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  • Context Aware Wearables

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Context-Aware Wearables: The last thing we need is a pandemic of stray cats

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We present Connected Companion (CoCo), a health tracking wearable that provides users with timely, context-relevant notifications aimed at improving wellness. Traditionally, self-tracking wearables report basic health data such as resting heart rate; these data are visualised and positive behaviours (e.g. exercising often) are encouraged with rudimentary gamification (e.g. award badges) and notification systems. CoCo is the first wearable to combine caffeine, alcohol and cortisol sensors, a context network (which predicts user context), and a wellness model (which establishes per-user wellness measures). Working in tandem these provide users with notifications that encourage discrete behaviours intended to optimise user-wellness per very specific biological and social contexts. The paper describes the (sometimes unexpected) results of a user-study intended to evaluate CoCo’s efficacy and we conclude with a discussion about the power and responsibility that comes with attempts to build context-aware computing systems.