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.”
“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."