Demo Video: https://ocadu.techsmithrelay.com/bIjc
Erin St Blaine, ReBoots Animated LED Boot Laces, https://learn.adafruit.com/re-boots-animated-dancing-boot-laces
Tony DiCola, Festive Feather Holiday Lights, https://learn.adafruit.com/festive-feather-holiday-lights
Anne Barela, Trinket / Gemma Blinky Eyes, https://learn.adafruit.com/trinket-gemma-blinky-eyes
Rachel Fagan, Glow Pillow with Force Sensing Resistor, https://create.arduino.cc/projecthub/rachel-fagan/glow-pillow-with-force-sensing-resistor-904229
Light has always been used as an object or medium to help, direct, signal, assist and inform us on a particular status or situation. It is used in different colours and forms that help translate our language into a visual and simple medium. Using this medium I have chosen to build three Body-Environmental Switches that all revolve around an overarching theme of Safety & Security. These switches activate LED lights when a person interacts with their environments.
The reason I have picked this theme is because I have drawn inspiration from three incidents that have occured in my life in the past month. A common point between all these situations was that they occurred due to a lack of a visual cue. In the presence of light signals, people would have been more aware of their environment and the situation they were in. Hence be able to avoid these situations accordingly.
The first incident that occurred was three weeks ago when someone broke into my house. As all doors and windows in my house are sliding mechanisms, unlike a regular door with a hinge there is no obvious way to know when these kinds of doors are locked. Most doors of this nature generally indicate that the door is locked with a clipping sound as you close it. But many a time while closing these doors, if not shut with the right force the door remains unlocked. I chose to intervene here with a door sensor that replaces the audio cue for a locked door with a visual one. So when the door is shut properly, the LED light comes on. This also helps indicate from a distance when a door is unlocked.
The sensor uses a simple mechanism of a bridge switch such that, when the door is pushed to the right distance, the circuit closes and the LED is turned on. With the help of a small piece of copper on the sliding door, it completes the circuit on the door frame, turning on the LED. To also aesthetically present the LED, I have propped it onto a copper dragonfly model that can be mounted on a wall close to these doors.
At the moment the prototype does consist of a lot of wiring as I needed to conceal the breadboard and the laptop that is powering it. In the next iterations I would work towards using a 3V battery as a power source and create a compact unit entirely around the dragonfly so it can be instantly installed anywhere. I would also like to find a replacement for the copper tapes that are holding the jumper wires with a conductive sticky pad that can be easily installed on the door frame.
The second incident that occurred was a month ago while having some friends and their new born baby over. Just as they walked in they laid their baby boy down on the bed. Being new parents and having read all the books on how to raise and take care of the baby, they alternately took turns to check on him. They were most concerned to see whether he was always sleeping on his back. It was then that they told me that in spite of the baby sleeping in a crib in the same room as them, they constantly needed to wake up at night to make sure that he is always sleeping on his back. This is to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) It is the unexplained death, usually during sleep, of a seemingly healthy baby less than a year old. SIDS is sometimes known as crib death because the infants often die in their cribs. Having this constant fear of the death of their child sounded horrible.
And so my second intervention is a Sleepeasy baby pad that uses a push button mechanism. The pad is meant to be kept under the baby and as long as the baby is on its back, the weight of the baby touches the surfaces together, lighting up the LED. The lit LED will always inform the parent that the child is on its back. If the baby were to roll off, the surfaces would separate and the LED would go off.
Currently the prototype uses aluminium foil as the conductive surface and an LED on the breadboard. Even though the aluminium was stretched it does not go back to its original state as the weight is relieved. This causes the LED to flicker as it transitions between states. The next iteration would look for alternatives for this surface and work at incorporating the light within the sleep pad. With the help of Lilypad LEDs or even LED strips, I would be able to incorporate them within the thickness of the sleep pad.
Having just recovered from COVID-19 has made me more cautious and more worried for my loved ones. As time passes, the world is getting back to normal but people still seem to forget that we are in the midst of a pandemic. My mother being an interior designer often has a lot of her team members and vendors come over. But often they forget to sanitize their hands as they enter the house. In order to keep enforcing this protocol, I have decided to create a sanitizing station that visually captures their attention as they enter.
With the simple use of a bridge switch, I have created a platform to place a sanitizer on. As long as the sanitizer is on the platform, the LED stays on and captures people’s attention as they enter.
Currently the prototype uses copper tape to complete the circuit. I did face some difficulty in attaching the jumper wires on the side. As the pins of the wire are straight, I need to bend them a bit to come in contact with the copper tape. That caused a bit of a loose connection. In my next iteration, I would like to replace the copper tape on the bottom of the bottle with an adaptable base that can be used on sanitizers of different sizes.
While we can never account for injuries, we are always prepared with solutions and remedies to heal ourselves in case of one. We often get injured when we push the limits of our bodies and when we do, the only responsibility of ours is to follow protocol and give me the injury time to heal. Being an athlete my whole life, I have been physically injured one to many times. But there seemed to be a pattern to my injuries as they kept reappearing at the same spots time and again. So I wondered why this happens?
During my final project in my undergraduate programme, research pointed out that these injuries often reoccur in places where the rehabilitation process has not carried out completely and properly. In the case of my sprains, I often wore a crepe bandage to limit movement to my injury and stop it from aggravating. But in such situations during the rehabilitation period, I was unaware of how much I should or should move. This resulted in the healing process to be incomplete, leading to future injuries.
So my intervention is called Speedy Recovery. A motion based product that helps guide you during your recovery. The crepe bandage or in this case the arm sling, is fitted with a red and green LED which is programmed to light up based on the right and wrong posture. Every time your arm moves out of the range it should be moving, the red LED blinks, guiding you back to the right posture. While you are in the right posture the green LED stays on. This helps strictly implement body control during your injuries and carry out your healing process properly.
The two things considered while designing this were movement sensing as the product needed to be applicable to any physical injury that would need to restrict movement. And the second element contingent on its success was visible feedback, so the person could visually be guided back to the right posture.
As this product specifically is motion oriented, what I learnt a lot through this process was the ability to seamlessly introduce a piece of technology on the body without any obstruction. The second thing I learnt was to identify parts of the body based on the kind of data that needed to be fed into the product,
While the use of wearable technology for healthcare purposes is rapidly growing. I have chosen to draw inspiration from designs that intervene at early stages of a problem or even act as a preventive measure. Speedy recovery is an effort to completely rehabilitate an injury in its first recovery process in order to avoid future injuries. Similarly the designs I have referenced follow a similar trend.
The first one is an example for something that is beautiful. The Ouro ring is a wearable technology that helps measure and track body temperature, heart rate and the quality of sleep. Their underlying philosophy is that good sleep is the magic ingredient to living a healthy life. Every night while you sleep your body performs what they call “health miracles” sending out waves of signals through the body. This could be from improving your memory to producing cancer killing T cells. What Oura does, is decode these signals and communicate how your body prepares itself for the next day. Through this interpretation it provides insights you need to take on the next day. By masking such advice through an aesthetically beautiful ring, it has created an opportunity for people to care more about their sleep and prevent future health conditions.
In the second category of useful wearable technologies I was inspired by a wearable sweat sensor that informs athletes on water or electrolyte loss. This product is currently being developed by a team at Northwestern University and they believe that even though sweat contains salts, sugars, hormones and other valuable data. Very little research has gone into harnessing this data to measure bodily conditions. The patch contains fine tiny pores on its underside that allows the sweat to penetrate the device. Each holes contains a different sweat analysis technology. The patch bears similarities to a bandage and is just 1.5inches in diameter and can be worn on any part of the body. With changes in water or electrolyte levels, the patch changes its colour. By just taking a picture of the patch on the app connected to it, the app tells the athlete the exact amount of water they should be having. This prevents athletes from over-hydrating developing hyponatremia(condition of swelling of cells due to diluted salt levels) and also dehydration leading to many other physical conditions.
For the third category the product is extremely useful but based on its aesthetics and placement I consider the design to be terrible. It is a self powered knee sensor that could allow doctors to remotely monitor a patients recovery. While the product has multiple pros, the reason I categorize this to be bad design is because the product sits on top of the brace that the patient needs to wear post surgery. As the knee is already an extruding part of the body, even more while sitting. There is a possibility for the sensor to be knocked off or even damaged if the patient’s knee were to come in contact with any surface. The positives of this product are that it is constantly collecting data and conveying it to the physician or physiotherapist and it is powered by electricity generated when bent or twisted. This is beneficial as the product needs no replacement of batteries and always stays on.
Reference 1: Beautiful
The Oura ring: https://ouraring.com/
Reference 2: Useful
Jack Carfagno. “Wearable Sweat-Sensor Informs Athletes of Water and Electrolyte Loss” https://www.docwirenews.com/docwire-pick/future-of-medicine-picks/wearable-sweat-sensor-informs-athletes-of-water-and-electrolyte-loss/
Reference 3: Important but terrible
Enaie Azambuja. “Flexible self-powered knee sensor for rehab monitoring.” https://www.electronicspecifier.com/products/test-and-measurement/flexible-self-powered-knee-sensor-for-rehab-monitoring
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