We live in an environment surrounded by computers. They are used as a persuasive tool to change people’s thoughts and behaviors. In addition, Ambient Intelligence Environment is also utilized to persuade people in that environment in a stronger and more intelligent manner. Relying on various context sensing and network infrastructure, we are able to know the context a person is situated in and understand the overall information, thereby leading us to intervene and persuade just at the right time and in the right place. However, continuation of these diverse and complex persuasions can cause problems in our daily lives. The intervention and persuasion that the technology brings forth can be annoying as they occur continuously throughout the day, requiring immediate actions to take place repeatedly. Furthermore, these persuasions become bothersome obstacles while the user is working on a task. In order to overcome this problem, we propose a new approach for persuasion, namely, Calm Persuasion that could greatly reduce the cognitive load on the users and at the same time change the users’ behavior and thoughts in a natural manner.
We explore fundamental characteristics of Calm Persuasion in persuasive technology. In order to examine the possibility of Calm Persuasion, we designed a set of prototypes and nervous habits. The prototype was developed with three attributes of Calm Persuasion: 1) continuous & repetitive, 2) unobtrusive and 3) indirect. We have presented the design and user study of our system to change nervous with Calm Persuasion. The prototypes that are used in this research are composed of 4 components: 1) Habit Detector that detects the distance between the hand and the face, counting the number of times the user’s hand comes close to the face without requiring any attention from users, 2) Warmth Cushion that reminds of the occurrence of the problematic behavior by using heat as feedback and it allows keeping it private, 3) History Clock that provides the information of the occurrence frequency of the habit and time through the gentle lights, and 4) Encouragement Calendar that provides social support which is important role of behavior therapy to modify behavior. Those are designed with manner of unobtrusive and indirect. We conducted a user study with 3 people who are experiencing trouble managing their nervous 10 days. The results showed that the users’ habit was getting improved with low burden of attention and cognition. Our study confirms that Calm Persuasion works well in our daily lives. For further research, we plan to conduct an extended period of user studies to discover more effects of Calm Persuasion.