Wearable Panel: The Future in Now

From my friends at Ziba... Ziba hosted a wearable technology panel back in April including Sean Madden Executive Managing Director at Ziba, Roberto Tagliabue Executive Director of Software Design at Jawbone, and Skooks Pong Senior Vice President of Technology at Synapse. Sean Madden wrote a summary and perspective form the panel that discussed how wearable devices will offer practical, novel and fun usefulness but will also be able to influence our behavior in ways good and bad, creating ethical dilemmas for designers. Worth a read.

Ziba Panel Series - Wearables from Ziba Design on Vimeo.

"For all the attention we’ve given in the past year to wearable devices like Google Glass, Nike FuelBand and Jawbone UP, the focus on hardware and form factor misses the far more thrilling – and perhaps frightening – topic of how wearable devices are going to change who we are as people. Wearables promise to let technology impact us on a more personal level, and as our gadgets become more intimate it’s inevitable that their influence will deepen.

Psychology researchers have been looking into human behavior reinforcement, and the conclusions they’ve reached are startling. The subconscious mechanisms by which a human brain forms habits are no longer a complete mystery, and that understanding has let us start devising tools for altering them. As a result, we’re now at the edge of an era in which human behavior has become a design problem.

Changing the unchangeable

In a 2011 article on feedback loops, Wired editor Thomas Goetz describes how a single “Your Speed” box on the side of a busy road does a better job of slowing down drivers than the most relentless speed trap, and then illustrates this effect with a number of other examples. They point to a kind of revolution in persuasion tactics: We are able to encourage or discourage behaviors once thought unchangeable simply by offering immediate, actionable feedback. Well-designed feedback changes behavior.

Imagine what’s possible when we apply that kind of feedback loop to a broader range of habits. Health-related behaviors, for example. Or even buying behaviors."

Continue reading at Gigaom.