LOOP: Exploring Physicalization of Activity Tracking Data


  • Conferences: NordiCHI 2021
  • Type: Full paper
  • Goal: Investigate how a physical artifact could facilitate novel interaction with activity data.


Kim Sauvé, Lancaster University
Saskia Bakker, Eindhoven University of Technology
Nicolai Marquadt, University College London
Steven Houben, Lancaster University






Wearables, mobile devices and Internet-of-Things (IoT) sensors are enabling us to monitor our environment, understand our social connections, and track our personal health. However, most of these systems communicate data through information visualizations that are often ‘hidden’ inside devices, such as mobile phones and tablets, requiring users to undertake explicit actions to reveal them. Novel interfaces and devices embedded in people's everyday life have the potential to help users visualize, use, and appropriate their collected personal data. To this end, we designed the physical artifact LOOP, which provides an abstract visualization of the user's activity data by changing its shape. In this paper, we elaborate on the design and present a one-week field study in which LOOP was deployed in the homes of five end-users. We found that the physical presence of LOOP facilitated reflection and the layered visualization supported various personal tracking.