The Yay! Scale doesn't have any numbers, but rather words like "hot," "ravishing," and "cute" that are meant to make you feel good about yourself. Over at IFTF's The Future Now, my colleague Jason Tester weighs (ahem) the benefits of such a device. From Future Now:
What if devices could return quantitative measurements as qualitative and personalized results? Continuing with the example of weight, is it more motivating to see just a number (178 lbs) or a number with feedback (178 lbs::You've gained a little) or no number and just motivation (OK, so you've put on a bit since last time...) The new crop of smart scales (see here or here or here) all chart your progress, and some will automatically send your weight to doctors or contacts of your choosing; I wonder if any of them also focus on explicit motivational messaging."Manamana as persuasive technology"
But is there any potential value in a technology that delivers non-stop good vibrations, not at all reflective of our actual behaviors? Could a technological placebo-cum-fortune-cookie work just as well?
David Pescovitz is Boing Boing's co-editor/managing partner. He's also a research director at Institute for the Future. On Instagram, he's @pesco.