This is my summary of: Valins, S., 1966. Cognitive effects of false heart-rate feedback. Journal of personality and social psychology, 4(4), pp.400–8. In it Valins describes the context, procedure and results of a psychological experiment designed to investigate the effects of false autonomic feedback on subjects experience of emotional content. Continue reading
In the following post I describe some methods and tools for capturing a persons heart rate for the usage in physiological computing/biosensing applications. It represents some of the research I conducted during for my master’s thesis, which deals with technologies providing autonomic feedback. The focus in this case was on simplicity of access in the context of mobile and wearable applications, not maximum preciseness of the data (such as might be a requirement for a laboratory environment or in a medical context). It describes approaches using two widespread methods: ECG/EKG-based and pulse oximetry-based measurements.
The development of the previous two prototypes — a glove and a wristband — provided valuable insights into the requirements for wearable technologies giving autonomic feedback, leading to the construction of this third version. It uses a Polar chest strap to detect a users pulse and translate it instantaneous into vibrations on a users wrist. It also is the first functional prototype providing possibilities for continuous, shared autonomic feedback between two people, albeit only across a short distance.
After some more testing of the first prototype for my master’s thesis, dealing with wearable devices that provide autonomic feedback, I found out some crucial flaws in the design. Some of them are purely technical, others are related to overall design decisions. However, the main problem of that first prototype was that it did not allow me to continuously experience autonomic feedback for a longer period of time, in order to get some hints on how to properly tune the design. This prototype is a more reliable version simulating pattern of autonomic feedback without being based on actual measurements. In contrast to version one, it comes in the design of a wristband and makes use of components specifically build for wearable computing.