Experience: Barriers and Opportunities of Wearables for Eating Research

Mahdi Pedram, Glenn Fernandes, Christopher Romano, Boyang Wei, Sougata Sen, Josiah Hester, Nabil Alshurafa

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Wearable devices have long held the potential to provide real-time objective measures of behavior. However, due to challenges in real-world deployment, these systems are rarely tested rigorously in free-living settings. To reduce this challenge for future researchers, in this paper, we describe our experience developing several generations of a multi-sensor, neck-worn eating-detection system that has been tested with 130 participants across multiple studies in both laboratory and free-living settings. We describe the challenges faced in the development and deployment of the system by (1) presenting example deployment details captured either by the sensing system or the ground truth collector and (2) using structured interviews and surveys with developers and stakeholders of the system, collecting qualitative data on their experience. We performed thematic analysis and provided detailed lessons learned explaining factors that impact the experience of building and deploying such a wearable in a free-living setting, reducing challenges for future researchers. We believe that our experience will help future researchers develop successful mobile health (mHealth) systems that translate into reliable free-living deployments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCHI 2023 - Extended Abstracts of the 2023 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
ISBN (Electronic)9781450394222
StatePublished - Apr 19 2023
Event2023 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2023 - Hamburg, Germany
Duration: Apr 23 2023Apr 28 2023

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings


Conference2023 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2023


  • Case study
  • eating detection
  • wearable sensors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Software


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