Final Project Video: Anda Breath Bracelet Prototype (Final DIY Health)
DIY health challenged us to develop a new and inventive way to track our own health. I have always been interested in breath and its function in exercise, relaxation, focus, stress reduction and desease being a long distance runner and musician. Over the course of the semester I monitored my breath during exercise and random parts of the day. I built a bracelet with Arduino containing a circuit with a 555 timer attached to an LED. The LED had two separate settings: active and passive which blinked at the desired breath rate of each state. I used the blinking light and sync my breath to the desired rate.
The goal was to improve my awareness of my breath; to sync my breath with a healthy breath rate in either an active or passive state. During the process, I became more aware of my breath my noticed an improvement in my endurance during exercise. I become more stress free and focused during my daily activities.
In the designing the functionality and features of the bracelet I researched breath in exercise, relaxation, and meditation. My final project for DIY is a video for my breath monitoring bracelet prototype. The prototype was designed using principles of first and second order feedback loops in cybernetics and the BJ Fogg behavioral grid/methodologies.
Special thanks to Alexander Christenson who lead the editing, Doug Kantor who helped filmed, Phil Groman who did the voice over, Steve Dean who pushed the designs, and the entire DIY Class….
Here is a rough outline of how my final project video will be broken down.
Imagine a system that uses exercise to create music.
The goal of this system is to increase the enjoyment of exercise by connecting it to the act of creating music. Your exercise routine becomes an instrument. The data your body generates as you are exercising – heart rate, pedometer readings, sugar levels, sound recorded from the environment you are exercising in – is combined with a bit of randomness, musical sense, and generative algorithms to create a unique piece of music with each workout. Another way to think about it the system is that there is an improv band that plays music inspired by the inspiration of the data.
By creating this connection between the two activities of exercise and creating music, the idea is that your motivation to exercise will increase. In terms of the Fogg behavior model, we are hoping to move you from the Blue Dot (exercising one time) to the Purple Path (increasing exercise over time).
Reversing the Role of Music in Exercise
Usually when considering exercise and music, we think of runners who have their music players on as they run, playing tracks that keep them motivated (or distracted enough to forget that they are exercising). We are turning that around. Instead of the music influencing you, you are influencing the music.
How It Works
Here is a second order feedback loop that describes how the system works.
The process of creating generative music based on data collected during exercise is inspired by systems such as WolframTones. (Another alternative is algorithmic music composition) Real-time analysis of heart rate data, pedometer data, and other historical health data can be translated into the inputs – genre, tempo, duration, musical scale, instruments, and cellular automata rules – of a generative music system such as WolframTones. It would also include sound recordings of environment you exercise in which can be sampled and mixed into the music. If you had a great run through a park, you may hear bird calls as part of your music.
Exercise Logs Redefined
The mix that you create with each workout will be a fun and unique way of keeping an exercise log. You can hear what types of music you’ve created and how they change over time as you exercise more frequently, in different environments, and at varying intensities. Perhaps some of the songs you have created will even be good enough to put on your regular music playlist. Your creations will serve as triggers to remind you that you could be exercising (and creating) more.
Making It Social
Finally, this system would much more effective if a sharing mechanism was built in. You can share the “exercise music” you’ve created with your friends. You can hear their “exercise songs” and ask how he exercised in order to create it. You can form groups and turn your group’s exercise logs into a music station. A DJ could recommend songs that were created by users and, more importantly, the types of exercise that inspired their creations. Each time you encounter this ecosystem, you will be triggered to exercise. Ultimately, the goal is for awareness of and motivation to exercise to reach new levels.
Imagine that your exercise routine is a musical improv band – you jam with it. As you exercise, the band plays improvised music on the fly by reacting to the signals it receives from your exercise data. You react back, varying how you are exercising based on what you hear from the band and how you feel. The flow between you and the band causes you to lose track of time and enjoy exercise in a new way. At the end of the workout, you have a unique piece of music to share with and inspire your friends. You can’t wait to see what the next workout will bring.
I’d love suggestions around naming the concept and the types of shots or scenes in the video that would be effective in communicating the idea. I also haven’t decided whether you can listen to the music as your a exercising and it’s being generated or it will be created as you are exercising (to be accessed and shared after your workout). It could be both, but that may make it confusing to explain.
This is a link for the journey map ” Breath Warmer “
I found an insightful read into the nature of humor, and I’d love any feedback on my progress. Check it out on my blog (which is on the world wide web). Thanks DIYers!