xHA is a tool that helps you learn to maintain your focus during meditation. xHA senses when you lose focus and gives you a gentle reminder to bring your attention back to your practice by playing the audio of your own breath in real-time. When you have resumed focus, the audio disappears so you can focus on your natural breathing.
In this way, xHA guides you to develop the skill of using your breath as a feedback cue towards a more effective meditation practice.
Bespoke technology was developed for identifying
loss of focus through the breathing pattern.
Project during the double masters Global Innovation Design. XHA started in Tokyo by collaborating with Buddhist Monks and was finalised in New York.
Royal College of Art & Imperial College
Feb 2016 - Nov 2016
Silver Medal for
Lifestyle & Wellness category
Research paper published and presented at Ubicomp Conference
Design & Research - Andriana Nassou & Andrea Pisa
There is a growing need for mental health tools in today's society. The need is going to grow more in the coming years with 1 in 4 people expected to have mental health problems by 2030.
Meditation has been proven to have several cognitive and mental health benefits but novice meditators tend to lose concentration fast and consequently their interest to the practise.
Current meditation aids focus on stimulating our focus externally although breathing is the only body function we can actively control to alter the state of mind.
How technology can harness the tools our body has to maintain focus?
XHA was created by bringing together the traditional approach of Zen Buddhist monks in Kyoto along with technology to bridge the gap between the two.
XHA's technology is based on the use of the tools the body already has so that the user is able to develop a skill.
This is also enhanced by the design of the wearable.
The distinct sequence which is required to adjust the product on the body is a way to introduce a new ritual around meditation. Rituals are known to increase involvement, a concept akin to intrinsic interest as well as mentally prepare the users for what comes next.
LEARNING FROM THE EXPERTS
Collaboration with Takafumi Kawakami, Buddhist monk and head priest of Shinkoin Temple in Kyoto.
By monitoring the breathing and other biometrics of experts and normal users while meditating we found that the breathing pattern can indicate loss of focus before the user realises it.
Scientific experiment was conducted using the individual’s breathing sound real-time as a reminder to bring your concentration back to the practice
Qualitative research was also performed with users to map the experience and effectiveness of such technology
The technology has been tested to dozens of users from around the world and a paper was published outlining the findings at Ubicomp Conference in 2017 in Hawai.