Flow

A visually aided Dyadic Meditation Experience: Evoke Social Connection Through Bio-signal Sharing

Independent Work | 2019     Tools:   Unity, VFX Graph   Device: Muse2   Skills:  Brain-Computer Interface, Experience Design

(The Lab Streaming Layer is still under development. The demo above shows a prototype without real data streaming.)

 

Brief

 
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Flow is a BCI (Brain-Computer Interface) project based on muse2 headband and Unity3d engine, which visualize and share brain wave signals. It helps enhance the experience of partner meditation, hence deepen self-awareness and social connectedness.

Pipeline

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Inspiration

The first day I joined my lab, there’s a 2 min group meditation at the end of lab meeting. When everyone closes their eyes and focus on their own breath, I feel magically closer to every member with increasing mindfulness. I start to ask myself, would there be a way to enhance this experience.

Contemplative Dyad

In contrast to traditional meditation methods done alone, Contemplative Dyad is a new type of daily meditation with a partner, which increases social connectedness and could reduce feelings of loneliness. The speaker speaks in detail about her experience and feeling, while the listener listens carefully and starts to cultivate empathy by being mentally present; and vice versa.

Trataka and Yantra

Trataka is a tantric method of meditation which brings the mind to a state of awareness, attention and focus. The practitioner may fix attention on a symbol or yantra, such as the Om symbol, a black dot, the image of some deity, a candle flame, a mirror or any point, and stare at it. One of our goal here is to utilize bio-signal as a new form of real-time generated yantra.

Prototyping

Platform

The Muse headband would stream user’s EEG (Brain wave) data and PPG (breathing) data into Unity Engine using LSL (Lab Streaming Layer).

Paper Prototype

Experience Design

With participant’s attention more and more concentrated, the visualized object would gradually shift from the shapeless to a more and more complete sphere, with the particles transiting from chaos to calmness and order; Along with participant’s breathing pattern, the light dust would get brighter and subtly inflated when he is inhaling, and vice versa. By projecting the visualization and overlaying it with the partner, the other participant could intuitively observe his partner’s state of mind, and perceive the mental presence and dedication of his partner during the mediation.

The Metaphor

The shifting 'light dust' reflects the inner world of the participant (Ego). The scattering particles are the ‘thoughts’, with the forming sphere being the ‘mind’. The state of mind/level of attention is roughly divided into 3 stages:

Stage1: Cascading Waterfall

Stage2: Flowing River

Stage3: Waving Ocean