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M-ITI @ Ubicomp 2015

07th September 2015

M-ITI researchers Rúben Gouveia, Evan Karapanos and Olga Lyra have been accepted to present at UbiComp 2015 conference in Osaka, Japan, from 7 to 11th of September. 


The 2015 ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing (UbiComp 2015) is the result of a merger of the two most renowned conferences in the field: Pervasive and UbiComp


One of the accepted papers: How Do We Engage With Activity Trackers? A Longitudinal Study of Habito has received an Honorable Mention Award from the conference. 


The Honorable Mention Award is given to a paper that was identified by the Program Committee as being among the top 5% of all submissions to UbiComp 2015.


The work currently being developed by Prof. Evan Karapanos and his team is available at


The papers/posters that will be presented in this conference are the following:

Full paper:

Gouveia, R., Karapanos, E., Hassenzahl, M. (2015)  "How Do We Engage With Activity Trackers? A Longitudinal Study of Habito. In Proceedings of Ubicomp’15.

We report on a 10-month in-the-wild study of the adoption, engagement and discontinuation of an activity tracker called Habito, by a sample of 256 users who installed the tracker on their own volition. We found ‘readiness’ to behavior change to be a strong predictor of adoption (which ranged from 56% to 20%). Among adopters, only a third updated their daily goal, which in turn impacted their physical activity levels. The use of the tracker was dominated by glances – brief, 5-sec sessions where users called the app to check their current activity levels with no further interaction, while users displayed true lack of interest in historical data. Textual feedback proved highly effective in fueling further engagement with the tracker as well as inducing physical activity. We propose three directions for design: designing for different levels of ‘readiness’, designing for multilayered and playful goal setting, and designing for sustained engagement.​ PDF


Ornelas, T., Caraban, A., Gouveia, R., Karapanos, E. (2015) CrowdWalk: Leveraging the Wisdom of the Crowd to Inspire Walking Activities. In adjunct proceedings of Ubicomp’15.

Despite the initial premise of activity trackers, recent work has questioned their long-term efficacy in supporting behavior change. This paper makes two contributions. First, we present a study that inquired into individuals’ ways of incorporating physical activity into their daily routines – and specifically, the “why, how, when and where” of physical activity. Secondly, we present CrowdWalk, a mobile app that leverages the wisdom of the crowd to produce location-based “walking challenges”, and thus attempts to assist behavior change through highlighting opportunities for physical activity. PDF

Ferreira, M.J., Caraban, A., Lyra, O., Belim, V., Karapanos, E. (2015) Why Alone? Sensing Children’s Social Interactions in the Playground. In adjunct proceedings of Ubicomp’15.

Inclusive education, or the idea of ‘one school for all’ has received wide interest in recent years, yet researchers have criticised a lack of empirical evidence on how exclusion is manifested in pupils’ behaviours. This paper presents Proximy, a mobile app that senses children’s social interactions during free play through sampling the Bluetooth signal strength (RSSI) of nearby devices. We present the design of Proximy and our preliminary social network analysis from a 3-week deployment with 137 seven-to-ten year old students. PDF

Workshop Papers:

Gouveia, R., Perreira, F., Caraban, A., Munson, S., Karapanos, E. (2015) You have 5 seconds: Designing Glanceable Feedback for Physical Activity Trackers. In adjunct proceedings of Ubicomp’15.

People engage with activity trackers in short sessions: over 70% are defined by glances – brief, 5-second sessions where individuals check ongoing activity levels with no further interaction. We explore how to best leverage such short sessions to maximize positive impact on behavior. To do so, we explore the design of Glanceable Behavioral Feedback Interfaces, focusing on three directions for design: increasing the frequency of glances, increasing the impact of glances on physical activity, and promoting moments of exploration and learning with activity trackers. PDF

Caraban, A., Ferreira, M. J., Gouveia, R., Karapanos, E. (2015) Social Toothbrush: Fostering Family Nudging around Tooth Brushing Habits. In adjunct proceedings of Ubicomp’15.

The earlier in life an individual adopts healthy practices the more impact those practices have on the long term. In this paper we present Social Toothbrush, a hardware plugin for electric toothbrushes that aims to induce proper tooth brushing behaviors on young children and adults. Social Toothbrush does so by taking advantage of family communication and coordination practices to encourage healthy practices. We first describe the theoretical grounding of our design process, Social Translucence, followed by the design and development of Social Toothbrush. PDF

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