Smart Meditation Blanket

The goal of this project is to encourage competitive people to meditate daily. Meditation has clear benefits. According to an article in Psychology Today, meditating creates a sense of calm, allows people to see things more clearly, and reduces anxiety. Scientists are studying how meditation effects certain parts of the brain and there are technologies to track focus, such as Melon:

Like the yoga trend that proceeded it, meditation is becoming ever more popular. As a result, there’s a lot of new consumer products that help people track their brainwaves. For example, the Nuerosky headset allows people to lift a toy helicopter by focusing on one idea. While this is exciting, to maintain the benefits of meditation, it’s important to practice every day.

Therefore, we’ve decided to make a smart object like a meditation blanket that people will want to use when they meditate. The blanket will have a sensor that tracks time and days. This will sync up to an app that uses gamification to encourage people to reach higher levels (in this case the levels will be “chakras”).  This information can be shared via social media outlets.

While it may seem contradictory to add competition to meditation, mediation is actually be used as a tool by high-powered tech entrepreneurs as a way to turn off.

In the New York Times article called “Mindfulness: Getting Its Share of Attention,” one chief executive said that mindfulness has actually made him more competitive.  “Not only do I put fewer things on my to-do list but I actually get them done and done well. It’s like I’ve learned that to be more successful and accomplish more, I must first slow down.”

We hope to create a beautiful object that highly driven people who lead hectic lives will want to use to help them chill out.

This project will use a sensor for the mat and a time tracker. We hope to learn some programming to start the app and create screenshots for the rest of the features.

We would love some advice on the actual technology that we will use to make this a reality.

Julia + Eliz

2 thoughts on “Smart Meditation Blanket

  1. Becky Stern

    What do you want the mat to sense– pressure? Is it just whether you are sitting on it or not, or does there need to be something more? What materials are you thinking of using for the mat? FLORA can act as a usb keyboard for some phones, so it could be possible to have it type messages into an existing social media program (as a workaround for the “developing an app” portion of the project). you could use antistatic foam, a force-sensitive resistor, velostat, or layers of conductive fabric to sense whether someone is sitting on the mat.

    1. juliaplevin Post author

      Thanks, Becky! So we actually changed this to be Ohm Headphones after talking with Boris for a while. These are headphones that you put on anytime you want to meditate. We ordered a wind sensor to track the rate of breath and are programming a wave shield to play different intros/chimes/sounds. That will be the audible feedback and chakra-colored corresponding LEDs (either neo pixels or a strip) on the headphones so you can hear and the people around you can see that youre meditating and what level you are at as you meditate your breath slows. Normal people breathe 15 times/minute. To unlock the 6th chakra, its 4 breaths per minute. And for the top, white chakra, its 1 breath/minute!!

      This is the instructable that inspired us: http://www.instructables.com/id/Yoga-Breathalyzer/

      On Sat, Nov 16, 2013 at 4:51 AM, Making Studio

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