BIG researcher Themis Omirou recently participated as part of a team that won the 1st prize award in the SPHERE Dress-Sense competition. The winning project was called “Yo – a system to support and enable users to self-manage symptoms of mental illness and modify behaviours, during and beyond a course of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy”. Yo devices promote user-awareness to break their negative thought cycles and behaviour patterns, resulting in a positive change of mood. The concept storyboard illustrated how the Yo devices encourage self-reflection, human interaction and incremental changes to the user’s daily activities.
Yo is comprised by the Yo-band and the Yo-bot. The Yo-band continuously collects data about a person’s daily activity, recording when they are still and when they are moving. The wearer of the Yo-band can also tap the band when they experience a negative thought. The number of button taps and the activity levels are relayed via Bluetooth to the Yo-bot when in range. The data is then combined and reflected in the well-being of the Yo-bot via a graphic image of a sunrise. In effect the Yo-bot mirrors the well-being of the individual and, depending on their state, it will then suggest activities for them.
The team was composed of 7 team members : Themis Omirou (BIG), Annie Lywood (UWE), Antonis Vafeas (UOB), Egho Ireo (Bath), Michal Kozlowski (UOB) , Kimberly Higgins and Olivia Tiley (Red Maids’ School). The 5000 pound award was given by the Mayor of Bristol, George Ferguson, in a ceremony that took place in Watershed.