Device Rewards Daily Exercise By Keeping A Plant Alive

Device Rewards Daily Exercise By Keeping A Plant Alive
Design

Phabit motivates users to maintain a healthy lifestyle by rewarding workouts and good habits with the maintenance of a small plant

Sara Roncero-Menendez
  • 17 july 2017

Sometimes it’s difficult to find the motivation to work out, especially when you have a 9-to-5. Royal College of Art graduate Jen-Hsien Chiu is seeking to get people more invested in their work-out routine by putting a plant’s life on the line by creating Phabit, as part of the Innovation Design Engineering program.

In order to assess the right kind of challenges each user should tackle, the app asks the person to partake in a personality quiz. Once they have been sorted into four categories—Upholder, Obliger, Questioner or Rebel—challenges are selected accordingly to ultimately create better habits. Additionally phone data, fitness-tracking apps and geofencing are used to track where a person is and how active they are. If they meet their goals, the plant inside the special canister is given sunlight and water. However, if goals are not met, the plant is left to fend for itself and most likely dies of neglect.

Chiu explains to Dezeen that his decision to pick a plant over, say, a digital pet, was about how users relate to it and come to care for it, and as such must work hard to keep it alive:

“What I found was that a non-living object was too boring for users. After one week users can usually predict what will happen and lose interest. On the other hand, something living was too aggressive for most people. If they failed they would feel too guilty about it to build a habit.”

While the Phabit is not available for purchase, it does take a unique approach to motivational systems to help people keep their eyes on the prize…and on their plants.

Jen-Hsien Chiu

Sometimes it’s difficult to find the motivation to work out, especially when you have a 9-to-5. Royal College of Art graduate Jen-Hsien Chiu is seeking to get people more invested in their work-out routine by putting a plant’s life on the line by creating Phabit, as part of the Innovation Design Engineering program.

+Design
+fitness
+fitness tracker
+Habit
+plant
+sport
+technology

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