IO<3 - CONNECT TO YOUR HEART
Fostering embodied awareness of our emotional state, starting from the heart. Because our heart matters.
We are all connected. Emotionally, when we have a conversation with another person, we will often start feeling emotions that are not ours, but come from the person that is feeling sad, happy, frustrated, annoyed, engaged.
We all influence each other. Sometimes this can get chaotic. Sometimes it’s difficult to understand how we feel, and how that affects our day. With day I mean the complex interplay of moments where our emotional and physical wellbeing can be hijacked by external influences, and that often we don’t take into account, plowing through our to do list.
Some people neglect their feelings badly enough that they completely disconnected with how they feel, leading to unaddressed cases of depression, anxiety and just plain old unhappiness. While this might feel “just emotional”, it is now widely proven that chronic unaddressed emotional distress can lead to a variety of serious illnesses, among which heart attack, sleeping disorders, eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia, dementia etc.
Our emotions, like the word says, are energy in motion. They use our energy and they create energy, bad or good. And our motor, that which propels energy in our body, is our heart.
Yep, as cheesy as it might sound. Our heart is the center of energy propulsion, and it works in tight collaboration with the brain in responding to the events that happen to us, whether it is time to relax (decrease the respiration speed and lower heart beat frequency), to sprint (increase respiration speed and increase heart beat frequency), to do a bit of both (increase and decrease at intervals, such as when we are doing a sport, dancing, making love etc.)
While these circumstances are considered to be extreme and any type of cure would fall under the domain of mental health, there are many things that can be each day to re-balance ourselves emotionally. Self-awareness, connection with our loved ones, comforting physical contact are all ways that contribute to bring us back to a place of wellbeing from one of distress.
WHAT is IO<3
Internet of Hearts is an interactive garment that allows people who are suffering from a situation of emotional and/or physical distress to connect to their heart. When we are in a state of anxiety, stress, panic, our heart is giving us warning signals: IO<3 enables us to calm ourselves down by massaging key acupressure points. In a future version, this could work with a HEARTBEAT SENSOR and the remote support of our loved ones.
The Initial Idea for the IO<3 project was presented in December 2017 to the Fabricademy class. It shows the initial concept I aimed for, which has a broader scope than the one I ended up developing.The feedback I received at the time by the teaching staff was that the idea was very ambitious for the timeframe given for the final project. Therefore they suggested I started by developing a smaller part of it and evaluating how it worked. it proved to be a very good idea. I intend to bring my initial idea to fruition in the following months.
MID TERM PRESENTATION
On February 8, 2018, we all were asked to provide a presentation showcasing the progress made on our project and the updated concept we intended to complete by the end of the course. Neil Gershenfeld, the founder of Fablabs and director of MIT's Center for Bits and Atoms, a sister lab to the MIT Media Lab evaluated our projects. More detailed information on the feedback can be found also in SPRINT 1 / WEEK 3.
SPRINT 1 / WEEK 1
Showing the progress of my first week of work on IO<3, as it starts taking shape :)
SPRINT 2 / WEEK 1
Simplifying the workload, experimenting with mycelium, working on electronics.
SPRINT 3 / WEEK 1
SPRINT 1 / WEEK 2
More progress on IO<3 from Mexico City :) Modeling the top and buying fabric.
SPRINT 2 / WEEK 2
Developing the circuit for 1 massage module, evaluating, iterating, adding LEDs.
SPRINT 3 / WEEK 2
SPRINT 1 / WEEK 3
Final week of the sprint. Dreams vs reality, Mid Term review, making the plan more realistic.
SPRINT 2 / WEEK 3
3D modeling and printing the massage case, refining the electronic circuitry.