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Persuasive Technology: Using Computers to Change What We Think and Do

Chapter 8: Increasing Persuasion through Mobility and Connectivity

Intervening at the Right Time and Place

As noted in the discussion of suggestion technology in Chapter 3, when it comes to influencing attitudes and behaviors, timing and context are critical. New computing capabilities, most notably networking and mobile technologies, create additional potential for persuading people at the optimal time and place. For example, networked and mobile technology could allow commercial offers to be made at the moment people have a need and can act on the offers, or safe driving could be promoted while the driver is on the road, as part of an in-car system.

Networking and mobile technologies create new potential to persuade at the right time and place.

Intervening at the right time and place via networked, mobile technology increases the chances of getting results. As you read the following hypothetical examples of Study Buddy and HydroTech, think about how connectivity and mobility enhance the products ability to motivate and persuade.

The Study Buddy

Someday in the future, a first-year student named Pamela sits in a college library and removes an electronic device from her purse. It s just smaller than a deck of cards, easily carried around, and serves as Pamela s mobile phone, information portal, entertainment platform, and personal organizer. She takes this device almost everywhere and feels a bit lost without it. Because she s serious about school, Pamela runs an application on her device called Study Buddy.

Here s what the application does: As Pamela begins her evening study session, she...


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