Peak co-founders Dan Makoski and David Khavari stumbled upon a surprisingly powerful idea: a smart lamp that helps people form better habits in small, progressive steps.
How People Use Peak
In addition to being a beautiful lamp, Peak can be used for forming many positive habits, such as:
- Working out, running, and other fitness goals
- Spending quality time with family and friends
- Practicing a musical instrument
- Learning new professional skills
What People Are Saying
What the News is Saying
Developing new habits is challenging. We often resist change, even when it’s good for us. Peak cuts through this resistance in three ways:
- First, it gives good habits a physical place in your environment: a glowing lamp that gently attracts attention.
- Second, Peak interacts with you using brief and encouraging messages that rapidly build motivation.
- Third, Peak deliberately takes your goal and turns it into small daily steps that won’t be overcome by natural resistance.
How Peak Works
- Connect the lamp to your smartphone using the Peak configuration app and you’re ready to set up a habit (shown in video above).
- Touch the lamp and Peak sends you an encouraging text message. It recommends a little step towards a larger goal that you’ve either entered yourself or have chosen at Peak’s suggestion.
- Complete a step, then touch or text Peak and it will record your progress and celebrate with a burst of light.
- Schedule text message reminders so that Peak can help you accomplish tasks anywhere.
We came together after leaving separate Silicon Valley fintech projects, frustrated at the difficulty of trying to help people develop good financial habits in an industry that profits from poor ones.
During a hike in the Santa Cruz redwoods we asked the important question, “Can technology help make people better?”
After months of researching the latest in behavioral design research, exploring with a global team of industrial designers, prototyping with a genius team of hardware engineers, and learning (failing :) iteratively along the way, Peak emerged with power and clarity.
We’re so excited to bring Peak to life with the help of the Kickstarter community, and can’t wait to see it improve lives by a little bit each day.
Environmental Cue — Our moods and actions are influenced by light. Peak doesn’t have to cut through the same noise that say, a smartphone app would (the average smartphone owner uses 26.7 apps per month). In our experience, this creates a captivating signal that is unobtrusive and sustainable.
Conversational Encouragement — Studies have shown that simple verbal encouragement has a measurable impact on physical performance, and we’ve seen the same thing work for personal improvement. Peak uses a casual yet energetic, positive yet simple voice that has an overall tone of encouragement. When possible, Peak ties encouragement to specific actions, to promote a growth mindset. Peak is gently persistent, but strictly avoids annoyance by letting users choose when they want to interact with it.
Messaging Interaction — Why messaging triggered by a physical interaction rather than just a smartphone app? Simply put, it’s more effective. First, taking a physical action has been shown to increase habit followthrough dramatically. Second, messaging is one of the clearest channels (98% open rate vs 20% for email), as well as one of the most effective (45% response rate vs 6% for email).
The Design Process
After discussing the idea with dozens of people and honing it down to a functional product through our own prototyping sessions, we began working with 4 designers from around the world on our first version.
We took the form seriously. We created and considered several dozen versions before we settled on a beautiful and inspiring shape. Believe it or not, in our first prototyping session, we worked with potatoes!
When designing the interactions, we delved into research literature to find the best ways to improve habit adherence, but we also worked with both experts and everyday people to get a feel for what works well in practice.
Delightfully enough, we found light to be an excellent cue for practicing a habit. Alarm clocks are loud and often disturbing, and smartphones are far too busy with push notifications and alerts to cut through the noise without an additional external cue.
Light is subtle, beautiful, and it plays well with our hardwired human biology. It also provides the benefit of working well with a physical object, and physical interactions are profoundly beneficial to habit adherence.
Upon further research, we found that text messaging is the optimal communication channel for adherence, though there will be configuration apps for both iOS and Android upon release.
Perhaps most importantly, we realized that tiny steps are key. Instead of being asked to write up a daunting and massive plan, Peak helps users create habits one step at a time, asking them for the next step when they've mastered their current stage.
Last, but not least, we were fortunate to work with some amazing people during development, including these two inspiring young makers, Quin Etnyre and Cesare Cacitti.
We have three editions available for Peak: Original, Polished Nylon, and Alumide. The special editions of Peak are 3D-printed in the USA and the bottoms are hand-signed by the founding team.
Our goal with Peak is to join modern behavioral science with a natural, usable design. We went through a lot of research literature that substantiates everything from light, to conversation, to the physical nature of the interaction with Peak. Here are a few highlights:
We dream of a world in which technology unlocks human potential. We imagine products of quality empowering people of integrity to change the world for the better.
Join us, and we'll take the first step toward realizing that vision, together.
Risks and challenges
Making hardware is challenging. That's why we've chosen to partner with experienced industrial designers, advisors, and manufacturers who have shipped products at scale in the past.
While we've made all of our delivery estimates conservative, and have contingency plans should any issues arise, there are risk factors:
• Custom PCB iterations exceeding expectations
• Unexpected challenges in the Design for Manufacture (DFM) and Design for Assembly (DFA) part of the process
• Cost and complexity of tooling / injection molding / frosting
• Unexpected challenges in the Design Verification Testing (DVT) or Production Validation Testing (PVT)
• FCC and other regulation approval timelines getting extended
• Mass Production (MP) issues delaying final shipping
We will keep you up to date and will do all in our power to minimize impact on delivery.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)