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The use of wearable ambient displays to enhance awareness of physical activity

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Burns, PJ (2016) The use of wearable ambient displays to enhance awareness of physical activity. PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Available under University of Tasmania Standard License.

Abstract

There has been extensive research into using computers to help people to monitor
their physical activity. Most existing self-monitoring approaches employ high complexity,
high-engagement interfaces with a focus on numbers, text and graphics.
An alternative are low-complexity interfaces - those that employ simple metaphors
to convey information - such as ambient displays. Research has shown that these
interfaces could be equally effective in assisting users to monitor and subsequently
change their behaviour. Engagement with existing smartphone-based or fixed ambient
displays presupposes that the user is also engaged in some other unrelated
activity (looking at a phone or walking past a screen), limiting their usefulness.
Wearable ambient displays that are persistently visible to the user could overcome
this problem, and have the additional benefit that they help to engage the wearer
with others in discussions around the information displayed.
Using a design process facilitated by accessible rapid prototyping tools such as 3D
printing, I developed a wearable device that could track the user's level of physical
activity and, implementing a novel ambient display design, provide the user
with information about their own activity levels and those of others. I evaluated
the final device in a user study with 40 participants over six weeks. The results,
both qualitative and quantitative, indicated that participants were able to engage
with the ambient visualisation and it motivated them to think about and discuss
physical activity. Further research is needed to establish the potential for long-term
behaviour change.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Human-Computer Interaction, Ambient Display, Wearable Computer, Physical Activity, Behaviour Change
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2016 the Author

Additional Information:

This work is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia Licence. (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 AU) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/au/

Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2017 01:57
Last Modified: 11 May 2017 02:41
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