Mar 7, 2016 | By Tess
We all deal with stress on a daily basis. For some, coping with stress involves exercise, meditation, or therapy, but for many, stress is a difficult state to overcome. To help those suffering from stress, German interface designer Simone Schramm has developed the “Stressball”, a 3D printed interactive ball that is capable of measuring stress levels and turning them into visual communications.
Schramm’s Stressball is meant to help people with stress or anxiety by first helping them to understand their stress levels by outwardly manifesting them. Essentially, the prototype of the Stressball is able to change its appearance and haptic qualities or textures based on its holder’s stress levels simply by having the user hold it in their hands.
The prototype of the Stressball is made up of a 3D printed spherical outer shell, and 580 3D printed knobs, which, through an internal system of compression springs and an inflatable balloon, move in and out of the spherical shell’s surface. By simply holding the Stressball, its user’s stress and anxiety levels are picked up through external sensors capable of reading skin conduction, and generate the ball’s physical transformation—the more stressed you are the more the knobs will extend.
When the stressed user touches or holds the Stressball, the smooth ball not only turns into a more textured, knobbed surface, but its color changes from all white to a multi-colored and dynamic palette. The physical transformation of the 3D printed Stressball is meant to make its users more in tune with their own states and conditions and help them to begin to cope with stress in a tactile, haptic way.
The 3D printed Stressball was part of Simone Schramm’s Master Thesis, entitled “Less Quantified Self-More Qualified You” at Fachhochschule Potsdam in Germany. The project undertaken by Schramm had as its goal the exploration of self-tracking devices and technologies as well as the development of a uniquely intuitive self-tracking object, which challenges the growing tendency to understand our own selves through numbers and data.
Instead of reaching for your squishy stressball and relieving tension by squeezing the life out of it, the 3D printed self-tracking object designed by Simone Schramm is meant to therapeutically and subtly help you through your stressful moments by physically and outwardly acknowledging your emotional state in an intuitive way.
Posted in 3D Printing Application
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