Health Craft: A Computational Toolkit for Motivating Health Awareness in Children


Health Craft is a alternative way of thinking about health technologies for children where kids can craft their own personalized visualizations of health through a set of wearable and ambient building blocks. Specifically, the system is comprised of an electronic wearable device that can (a) track a particular health or wellness metric through interchangeable sensors (e.g., UV sensor, accelerometer, button), and (b) relay that information to a set of ambient computationally enhanced blocks.


These blocks abstract the information and present them to the child using a variety of feedback modalities such as light, sound, or movement. Thus, children can create different health visualizations by combining and crafting these blocks in unique highly personalized ways. For example, a child might create an origami windmill using the ambient motor module to reflect time spent playing outside based on data from the UV sensor. As she spends more time outside, the faster the origami windmill spins.

In this constructionist approach to health technology, the emphasis is on personal expressiveness, construction, and health education through craft. A short video of the types of health visualizations that can be crafted with the system can be seen at:

PT Viz: A Wearable Device for Visualizing Knee Rehabilitation Exercises


PT Viz is a wearable sensory display for visualizing knee rehabilitation as part of an in-home physical therapy program. Currently, patients undergoing knee rehabilitation have limited ways of assessing exercise form and extent of movement at home. The wearable electronic prototype helps visualize knee bend through a neoprene sensor and an electroluminescent display. The current design is better suited for patients recovering from surgery as opposed to patients with chronic conditions since surgery patients have greater improvements over a smaller period of time. A video of the device can be seen at:

Designing Mobile Snack Applications for Low Socioeconomic Status Families


The goal of this project was to design a low cost and accessible technological intervention for improving the health habits of low SES families. We conducted ethnographic research through multimedia elicitation interviews (MEIs) to understand the target population’s health behaviors and identified unhealthy snacking as a major issue. We also held participatory design sessions where participants developed their own low-fidelity prototypes and health information visualizations. Based on these results, we developed four culturally sensitive, age appropriate high fidelity (mobile phone) prototypes for improving snacking habits.