Avatar for Well-being
Original prototype built in collaboration with Ajay Rayasam (business development) and Shakti Shaligram (engineering)
^ Loa deep breathing interaction
Loa is a platform, designed to support well-being goals of human users. It is a physical device (with a corresponding digital Tamagotchi-like avatar) that reflects the user’s overall well-being and changes its state based on the user’s state. The idea is that through taking care of Loa, the user would take care of themself.
The interactions with Loa are embodied, meaning the person needs to phsyically engage in actions to improve Loa’s state (and in return their own state).
However, Loa is not designed to optimize its behavior towards only serving a user’s goals.
Through Loa, we actively investigate what it means for a digital agent to have its own agency. Following the discourse on kinship, we study how a user might build kinship with their agent, and how ideas such as refusal impact the relationship between a human user and their non-human digital kin.
Loa’s onboarding process:
The onboarding process has 4 steps:
- Onboarding survey
- Personality Matching
- Syncing with your existing sensors (fitbit, calendar, etc)
How does Loa work?
Meet Sunny, who has been paired with their own Loa. When Sunny’s calendar is booked for more than 4 hours at a time, Loa enters a hot state. The way to cool Loa down is to breathe deeply into its hair. Similarly when Sunny hasn’t moved in a few hours, Loa gets frustrated and starts pacing the floor. The way to get Loa back to its baseline state is to take it for a walk!
But what if Loa is not in the mood for a walk? What if Loa does not want Sunny to blow into its hair? How might one negotiate the relationship between themselves and an agent when the agent is seemingly not able to draw its own boundaries? Loa’s design allows us to prototype and test these interactions.