One Line Pitch
A sensor that can tell you when you are hungry or dehydrated, and other basic human needs
When I get into “The Zone” while I am working on a project I tend to forget all my body’s basic needs for survival. Sometimes I can go 16 hours without getting out of my chair, no food, no water, no bathroom breaks. When something jossles me out of my “zone” and I peek my head back into reality the wave of body needs will overwhelm me.
The hangover from a long session like this can last 2 or 3 days of significantly reduced productivity. Long sessions are never a net gain as any gains from the focus times are paid back double in the hangover. Shorter 4 hour sessions seem to be ideal.
I have come up with ways to help me get into and jostle me out of these states.
One of the easiest ways that I can get into this state is to listen to the same album over and over again. For me this is Daft Punk Discovery with a few songs removed (Aerodynamic, Short circuit) The bells at the start of Aerodynamic always pull me out.
Having a water bottle at my desk within my view, and drinking water when I am not thirsty helps force me to go to the bathroom that gives me a break. The break helps me realize that I am hungry, or and acknowledge how many hours I’ve been working.
I have also found that the Pomodoro Technique helps too. A bell that rings every 25 mins for focus time, and 5 mins for a break to look out the window.
Endless fucking meetings that happen thoughtout the day, prevents the zone from ever happening.
What I would like to make is a device that can connect to a smart watch. Its job is to detect when you are hungry, dehydrated, haven’t moved in x amount of hours, need sleep, need to use the washroom and give you a notification that your body needs something.
I could see this device also being used in factory, warehouse settings, (think amazon warehouse). The 15 mins break every few hours never really made sense to me. (I have never worked in a warehouse, I am not sure how these things work). What if you didn’t need a break or what if you needed a break in the middle of a work session. If you could loadshift the breaks throughout the work day instead of all at once. You would need less resources (bathrooms, lunch room tables). With a device like this you could identify the needs of your workforce and appropriately schedule them for the individual instead of forcing a schedule on everyone universally. This could also be a [Orwellian] fever dream of the Sinister Surveillance
I could also see it being useful for people who forget to eat. A gentle reminder that there body needs nourishment to continue to function.
I think the fitbit can tell if you haven’t moved in a long time and reminds you to get up and walk around. You could also set up a series of schedules to remind you to maintain the body, but I have found them to be inaccurate.
At least one person, there are probably others that would benefit from this kind of device.