Balancing Design & Technology in Feedback for Change | Summary and Q&A

December 15, 2014
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Balancing Design & Technology in Feedback for Change


James Landay discusses his research on design and technology for personal change, focusing on projects related to water and energy conservation and physical activity monitoring.

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Key Insights

  • 👯 The intersection of design and technology is important for creating products that are desirable to people.
  • 😵 Cross-cultural approaches to innovation can lead to new ideas and perspectives.
  • 😒 The use of ambient feedback displays can be effective in encouraging behavior change for energy and water conservation.
  • 👣 Automatic activity inference and physical activity monitoring can help individuals track and improve their fitness levels.


[MUSIC] Hi, I'm extremely pleased to introduce our first speaker tonight. James Landay. We've been waiting for you here at Stanford for some time and are just thrilled that it is Professor Landay's first quarter here at Stanford. He comes by way of Intel and Microsoft, University of Washington Cornell's NYU campus. And an involvement at University ... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: What is the Hydrosense project?

Hydrosense is a project that uses pressure wave sensors in water pipes to track water usage in homes. By measuring the pressure waves created when a faucet or valve is opened, the system can determine where and how much water is being used.

Q: How does the ambient feedback display work?

The ambient feedback display is a visual interface that provides real-time feedback on energy and water usage. It uses visual elements like plants, flowers, and animals to represent different levels of usage. By glancing at the display, users can see if they are meeting their conservation goals.

Q: What is the goal of James Landay's research on physical activity monitoring?

The goal of Landay's research is to design technology that can automatically track physical activity and provide feedback to encourage behavior change. By using sensors and machine learning algorithms, the system can infer different activities like walking, running, biking, and more.

Q: How does the vibrotactile display work?

The vibrotactile display is a method of providing feedback through vibrations. It can be used in devices like smartwatches to communicate information to the user. For example, specific patterns of vibrations could represent different levels of physical activity or step counts.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • James Landay discusses his background and research interests, which include human-machine interaction and how design and technology can be used to inspire and maintain personal change.

  • He describes a project called Hydrosense, which uses pressure wave sensors in water pipes to track water usage in homes and provide feedback on conservation.

  • Landay also discusses his work on designing ambient feedback displays for energy and water usage, as well as for physical activity monitoring.

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