2nd March, 2016
About a week ago, I visited the chemist to buy Iodex. No, not Zandu Balm, Iodex. There are stories about people applying Iodex, and eating it with bread, just to get high. But not me.
I get backaches. I do yoga every morning (at least, that’s what I tell myself). But the back problem, apart from being hereditary, could be the result of improper posture.
Fact. 8 out of 10 people have back issues sooner than expected.
That’s when it dawns on me. It has been at least ten thousand years that humans have been trying to design chairs. Something that doesn’t make improper sounds when we move, something that doesn’t rock when it is not supposed to. The perfect chair eludes us.
But, let’s back up a bit. Technology has reached a level that it can well support us, and our slumped spines.
So why not make a chair which knows that sitting for prolonged periods is bad for health. A chair that adapts to personal preferences and work habits. A chair that prompts you to exercise or take a break if you’ve been sitting for prolonged periods of time. A chair that does a whole lot more than just revolve. A chair that sparks a revolution. A chair that’s smarter than you.
We conducted precedence studies and research, but we did not find a product we liked. So we decided to grab the hot seat, take matters back into our own hands, and come up with prototypes over the coming weeks.
A chair that detects if a person is sitting, and times sitting time.
Research shows that even if you exercise, sitting for 6+ hours a day means you are 40% likelier to trigger chronic back problems.
The concept would presently target offices or places where people are seated for prolonged periods of time. Later, it could expand to every chair in every room.
The concept would benefit individual users immensely.
The approach is to interface a cloud data collection with a retrofitted chair module. This hardware and software interaction should be scalable.
A chair that detects presence, times presence, and gives feedback for extended sitting times.
Iterations and Prototypes
The aim of prototyping in the first week is to retrofit a chair with some form of a sensor that detects presence. The presence thus recorded is sent to the cloud, and a timer starts. While ???? this, the retrofit module displays its occupancy status as “occupied” or “vacant” through lights. A graph is generated on the cloud-based algorithm which collates this data in a representative format. As soon as a stipulated time is reached, the cloud sends a trigger for initiating feedback mechanism.
The hardware comprises of microcontrollers such as Arduino and NodeMCU; paired wi-fi modules; light emitting diodes for notification purposes; vibration motors for feedback; wires for connections; buttons for sensing and actuating; a chair to fit it all in; and a cloud (no, not the one in the sky).
Blog written by Aditya Aserkar
Illustrations by Ranjita Chowdhuri
Would keep updating the progress!