Embedding Behavior Modification Strategies into a Consumer Electronic Device: A Case Study

  • Jason Nawyn
  • Stephen S. Intille
  • Kent Larson
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4206)


Ubiquitous computing technologies create new opportunities for preventive healthcare researchers to deploy behavior modification strategies outside of clinical settings. In this paper, we describe how strategies for motivating behavior change might be embedded within usage patterns of a typical electronic device. This interaction model differs substantially from prior approaches to behavioral modification such as CD-ROMs: sensor-enabled technology can drive interventions that are timelier, tailored, subtle, and even fun. To explore these ideas, we developed a prototype system namedViTo. On one level, ViTo functions as a universal remote control for a home entertainment system. The interface of this device, however, is designed in such a way that it may unobtrusively promote a reduction in the user’s television viewing while encouraging an increase in the frequency and quantity of non-sedentary activities. The design of ViTo demonstrates how a variety of behavioral science strategies for motivating behavior change can be carefully woven into the operation of a common consumer electronic device. Results of an exploratory evaluation of a single participant using the system in an instrumented home facility are presented.


Physical Activity Remote Control Sedentary Behavior Television Viewing Persuasive Technology 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jason Nawyn
    • 1
  • Stephen S. Intille
    • 1
  • Kent Larson
    • 1
  1. 1.Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridge

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