Take part in a research project + design workshop on activity trackers (UK)

I am currently running a research project at University College London and am looking for people who track their daily physical activity using a wearable device (Jawbone, Fitbit, etc.) or an app (Moves, Nike Fuel, etc.) to take part in my research.

The research specifically looks at how the aesthetics and physical design of wearable activity trackers affects their use.

If you are interested in taking part in this research, and a participatory design workshop in London (UK), we would love to hear from you. The aim of the workshop is to understand how you use activity trackers and how wearable devices could be designed better to support your lifestyle. You will have the opportunity to create your very own wearable device which will be given to you as a low-fidelity prototype.

You can win up to £60 in Amazon Vouchers. For more information and registration please visit http://bit.ly/UCLICtracker

Thank you!

Probably a bit too late, but does your study venture into functionality / practicality, I ask as I’ve been given numerous wearables to play with and what relegates them to the cupboard / hacksaw / multimeter is their functionality / practicability. I say practicality, as for aesthetic reasons the Polar loop requires you to cut the plastic wristband to your wrist circumference, which can lead to an initial expensive mistake, and the device becomes useless if your wrist swells. Also electrode based heart rate monitors (ECG’s) really require an electrode gel to be applied, for a consistent reading, which other than the practicality has an aesthetic impact, not sure what the general opinion is towards being smeared in a saline gel, in public. That’s before you get on to battery life, for aesthetic reasons the batteries are generally relatively tiny / inadequate, you can kill most smart watches in a little over an hour if you have both the GPS and wi-fi enabled, and even while enabled the GPS appears to only be polled every 15 - 30 seconds (to save battery), so distances on anything other than an abandoned railway track are inaccurate (totally useless on a running track). Which brings up another issue, charging, again for aesthetic / commercial reasons wearable generally have their own proprietary charging leads, and generally cost > £25 (if you’re using your own money), so unless you want to lug around a set of proprietary charging leads you’re required to spend many pennies on sets for home, the office… Again on the practicality front and I also presume for aesthetic reasons, most of the activity trackers aren’t waterproof, which can be an issue if you intend to monitor activities outdoors. I could rant on about proprietary nature of the devices comm’s, so your generally locked in to using just the manufacturer’s, or a limited number of partners apps, which is a pain if you say want to compare an Adidas miCoach to the equivalent Nike accelerometer and so on…