Designer: Stefanie Bonte
Trend: Digital Empathy
Written by: Julie Maas

How can a cuddly thing improve your mood? Designer Stefanie Bonte came up with Numinous, an empathic ‘fluffy ball’, that helps burn-out patients gain insight in their stress levels.

Stefanie’s goal is to make invisible stress related symptoms visible, for both patients and medical specialists. Numinous makes heartbeat, breathing, and muscle tension visible, audible, or tangible by the use of sensors. You have to hold the ball and put a finger on the sensors. It creates feedback that mimics these inner body experiences for people with extreme stress symptoms. For example, it translates your heartbeat into vibrations. By holding the fluffy ball and doing a little breathing exercise you can try to become aware of your own heartbeat and experience how your breathing effects your heart rate. This can lower your stress levels. Numinous could give patients and medical specialists insight about vague physical symptoms related to the high stress levels that accompany a burnout. This way they don’t immediately have to start medical examinations, or label everything as a panic attack. These complaints could function as a starting point for gaining insight in the way people get to these high stress levels.

Numinous fits within the trend Digital Empathy because it recognises your stress levels and gives you tactile feedback to help you improve your mood. Numinous is an example of a new way of communicating between humans and technology, where technology can understand the person’s mood and react to his or her feelings.



Photos: Stefanie Bonte

You can find Numinous at the exhibition Embassy of Health; Strijp-T

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