Alia was developed during the 3-day workshop, Extreme Wearables Designathon, hosted by Intel, and Media Design Practices at Art Center College of Design. I was able to collaborate with 4 designers: Divya Gaitonde, Matt Pinner, Jon Hsiung, and Mary Kim, to dig deeper into the issue of 'digital dependency'.
As one of the finalists (2nd place), we were given the opportunity to present Alia at the Wearable Tech L.A. conference, and demonstrate the prototype we developed during the Designathon.
As the internet of things enhances everyday objects with intelligence, our lives will become increasingly more saturated with data and information.
With the ability for people, objects and environments to be connected to the internet anytime from anywhere, there may be an increasing need for tools, methodologies, and services for us to disconnect and pause.
THE BIG PICTURE ?
We wanted to imagine future scenarios where wearable technology is used as an escape from the digital downpour, giving people the ability to disengage from digital identities and data streams. How can wearables be used to disconnect from the continuous chatter of our connected digital lives?
As we're constantly surrounded by technology, addiction to devices is becoming a socially acceptable norm. Therefore, it is difficult to detect as a problem.
The Internet plays a positive role connecting people around the globe. However, people usually end up isolating and disconnecting themselves from the physical world and the present moment.
This not only shifts the standard of what genuine human interaction, but also leads to severe social and psychological consequences, eventually affecting our relationships, mental and physical health.
Addiction is generally thought of as the state of being dependent on a particular substance or habit.
When talking about internet addiction, however, there can be a gray area in regards to when someone is addicted and when they’re simply using the internet as a tool to be successful or accomplish a task.
DOING A TASK VS WASTING TIME
WHAT DO YOU DO FIRST
WHEN YOU WAKE UP ?
IDC Research Report : Online Data from 7,446 Android and iPhone users (age 18-44)
Smartphone users check their phones within the first 15 minutes of waking up
Say it's the first thing they do in the morning
Have their phone on or near them for all but two hours of their waking day
People either don’t want to admit that they are ‘addicted’, or know they are but don’t do much to really fix the habit since everyone surrounding them behaves similarly.
Instead of putting so much focus on the ‘addicted’ part of the problem, and the negative connotation of that word brings to the society’s view, how can we create a fun experience to shift the emphasis?
HOW CAN WE SHIFT THE FOCUS OF "FIXING A HABIT OR ADDICTION" TO CONNECTING AND BEING ACCOUNTABLE FOR SOMEONE, IN AN EFFECTIVE AND FUN WAY?
Partners keep each other accountable to break away from their habits through games, and personalized rewards, and penalties.
The lights on the user’s right indicate how many warning signals you've received. The user accepts the partner’s warning signals by gently pressing the device.
The lights on the user’s left indicate the buddy's status. Everything that has to do with the buddy will be notified and received to your left.
Sync your own device to the Alia app first, and then connect by linking accounts. When you open the app, it will start tracking your online activities and update on its own.
NOTHING MORE THAN WHAT YOU want TO KNOW
Visualized tracking and activity makes it simple to read and understand at a glance. We want to provide only the important information so you don't spend more than the appropriate amount of time on the app.
Use existing alerts or create your own for each level. It can start with series of subtle, non-disruptive signals building up to a voice-recorded message for the final warning.
BE A BUDDY
Play roles of both the dependent, and the supporter or mentor at different times
Automatic tracking to provide instant alerts and notifications at the appropriate times
With a maximum of 5 warning signals, you can set unique types of alerts such as vibrations, automated voice call, in-person intervention, to remind your partner to disconnect, until the set break time is over.
ANALYZE YOUR HABITS
Find out what application you use the most, and spend the most time using. Pick up patterns or trigger points of distraction to plan out goals, and penalties for each other.
Rewards & penalties
Set your own daily - weekly goals. and penalties for your partner. Stay motivated with challenges, and rewards.