Changing behaviour through everyday things: toasters and talking shoes

– By Jessica Vu 

Brad the toaster

Addicted Products’ Simone Rebaudengo has come up with an idea to help toasters be utilised more efficiently by hosts. Introducing Brad the Toaster – much like a human – needs attention, feels jealousy, happiness and sadness and is able to send Tweets. Brad is part of a sharing service of connected and smart toasters. If he is neglected, he is taken to a new home in search of an owner that will love and use him more.

Rebaudengo explores the world of addiction, trying to turn them into positive outcomes. Addicted Products uses behaviour changing design to encourage consumers to buy things that they will actually get use from by giving products a personality.

Google talking shoes

Google and Adidas team up to also explore consumer behaviour by giving a pair of sneakers a personality – a voice to be precise. The shoes are able to ‘speak’ to the wearer and encourage physical movement by motivating them to “put me back on” and “get moving”, however they are just for show and not for sale.

Connecting to the user’s smart phone, a big part of today’s everyday life, the shoes are able to post positive reinforcement to your Twitter or Facebook, showing all your friends what you have achieved.

Giving objects a personality is a powerful idea, as it conjures feelings that may otherwise not have been felt towards a toaster of a pair or sneakers. People resonate with living things, making it easier to care for something with a voice, or seemingly able to feel emotion.