Collaborators: Tatiana Baughman, Dana Gretton, Audrey Mock, Leandra Tejedor
inHale is a teletangible device that promotes synchronized breathing by enabling groups of individuals to create their own rhythms, patterns, and self-define their own collective metronome. We propose inHale as a tool that facilitates group synchronization in remote settings through breath.
The current design of inHale reflects both the smooth flow, inspired by the relaxed, flow state in yoga, and the need for the wearable to be minimally invasive.
The inner motor and encoder are controlled by a Raspberry Pi and synchronized by a server-based script.
The inner casing, consisting of four 3D-printed parts and four bearings, houses the motor, fixes the actuating belt onto the device, and allows for the actuating belt to expand and contract smoothly.
The spiral railing was designed to minimize the size of the device. The double-spiral design also enables the direct translation of the motor’s rotational movement to a symmetrical, bilateral linear movement.
Lastly, the actuating belt, comprising two straps, a buckle, and two unique, bearing-relieved ‘hooks’ that latch onto the spiral railing, creating the dynamic contraction and expansion of the device.
While most current haptic wearable research focuses on the recreation of physical sensations in virtual environments (e.g. haptic VR gloves) or embodying virtual feedback through touch (e.g. music rhythm), inHale aims to create interpersonal connections through a physical and essentially human input and output. The device is strapped onto each person’s chest or stomach, depending on use (e.g. singing utilizes ‘belly’ breathing), and buckled into the actuating belt. In the case of a chest-strapped scenario, when one participant inhales, other participants feel a slight expansion of the device, and when a participant exhales, other participants feel the contraction around their diaphragms. The expansion and contraction suggests the wearer to inhale and exhale in synchrony with the movement of the device. When synchrony is attained, the device is effectively passive.