Accepted paper:

Smart jewellery: measuring the unknown

Author:

Martin Berg (Halmstad University)

Paper short abstract:

This paper explores the design of smart jewellery devices (the Moodmetric and the ŌURA). Engaging with various forms of empirical data as well as the field of software studies, this paper provide a basis for design oriented studies of self-tracking.

Paper long abstract:

Self-tracking devices and apps often measure and provide interpretations of personal data in a rather straightforward way, for instance by visualising the speed and distance of a run or the quality of sleep during a night. There is however a growing number of devices that take the data analysis further by providing insights and algorithmic advices about domains of our lives that are otherwise thought of as difficult to grasp. This paper explores two devices of this kind, namely the Moodmetric and the ŌURA which are two recently released smart rings with associated mobile apps that claim to measure emotions and rest, promote happiness and help users to perform better. Whereas several studies have shed light over how users engage with self-tracking apps and devices, little attention has been paid to how these technologies stem from dreams, hopes and imaginaries of designers and developers. This paper approaches self-tracking from a producer perspective in order to frame how users and their everyday lives are imagined by designers and how these assumptions are built into the technologies. Empirically, the paper is based on a content analysis of blog posts, marketing materials and user guides from the ŌURA and Moodmetric companies along with video interviews with company representatives as well as recordings of their public appearances. Engaging with the field of software studies as well as the emerging field of self-tracking studies, this paper aims at providing a basis for further design oriented studies of self-tracking.

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