Projects

A simple, low-cost, personal technology can empower people to better understand the world around them and to make informed choices for quality of life.

snapFit (ongoing)

SnapFit is an augmented anklet that monitors swelling in an ankle, a sign of worsening heart condition, to empower patients with heart failure to systematically monitor and reflect on their condition. Since heart failure is the leading cause of hospitalization among people older than 65, personal technology to effectively care for the condition will significantly alleviate the burden on both individual and healthcare sectors. Collaborating with cardiac exercise specialists, I am planning to conduct a longitudinal deployment study to explore perceived and clinical impacts of SnapFit on chronic care of heart failure.

Older adults' technology adoption behavior

Consumer health technologies offer the potential for patient engagement in chronic care. For these technologies to impact chronic care, they need to work for older adults, because the majority of people with chronic conditions are older. A major challenge remains: integrating the appropriate use of such technologies into the lives of older adults. This paper provides a theoretical model that explains the ways in which older adults come to accept emerging technologies, using activity-tracking devices as an exemplar. Triangulating empirical findings with existing theoretical models, we determined that although the overall structure of technology acceptance behaviors is similar in older and younger adults, there are significant differences. We identified a new phase, the intention to learn, and three factors, self-efficacy, conversion readiness, and peer support, which significantly influence older adults adoption of new technologies, but are not represented in the existing models.

  • Kim, S., Gajos, K. Z., Grosz, B., & Muller, M. (2016). Acceptance of Consumer Health Technologies by Older Adults (Under submission)

InAir

Indoor air pollution is arguably one of the most overlooked threats to human health. Contrary to common perception, indoor air quality is often worse than polluted outdoor air due to influx of outdoor pollutants and indoor-generated pollutants. Compounding the problem is that often these pollutants are imperceptible to people. To address and study this problem, I developed inAir, a fixed indoor air-quality sensing unit to measure, visualize, and share indoor air quality across places. While other air quality measurement systems focused on gas sensing, inAir was the first networked system that measured the most hazardous airborne pollutant to health, Particulate Matter.

inAir was deployed across a large number of homes in a series of studies. From an initial 12-week experiment with 5 homes, I showed that visualizations of indoor air quality effectively prompted an increase in awareness of indoor air quality, causing efforts for the improvement. In the next deployment involving 14 homes for 4 weeks, I added a feature to share visualizations of air quality measurements within a social network. This study demonstrated the persuasive power of sharing that promoted collaborative efforts to cope with a problem. In the following 16-week deployment across 6 homes, I proved that changes in behavior led to the significant improvements in indoor air quality with 25% drop of Particulate Matter counts on average over the course of the study.

  • Kim, S., Paulos, E. & Mankoff, J. (2013) inAir: a longitudinal study of indoor air quality measurements and visualizations, In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 2745-2754). ACM
  • Kim, S., & Paulos, E. (2010). InAir: sharing indoor air quality measurements and visualizations. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 1861-1870). ACM.
  • Kim, S., & Paulos, E. (2009). inAir: measuring and visualizing indoor air quality. In Proceedings of the 11th international conference on Ubiquitous computing (pp. 81-84). ACM.

wearAir

Indoor air pollution is arguably one of the most overlooked threats to human health. Contrary to common perception, indoor air quality is often worse than polluted outdoor air due to influx of outdoor pollutants and indoor-generated pollutants. Compounding the problem is that often these pollutants are imperceptible to people. To address and study this problem, I developed inAir, a fixed indoor air-quality sensing unit to measure, visualize, and share indoor air quality across places. While other air quality measurement systems focused on gas sensing, inAir was the first networked system that measured the most hazardous airborne pollutant to health, Particulate Matter.

  • Kim, S., Paulos, E. & Mankoff, J. (2013) inAir: a longitudinal study of indoor air quality measurements and visualizations, In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 2745-2754). ACM

AirTone

AirTone is a proof-of-concept mobile music player that provides users with a sense of air quality through audio signal while listening to music. I implemented a smartphone application that talks to an attached carbon monoxide sensor to measure the current air quality conditions. The concept is that the application superimposes an ambient buzzing sound on the currently playing music when the carbon monoxide reading exceeds a level harmful to human health, in order to raise awareness of air quality.

  • Kim, S., & Paulos, E. (2009). Listening to air quality. In Proceedings of the First international conference on Expressive Interactions for Sustainability and Empowerment (pp. 9-9). British Computer Society.

Buddy Clock

Within a group of peers, it is often useful or interesting to know whether someone in the group has gone to bed or whether they have awakened in the morning. This information, naturally integrated as a peripheral augmentation of an alarm clock, allows people to know whether it is appropriate to make a call or feel more connected with someone living remotely. BuddyClock is the design of an alarm clock, and the evaluation of how it enables users in a small social network to automatically share information about their sleeping behaviors with one another.

  • Kim, S., Paulos, E. & Mankoff, J. (2013) inAir: a longitudinal study of indoor air quality measurements and visualizations, In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 2745-2754). ACM

Creek Watch

The watershed is vital part of environment as well as our lives because it is a habitat for aquatic plants and animals and a source of drinking water. To keep waterways clean and healthy, people have adopted the principle of citizen science, harnessing the power of the public in distributing efforts for monitoring and collecting environmental data.

The proliferation of mobile technology, and smartphones in particular, holds great promise for enhancing citizen science practices, providing a convenient means to capture and share data. However, current projects are still far from fully taking advantage of it. One reason is the discrepancy between the usability and usefulness of a system: a simple system for novices often provides little value to collected data, while scientifically useful data is hard for non-experts to gather. To address this problem, we worked closely with state, local, and volunteer environmental groups, conducting a series of HCI methods, including focus group and contextual inquiry to determine their needs and requirements for lightweight environmental data collection activities [3]. Our ultimate goal was to design a citizen science application that would provide untrained volunteers with a usable interface and scientists with useful data alike. To that end, I implemented Creek Watch, a mobile application and webpage that enabled volunteers to report observation data of nearby waterways in order to aid local water management programs.

  • Kim, S., Paulos, E. & Mankoff, J. (2013) inAir: a longitudinal study of indoor air quality measurements and visualizations, In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 2745-2754). ACM

Sensr

Citizen science like Creek Watch that engages people in collecting data about their worlds is becoming popular in a variety of domains. While some of these efforts have been successful, technical barriers have prevented people from easily making use of sensor-rich mobile technology. As a solution to this problem, I developed SENSR, a web environment that enables people without technical skills to create mobile applications for lightweight data collection activities. It leverages findings from my earlier studies that the process and structure of data collection practices in participatory activities are similar across domains despite their diversity. Using the SENSR website, a user can create a combination of mobile application and website for a data-collection project. Then, the public can join the project through the mobile application for data capture and sharing.

A case study with non-profits validated that SENSR provides an easy way for those organizations to obtain mobile data collection tools. While these findings pointed a promising potential to expand participatory efforts via mobile, it also revealed several real-world issues in using a generalized framework such as difficulties in transforming existing projects to mobile-friendly interfaces. This inspired me to research further the generalizable factors that can make mobile participatory activities successful. I conducted a longitudinal experiment of SENSR with local grassroots organizations to understand how they adopt and appropriate mobile technology for their activities. This experiment revealed the essential factors in creating and managing participatory data collection practices, yielding a theoretical model for mobile participatory sensing activities.

  • Kim, S., Mankoff, J., & Paulos, E. (2015). Exploring Barriers to the Adoption of Mobile Technologies for Volunteer Data Collection Campaigns. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 3117-3126). ACM
  • Kim, S., Mankoff, J., & Paulos, E. (2013). Sensr: evaluating a flexible framework for authoring mobile data-collection tools for citizen science. In Proceedings of the 2013 conference on Computer supported cooperative work (pp. 1453-1462). ACM.

Creative Reuse of e-Waste

E-waste is a generic term embracing various forms of electric and electronic equipment that is loosely discarded, surplus, obsolete, or broken. When e-waste is improperly discarded as trash, there are predictable negative impacts on the environment and human health. Existing e-waste solutions range from designing for reuse to fabricating with eco-friendly decomposable materials to more radical critiques of current practices surrounding capitalism and consumerism. Complementary to theses efforts, this work presents an accessible reuse framework that encourages creativity while maintaining personal ownership of e-waste. We derived a novel reuse composition framework: reuse as-is, remake, and remanufacture designed to be accessible and to have broader impact in encouraging creative reuse across a wide range of e-waste types beyond those specifically used in our study. We believe these frameworks will be a catalyst for the creative reuse of e-waste.

  • Kim, S., & Paulos, E. (2011). Practices in the creative reuse of e-waste . In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 2395-2404). ACM.