Good Move at #qsams 5


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Presentation for the Quantified Self Amsterdam meetup at May 21, 2012. Covers the making process of our app, Good Move, and some experiences using Nest outside the US.

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Good Move at #qsams 5

  1. 1. @tacoe Taco Ekkel / Quantified Self Amsterdam meetup / May 21, 20122 related topics + discussion starter
  2. 2. 2010 sensors + data + ideas = possibilities! desire to do something meaningful with technologyThe makers, ‘possibilities’ are like crack cocaine mixed with kittens and baconmeaningful as in ‘planet’, ‘not the 100000th solomo app’
  3. 3. Good Move teamhans pinckaers niels bartels taco ekkeliOS development energy expertise design, algorithms use smartphones to track mobility- related carbon emissions
  4. 4. A high bar • No user input required at all • No noticable impact on battery life • No dependences on external web services • Approachable, friendly, fun • Create/influence actual behavioral changeNo user input = ‘fully ambient’, to stay in QS lingoNo external services (to pre-empt privacy concerns)
  5. 5. Ambient = hard • Need lots of sensor data to make sense of complex reality • Measured and preprocessed in the background • Advanced continuous signal analysis on noisy, gapped data • Adaptive, continuous classification system1 - Storage becomes a problem... Core Data + background processing = sad developers2 - Not possible for accelerometer data before iOS 5: project on hold for over a year3 - energy calculation & periodicity detection in noisy, non-stationary, gapped data4 - Much harder when you only have tiny pieces of the puzzle to save battery. We refer to this as the ‘sherlock holmes problem’.Note that all the tech stuff set us back over a year!
  6. 6. Early tests show the amount of sherlock holmes-ing that has to be done. One might call this “Occam’s Razor Optimal”But: we got it working!
  7. 7. One Percent Design IdeationFeb 2010 / TE this is the serious version - limited in fun and game elements 810 green credits New Personal Challenge 40 more to level up 190 more to get trees planted in your name Bike 20 km in the coming 7 days + 622 622 Clean 0 Accept! dirty points 622 Level up: Bike Monster Recent Niels Bartels is going to bike to compensate his pollution this week. today +20 green creds 5 km on bike, to Amsterdam + 622 today +12 dirty points 45 km by car, to Rotterdam Neutralize 622 kg CO2 for € 2,19 0 622 Level up: Bike Monster Challenges + 50 Purchase! In progress: Bike Meister against Suzanne V 622 0 Niels B challenges you: Zero Tolerance Week Big Spender Badge Trips Friends Challenges Stats Settings Trips Friends Challenges Stats Settings if you keep getting dirty points and no green credits, the screen becomes smoggy... your mobility - day to day replay your history mon tue wed thu fri sat sun 53 340 calories burned 190 kg CO2 saved 40 more to level up 410 green credits 190 more to get trees planted in your name 370 dirty points 210 kg CO2 generated 1802 convert to green points Clean last months mobility report Recent you friends everyone today +20 green creds 5 km on bike, to Amsterdam 950 1150 633 today +12 dirty points 45 km by car, to Rotterdam km km km Challenges In progress: Bike Meister against Suzanne V Niels B challenges you: Zero Tolerance Week Trips Friends Challenges Stats Settings Trips Friends Challenges Stats Settings Trips Friends Challenges Stats Settings early concepts for UIs: very “quantified self meets influencing”. Graphs, challenges, emotional influencing, etc.
  8. 8. get traction on essence no traction, no dicebut we realized, having learned from Steven Blank (best expressed in Ries’s lean startup), we need to start with the essence (minimum viable product) and get traction on that first. So wepruned the app until we arrived at the essence.
  9. 9. MVP: approachable essence
  10. 10. Demo video
  11. 11. Demo video part deuxnote we also introduced lightmark benchmarking elements to anchor the, otherwise meaningless, numbers
  12. 12. On to the App Store!
  13. 13. Rejected2.16: Multitasking apps may only usebackground services for their intendedpurposes: VoIP, audio playback, location, taskcompletion, local notifications, etc.
  14. 14. Must be an innocent misunderstanding!Thanks for reviewing Good Move and for providing feedback. It seems that the purpose of the app is notfully clear to you, which would explain the feedback youve provided us. What follows is additionalinformation and a question to you.Good Move is a "smart meter for carbon". There are numerous apps out there that help you track yourcarbon emission, but Good Move is of a new class altogether: it measures carbon emission without any userinput -- which is considered an innovative and important step within the nascent industry of self-tracking.Where previously, users had to tediously type in their trip details by hand, Good Move detects those detailsautomatically. This is a key understanding to both technology and design choices.First, it helps explain why the app needs location information and some background work (Re your "2.16").The app has advanced algorithms that combine information from two sources. First, the accelerometer,whose information is analyzed for energy and periodicity. This helps the app recognize activities likebicycling and walking. This activity can only happen in the background, since forcing users to keep open theapp during all their travel would make for a useless user experience. As such, it satisfies the intended useclause of 2.16. Morgan Grainger of Apples developer support has been assisting us and a number of othersthat needed background acceleration information to make this possible (one of the reasons that thisrejection surprised us).The second source of information is Location Services. We only use actual GPS where strictly necessary -relying on significant location changes to tell us the devices owner is on the move, without having to pollfor it. Even as the user travels, to save energy, only short bursts of GPS are used with long pauses inbetween,relying on our algorithms to connect the dots. The location information is used to, every know and then, geta users land speed, to overlay known positions on railway map data, and to calculate distances.Both of these information sources are absolutely necessary for the smart meter to function. In addition tothat, as we hope this explanation has made clear, weve invested significant development effort to minimize
  15. 15. Rejected2.16: Multitasking apps may only usebackground services for their intendedpurposes: VoIP, audio playback, location, taskcompletion, local notifications, etc.
  16. 16. we were not happy
  17. 17. app reviews are not intelligent work. It’s mostly semi-automated checking off of checkboxes without time investment to understand an app.
  18. 18. good thing this exists, since about year and a half.
  19. 19. succes! (everyone, start your downloads)
  20. 20. Where we are now ✓ No user input required at all (fully ambient) ✓ No noticable impact on battery life ✓ No dependance on web services, to pre-empt privacy concerns ✓ Approachable, friendly, fun x Create/influence behavioral changeHow can we tell we didn’t reach #5 yet? Well before you enact change, you need interest first. And we didn’t get a lot of that outside those “in the carbon emission industry”
  21. 21. Most people’s thoughts on carbon emissions
  22. 22. - Steven BlankOur problem: we think carbon emissions are a problem, but when push comes to shove, most people don’t feel this (enough) as their problem, or feel too little agency in being able tochange it. This is an existential threat to what we’re doing!
  23. 23. How Apps Die, In Three Easy Steps * 1. “Hey, that’s kinda cool” 2. Download, install, use once (maybe twice) 3. Totally forget all about it * or, more precisely: never become a lasting businessSo, this happens. This pattern applies to many QS apps - in fact, to most ‘cool gizmos’ apps.This is not necessarily bad: Many pay-once iOS apps work this way. But it’s not a good way to build lasting change.
  24. 24. your mobility - day to day ONE PERCENT mon tue wed thu fri sat sun replay your history 340 calories burned 190 kg CO2 saved 410 green credits 370 pollution points 210 kg CO2 generated everyone can make a difference this months mobility report you office company 950 1150 633 km km km Leaderboard Stats History 3 Leaderboard Stats History Everyone gets a dashboard with Your smartphone ambiently readings on how theyre doing — 1 senses mobility information, and how well their office or without needing any help or department is stacking up. For the interaction -- and without curious, there are beautiful draining the battery. visualizations of mobility over time. Advanced algorithms in a 2 cloud-based data center 4 Your management gets the process sensor full picture on consumption information to determine and savings per office and trip distances, trip type department. Compare with (car, bike, etc) and CO2 other organizations to get a generation. benchmark. • B2B: provide corporations with insight in fleet carbon emissions • Offset carbon button (in-app purchase) Get your one percent change (or more!) 5 and carry the WWF One Percent seal on your public site and marketing! 1% • Micro carbon trading platform • Health: iPhone-based ‘fitbit’Pivots & Models considered
  25. 25. And now for some unrelated Quantified Self early adopter geekery
  26. 26. Nest! The learning thermostat. Only sold and supported in the US right now
  27. 27. use solid, not stranded, wire - Nest’s clips won’t detect the presence of stranded wires
  28. 28. Success!
  29. 29. mention US zip + Arment’s pulsing boiler
  30. 30. this is now like the 20th device in my house to apply software updates to itself over its own network connection. Sounds like a nuisance (sometimes is) but it’s fantastic: new functionalitywithout needing new hardware -- saves tons of waste.
  31. 31. Laws Of Quantified Self Success • Commercial effort at scale, aimed at making $$$ Submit to the rigor of the market. Start/search lean, but play for keeps. • Solve a problem most people actually want solved... Like saving money or early detection of diseases. • an easy way e.g. Nest, Good Move. • Target non-geeks Doesn’t mean Quantified Self geeks aren’t the early adopters. • Tell a story that stays interesting Meaning the numbers keep changing, never completely settling into predictability.To illustrate how hard it is to stay interesting: I know people that have stopped using Nike+ and Runkeeper because they usually run the same courses.If you do not adher to all five of these, you will fail (if you haven’t already). Even if you do, no guarantee for success. Elucidate discussion.