Read David Sedaris's Amusing Experience with Wearable Tech

Aside from reviews on Amazon, it's not often you hear from the user side of wearable tech. Humorist and author David Sedaris, writing for The New Yorker shared his experience "living the Fitbit life" in a series of anecdotes that share some surprising insights into consumer engagement in wearable tech.

It's a look at how wearable tech can influence both health and social habits as Sedaris details his regular journeys collecting garbage around his neighborhood – buoyed in part by his desire to reach Fitbit's step goals. It's also an interesting look into consumer/patient compliance. Studies have shown that wearables have a long-term compliance issue, with many users dropping their device after six months. Sedaris even talks about a few friends who abandoned their Fitbits as soon as the device needed recharging for the first time.

Companies are looking into various strategies to keep users engaged. For Sedaris the slight vibration of the Fitbit once he hit his step goal was enough:

“...because the tingle feels so good, not just as a sensation but also as a mark of accomplishment, I began pacing the airport rather than doing what I normally do, which is sit in the waiting area, wondering which of the many people around me will die first, and of what. I also started taking the stairs instead of the escalator, and avoiding the moving sidewalk.”
 
When a friend asks why he can't settle for a single milestone, Sedaris simply replies, “Because my Fitbit thinks I can do better.”
 
Meeting his Fitbit step goals becomes a gateway into a variety of new experiences – like watching a baby calf being born. And when he discovers that Fitbit awards badges for reaching step goals, Sedaris sees no limit to how far he can go.
 
“At the end of my first sixty-thousand-step day, I staggered home with my flashlight knowing that I’d advance to sixty-five thousand, and that there will be no end to it until my feet snap off at the ankles."
 
Though written with Sedaris's tongue-in-cheek humor, you get the sense that Sedaris' experience is not too far off from the average wearable user.
 
Read the full story over at The New Yorker
 
-Chris Wiltz, Associate Editor, MD+DI
Christopher.Wiltz@ubm.com