“A tree-shaped device helps you practice
the breathing technique used for singing!”
Our team’s chosen domain is ‘Body as controller’, in which users’ body will serve as controller for interactions. Our specific design space is ‘Breathing for Wellness’, targeting at exploring novel interactions for different breathing methods. Breath is something tightly related to our daily life and everyone does all the time, but few of us pay attention to the breathing methods we use. In fact, previous studies have shown that for people’s different purposes, such as doing sports and sing songs, the way of breathing also varies. So, it worth exploring engaging interactions on this seemingly simple and common thing.
The breathing method I focus on is the Abdominal Breathing, which is used for singing. This method requires users to use the abdomen rather than the chest to control the even deep breathing, so it brings users the difficulty for practicing. Breathing is a kind of monotonous and abstract activity, so it’s difficult for users to insist on practicing and to know how to practice that in the correct way and due to the lack of intuitive and playful guidance.
The intended design is a tree-shaped wearable and tangible device that can help young singing-lovers practice this breathing technique. As the ‘belt’ part is wearable, ideally the device should be light and portable enough, and have no extra wiring to connect to the laptop. Moreover, for the ‘breathing tree’, it would be ideal to hide all wires connected to LED lights by placing them inside the ‘trunk’ of the ‘tree’.
The intended user experience is mainly about two parts. First, this device can help novice learners practice the abdominal breathing technique in the correct manner by offering users multi-sensory feedback. Also, it intends to serve as an engaging practicing tool to provide learners with playful guidance and interaction for practicing.
The final product has successfully achieved the design objectives of this project. By quantifying the total breathing time (around 15 seconds) by setting 7 time intervals (2 seconds) and giving users both visual and auditory feedback, this device enhanced their practicing efficiency and effectiveness. Therefore, it guided users to practice in the intuitive and correct manner.
In addition, by asking users to slowly and steadily exhale to ‘light up’ the entire breathing ‘tree’, they can practice the abdominal breathing technique in a gamified way, which ensures the accuracy for practicing while making the tedious breathing practice be playful.