In this project I want to develop a wearable garment suit that will help prevent pressure ulcers, especially to relieve the pain of immobilized individuals. Pressure ulcers are a huge problem that many people suffer from and sometimes causes infections and other health complications. I am imagining a garments that should be worn most of the time and would help blood circulation and give support to the bones.
This week I needed to give form to my idea and to create and object that will capture the “essence” of my idea. When starting to formulate my idea my hypothesis is that by creating pockets under the sit bones and thighs that will be inflated automatically and will alternate between the left and right sides of the body every 15-30 min it will be possible to reduce dramatically the appearance of pressure ulcers.
I created a mock up of such pockets and inflated them with balloon, just to get the shape effect.
In my research I came across Lymphedema which is a wearable that serves a therapy method that massages the vascular and muscle group of the lower limbs using pneumatic, or air, pressure in sequence to promotes good circulation.
I also found the Tri Pulse which is a sequential compression therapy
I am inspired by the design of the Bio-Suit, developed by engineering professor Dava Newman for NASA’s modern space activity suit.
I am also inspired by the astronauts suits below, and believe that we should design garments for the people in need here on Earth, which will be just as thought out and well executed as the spacesuits.
I found Tamarack which is a company that makes low-friction interfaces and fabrication tools and created this article that explains how to prevent and treat decubitus ulcers with friction, shear and pressure management.
Responding to the reading :
Design for All Life by Prasad Boradkar
This article suggests that we should move our design approach beyond anthropocentrism towards biocentrism, and to think about all living beings as our target users. It also suggest that we should turn to biomimicry and so learn from other species ways to design. I agree with this approach and hope that our design decisions will take into account the many implications and their effects on the whole biosphere.
This article describes briefly the changes made in computer interfaces across a timeline. From 1984 the interface became more natural and intuitive to the human users with the introduction of the mouse. Also computers started having closer resemblance in their iconographic approach to familiar physical objects. Now we can see that there was a huge shift from machine language to human language of symbols, words and gestures interfaces. Nonetheless we are still far from making interfaces that will let us communicate effortlessly. Fjord describes a scenario of a time when technology will be embedded in our bodies to the point of skipping the interface almost all together:
” You see someone at a party you like; his social profile is immediately projected onto your retina—great, a 92% match. By staring at him for two seconds, you trigger a pairing protocol. He knows you want to pair, because you are now glowing slightly red in his retina screen. Then you slide your tongue over your left incisor and press gently. This makes his left incisor tingle slightly. He responds by touching it. The pairing protocol is completed.
What is lovely about these micro gestures and expressions is that they are totally intuitive. Who doesn’t stare at someone a second too long when they fancy them, and licking your lips is a spontaneously flirtatious gesture. The possible interactions are almost limitless and move us closer and closer to a natural human-computer interface. At this point, the really intriguing thing is that the interface has virtually disappeared; the screens are gone, and the input devices are dispersed around the body.”
To me this sounds very useless, we can skip this kind of “natural computer interface” altogether and just stare at someone that extra second in a party and go to them. In the scenario that Fjord is describing I don’t see a place for the computer to be part of interaction at all. I hope that in the case that we will use embedded technologies within our bodies we will use them to connect to our own subconscious and the workings of our physical bodies more that to use them for connecting with one another.
Design for Wearability – old (1998) but grounding text in the field – Francine Gemperle, Chris Kasabach, John Stivoric, Malcolm Bauer, Richard Martin