Alright, so Jackie and I are teaming up on this one.
Idea 1: The Wiimote
So the initial idea was to take apart a Wiimote and put the components on a glove to enhance the gesture control nature of the Nintendo Wii. However, this is merely a technical exercise, and as Dana articulated where I couldn’t, we would basically be changing the casing of the Wiimote. It isn’t enough.
Dana informed me that you can indeed use a Wiimote with the computer, and there are many instances of people interacting with Processing using a Wiimote. I don’t know why I thought this, but I didn’t think you could actually do that. From some cursory research, this may involve making a DIY infrared sensor bar, which may be problematic in that we don’t have a lot of time to ship parts. I am going to try very hard to find a way to use a Wii sensor bar or find a relatively inexpensive one that connects to a USB port. I’m still not entirely sure how to get them to talk, and there are a few Processing libraries that seem to work, but the posts I’ve been finding are for Processing 2 and earlier. I am concerned that there may be no contemporary libraries that are functional. Truth be told, I am skeptical that this idea will work (and remain at a reasonable price).
Idea 2: Anti-Anxiety Plush (+ other things)
My other idea is to make an anti-anxiety or anxiety helper plush. To do this I would use a pulse sensor, a speaker and possibly an LED. My idea is to track when the pulse sensor sends a signal, and use that to create a steady pulse rhythm that is slower than the user’s own heartbeat. The key here is that I want to have that steady rate rather than merely delaying the signal from the pulse sensor, as we saw they can be rather finicky, and having just a steady beat would be more soothing. As a side note, I mentioned this idea to my sister and she has a plush that plays a slow, steady heartbeat sound already! She said it really helps her, so I guess I have my case study! But I want my heartbeat sound to be responsive to the user’s own heart rate so it could help slowly bring down their heart rate.
Dana also suggested to me that I look into other delivery methods for this – like having a plush to cuddle isn’t necessarily the best idea for say, a working professional. So I can think about other forms of delivery for the sound and light, as well as ways to apply the pulse sensor (my mind immediately jumps to just like.. a cute block of wood for the sound. This may be because of my love of Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium being a movie that never fails to calm me down and cheer me up). Eventually, having like a fashionable bracelet or something wireless would be nice, and for the delivery for something discreet, maybe a necklace that just vibrates gently with the pulse beat? But that would definitely be an “eventually” sort of thing. At least I have somewhere to go with this one!