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Being John Malkovich - Future of research with wearable tech - Sydney Design 2014


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Through a pair of Google Glass, or a Narrative Clip camera clipped on their shirt, or a GoPro mounted on their bike helmet, we can explore and collect an infinite amount of qualitative data from our target audience and the people we design for.

Wearable technologies have a profound impact on the way we conduct ethnographic research. But how will it disrupt our research workflow? What are the effects on the researcher and their subject? How do we distill the data and gain valuable insights?

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Being John Malkovich - Future of research with wearable tech - Sydney Design 2014

  1. 1. Welcome to ‘Being John Malkovich - the future of research with wearable technology’. This is a workshop is part of Sydney Design 2014.
  2. 2. We come from an independent consulting company called the Ripple Effect Group. We’re specialised in helping company communicate and collaborate effectively using technology.
  3. 3. We share a common interest in understanding human behaviours and new technology trends, such as wearable tech. Anthropology User Experience a Wearable tech We would like you to leave the workshop with some interesting take aways around the value of research, and how to use emerging technology such as wearables to conduct research effectively and creatively.
  4. 4. Research = Quantitative + Qualitative
  5. 5. You may reach different conclusions from analysing this infographic on the Average American diet…
  6. 6. …than you would by drawing insights by looking at these fridges. Source: Mark Menjivar’s ‘You Are What You Eat’ photography project
  7. 7. Activity 1: Match the fridge with its owner College Students| Waco, TX | 3-Person Household | Drummer for death metal band. Retired Emergency Room Nurse | DeBary, Florida | 1-Person Household | Saved the life of next door neighbor during medical emergency. Competitive Food Eaters | New York, New York | 3-Person Household | Holds records for eating most burritos, cannolis, buffet food, green beans, sushi, pancakes, ramen noodles, tamales, tiramisu and sweet corn. Midwife/Middle School Science Teacher | San Antonio, TX | 3-Person Household (including dog) | First week after deciding to eat all local produce.
  8. 8. Would a fridge in Texas look different to one in New York? ! How do the economic trends of a city influence the fridges of individual families? ! Which day of the week was the photo taken? ! Can I tell who owns the fridge from the way they organise the shelves?
  9. 9. Challenge assumptions
  10. 10. Develop empathy
  11. 11. Spark insights
  12. 12. Anthropology User Experience a Wearable tech
  13. 13. + + biosensor Wearable(s) noun: easy to wear computing hardware designed to respond to our environment
  14. 14. Not a new concept An abacus ring, made in China during the 17th century Source: Abacus Ring image
  15. 15. Emotiv headband Dash Smart In-Ear Headphones Google Glass Narrative Clip Smart watch Google contact lens NFC ring FitBit Flex Lecha shoes Omsignal Current state For more information, take a look at ZDNet’s ‘History of Wearable Tech:
  16. 16. Healthcare Fitness Where else do you think are emerging areas as application of wearable tech?
  17. 17. Wearables allow us to layer quantitative data with qualitative data to develop insights.
  18. 18. "Fitbit is missing when you got married or bought a car. That context is missing and these events have such a huge impact on your activity." Nicholas Felton, Co-founder Reporter App & Daytum
  19. 19. Grandma’s diary in 1942 When Kitty Ireland stumbled upon her grandmother’s diaries and started to explore the daily entries, she was struck by similarities with her own life and habits. Reading the diaries, Kitty saw that her grandmother used her daily entries as logs – tracking the details of where she went, what she ate, even the boys she kissed. She transcribed her diary and tracked the name of the boys grandma mentioned in her diary in this graph below… Lifelogging is not new…. …but technology makes it easier. Source:
  20. 20. Feltron’s Annual Reports For more on Nicholas Felton’s life logging reports visit
  21. 21. Activity 2: Design a wearable tech to help you research one of the following subject Olympic diver Foreign correspondent in Iran Sex worker in Sydney Parkinson’s disease sufferer
  22. 22. What data will your wearable device collect? Where is it worn? Why does it fit your research subject?
  23. 23. Winning team
  24. 24. FUTURE How will you use wearable tech to conduct research effectively and creatively?
  25. 25. Thank you Jess Erhart Digital Consultant @JErhart Nhung Nguyen User Experience Designer @nhungphnguyen