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PHYSICAL COMPUTING - MID-TERM PROJECT: BLOOM

BLOOM is a project exploring the simple but often times forgotten act of taking a deep breather in a world that is more often than not full of anxieties. We aimed to represent the breathing in a way that was visual and take the user and viewer away from the stress of external stimuli and allow them to momentarily focus on the self. Considering all of the knowledge we have learned in Physical Computing; namely coding, Arduino and sensors, we sought to create a project that contained principles of Interaction that would be useful and beneficial to the user in a real-world context.  BLOOM is visually represented via a Hoberman Sphere, a common toy that nevertheless is complex in its mechanics and can bring wonder to anyone who witnesses its contraction and expansion.  The sphere is composed of countless interconnected colorful plastic levers and has the ability to expand itself to a multiple of its size.  We connected the sphere to a stretch sensor and programmed the code so that the calibration had real-time responsiveness.  The sphere reacts instantaneously through a sensor attached to the user’s belly area.  When the user breathes out, the sphere contracts. When the user breathes in, the sphere expands.  These actions follow the principles of deep yoga breathing along with mindfulness breathing techniques.   The visual display of the sphere responding to the user’s real-time breathing patterns, contracting and expanding along with the soothing physical act of deep breathing adds to the relaxed mind-state, creating awareness and a clear open mind.

 

Being a kid is wonderful but navigating through life can be stressful.  It can be difficult sometimes to remember to take a breather.  

Combining the principles of mindful breathing techniques with the eastern philosophy of yoga breathing, we created a product called BLOOM.   A way to help kids be aware of the present moment with an open mind and curiosity.   

We incorporated a familiar and engaging object to children and utilized it in representing the physical act of breathing. 

Through BLOOM, a child can help increase their physical and mental stamina and enter a calm, happy frame of mind.  They can take a much-needed breather and continue to bloom in life.

Final BLOOM Documentation

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