I am a passionate and dedicated designer driven by curiosity to create effective, innovative and sustainable solutions.
I believe design is a creative process which should be adapted to give great user experience through innovation and an inclusive approach.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), or autism, is a broad term used to describe a group of neurodevelopmental conditions. These conditions are characterized by differences in communication and social interaction. People with ASD often demonstrate restricted and repetitive interests or patterns of behavior. Autism is of 3 types: Functional, Moderate, and Severe Autism.
An autistic/sensory meltdown occurs when somebody is completely overwhelmed by their surroundings, and their brain struggles to process the volume of information that it’s receiving. Consequently, the individual can temporarily lose control and react in extreme ways (often either explosively or by shutting down).
Autistic individuals are generally dependent on their caregivers (Parents, siblings, close relatives, teacher/therapists) for care and support.
For a new caregiver, it is difficult to communicate with the autistic individual in a normal scenario and detect when a meltdown may occur, and how to communicate and calm the autistic individual.
How might we be able to help a caregiver communicate with an individual with severe autism and to help him/her detect a meltdown before it occurs?
A device that would help in communication between individuals living with autism and caregivers or family members who do not know the person well (during the initial stages of upbringing) or even therapists/special teachers.
Based on evidence from a literature review, the device will monitor physiological and behavioral changes that will alert the caregivers that the individual is becoming stressed and reduce overstimulation at the ‘rumble stage’/meltdown.
Spectre is a Smart wrist monitor mobile application device that not only helps caregivers communicate with autistic individuals but also has many functions that help caregivers care for and monitor autistic individuals under their care.
The wrist monitor is a seamless smartwatch worn by the autistic individual that records heart rate, SpO2 levels, and stress. to tell when a Meltdown may likely occur and send the readings to the Caregiver through the Mobile Application.
The mobile application also has features like ‘Scribble’, a video call, to communicate with the autistic individual. It has further functionalities like Video showcase and music to mitigate meltdown.
Finally, several other functions such as location tracking, sleep monitoring, and scheduling help the caregiver in day-to-day activities with the autistic individual.
Three sets of prototypes are made:
11 watch models are made with different designs, different strap materials, case sizes, materials and watch fasteners to test which would be the best smartwatch that would be accepted by autistic individuals for their sensitivities and comfort.
80 screens are made to depict the mobile application functionalities.
The electronics prototype consists of Arduino 33BLE Sense and Arduino Uno boards connected to sensors that are able to measure heart rate/pulse, Blood oxygen, GPS, temperature, and humidity which are needed to detect meltdown from an autistic individual. The prototype demonstrates the feasibility of the smart wrist monitor.
The Watch prototype is made by 3D printing. Putty and sanding are done to make the watch’s bottom surface smooth (which is in contact with the user)
Weight to the watch is added by using a metal slab cut from a water jet cutter.
Ideations and Skeches – Several concepts are made and selected based on user preference and likeness
Exploded view – Product for manufacture
Concept designs selected for testing. During testing, it was observed that the autistic individual preferred the numbered design