have the tendency to sit for a long time but don’t realize how much time they actually spend sitting daily.

Reference
AWE- Augmented World Expo. Tony Chahine (CEO, Myant) Functionalizing Textiles. YouTube. Web. Jan 31. 2019.
Jarusriboonchai, Pradthana and Häkkilä, Jonna. “Customisable wearables: exploring the design space of wearable technology” MUM ’19: Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Mobile and Ubiquitous Multimedia. 19.20(2019): 1-9. ACM. Web. Jan 31. 2019.

Lee, Yu Lim, Jung, Mingji, Park, In-Hyoung and Kim, Ahyoung. “Korean consumers’ cognitive, affective, and behavioral responses regarding smart watches based on Social Network Analysis” Interacción. 19.56 (2019):1-2. ACM. Web. Jan 31. 2019.

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