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Experience Sampling Experiences. Building and Using PACO, a Mobile Research Platform

January 19, 2012

Bob Evans
Technical Lead Software Engineer, Engineering Productivity Special Projects Team, Google, Inc.

About the Presentation: Bob Evans and his group at Google have been developing a mobile framework to enable better understanding of human experience. This framework, PACO, was designed to enable the use of the Experiential Sampling Methodology of Csikszentmihalyi on mobile phones and to enable users to collect and control their own data. It allows non-programmers to easily, and safely, create, deploy and conduct mobile studies on Android phones (and someday iOS phones) for themselves or a population. Recently, it has even added simple mechanisms for creating custom feedback and data driven interventions, though these are in need of real-world intervention studies to assess feasibility and drive future development. This talk shares his group’s experiences developing a mobile research platform and using it to conduct numerous studies ranging from engineering productivity and employee wellness programs to personal allergy management, mood tracking, and eating behavior change. It also highlights some important issues to consider in mobile research as well as some open questions and future directions for the technology.

About the Presenter: Bob Evans’ goal is to build computational tools that augment human intelligence. He has focused on building tools for intelligently managing computer network systems, aiding software construction, and analyzing correctness of programs as they evolve. At Google, he has created PACO, the personal analytics companion tool, now opensource, that enables individuals and researchers to easily and rapidly create, deploy and iterate on mobile phone experiments without programming.