Designing for Body Awareness - A Study on Enabling Body Awareness in Mindfulness Through Wearable Haptic Thermal Technology

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Designing for Body Awareness - A Study on Enabling Body Awareness in Mindfulness Through Wearable Haptic Thermal Technology

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Publication 1-year master student thesis
Title Designing for Body Awareness - A Study on Enabling Body Awareness in Mindfulness Through Wearable Haptic Thermal Technology
Author Brolin, Lisa
Date 2017
English abstract
A stressful society with a deficiency of attention has led to a growing demand for meditation techniques. One meditation technique is mindfulness, which is a tool used to reduce stress, intensify body awareness and to help us be more present. However, as mindfulness requires extensive training and dedication, many beginners may decide to quit practicing in the initial phase and may risk not ever experiencing the benefits of body awareness. Previous studies indicate that technology is often blamed for the deficiency of attention. Therefore, this study addresses the possibilities to design technology for sustained attention. More precisely, the study aims to investigate what potential possibilities wearable haptic technology has in enabling body awareness in body scan meditation in mindfulness. It also aims to explore how beginners in mindfulness experience the use of wearable haptic technology in body scan meditation. The study explores these problems by combining research through design and action research, with three phases of iteration, resulting in the design, implementation and evaluation of the wearable prototype HeatCue with haptic thermal feedback. The study implies that HeatCue provides an intimate, subtle and skin-close interaction, suitable for the context of body scan mediation. The results indicate that wearable haptic technology with thermal feedback holds the possibility to enable body awareness in body scan meditation through acting as a reminder for the body part where the feedback is applied, a reference for the rest of the body as well as encouragement. Furthermore, the study shows that wearable haptic technology is beneficial in evoking emotions and interest. The study also indicates some key aspects when designing for body awareness, namely; subtlety and interplay of the feedback, a secluded environment and an understanding that each individual is different. The study contributes to a deeper understanding of designing for body awareness and to new knowledge in the field of wearable haptic technology with thermal feedback and techno-spirituality in human-computer interaction
Publisher Malmö högskola/Teknik och samhälle
Pages 86
Language eng (iso)
Subject Haptic technology
Thermal feedback
Mindfulness
Body Scan Meditation
Wearables
Techno-Spirituality
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/23005 Permalink to this page
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