enVella: Making Space Personal


Session Title:

  • Wearable Technologies

Presentation Title:

  • enVella: Making Space Personal




  • enVella is a kinetic dress with movement triggered by the detection of the wearer’s state of fear and anxiety. The upper portion of the dress is surrounded by four fans which open and envelope the wearer when the user’s body temperature and heart rate increase. When the wearer’s heart rate and temperature increase, the microcontroller concludes that a state of fear has been achieved. As a result, the fans open to comfort and protect the wearer.

    An experience everyone has in common is that of being in the mother’s womb. Inside the womb, one was safe and warm. This very experience has molded the human reaction to stress and fear. One naturally feels safer when enclosed and warm, especially when faced with darkness. To outline this effect, consider the comfort that can be derived by being wrapped in a blanket. In spite of offering no real protection, one instinctively huddles into a blanket when frightened.

    With enVella, the project designers investigate the feasibility of detecting fear with a combination of biosensors; and, with a working implementation of such a system, to explore whether an enveloping form raised in response to the presence of fear provides a sense of comfort.

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