Digital companion

I learned (I hope 😉 an amazing lesson in the past year. It had to do with design and unmet needs and emotional triggers. I think the most powerful association a design can make with a person is to satisfy a need they don’t know they have… and once that happens – on an emotional level there is the epiphany of the need being met and from that… springs the well of user addiction. It’s kind of the fundamental reason behind why everyone (most 1st world, middle class + up, caveat, caveat) carries a mobile in their pockets.

This is tangentially about quantified self. Just a little bit. What did you actually do if you didn’t track/record/disseminate the experience to the intertubes?

My new watch (I hesitate to even call it a watch) is sitting at a post office in Portland and will be delivered on Friday (according to FedEx). I’m sitting here thinking about that device. Mostly about what it will provide me and my experiences. It will record, analyze and report on my performance … it will serve as my coach and trainer. It will have a record of my heart rate over time… my Vo2 max… my running cadence. It will know my height, weight. It will know where I live and where I like to visit.

I ran today without recording anything. I was going to take my iPhone, but it didn’t fit in my pocket – so I ditched it.  Was it liberating? Was I lost? Did I crave the immediate feedback of performance? None of the above. I just ran like I always do.

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