Initial Thesis Research: Meditation, Breath, and Technology

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My primary motivation for exploring meditation, breath, and technology is my interest in stress and anxiety. Stress is something everyone experiences in varying degrees throughout their lifetime. Personally, I have a difficult time dealing with stress and anxiety. In order to learn how to manage these issues, I came across some biofeedback meditation training sessions offered on my campus by Student Counseling Services. I also have been practicing yoga on and off for the past few years. I am committed to making both of these practices more regular in my life.

Benefits of Meditation

I came across an excellent TED talk about meditation:

Here are some of the notable benefits of meditation:

  • Improved attention span
  • Sharpened focus
  • Improved memory
  • Reduced stress, pain, depression, and anxiety

Current Relevant Technologies

Transforming Pain Research Group (SFU)

AIST: Paro Therapeutic Robot

  • Motivation: to allow the benefits of animal therapy for patients in environments where live animals present difficulties
    Video Demo

Yohanan and McLean: The Haptic Creature

  • Motivation: to investigate the display, recognition, and emotional influence of affective touch
    Video Demo

Initial Thesis Brainstorming

So here are my current ideas for my thesis topic!

Create a portable object to guide breath in meditation.

  • Size: currently playing with the idea of a small handheld object, a larger huggable object, or a pendant
  • Material: silicone material Insert that could be warmed up (reminiscent of therapeutic spa masks)
  • Incorporate use of biofeedback sensors

Until Next Time…

My main goals for the upcoming month:

  • Reading scientific papers about benefits of meditation
  • Researching more projects/studies dealing with breath, touch, and therapeutic technologies
  • Experimenting with Arduino and biofeedback sensors
  • Developing a more thorough thesis idea

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