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Smart Lifestyle Team:

Chenxi Jin

Lu Huang

Melissa Tomko

Peter Richard

Yudi XiaoJ, Lu H, Melissa T, Peter R. Yudi X

Week ONE Slidedeck

Week TWO Slidedeck


Our Definition:

  • Smart Lifestyles is the application of algorithms and technologies to the way that we live our lives

  • Smart lifestyle technologies are any technology that we use in our lives

In Brief

Technology that improves our daily lives in some form or another are lifestyle technologies. In Week 1 our class presentation focused on the successful technologies in our lives and how they have made our lives easier, affected how we approach tasks, as well as discussed technologies as being a crutch or a springboard.  The homework exercise that followed was a partitioned 'Show and Tell' into four popular lifestyle technology themes for group discussions:  Transportation, Home, Communication, and Commerce. This generalization of lifestyle technologies encompass aspects from other themes in this course such as Smart Health, Smart Cities, and Smart Education. To remain distinct from those weeks topics we focused on the pedagogy of lifestyle technologies in week 2 when we had established in Week 1 what we considered lifestyle technologies.  Additionally, what makes technologies successes and failures was explored and discussed. 


(Although improvement is subjective, and elusive. What does it mean to improve? For whom is efficiency gained?)

It is related to all the other themes: Smart Health, Smart Cities, and Smart Education.

And generally represents a shift towards using technologies to improve quality of life. To make life more enjoyable, to support our practices, hobbies,: rather than the initial, utilitarian use of computers for efficiency and work


Week 1 Presentation

Week 1 Homework 

Week 2 Presentation

Week 2 Homework

Key Ideas

Lifestyle Technologies Shift

Smart Technologies which use data analytic techniques for monitoring data previously for workplaces, are now beginning to come into our homes and our daily lives.


Quantification, Computerization of Lifestyle

  • Quantified Mind
  • Quantified Self


Crutch or Springboard?

  • For discussion, we introduced conceptsof Utopian and Dystopian narratives of technology. (See Rob Kling's book chapter "Hopes and Horrors").
  • We asked the class to consider: are these smart lifestyle technologies crutches or springboards? Do we leantohard on them? Do they make new things possible?

Key Themes


Definition: How we are becoming more reliant on increasingly smaller computing technologies that are pervasive in our lives.

Design Prototype: The Life Patch – designed under the negative gaze, to gather the metric data about the user's physiological state, display, the data, and intervene when health risks were determined.


Definition: The consideration that our information is beingcommodified and given values for efficiency and self-improvements.

Design Prototype: The Bank of Progress – the organizational systems underlying a new utopian society that has replaced money with time. Time is money! A central cloud brain delegates tasks sourced from human needs by analyzing each individuals skills and requirements. Each task need only be done once. In this ultra-efficient, money-less, task-based society, human autonomy and individuality is prized and privileged over all other factors. Further, machine automation is unproblematized: efficiency of time benefits all!


Definition: The consideration that technologies are expanding into further realms of human existence, and are affecting how we live and feel alive.

Design Prototype: The Mood Necklace – detects people's language, facial expression and brain wave to track the mood and goodness. It is alsosyncedon smartphones to log and control users'behaviour. Other features include cloud-computing and other devices such as car, mood watch, mood glasses, etc.


Definition: The social proximity(distance and/or closeness) brought about by technologies instantaneous access to information.

Design Prototype: TMI-Team Meta Intelligence – connects, disposes and mediates people’s emotions, memories, personalities, skills and physical states, which contributes a holistic and well-rounded communication in a teamwork community. Moreover, based on the scientific analysis of people's emotions and personality, it also helps people tackle interpersonal communication problems and contributes to teh resolution of the conflicts and problems. 

Key Terminology

●cloud computing
●Ubiquitous computing
●corporate or consumer technologies
●self tracking with technologies
●divulgence of information
●selling of time
●tech occupying spaces previously they were separate from
●connecting or exploiting something of our human self

Lifestyle Technologies

●Technology and transportation
●Technology and communication
●Technology and work spaces
●Technology and living spaces
●Technology and daily design
●Technology and automation
●Technology and financial planning
●Technology and information gathering
●Technology and Consumerism

Class Activities

Week 1 Homework (for Jan 15, 2015) 

Please click on this link, have a look at the Google Doc, which has a table of relevant video examples.

Add your comments in the far right of the table, and add any new examples that you happen to think of as new rows in the document.

Week 2 Smart Lifestyle Click Here

Winter, 2015 Activities

  • Smart Lifestyle Winter 2015 Week 1

  • Smart Lifestyle Winter 2015 Week 2
  • Summary of Pedagogical Approaches, Winter 2015
  • Reflections
    • Yudi: I really like our theme project for it outlined and shaped how smart technologies have changed our lifestyle and how people redefined their lifestyle within the smart technologies. Starting with a “show & tell” activity and the discussion of data-driven life, we encouraged our peer classmates to quantify themselves and designed critically for the future implications. Overall, the design activity is very thoughtful and insightful. I really enjoy working with my group members for they brought up a lot of fascinating ideas and gave me a strong support as well. We met online and in-person during the whole two weeks. We also met Prof. Jim under the thoughtful discussion of design activities of knowledge media, which helps us to clarify some of the key essentials and details.
    • Chenxi: Smart lifestyle is such a big topic that two weeks can only cover a slice of it. But I think we have touched the core of it by leading the discussion to evaluation and critique of modern technologies. In week 1, we talked about the advantages and disadvantages of technology in the "crutch/spring board" session. We didn't stop at judging apps and other digital tools we use in daily life, instead, we pushed the thinking one step forward to reveal the rationales and criteria behind the judgement. Through the speculative design activity, my favourite part, we realized that the boundary between beneficial and evil technologies is so delicate and ambiguous. While it is critical for human beings to keep the development of future technology within the boundary of morality and fairness and other things. Like we concluded in the end, we ought to be the masters of future technology which is an extension of our lives.

Featured Pedagogical Approaches

Smart lifestyle speculative design activity

Lifestyle Technology Applications

Our Suggestions and Examples of Mobile applications:

1 Second Everyday

This app makes it easy to create a lifelong with a one-second a day video. It creates a film of your life journey. The app will remind users to record video clips every day and make it easy to stitch them together into a movie.

Quantified Mind is a tool that comprehensively measures your basic cognitive abilities. This web-app structures quantified self-experiments for you. There are adapted tests used by psychologists for a practical web application that you can use whenever, wherever, and as often as you want. You are encouraged to try things and measure the results and to see whether something improves cognition. With enough data, the effects are clear.


Moves automatically records any walking, cycling, and running you do. You can view the distance, duration, steps, and calories burned for each activity. The app is always on, so there’s no need to start and stop it. It will give you a picture of your movement and travels throughout the day. Moves can also sync with many other smart lifestyle apps.


Saga automatically records your real life story, as told by the places you visited and the things you've done. 


IF lets you create powerful connections with one simple statement — if this then that. Activate and connect your Channels — services like Facebook, Dropbox, and Gmail, as well as devices like Nest Thermostat, Fitbit, and Philips Hue — For limitless ways to automate and empower your life.

Class Show and Tell Lifestyle Technologies (see details in Google Doc)






Car2Go Pass
Jawbone Up 24 Bracelet
Google Maps
HomeSticky Notes
Future Ambition Lifestyle Technologies

Technology is changing us. Emerging lifestyle technologies are:

  • Automating
  • Calibrating
  • monitoring

Our life and choices become stats foropitimizationto make the best of our lives.

Future lifestyle technologies should be an extension of our lives. We need to become master of technology rather than slaves to technology.

Cyborgs – Cybernetic Organism

Will real-life human cyborgs be a part of the future human evolution?