Avatar for Well-being
In collaboration with Ajay Rayasam (business development) and Shakti Shaligram (engineering)
^ Loa deep breathing interaction
Contribution: ideation and concept development, as well as design, prototyping, and fabrication of Loa. Additionally development of the story of Loa and its character, as well as the digital experiment avatar design.
Loa is a device (with a corresponding digital avatar-think Tamagotchi) that reflects the user’s overall well-being and changes its state based on the user’s state. Through taking care of Loa, the user would take care of themself.
In today’s society, we are constantly bombarded with stressors in our daily lives but we forget to take care of ourselves. While devices exist and enable us to quantify our well-being, they fail to create a lasting change. The technology to detect our physical state exists, but the way it’s communicated is wrong.
To change our users’ behavior, we believe that:
.an emotional connection is essential - the why? Not the how
.an engaging product built on a positive feedback loop (trigger→action→reward→investment)
.network effect and distribution of stress can ensure continued use and improved results
Loa changes a user’s behavior towards well-being by forming an emotional connection with them.
Loa’s onboarding process:
The onboarding process has 4 steps:
- Onboarding survey
- Personality Matching
- Syncing with your existing sensors (fitbit, calendar, etc)
- Happily Ever After
How does it work?
Meet Sunny, a proud Loa owner. When Sunny’s calendar is booked for more than 4 hours at a time, Loa enters an angry state. The way to calm 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!
Loa Pilot Study:
We ran a small-scale study where we asked 12 participants to record their sleep patterns through the “sleep cycle” app and send us daily screenshots.
Hypothesis “An avatar that represents one’s emotional state will provide more awareness of one’s well-being than without one“
To test our hypothesis, we randomly assigned half of the participants to the control group and the other half to the experiment group.
.We gave all subjects a goal (reach 6 hours of sleep per day)
.Each day we sent text reminders of their goals to all participants
.The Experiment group had an accompanying avatar that they had named during the onboarding survey and the avatar changed its mood based on the user’s distance from sleep goal
We find that the experiment group felt 1.3 x more aware than the control group of their sleep patterns. The experiment group also felt a close connection with their avatar and felt personally responsible for their well being.