Meeting @ Anja’s house

Meeting @ Anja’s house, 21-11-2008 from 12.00-17.00. Present: Anja, Barbara, Danielle.

Most of our time we spend on clarifying our concept and writing it down. This is the final result:

Goals

- Visualize inner states

- Create awareness

- Promote interaction

- Promote well-being

- New way of communicating/making contact

 

Introduction

These days people feel vulnerable when showing so called negative emotions, such as grief, sadness, pain, fear or anger. We want to create a space for these emotions and to communicate them in a other way. Our e-pressed shirt is a new communication layer for handling the vulnerability caused by these negative emotions.

By sensing and visualizing inner states, e-pressed creates awareness in the wearer and in others. Awareness is followed by possible interaction, which is stimulated by light visuals. Areas originating from acupressure therapy will light up and invite the wearer and others to press on them, relieving tension and stimulating well-being.

E-pressed stimulates a new way of communicating and making contact with others.

 

The shirt

Through the input of sensor(s): we would like to define 3 different inner states

At a discrete position the status Light shows the currant inner state to the wearer.

 

1. Inner state: balanced – action: no interaction is necessary

Visual effect: Status light is white.

0 acupressure areas light up

 

2. Inner state: low energy – action: stimulation

Visual effect: Status light is orange light.

2 acupressure areas light up

 

3. Inner state: high energy (stress) – action: calming

Visual effect: blue LED on in control switch

4 acupressure areas light up

 

What happens

The different points light up according to the input given by the sensor(s). The points will be situated in “areas of interaction”. These areas should facilitate the process of finding the correct pressure points on different people. They will be identified by an outline of LED’s or a print.

By pressing the points, other people can interact with the wearer and get vibration feedback while pressing them.

When the ‘treatment time’ is over, both light and vibration will stop.

The latest version of our heart-rate sensor proved to be not quite finished. It was odd to see that it didn’t work very well on Danielle (probably because of her small fingers) but it was OK on Anja and Barbara. We do have to adjust the pod-meters with every person which makes it less generic… The biggest problem is that we can’t write the data to file like we could earlier. So it was hard to analyse and use. Danielle will work with Richard on that.

Danielle has send an e-mail to Bernard from Imec for a possible collaboration to work with their sensors.

Barbara will work on the pressure areas. See how things work out with print and LED or fiber LED.

Next meeting was planned for week 50 but that’s probably too short notice.

Sensor progress

A couple of weeks back I had a look with Richard at the software for reading the data from our sensor. I found it hard to make sense of the data and so did Richard :) There apparently is a lot of noise from the sensor itself which obscures the results / makes them hard to interpret.

Richard said we needed to filter out the results. We worked on that for a bit and he even asked a friend of his to write some code. But it’s a bit too complex for the Arduino, especially if the code had to run real-time.

So another option is to improve the sensor to get better data. For that we need extra parts on the sensor. Richard mailed me a shopping list of parts which I bought last Saturday. This means that the sensor will stay the same but that we’ll need an extra (small) board to stabilize the data. Richard and I will start to work on this soon.

Meeting 18/08/08 @ Danielle’s place, Breda

Present: Anja, Barbara, Danielle. From 14.00 – 21.30 (including meal and meditation)

This afternoon we redid the version 3 sensor. We replaced the stiff wires by soft once in different colours. The Velcro was replaced by elastic band to make the sensor fit tighter around Danielle’s tiny fingers. We also sewed the LED and light sensor to the felt. This way it’ll be easier to get stable measurements. Danielle will start working on the code now that we have a stable and light tight sensor.

The design isn’t compact enough, so the next round we’ll try replacing the wires with conductive thread. Using neoprene is still an option. Barbara will see if can get hold of some in Amsterdam.

After soldering and sewing it was time for soup.  After that we went to zen meditation. Which was a positive experience for everybody.

The next meeting will be on Thursday 28th of August in Amsterdam.

Sensor v 3

On Friday 25/07/08 Richard and I have worked on the sensor. The makeshift one was too unstable to give reliable results. We used Barbara’s felt prototype as a starting point. It soon became clear that the stiff wires we used didn’t go well with the soft felt. It’s hard to wear the sensor around the finger and keep it light tight. I think it also is too big for me. But it worked in the sense that it generates data. The tiny LED gives a lot of light :) So the concept works but the realisation needs some fine-tuning.

So we’ll have to look for more solid material on the one hand and less stiff wiring on the other to make the sensor fit tightly and nicely. Materials the could be used are leather, rubber or neoprene (diving suits). I know someone who can sew these thicker materials. I’ll ask her to help with a prototype.

felt sensor

felt sensor

Meeting 22/07/08 @ Anja’s studio

Meeting at Anja’s studio from 15.30 – 20.15 Present: Anja, Barbara, Danielle.

We met up to discuss the design of the sensor on which Barbara had been working. She’d made a few prototypes with black felt which are very promising. They should be worn around the tip of the finger and can incorporate the parts for sensing as well as for displaying. It seems to be pretty light tight. Barbara is going to investigate further how to connect the ‘ring’ to the shirt. Options are a sort of glove and different types of wire. We’ll look at that next time. Danielle is going to test the prototype and try to integrate the test setup with this prototype. She’ll also be able to test the code more thoroughly. Anja is going to look at working with the RGB LED.

We also exchanged new things we discovered (RFID – link on the right, anti-breast cancer t-shirt etc.) And perhaps we’ll all be joining the wearables workgroup in Den Bosch. Danielle has already signed up for this.

The next meeting is planned for Monday August 18th at 14h in Breda. Besides e-pressing we’ll be doing an introduction in Zen meditation at Danielle’s place and at her zen group later that evening!

ps. Barbara will be very sorry she missed the delicious risotto :-P

Meeting at Barbara’s

26-06-2008 from 11-15.30 @ Barbara’s, present: Anja, Barbara, Danielle (from 11:45)

We had a great time testing the new heart-rate sensorand combining our results into a graph. Our heart-rates varied from 61 to 84 (we had the Suunto watch as a back-up) but although the graphs looked very different when we counted the dents the values seemed the same. So in the train I started to program a little program to count the differences in the values. This is what it looks like:

// process_data.pde look for differences between numbers
int counter = 0;          // count the differences
int old_val = 0;          // stores previous value in csv file
int current_val;          // stores current value in csv file
int dif = 1;              // difference between 2 readings, change the number to look for bigger difference between numbers
//
// read csv file
String lines[] = loadStrings("output_org.csv"); // change the name of the file to read from
//println("there are " + lines.length + " lines");
for (int i=1; i < lines.length-1; i++) {
  //println(lines[i]);
  current_val = int(lines[i]);
  // look for difference
  print("dif= ");
  print(current_val - old_val);
  print(", ");
  if (abs(current_val - old_val) >= dif){
    print("counted dif= ");
    println(abs(current_val - old_val));
    counter++;
  }
  // make current value the old_value
  old_val = current_val;
}
println("bpm: ");
print(counter);

What I discovered is that you look for a difference of 1 the count is too high and when you look for a difference of 2 or more the count is too low. When you add these two counts together you and divide them by 2, 2 out of 4 times you get the right value!?
I now want to change the program so that the size of the difference is taken into account.

Here you can download the xls files with our data and here you can download the program above with text files which you can import.

The next step will be to

  • Improve the counter program
  • Make a design/prototype for the sensor
  • Change the potmeter to a resistor

Our next meeting will be either the 24th of July or the second half of August.