Good morning!

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Zander Whitehurst

  • 1st Year
  • Studied Fine Art at Oxford.
  • In what ways do locative media practices in the urban environment reveal the utopian and dystopian potentials of ubiquitous computing? – My absolutely riveting thesis question led me to research exciting developments in the field.
  • location devices are a luxury good. I am keen to concoct a location device that can help those less fortunate and looking to develop a donation project.
  • Strava – Strong App for mapping cycling routes

 

I am fed up with luxury GPS wearables. I think there is great potential to source such technology into the lives of those that it could make a gargantuan difference to.

I am very interested in the intersection between fitness and donation, how our personal goals can be extended to others. A new initiative backed by popular guru Deepak Chopra’s philanthropic arm, the Chopra Foundation, marries your wearable fitness tracker to fighting hunger in places where people can’t afford to consume calories and new technologies endlessly. The Weightless Project was launched in late November, and has since partnered with the companies that make the Fitbit, Jawbone, and Basis fitness trackers. The idea is simple: For those who sign up, every 1,000 calories burned translates into a $1 donation to the Weightless Project’s food aid programs of choice. I think there are a few faults and  potentially risks attached to the weightless project; the donation transparency is certainly a key area to improve. Additionally, I think the visual element of fitbit, jawbone and fitness trackers could be applied to such a donation intervention. I think combining fitness with donation is a terrific incentive. I also think a competitive edge could be added to the project to enable cross comparisons with friends and others using similar trackers. The theme of donation through calories is echoed by TOMS. I really believe that instead of a $1 donation per calorie, donations could be a more physical in the form of a running shoe or fitness clothing. Philanthropy for me exceeds any charitable donation.

Another case study is Google’s One Today app. Each day, users will be shown the details of a different non-profit and encouraged to make a $1 donation. It’s a nominal amount, but the company’s hoping people would challenge their friends to match their pledges through social media. The challenging friends aspect of Google’s plan is an area I think has great potential. Donate and Nominate is just flourishing from the embarrassing craze of Neck and Nominate.

I really believe in the innovation of donation. Last term I worked on a project that allowed London Underground users to donate through their credit card.  Having discussed the intervention with the TFL, the oyster card is sadly being replaced by contactless credit cards and phone payments in 2015. With this information  I have decided to update that project and make it acceptable for the above.   The panels can be placed anywhere and are a fantastic opportunity for individuals to easily donate. I am keen to explore, through GPS, the opportunity of syncing donations with an app. Technology is now at the stage to benefit donation.

I am keen for it’s common pence to indicate where and when you have donated with links to how your donation is being spent. Using RFID and NFC tags the platform is there I just need to develop the GPS element. Kickstarter has really revealed the excitement of crowd funding. I am not apposed to the idea of a physical project funding system but I think dinky steps need to be taken in order to execute the plan properly.  I believe my project can increase the velocity of money and thus increase the amount donated. However, this is the main reason why I want to provide the platform for donations to be tracked.

I would additionally enjoy intertwining donation with fitness and health. But it’s how to approach the donation and whether there is  low cost GPS esq technology that could help me execute with impact and simplicity. Very abstract but gallons of potential.

On a side note I am also keen to revolutionise donation through physical challenges. Many train for marathons, triathlons, iron man events and there is no opportunity for them to raise money during such time of visible handwork. I would enjoy developing a wearable donation reader that allows strangers to donate to those training.

1 thought on “Good morning!”

  1. Great job laying out the rationale and pain points for some very unique concepts. You may also want to look at how retailers employ geofencing in addition to, or instead of, GPS, to micro-target customers. For example, via geofencing techniques, a customer may be sent a coupon for a store upon entering it. You may want to co-opt these techniques for your project.

    Your concepts have no obvious class collaborators, but you may want to talk to Billy Dang, who has a general interest in the wearable prototyping process.

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