The ‘there’s an app for that’ attitude of the modern, smartphone-wielding person makes it seem like the answer to any problem can be downloaded. And while that may be the case for some situations, the majority of people are overloaded with apps, push notifications and other distractions that have proven more easily ignored than anything else.
Smartphones and now wearables compound that problem, aiming to offer accountability and agency and failing to deliver. The team behind the MOTI smart companion for better habits is looking to change how people approach the things they should be doing for better health and happiness. Instead of creating just another reminder app, they’ve instead created a charming physical device that acts as a small, distinct and actionable environmental trigger, satisfying what the brain needs to form a habit: a trigger (check), a routine (by pressing in MOTIs satisfyingly-designed button) and a reward (R2-D2-style bloops and beeps). Keep it up and it will stay happy. In the case users slack off, though, it can become sad or even mad. Over time, MOTI learns from a user’s setup inputs, personality profile, compliance data and community data to track progress, send different reminders and nudges, and celebrate differently. And while its companion app almost goes against what MOTI, it’s useful to ‘push’ MOTI when away, track daily status, track historical progress and download data. Each MOTI goes for $99 and is expected to ship in August 2017. Its Kickstarter campaign is looking for $50,000 by October 19th, 2016 to see success.
Until now, devices focusing on habits were intended solely for kids or for specific habits, not to mention their wearable form factors contributed to the problems MOTI addresses. Now, something like MOTI is applicable to any sort of habit, adding a layer of versatility and emotion to the process of habit formation that seems promising compared to the competition.