Tag Archives: wearables

Six wearables and apps to improve health and happiness

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The age of the wearable is fast upon us, and many of the new products we’re going to see in the next 12 months will be all about health and happiness. The New York Times recently predicted that soon some wearables will seamlessly blend in by looking like a skin-coloured sticking plasters and even perhaps become fashion items. There are also lots of new apps in this area too.

I’ll be trying some out over the next few months but here are six that have come across my desk: one hand-held, two wearables and three apps that can help you calm down, straighten up, and take a deep breath.

Continue reading Six wearables and apps to improve health and happiness in my column at The Conversation.

Technobiophilia Hackathon – apps and wearables connecting you to nature

sesi-cultura-digital-2014-header (1)I’ve been hoping that someone would come up with a technobiophilia app or, even better, a wearable. Something to enhance our digital lives by connecting us to nature, or sharpen the pleasure of the outdoors by connecting us to the internet. Something that clearly demonstrates the level of well-being to be gained from a technobiophilic lifestyle. And how about applying technobiophilic design to software and hardware? More natural materials and colours please!

With luck my wish will be answered later this month at SESI Cultura Digital in Rio de Janeiro.

I’ve been invited to set two design challenges for the Hackathon part of the event, taking place on Thursday 23rd October 2014. It’s a fantastic opportunity to apply my research to real-life problems and I’m very excited to see what participants come up with!

The brief for the Hackathon Challenge on the website is in Portuguese but I’ve posted the English version in the Technobiophilic Design section of my website. If you can’t be in Rio for the competition, but you’d like to have a go at developing something in response to the challenge, do get in touch.

You can follow the Hackathon action on Facebook and on Twitter via hashtag #scd2014 (unfortunately in the UK this matches the tag for a very popular TV show, so be warned!).

(Thanks to Amber Thomas for her invaluable help in designing the challenge)

Might kando be an element of technobiophilia?

In today’s Tech Guardian, Samuel Gibbs writes about Sony’s insistence that ‘Nagging fitness trackers are not the future‘. Reporting from CES in Las Vegas, he writes ‘The Japanese tech giant evoked the ‘kando’ concept at CES, describing how technology needs to deliver an emotional as well as functional value’ continuing ‘Sony’s president and chief executive, Kazuo Hirai, said the company was drawing on the Japanese concept of kando – the ability to deliver not just functional but emotional value’. Interesting. I wonder if some of that emotional value can be drawn from nature via biophilia?

The concept of kando is new to me so I googled around. There wasn’t much to find but I did discover an interesting mention on the company philosophy page of Yamaha’s website. Apparently Yamaha’s corporate mission is ‘to create kando’, which it defines as ‘a Japanese word for the simultaneous feelings of deep satisfaction and intense excitement that we experience when we encounter something of exceptional value’.

There must be an element of technobiophilia here. I’ll explore and report back.