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MoodWings: A Wearable Biofeedback Device for Real-Time Stress Intervention

D. MacLean, Asta Roseway, and Mary Czerwinski


Stress has a wide range of negative impacts on people, ranging from declines in real-time task performance to development of chronic health conditions. Despite the increasing availability of sensors and methods for detecting stress, little work has focused on automated stress interventions and their effect. We present MoodWings: a wearable butterfly that mirrors a user’s real-time stress state through actuated wing motion. We designed MoodWings to function both as an early-stress-warning system as well as a physical interface through which users could manipulate their affective state. Accordingly, we hypothesized that MoodWings would help users both calm down and perform better during stressful tasks. We tested our hypotheses on a common stressful task: driving. While users drove significantly more safely with MoodWings, they experienced higher stress levels (physiologically and self-perceived). Despite this, users were enthusiastic about MoodWings, expressing several alternative contexts in which they would find it useful. We discuss these results and future design implications for building externalized manifestations of real-time affective state.


Publication typeInproceedings
PublisherPETRA (Pervasive Technologies Related to Assistive Environments) 2013
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