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Understanding Physical Activity through 3D printed Material Artifacts: CHI 2014 talk

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In this talk, we advocate a novel approach of representing physical activity in the form of material artifacts. By designing such material representations, we aim to understand what these artifacts might offer in terms of reflecting upon physical activity. For example, what types of affect do material artifacts, representing ones’ physical activity create for the user? In order to advance this understanding, we designed a system called SweatAtoms that transforms the physical activity data based on heart rate into 3D printed material artifacts. We conducted an “in the wild study” by deploying our system in six households where participants were experiencing five different material representations of their physical activity for a period of two weeks each. We found that the material artifacts made participants more conscious about their involvement in physical activity and illustrated different levels of engagement with the artifacts. Along with reporting the gained insights from the deployments, we offer reflections on designing material representations for physical activity. We hope that our work will inspire designers to consider new possibilities afforded by digital fabrication to support user’s experience with physical activity by utilizing interactive technologies at our disposal.

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Understanding Physical Activity through 3D printed Material Artifacts: CHI 2014 talk

  2. 2. Physical activity Key to maintain and regain personal health
  3. 3. Personal informatics Self monitoring & reflection
  4. 4. Virtual representation Interactive capabilities & dynamic updates on data
  5. 5. Picture under the glass Focus primarily on visual senses, efficiency and performance goals
  6. 6. Are you just a number? Beyond quantification (QS session, SIG Jogging)
  7. 7. Material representation Can be touched, explored, carried and even possessed
  8. 8. 3D printing Accessible personal fabrication
  9. 9. Personal fabrication Energy Expenditure Vs. Additive manufacturing Energy Expenditure vs. Additive manufacturing
  10. 10. SWEATATOMS-VIDEO SweatAtoms
  11. 11. Material artifacts of physical activity 1. Graph 4.Dice 3. Frog 2. Flower 5. Ring Five representations each following a different aesthetic and informative form
  12. 12. Exploratory “in the wild” study Morning Evening 2 Weeks study with 7 participants in their home Morning: wear heart rate monitor Evening: print 5 objects Semi structured interviews
  13. 13. Personal informatics Material artifacts Physical activity Findings Insights gained from the deployment
  14. 14. Affection and the Design “We love the is like... Burning your body fats and putting them on the frog.”
  15. 15. Personalization and Authenticity “this is me and my data, you cannot get this in the market.”
  16. 16. Curiosity and Reminiscence “it was exciting to see objects at the end of the day, printing small & big, like a recap of my physical activity...”
  17. 17. Sustainability “What should I do with all these objects if I keep them printing everyday?”
  18. 18. Recommendations For designing material representations of physical activity
  19. 19. #1. Create affection with data Imbue meaning through personalization, utility and authenticity
  20. 20. #2. Embrace slowness of 3D printing Encourage delayed feedback to support reflection and reminiscence
  21. 21. #3. Tackle sustainability Utilize temporal representations
  22. 22. Make the invisible tangible Thank you.