The SomaVest – Wearable Tech
The SomaVest – a wearable garment
As part of my master thesis project performed together with the research institute RISE SICS, I have investigated how an interactive experience using heat and guided meditation can support individuals living with chronic pain, and to what extent the interactive experience can change the perception of pain.
Extending on previous research with the SomaMat, the project have taken existing technology and brought it in to a new context and a new design. The project resulted in the SomaVest, a wearable garment with programmable heat pads that provide heat stimuli to different areas of the torso and in combination with guided meditation forming a multimodal somaesthetic experience.
Target group: Individuals living with chronic pain
Problem: Chronic pain is a common condition that many people struggle with on daily basis and people strive to find ways to relieve their pain. In the past pain has primarily been regarded as a medical problem, though an overall trend within the healthcare field is to make it more personalized. There is a shift towards wellbeing and self-treatment using lifestyle changes and treatments that can be integrated in people’s everyday lives and wearable technology can help support this development.
Solution: The SomaVest, a wearable garment with programmable heat pads that provide heat stimuli to different areas of the torso and in combination with guided meditation forming a multimodal somaesthetic experience.
How does it work?
Through guided meditation and heat impulses activated on the upper body, the SomaVest directs the user’s attention inwards. The heat impulses follow an audio script telling the user to direct attention to different body parts. By listening to your bodily signs and signals and being present in the moment, the SomaVest gives the user an opportunity to forget about the pain and change the perception of pain.
The final prototype consists of a vest, a guided meditation audio track and an interactive prototype of the mobile application. With heat pads placed on the shoulders, collarbone, lower back and stomach, the heat pads are connected to a micro-controller and mobile application via Bluetooth. Prototyping was done with, on and through the body in an iterative design process and user test was performed with individuals suffering from chronic pain.
Watch the SomaVest Concept Movie
Check out The SomaVest Application
The SomaVest is controlled via The SomaVest Mobile Application, go check it out!