Project Boundary is an exploration of indoor proximity sensing beacons that could potentially create a more aware and intelligent workplace. The project uses low energy Bluetooth sensors to deliver well-timed and contextually relevant triggers delivered to the user in order to encourage the adoption of healthy behaviors within the workplace. It hopes to cover new ground in the field of corporate wellness and gamify the interactions of the user with their physical surroundings.
Project Boundary was conceptualized by the IDEA Lab’s Innovator in Residence – Naganand Murty and Nayan Jain – a White House Presidential Innovation Fellow, as an experiment in radically redefining workplace wellness.
Today’s corporate wellness platforms tend to center largely around health portals, and wellness services to enable the employees (users) to adopt and maintain activities that are beneficial to their health. However, many of these programs have not been able to effectively engage employees, and corporate wellness often does not tend to register high on an employee’s radar, when they think about their own health and wellness in the workplace.
Our project is an exploration of the following design intent – how might we better engage users within the bounds of where they are, and what they do over the course of a regular day at work, and get them to do just a little bit more towards benefiting their health.
In order to fulfill this intent, we intend to explore a novel approach to corporate wellness, using proximity sensing to gamify the workplace. We hope to demonstrate how an everyday physical space might be transformed to become something more relevant to addressing the wellness needs of users, by engaging them where they are, as they go about their daily work. We want to re-envision the workplace (in conjunction with the user’s mobile phone) as an intelligent ecosystem that enables the user to maintain and adopt healthy behaviors. We hope to do two things primarily:
Help the user better understand how they navigate through specific physical indoor environments, by providing context-relevant triggers and timely feedback to them
Gamify how the user might navigate the indoor environment by creating a system that might encourage competition, exploration, interpersonal interaction etc., all in the context of workplace wellness
If it helps to think about this project in the context of a behavior change framework, we hope to improve the quality and contextual relevance of triggers (messages delivered at the right time and the right place) to users, who might be already at a certain minimum threshold of ability (they are already up and moving), and motivation (they might be motivated to compete against themselves or against a social peer group).
Established in 2012, the Innovator-in-Residence Program brings new ideas and expertise into HHS programs through collaboration between the Department of Health and Human Services and private sector not-for-profit organizations. To date, the HHS IDEA Lab has partnered with the West Health Institute to take on the issue of health care cost and the Healthcare Information and Management System Society to address the issue of patient matching.