Stills from group performance enacting a scenario showing the inflatable wearable in use (team member Duckpower in stills)
An inflatable wearable for the fight against hay fever
This is an Arduino project exploring the future of our battle with hay fever. A vaccine that will boost our immune system so we never have to suffer from hay fever is around the corner, or so they keep saying. In the meantime, this is a fun proposal for a wearable inflatable that senses the level of air pollution before the user is exposed to the pollen/pollutants. It inflates into a stylish scarf-like wearable mimicking the suffocating feeling of hay fever (but without the hay fever) to indicate that a nearby area has high levels of the pollutants the user is allergic to. An app connected to live pollutant data will allow the user to configure it to their own requirements, including setting required proximity to flagged zone before inflation, degree of inflation and optional notification sent to emergency contact in case user fails to use their inhaler/medication.
The inhaler was designed in the shape of a nose and a set of lips, and the wearable was designed as a flamboyant fashion item which contradict the usual monotone medical wearables in the market today. We envisage a future when more fun designs will make their way into the mainstream medical wearables market, in particular children’s wearables, to help fight the stigma of a medical diagnosis.
(Conceptualisation + prop making + Arduino configuration + presentation);
(Conceptualisation + prop making + presentation);
(Conceptualisation + prop making + presentation)
Inflatable form illustration
For a demo performance of this proposal, we used a 12V DC power supply to power two AIRPO pumps. A one-way valve with rotating stopper (controlled by a servo motor) was placed at one end of a flexible rubber tube. Two of these rubber tubes were connected to the two AIRPO pumps and the Arduino controlled the pump start and stop timing.
To demonstrate an additional feature of the wearable, we connected four red LED lights to the Arduino and timed them to switch on and start blinking, along with a beeping sound from a Piezo buzzer, after 30 seconds of inflation. This was used during the performance to demonstrate the wearable's ability to tell if the wearer has taken their medication, and if not, the connected app would send a notification to an emergency contact's phone. The blinking LEDs and the buzzer - the alarm box - represented the phone notification. The 30 seconds were enough for the timing of our performance to demonstrate this feature.