Feeling the Music
Immersive meditation through vibration
Bolster pillows with a tactile vibration inserts were created for Inscape meditation studio. These pillows wirelessly connect to the 360 degree audio system and vibrate synchronized with the prominent low frequencies of the sound. The final version was built using a variety of technologies including Apple AirPlay, Raspberry Pi Zero W, various vibration motors, Li-Ion batteries, and cases.
Meditation is a bit of a loaded word. Its' meaning and purpose are highly subjective. To some, it means to control the racing thoughts and ideas we have. Meditation can mean to intentionally move thoughts from a destructive direction to a more productive one. For some, it's a way to gain a sense of peace or just a time to think deeply about a subject of interest. It can also mean to fully release your mind and body to the current moment in order to experience your surroundings in a new way.
Inscape meditation studio in the flatiron district of Manhattan has paid incredible attention to detail in the crafting of the surroundings that their clients experience in meditation sessions. They've done amazing work to paint a beautiful tapestry of experience for their client's senses. Warm colored light and natural woodgrain toward the bottom of the room create a safe and cozy space for your body. The cool colors and geometric patterns towards the top of the room create a open spaciousness that promotes a freedom for your mind to explore. Intricately designed sounds surround you from all angles with their 360 degree immersive audio. The mild scent of a calming herb blend soothes your senses while the provided citrus water refreshes your taste buds. Sight, smell, taste, and sound, come together. But what about the fifth sensation, physical touch? That's what we wanted to play with.
We explored several solutions. Simply choosing different materials for pads, blankets and pillows wasn't enough. Creating an ergonomic bed to lay in was too large to provide for as many as 25 people per session. We started talking about vibration. The idea was to create tactile vibration mats and pillows that clients could feel, perfectly synchronized with the surrounding audio, and customizable to each client's personal sensitivity level.