Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2015

Abstract

Wearable computing offers an interesting subset for the mobile computing field. While Google Glass might not yet have found the mass audience it sought, other, simpler, wearable devices have made an impact. This paper presents results of a four-week long experiment in how subjects interact and emotionally respond to the Fitbit Flex. Users tracked daily totals of steps, distance traveled, minutes active, calories burned, and time slept. They also found their own personal uses for the Fitbit interface. Users were asked to be aware of and report their emotional reactions by keeping continuous, daily journals. A popular and relatively inexpensive mobile device offered an opportunity to study an interface used with regularity over a defined and sustained time period. The interface and the user interacted; the device's constant presence had the potential to bind it to the wearer’s emotional life. The wearable device prompted and reinforced emotions already present in the culture in which the users were immersed. There was also agreement among participants that the device altered users' behaviors.


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