We all know that bad habits are all too easy to form and mind-shatteringly hard to break. Good ones – getting to the gym regularly; eating healthy breakfasts; getting to bed at a decent hour – aside from being boring, are annoyingly far harder to maintain than dodgy ones. Until *drumroll* now.
Many test subjects instinctively refer to their MOTI as 'he' or 'she'
Meet MOTI, a new 'smart' gadget designed to subtly reinforce and reward habitual behaviours such as drinking more water, or running every day with the aim of helping you to break bad habits.
You tap your MOTI to log how your habit's progressing, and the wee fella patiently tracks your progress, blinking and blooping admiringly when you're doing well, buzzing annoyingly when you're slacking off.
The MOTI may be about as simple-looking as 'robots' get, but test subjects have nonetheless found themselves getting weirdly attached to it, with many instinctively referring to their MOTI as "he" or "she".
It's this bonding process that makes the MOTI a more effective tool for changing lifestyle habits than apps or fitness trackers, reckons the loveable gadget's inventor, Kayla Matheus. "When you look at the research on wearables, there's a huge drop-off rate," he says. "Data alone isn't enough. We're human beings, we need more than that."
Matheus claims that MOTI's physical presence – the fact that it's always sat there on your desk, an object you repeatedly see throughout the day – is a key factor in what makes it such an effective behaviour-modifier. "It's like a symbolic manifestation of your goal that also happens to be cute," says Matheus.
Of course, you could always just scrawl "GO 4 A RUN DICKHEAD" on a Post-It and stick it on the fridge, but that's not half as futuristic or fun, now is it.