Last week fellow THINKer James Hallam won the Functional Design Exhibition at the seventeenth annual International Symposium on Wearable Computers.
ISWC, held this year in Zurich, is the premier global forum for wearable computing and issues related to on-body and worn mobile technologies.
The conference brings together researchers, product vendors, fashion designers, textile manufacturers, users, and related professionals to share information and advances in wearable computing.
James’ prototype is a proof-of-concept design for an interactive glove that augments the mirror therapy therapeutic protocol in the treatment of a paretic limb following a stroke. It was developed during preparation for his Master’s Thesis at the School of Industrial Design at Georgia Tech, supervised by Professor Jim Budd.
The glove is designed to allow a patient to stimulate the fingertips of their affected hand by tapping the fingers of their unaffected hand. The gloves use Force Sensing Resistors to trigger Linear Resonance Actuators on the corresponding fingers to provide the stimulation.
James’ prototype uses both mirror therapy and haptic stimulus to demonstrate the potential of the brain to respond to mirrored stimulus – regenerating lost neural pathways by re-mapping stimulus presented by an unaffected limb.
With the recent advances in miniaturization and fabrication, James believes he has found a way to incorporate mirror therapy and haptic stimulus into a simple rehabilitation kit, suitable for use in the home.