Seven Anxiety Sensing Prototypes: Materials & Sensors Workshop

February 27, 2015 by Maria Angela Ferrario

On the 2nd of March we had our second all-partner meet-up attended by our distinguished guest Dr R. Platel from the School of Chemistry, who kindly organised the ‘Power of Plastic Workshop’ for the core research team just days beforehand. Yes, we are interested in PLAs, biodegredable and new materials in 3D-printing! You will see more on this in the future.

For now, two lines about the outcome of our first dry run of the ‘Technology Kitchen’ during which each participant created, ‘pitched’ and tore-down seven visionary anxiety sensing devices. More information about the workshop can be found in the workshop slides. The next day we then asked the participants to vote their top three favourites they want to see developed into more advanced prototypes for Cambridge Science Festival, with only two weeks to go, which one would you choose?

TECHNOLOGY KITCHEN: 7 Amazing anxiety sensing devices


Chillax Triiger knows your stress levels and chillax you down. Designed as a pen you can hold in your hand, it comes with a yellow button to click your worries away. At the other end, its finely tuned cough detector catches early signs of stress-related cough. The patented Vibroheat bars heat up or cool down according to your skin temperature. Their vibrations act as hypnosis-anchors and take your mind into a peaceful hypnotic state. No data is automatically shared: all data is logged and stored into the device first. You can transfer your Chillax data through a delightfully retro USB key for your own personal reflection. Chillax Trigger comes with a complementary hypnosis session. Testimonial: “Chillax trigger is a fantastic invention”



Sharpie Mood Enhancer (SME) is for people who do not want to give any data away. On one end, a scentsing tip diffuses scents for instant relaxation; on the other, a tactile plug-in device comes in any shape, colour, and texture of your choice. SME is arguably the best way to dispel your data-driven worries away. Testimonial: “Brought by the same people who invented the CHILLAX TRIGGER”



Distracthon is for people with moderate anxiety, who do not ask for help but feel under pressure. Equipped with a heart micro monitor (right) and a brain-sensors (left), the Distracthon is worn around your head in a stylish 60s headband fashion. It detects your brain activity signalling both the effort required for the task in hand and the concentration that you are capable of giving for such task. For instance, if your brain processes are ‘loaded’ by some major family events, then Distracthon signals a cognitive overload. Premium versions come with an automatic ‘sick-note’ printing function, underwritten by your own GP. Testimonial: “DISTRACTHON is quite amazing; it provides clear evidence of cognitive and emotional load”



Chill Me is your own inner voice. It listens to your heart, skin temperature, voice-quality (e.g. dry mouth) and it gives unobtrusive feedback on what is best to do or say in stressful circumstances such as a public speech, or an exam. It can stroke you, pat you in the back, or “nibble your ear” the important thing is that you negotiate how that inner voice may learn from you to behave Testimonial: “CHILL ME is extraordinary, it is a device that you can fully train; it is your inner ‘forget me not’”



Colin is an invisible, weightless sensory-snack dispensing device worn as a pair of glasses and able to do whatever your need whenever you need it. Designed with and for people who tend to slip into their ‘own world bubbles’ by shutting everything and everyone out, Colin senses when somebody starts disengaging and immediately provides a stimulus, or a ‘sensory snack’ such as a smell or sound, to help to re-engage with the outside world. Colin stimulates, re-engages and re-directs people into real life without the risk of adverse reactions Testimonial: “it could be a little moustache, the girls would love it”



Have you ever experienced waking up at 4am with lots of ideas spinning around your head and the desire to catch them all? Or getting anxious because you have some many other things to do? Then Idea Catcher is your answer! This ingenious device snugly fits into your ear and captures your creative thoughts whilst filtering out your worries. Once your thoughts are safely captured, IC plays soothing sounds or sends relaxing images to your mind. IC communicates via Bluetooth and automatically logs your ideas and tasks by filing them under related events in your diary. Testimonial: “IDEA CATCHER can revolutionise your day life in you sleep”



Eirene is a Peace Plant you can talk to and that connects you to your loved ones, no matter where they are. Designed for geographically dispersed families who are going through difficult times, Eirene listens to your voice, senses its tone and pace, and parses your words through advanced Natural Language Processing (NLP) techniques. As you speak, Eirene dispenses purified air and uses your words as filters to retrieve images, videos, sounds, and music, which can ‘up’ your mood and the feelings of your loved ones. Ephemeral notifications (Snapchat style) only lasting one view are delivered to your own family Buds network via flexible Credit Card size devices that can fit in your wallet. Testimonial: “No data is stored for ever, Eirene helps you to let things go”