The Breathing Sphere suggests a multimodal feedback design to enhance user experience while performing breathing exercises. While successfully guiding the user’s breath, the Breathing Sphere also succeeds in providing an immersive user experience.
Stress-related diseases and anxiety are among the most frequently occurring mental disorders in Denmark. We set out to examine whether meditation practice might be enhanced using multimodal feedback in a tangible product. This prototype consists of an interactive sphere, which guides the user through the 4-7-8 breathing exercise by providing a combined haptic and visual feedback. The user avoids keeping track of the timing on their own without risking general disturbances and notifications by using a smart device for the purpose.
While performing the breathing exercise, the user sits in a way comfortable to them while holding the sphere in both hands. The user can then initiate the breathing exercise by shaking the sphere. The exercise lasts four cycles of 4-7-8 breathing, after which the prototype automatically returns to standby mode.
We performed user studies to support our hypothesis. The majority of our 12 user studies demonstrated a measurable decrease of the respondent's heart rates towards the end of each exercise. The design is multimodal, meaning that the user’s breathing is guided both visually and haptically. It seems that the visual modality benefits more from the synergistic relationship than the haptic modality. By this, we mean that the haptic guidance works relatively well on its own, and the visual feedback complements the haptic by providing atmosphere, friendliness and personality to the prototype.
In conclusion, we demonstrated that users prefer a multimodal feedback design which provides an improved user experience.
Rikke Skjoldager & Mads Vejrup