Virtual Reality helps to create an immersive experience, but this project by Chelly Jin brings another level by adding heart rate. Here’s her description of the project Solitude: Biofeedback Virtual Reality.
This piece re-conceptualizes loneliness into solitude by developing a unique body and sensory awareness. Users become aware of their solitude, but in return experience a ‘world’ influenced by their state of being and breathing.
An Arduino and pulse sensor are the additions to the Oculus Rift adding the depth of experience. Images were created using the Unity Game Engine and it’s fascinating to watch the planets change size in response to the sensor. For people that cannot do meditation, this setup may prove to be relaxing and help to focus attention on the breath. I could also see this being used in cases where people are experiencing stress, such as in a hospital waiting room. Chelly is a student at University of California Los Angeles and I encourage you to take a peek at her portfolio, which is quickly growing. For those of you who are contemplating heart rate for a future project, you should definitely check out our learning guide for the Meditation Trainer. It uses a Pulse Sensor Amped with our easy-to-use Circuit Playground Microcontroller to help you visualize your Heart Rate Variability (HRV). The bottom LEDs give you the color representing your state of relaxation while LEDs on the upper part of the microcontroller help pace your breathing. So, learn about the pulse sensor and its code in a practical way that will help you deal with stress better.
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