Stress Scarf/Relaxation Station

Submitted by sebarness on Sun, 04/07/2013 - 23:54



Deb Linton and Sophie Barness

Final Proposal: Stress Scarf / Relaxation Station


We aim to provide a way for users to tangibly interact with their states of relaxation and help them take an active role in their stress management. We will track prolonged dips in the user's average galvanic skin response (GSR) over short period of time using electrodes applied to their torso. Users will be able to transmit this dip in stress to a fountain producing ambient water noise or a glowing pattern of LEDs on a scar. The longer and more intense the relaxing state of the user; the more water would flow or the more the scarf would be illuminated. Additionally, we might have little gems or marbles dispensed if a user attains a particularly stable state of relaxation. Users could take these relaxation gems with them when they left the room to remind them of their achievement.

We were motivated to develop a rough metric for relaxation to promote a positive dialog around stress management. We hope to demystify stress by make it an actionable data point providing positive feedback when users attain and maintain a relaxed state.

Flow of information:

  • Human - Electrode - [arduino - algorithm to filter GSR input] - wire/bluetooth - fountain + gem dispenser or LEDs in a scarf.

  • Components would be housed in either a wearable wireless scarf that will light up when a person is relaxed or a desk with a built in fountain.  

Why this is different:

  • We are creating a Stress Fingerprint by taking a users baseline GSR and measuring only the variations

  • We are not thermo-chromatic (like stress-dots or mood rings) and instead use a more reliable metric like GSR

  • We are not like Basis (a super sensor wristband) because we’re focusing on GSR and getting data from torso -which is a more reliable data point.

  • We don’t require a conscious decision to monitor like many existing apps; monitoring is continuous.

List of Materials:

  • Electrodes or means of measuring skin conductivity

  • Water fountain (submersible pump, tubing)

  • Tank

  • Gems (marbles mancala stones)

  • Wireless XBee RF Module

  • LilyPad

  • Desk




  • Should we make this a wearable device or a self contained piece of furniture that monitors a user in a very specific context. For example a desk with a fountain built into it that lights up when you’re stressed and need to take a break from your email.

  • What are our options regarding bluetooth and wireless? How time consuming and reliable is that technology?  

  • What tactics exist to prevent breakage and unplugging of wearable devices.

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