A bracelet that stops you from emotional eating
For the 5-day Emotive Design course at CIID, we had to create an emotive digital interface that enables learning in the digital age.
Tying back to behaviour learning in psychology, we imagined how an interface could help people learn/unlearn good/bad habits. We chose to focus on emotional eating.
Emotional eating is a habit of turning to comfort food to cope with particular moods. Emotional eaters find it difficult to stop because the physical habit of stuffing their faces has become ingrained over time. They are typically not aware of how it’s triggered and how much they ate. Moreover, they are reluctant to share the problem as they are afraid of being judged. This perpetuates other problems such as negative body image, stress and obesity.
Version 1 A digital service system for the home
An emotional eating companion who intervenes on the user's digital platforms and home environment, alleviating mood and proposing alternative activities to emotional eating.
Mood is an important mediator to emotional eating. Humorous interventions were applied on key touch points.
Sally checks in with the user on her way home, cheering her up with playful gestures. It also steps in to modify the ambience in her home by remotely controlling lights, music and heat.
Passive screen facing activities are key contexts for emotional eating. Sally intervenes when emotional eating behaviour reaches an unhealthy level by suggesting alternative activities to engage in together.
Version 2 A bracelet that intervenes with emotional eating
Monitoring food intake through a bowl is limiting and not always contextually appropriate - how about people who eat out of the packet?
Through observations, we noticed that emotional eating is tied to rapid hand-to-mouth movement. If something is worn on the eating hand, emotional eating could be effectively tracked.
A concept for a smart bracelet that empowers emotional eaters by disrupting their problematic physically ingrained habit, help them gain insight and change, without exposing their privacy.
How it will work
Designed to be worn as a bracelet on the eating hand. Emotional eating may be detected by identifying rapid movement of the eating hand from food to mouth (gyrometer, accelerometer) and triangulating it with data related to the user's mood (see mood sensor, infra-red technology) and blood sugar level (see tattoo-like blood sugar sensor). We envision that the possibility of embedding these existing and upcoming sensors in the bracelet could bring this concept to life in the near future.
When the user is emotionally eating, a gear in the bracelet spins, shortening the string that holds it together, making it sharp and spiky to the touch.
Sally mirrors the bracelet's sharp and spiky form factor.
The emotional eating journey helps the user understand how her mood affects her eating behaviour and the improvements she made over time.