Designing Affective Interaction Products Dealing With Stress (Affective Computing) - Video 3

Uploaded by InteractionDesignOrg on 09.05.2011

bjbjq Rikke: Today we re meeting Kristina Hook. Kristina Hook is a professor in Human
Machine Interaction at Stockholm University. For many years Kia has been researching effective
computing with her colleagues at her lab. So we want to know what s going on right now.
What is your latest research project? Kristina: ve been extremely interested in figuring out
how you can communicate with your own body and understand your own body. In a way it
s kind of sad to put technology into that because I should knowing what my body is telling
me, but for some situations we are actually cutting off here, we re not listening to our
bodies. So the area that interested me was stress because people can push themselves
so far and their bodies might be signaling all sorts of stuff, like their heart is thumping
when they re trying to go to sleep or they have pains, pains in their muscles or headaches
or whatever and they re ignoring it, pushing on, following some [inaudible 01:43] about
how much work we should be putting in and how good we should be at having a beautiful
house and kids that are perfect and whatever. So I found that extremely interesting and,
of course, stress is very closely linked to emotional reactions. So, if you, for some
reason, think that the stressful situation you re about to deal with is something that
you can cope with, subjectively you think, I have the resources to deal with this. It
does not harm you so much as if you re in a situation where you suddenly feel, Oh wait,
this is way too much. I don t know how to deal with this. I have to run from this, then
it harms your body. By and by, as you re having these stressful situations then, your body
actually is worn down. The really interesting complex processes in your body that happens
like, for example, a hormone named cortisone, does not go down during the night if you re
stressed because your sleep is disturbed. When cortisone does not go down during the
night, your body does not repair all its cells and its so this is terrible, I shouldn t tell
people this but it s really important not to stress. It really harms your body; stress
in a bad way. You should always have a little bit of stress in life to make it interesting
but bad stress is Rikke: Long term stress. Kristina: So I was really interested in how
can we feedback to somebody what their bodily reactions are in a way that makes it more,
I have to look at this. I have to think about this and I can see suddenly there s a pattern
here where I ve been not sleeping enough after a whole week or I haven t been So what we
built was a system where you put some sensors on your body. So one sensor for sweat levels
and sweat levels are related to emotional arousal and on your hands and on the soul
of you feet and your forehead, sweating is related to emotional arousal. So we pick up
on that. We also pick up on your heart by putting sensors and how much you re moving
around. Then we send that via Bluetooth to your mobile and we portray your reactions,
in real time, as your body is responding to those situations you can see it. So you can
sit with the systems, perhaps, take a deep breath and then you can see how your heart
and your sweat levels, and so on, are responding to that. But you could also in this interface
look back in history. So it s just a really beautiful interface created by one of my colleagues,
Allison, and it s a spiral where you can see like one minute, two minute, three minutes
back or one hour, two hour, three hours back or one day, two day, three days back and then
you can start to see there is a pattern perhaps that whenever I with my boss everything goes
horahh or whenever go horseback riding everything Yahoo. Or whenever I start working after a
summer holiday and suddenly all my systems go shhh, and these are things that you should
know about yourself and that you probably do know, but once you have it reflected back
to you like in a mirror, then it becomes more obvious and the patterns become more like
in your face in a way. Rikke: It seems to be very important since there are so many
people everyday who gets sick from being too stressed and they have to report ill for a
longer period. So it seems to be quite important. Kristina: Yes, it s a very important problem
and it s interesting that the World Health Organization says that this is the second
most dangerous thing in the world. Sometimes people say, Well that s a problem of the Western
world, but it s not. It s actually increasing in the middle classes in India and in the
middle classes in China because they re adopting a lifestyle that we have as well. So I think
I want to create a system that allowed for reflection. It s not telling you that this
stress is bad because that s depending on your subjective feeling of whether you re
coping or not, but it s giving you feedback on you have a higher arousal now or your heart
beat is going up and then you make meaning out of this and you decide what you want to
change and it might even help you to reflect you whether you really live with the norms
of the society, especially Rikke: And if you want to change certain things of your life.
Kristina: Yeah, and so, in Sweden now the statistic show that more and more people are
getting help from this and it also shows that it s younger and women. To me, as a woman
myself, I ve been there, I ve been stressing too much and I ve had the increased heartbeat
and I ve done all of that and I feel like I bought into a lifestyle that was way too
demanding. I was trying to do everything; I was trying to do work as if I was a man.
In the computer science area there were not that many women. I was trying to have the
perfect house, the beautiful...have interesting leisure activities, kids that looked perfect
and I would s just that role model is very constraining and so in a little small way,
maybe a system like this can help you to relate your own every day experience to, Is this
good for me? Do I want to do this? Why do I want to do this? Rikke: Sounds so exciting
and so necessary. Is it on the market yet or is it coming? Kristina: I hope so. It s
now finally working properly. So the sensors are there, the Bluetooth communication with
the mobile is there, the mobile interaction is working; we can collect the data, we can
save the data, we can interact with it in interesting ways. In Sweden I work in a center
called Mobile Life and we have sponsors like Nokia and Ericsson and so on. I m discussing
with them right now whether we can turn this into a product. So that will be cool, but
it s not like a mass market product. I think it Rikke: It could be though; there is a lot
of stress out there. Kristina: Yeah. So we were thinking about it as a lifestyle thing,
not as something that you get when you go to the hospital to get a diagnosis but something
that you buy before because you re interested yourself and you can feel like, This is not
good, I don t know what to do, and then looking at this is a means for you to, on your own,
think about it more. But it s like technology could only do so much; it s really people
doing it. But still, to spare that kind of discussion and Rikke: Relating an object which
it can handle. Kristina: Yeah, and really relating to your physical boy, saying, Your
heart has been racing this much this week, whatever. Rikke: Stress is the individual
problem. Kristina: Yes. That s a problem with the system that we built because we re turning
it back to an individual. So the next system I want to build but I don t have funding for
yet, is to look upon it as a social process because Rikke: Yes [inaudible 08:55] Kristina:
Yeah. If you start saying that, Oh, it s not only me, she s saying the same and he, and
we re all buying into this norm or whatever, then many you can start questioning about
it. So this I want to [inaudible 09:07] Rikke: So thank you so much for coming and sharing
this with us. Kristina: Thank you. Designing Affective Interaction Products
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