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….
Phase 2: Journey Map (Final project DIY)
Mission: Breath is all around us. The one commonality among all humans is are ability to breath without effort by using our autonomic nervous system. Breath is automatic, this intrinsically pulls our attention away from it. But what if we had total breath awareness? What if we had a device that gave us visual feedback through out our day to tell us weather our breath was healthy or not? What if we had this during stressful situations, workouts, situations where would need to focus?
In my project, I am interested in the duality of the communication between breath and self-health. Breath has a bi-relational impact on exercise, stress, and disease—by that I mean… breath affectsà exercise efficiency, stress levels, and disease. And stress levels, exercise efficiency and disease affectà breath. If we were able to constantly monitor our breath pattern and rate by getting simplistic feedback we could control these parameters of our lives better and be healthier.
Diagram of duality:
The other piece of the project is to give the user the top-level goal of increasing your breath awareness. If you had a device that gave you constant breath feedback you would have no choice to continually see if your breath pattern and rate was in unhealthy. You could monitor your stress levels, your resting rates during exercise, increase your focus, and visualize if you are beginning to get sick in real time.
The Device: My device will consist of two components a small sensor, which is placed on the upper chest and a feedback bracelet. The two components will be connected to each other via Bluetooth. There will be two measurements collected by the chest sensor– breath rate and breath pattern. Inside the chest piece will be the following:
-Flex/Stethoscope sensor: There is a medical device it calculates the measures rise and fall of the chest as well as the auditory patterns of your breath, which are converted, into sound waves.
-RF Transmitter: that automatically sends sensor data to bracelet.
-Bluetooth communication device: that automatically syncs with your sensor affixed on the chest; as data comes in from the sensor it is retrieved by a…
-RF receiver: This receives and analyzes data give by the chest sensor to tell the bracelet the breath pattern and rate readings given the preset parameters.
-L wire: The final components are three L-wires inside of the bracelet that are lit in different colors depending on the data coming from the sensor via the RF receiver.
Other forms of feedback: There will be vocal cues and visualization of breath feedback available on your smart phones, tablets, and iPods. The device with also sync with your computer to give you feedback on your breath health over time. This would be a key feature in detecting illness and stress in long temporal patterns.
Diagram of system:
I decided make 4 parameters for the breath bracelet. In my research of breath rate and pattern I found that the readings are contingent on two states: whether the person is in a passive or active state. The other two parameters of importance are if the breath is stable or unstable. I decided to go with two values as that in between readings of stablizations are confusing.
Steve mentioned that the design should be optimal and incorporate a visual representation of the desired state and current state. The easiest way to incorporate that in the design is to give the person a binary representation of their states. If the red light is activated they have a unhealthy breath rate. If the blue light is activated their state is stable. There will also be a feature that lights the bracelet as you breath which give the user direct feed back on their inhalation and exhalation. The other lights represent the Active or Passive mode. The person will be able to hold down that light and the breath light senor will show the user a correct breath rate for the active state. Here is a description of each feedback:
Active State: This parameter is activated when the user is exercising or is in an active mode of any kind. The reason to map state change is because a healthy breath rate and pattern when someone is under differs from that of a person in a passive state.
Passive State: This parameter is activated when the user is resting, sleeping, or inactive.
Unstable Breath Meter: When breath is unstable the lights will be lit red.
Stable Breath Meter: When the breath is stable the lights will be lit blue.
2 extra features of the Breath Bracelet:
1. Constant Breath visualization Feature: The line of lights will move up and down to your breath rate. So as you breath you are aware of the actual inhalation and exhalation. This allows you to monitor your breath visually as well as mentally.
2. Breath Sycronization Feature: The user can press on the active button light or passive button light (depending on which state they are in) which will cause the light to move up and down at the desired breath rate. The user can the look at the feedback and mimic the healthy breath rate.
Note: There is only one breath stabilization light on the bracelet. I just put the other one in to reflect the two readings it gives.
Top Level Goal: I Breath awareness by monitoring breath. (breathe awareness)
First Order Feedback:
Sub-goals (included in the second order feedback loops):
- Increase exercise efficiency
- Relieving stress
- Becoming more aware and focused
Second Order Feedback Loops:
Behaviors: There are two key behaviors:
1. Make user more aware of breath
2. Make user track breath through out the day.
Diagram of Motivation:
In terms of the Fogg Model we have a high ability to be aware of our breath but low motivation. The reason our motivation is low is because breath is automatic to us, we have no reason to focus on it.
Diagram of Behavior Grid:
We can also represent breath awareness in the Fogg behavior grid. Breath awareness begins on a Green Path because the behavior to think about one’s breath is new. We then continue on a purple path asking the person to increase that behavior one time per day. We continue down the same purple path asking the person to increase that behavior for a period of time. Eventually we end at a blue path behavior asking the person to maintain that behavior now on…
The bracelet: Gives user immediate feedback of breath health through out the day via colors.
Vocal/push notification reminder on smart phones and iPods: gives the user real time vocal feedback if headphones are on of current breath state. The user will also receive push notifications from their phone giving them breath state feedback.
Smart phone/tablet data visualization: gives the user graphs of breath health over exercise, time, and resting states (such as sleep, after a workout, etc.)
Computer feedback: gives the user breath health over time. Allows them to see what diseases they are at risk of getting given their current patters. They get to see trends in stress, exercise activity, etc.
—All of these are hot triggers that are inserted in the users daily activities. If they are listening to music, on the phone, on their computer, on their tablet they get a breath reminder. The other key factor is the bracelet, which is a constant hot trigger for them to monitor the health of their breath. In this design the top-level goal is consistently realized because the user is constantly being informed about their breath—as they are informed awareness increases.—
Involving others/self: I currently have Paul keeping a log of his breath rate and pattern during his exercise. I am going to ask Suvi to log her breath rate in terms of stress in twice a day. I am keeping a log of my breath rate and pattern during my exercise. There will hopefully be three logs by the end of this so I can make a data visualization.
Examples in Breath in Life:
-People walking in and out of buildings/subways
-trees in the wind
-the cycle of the seasons changing (example leaves going into the ground, then falling again)
Draft for Final Project Proposal: Understanding our Breath in Self-Health
The Journey: After research, I decided to go with my original idea of monitoring breath in exercise. I came across a dissertation by Jason R. Karp; which explored how breath entrainment is connected to rhythm locomotion in long distance running. The paper is on how “legs and lungs” are connected. I also discovered several other videos, articles, and experiments pertaining to importance of monitoring breathe parameters in rest and exercise.
I came to this project idea because of my personal involvement with long distance running, swimming and biking and how it relates to breath. I realized that much of my efforts during my training for various marathons, Triathlons, and ultra distance events were tied to focusing on my breath. My breath was integral in controlling my heart rate, pace, and relaxation.
Approach: Runners train to control their breath to calm their sympathetic nervous system in strenuous exercise. Breath affects heart rate and stability and connects all of our major nervous systems. When you control breath rate and pattern it makes your resting heart rate lower at high activity and increases efficiency. The most common devices on the market today are ones that measure heart rate and caloric burn in training. There are little to no devices that focus on respiration except for devices used in hospitals. My goal is to build a device that measures breath rate and pattern.
Concept Sketch: My original concept came from the brainstorming how breath relates to our life, besides the obvious of how it keep us a alive. One thing humans all have in common is our autonomic nervous system which automatically controls us to breath in and out.
The Device: My device will be a chest strap, which can be embedded in any shirt (as stated in my homework from a couple of weeks ago). There will be two measurements: breath rate and breath pattern. The chest strap will have three components inside of it (as previously stated):
1. Flex sensor: It calculates the measures rise and fall of the chest.
2. Stethoscope sensor: It measures sound wave patterns of the breath output by converting the auditory wave input to an electrical output. It also measures the pulse pattern of the heart, giving the athlete a heart rate reading.
3. Bluetooth communication device: The strap automatically syncs with your computer to give you a data read out.
—The sensors allow us to monitor both the simplistic breath rate via raise and fall of chest (flex sensor) and the actual auditory pattern of the breath (stethoscope sensor). The runner will learn two things—(1) If their breath rate was consistent and stayed a good resting rate and (2) If their pattern of breath is healthy or obstructed. Data transfer is simple because the device has Bluetooth. –
I also hope this device can be extended to other realms in health such as stress management, lung disease prevention, and increased awareness. I decided to focus on the realm of exercise because it is the most accessible and measureable for me.
Context: The device is to be used during exercise. The target audience is athletes: runners, bikers, soccer players etc.
Top Level Goal: Improve Exercise efficiency by monitoring breath.
- Relieving stress
- Becoming more aware and focused
Behavior: -Track breath (rate and pattern) during exercise-
The behavior requirement is simple: track breath. I have not figured out how I will implement the BJ Fogg model in terms of the motivation and ability and the pathway of the behavior; that will be determined in my journey map next week.
Test and Execution: I will be measuring my breath rate and pattern over the next 5 weeks and collecting data on its change during exercise. I will keep a personal log of my current perceived state, breath rate reading, and breath pattern reading. I will be making a log for my group members, one of which is an athlete and the other who works out regularly. I will ask them to test their breath rate and pattern during exercise.
One of the difficulties in executing the project will be building the strap monitor. So, instead I will be just doing manual testing of my breath rate with a stopwatch. I haven’t figured out the best way to determine breath rate but I am still researching.
Suvarchala, Ryan and I started by summarizing our thoughts on our own health. One common thread that ran through all our presentations was the importance of community support in achieving health goals. We moved through this part of the assignment quite quickly. But designing our second representation turned out to be a much more dragged out experience.
I wanted to relate this reading to having external objects reflect our current states and give us a visual representation of how we need to change them.
Exformation of Hunger: Hunger is a bodily function that is ignored, overindulged, and repressed. In order for it to be satisfied we have to eat. In order to feel fulfilled we need to eat the right thing with a specific amount of sugars, potassium, iron, etc. We always say “I know, I know” what to eat. “I know what makes me feel bad and good, but more than often we are struggling to figure out what foods to eat. We often eat too much, too little, have blood sugar drops and gains.
How do we measure this? Imagine if there was a mirror where when you saw your reflection you saw a reflection of the food you needed to eat to subside your hunger and give you the proper nutrition.
Exformation of Emotions: Our emotions move up and down. We always say we “I know” how I feel but in reflection we often find ourselves saying “I was really tired back then.” or “I can’t believe how rude I was, I was really angry.” We always put messages on shirts and clothing—favorite bands, jokes, political slogans, and opinions. Why not a shirt that displayed your mood?
Imagine if you had a shirt that reflected your current mood by changing the words on it as you experienced different emotions. It’s called a mood shirt. We often experience several moods at once so the shirt would display multiple moods at different extremes. It projects the more extreme moods in a bigger font and the less extreme moods in a smaller font.
Dunne coins the term Para-Functional design, which suggests that designs can go beyond just functionality and include a poetic narrative. Design to tell a story. I found a site that gave some examples of designs by people who love of burgers! They all took a concept of a burger and meshed it with another object. The final products all have a poetic narrative. Here are a few:
1. Guy who designed a motor cycle based on his two loves: burgers and Harley-Davidson motorcycles. He runs on burgers and so does his Harley. He united them into a design he calles the Burger Trike.
2. Vice magazine re-designed Nike’s Air Max 90 shoe with the asthestics of a burger. We run on food why can’t we actually run on food.
3. Burger bed. Kayla Kromer inspired by the film “Hamburger” where students sleep in burger-shaped beds and dream of food, she built a hamburger bed.
Diagram 1: Polar strap system
Polar strap System: The polar chest strap uses a MSR 12 plug-in heart rate module HR that processes and logs the heart rate pulse. There is a specific temporal pattern the HR module reads the heart rate radio signal: 1 sec., every 10 sec., every 30 sec., and every 60 sec. which measures the pulse (heart beats per min.) The storage rate is dictated by this statistic: every nth measurement value is stored (n= 1-256).
Goal: Increase happiness across a community. My goal was to have people text me their mood; depending on their mood I send them a personalized message to make them happier or reinforce their happiness— I was inspired by both the “happiness talk” on school of life and the recent reading “don’t shoot the dog”.
Audience: 20 people picked at random from my phone book.
Target behavior: —Text your mood —