xHA

INTERACTIVE MINDFULNESS 

 

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.

 

TECHNOLOGY  

 

Bespoke technology was developed for identifying

loss of focus through the breathing pattern. 

INFO

WHAT:

 

Project during the double masters Global Innovation Design. XHA started in Tokyo by collaborating with Buddhist Monks and was finalised in New York.

 

WHERE:

 

Royal College of Art & Imperial College

 

WHEN:

 

Feb 2016 - Nov 2016

AWARDS:

Silver Medal for

Lifestyle & Wellness category

Research paper published and presented at Ubicomp Conference

Design & Research - Andriana Nassou & Andrea Pisa

INSIGHT

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?

OPPORTUNITY

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. 

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THE PROCESS

LEARNING FROM THE EXPERTS 

Collaboration with Takafumi Kawakami, Buddhist monk and head priest of Shinkoin Temple in Kyoto.

 

Insights:

 

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. 

TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT

 

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. 

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