MOTI is based in key insights from behavioral science,
social robotics, and the quantified self movement.
MOTIVATION REQUIRES MORE THAN numbers
Wearables and mobile apps have been around for years, but research shows they aren't actually achieving behavior change. This is because data alone is not enough. Numbers are useful when you're already motivated and just need to track progress, but we need something more to get up and do the behavior in the first place. MOTI goes deeper than data by understanding how humans emotionally connect to technology and what system of interactions, frequencies, and reminders elicits impact.
For more details on the surprising drop-off rate of wearables, see the Endeavor Partners "Inside Wearables" Report.
HABIT LOOP THEORY
In order to effectively develop a habit, our brains require three things: a trigger, a routine, and a reward. But, most habits only exhibit delayed gratification. MOTI provides an immediate reward in the form of lights, sounds, and haptics to provide that jolt of delight. Plus, as a physical object, MOTI becomes what is known as an "environmental cue" - an especially important form of trigger. Another benefit of utilizing this overarching model is that MOTI can be used for any habit your desire.
Read more about habit loop theory through Charles Duhigg's The Power of Habit.
CELEBRATING & TRACKING SMALL WINS
It takes time to form a habit, so it's vital to break down a large goal into smaller steps. Behavioral scientists calling this "celebrating small wins," and it is a key part of the MOTI experience. Through MOTI's push-button, users stop and take a moment to externally acknowledge their step rather being stuck in their own heads. And unlike other solutions that only reward meeting the full goal, MOTI celebrates any progress trending upwards. Additionally, it's also important for you to know your current progress at any given time. Tracking helps keep you accountable, and MOTI makes it effortless to see your status either physically on the device or through the accompanying app.
Another reason we tend to drop off with apps or wearables is that they show us the same response over and over again, whether it's a checklist, dotted lights, or a quick buzz on your wrist. It is scientifically (and anecdotally) proven that we require variety to stay engaged, so why don't these interactions change over time? Instead, MOTI uses the principle of variable rewards to keep users engaged in the long run it takes to form a habit. MOTI's interactions vary in both predictable and unpredictable ways and evolve over time to keep users wanting more.
Read more on variable rewards through Nir Eyal's article on what hooks users.
PHYSICAL & ANTHROPOMORPHIZED ENTITIES
The human brain is remarkable in its ability to abstract shapes and forms into human-like features. Even if something isn't technically alive but has a face, a familiar form, or personality, we interact with it similar to another human being. That's why studies have shown people to behave better in scenarios where the environment has been posted with paper eyes. Studies also show we engage more with physical entities than digital ones. MOTI utilizes these insights by moving beyond the two dimensional realm of the mobile phone. MOTI's physicality, personality, and semi-anthropomorphization means users relate to him more as a companion or friend rather than a device. MOTI becomes something you can feel accountable to and empathize with - the emotional requirements of habit formation.
Learn more from Dr. Brian Scassellati's research paper The Benefits of Interactions with Physically Present Robots over Video-Displayed Agents or Scientific American's article of the effect of eyes in our environments.