The Lotus: Bloom a Flower with your Mind
The Lotus: Bloom a Flower with your Mind
A handcrafted meditation tracker blending beautiful design and biosensor technology
A handcrafted meditation tracker blending beautiful design and biosensor technology Read more
About this project
Now into the final hours of our campaign, while it is unfortunate our Kickstarter will not reach its goal, we are pleased to announce the Lotus will bloom after all!
Pre-Orders for the 2014 Edition of the Lotus are now being accepted in the Puzzlebox Shop:
Shipping will begin in November 2014 on a first-come-first-serve basis.
Today, the benefits of mindfulness meditation are scientific fact. Dozens of studies show practicing mindfulness can make you healthier and less stressed out.
But it’s still really hard to start a mindfulness habit! That’s where your Lotus comes to the rescue.
The Lotus responds to your brainwaves through a supported brain-sensing headset. When it detects you’re calm and relaxed, the flower blooms and begins cycling through colors.
Over time the Lotus gradually closes and more slowly changes colors when it’s time to meditate again. This acts as a physical and visual reminder, gently nudging you to take a mindful break during your day.
The last decade has seen an explosion in the number of scientific papers studying mindfulness meditation. Its effects on anxiety, depression, cardiovascular health, chronic pain and stress have been well documented. In fact, mindfulness meditation is efficacious enough that it is now being offered in more than 450 hospitals around the country in the form of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR).
You can actually measure meditation in the brain and body through biosensors. These sensors, including electroencephalography devices (EEG), pick up minute changes in the brain’s electrical activity that have been shown to significantly change during meditation practices. Our strategy is to incorporate such sensors into our own Lotus product in a beautiful consumer form-factor. The Lotus will feature an open API and over time support will be added for popular third-party health and fitness trackers.
The Lotus is Social
You and your friends can start a meditation habit together, too.
Just like having a gym buddy, meditating with a friend can help you both keep on track. We’ve found that linking your practice with a friend makes everything much easier and more fun!
Choose a color for your partner and you'll see daily updates of their progress. When your friends meditate, you’ll see their colors glow from your Lotus and can receive a notification on your smartphone. And if you fall behind, your buddy will know to encourage you when their Lotus no longer turns the color they picked for you.
Support Local Artisans in India
Often with new technology, a sense of tradition gets left behind. With the Lotus we’re trying to bring technology and tradition together by working with artisans located in Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra in India, forging petals by hand out of metal. Combined with cutting edge neurotechnology, biosensors, and 3D printed components, the Lotus is a blend of the very ancient and the highly modern.
After all, for thousands of years, many cultures around the world believed that physical objects could become mirrors to inner states. With the Lotus we’re really trying to bring this ancient idea to life by making your flower into a tangible reflection of your mindfulness.
The Lotus Is Open Source
We invite artists and designers to take the Lotus and make it their own. Its seeds - detailed 3D models for the petals and every other hardware component - can be downloaded, reshaped, printed, and transplanted.
For the data nerds: Through our accompanying app, you can see graphs of your brainwaves, as well as access your raw data for each session. Export, download, and slice and dice as you see fit!
One of the benefits of having already been through the process first-hand, we understand the long development and testing cycles required for manufacturing new products. However we also recognize that some of our backers will want to receive their Lotus as soon as possible, particularly in time to be gifted during the upcoming holiday season.
Therefore we have decided to offer a limited production run of entirely 3D-printed Lotuses to be delivered during December 2014. We will produce and assemble each 2014 Limited Edition Lotus by hand ourselves and besides a cosmetic difference their basic functions will match the final product in every way (time permitting). Feedback from our users will be encouraged and incorporated into the production model.
The Lotus by Mindfulness, Inc. is responsibly hand-crafted in India by local artisans and delivered to you by the end of September 2015. Each Lotus responds to your mind and body during meditation sessions, as measured by our custom biosensors and algorithms as well as popular third-party health and fitness trackers. Our software runs on your mobile device and features data tracking plus social connectivity, which allow your progress to be shared with supportive friends and family. We hope you enjoy this fusion between beautiful design and powerful technology as much as we did creating it.
The Lotus is presented by Mindfulness Inc., a partnership blending the algorithms and neuroscience credentials of BrainBot's Rohan Dixit (a neuroimaging researcher from Harvard and Stanford University), the artistic design skills of Shilo Shiv Suleman (an award-winning artist and TED speaker), and the Brain-Computer Interface technology and manufacturing experience of Puzzlebox's Steve Castellotti (creator of the successfully crowd-funded Puzzlebox Orbit).
Risks and challenges
It often seems like a majority of the technology and hardware projects we've witnessed and supported ourselves through crowdfunding end up becoming delayed one way or another. We have attempted to anticipate this with the Lotus by limiting the number of units available during 2014 to as many as we are confident we can build and supply ourselves without relying on any third parties. We hope this effort will offer an extra level of personalization for our earliest backers.
For the 2015 edition Lotuses we have the advantage of experience and existing partnerships already in place for manufacturing, fulfillment, and logistics. We are permitting time prior to mass production to refine our designs based on feedback from our 2014 recipients.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Yes! Although you won't be able to take advantage of our real-time voice guidance and other brainwave-integrated features, you can use the Lotus social and meditation timer features. You'll simply bloom your Lotus based on time elapsed on your meditation timer (via the accompanying app.) Your Social connectivity features will work too, so you can connect your practice with one or more friends as usual.
Our software for the Lotus works with recent Apple iOS devices starting with the iPhone 4S and the iPad Retina (3rd edition) and many popular Android devices (version 4.3 and later required). The main hardware requirement is support for Bluetooth LE technology to synchronize the Lotus with your phone or tablet.
We live and work in San Francisco. We often give talks and show the Lotus at local meetups, so feel free to reach out if you'd like to attend one!
Sure! There is a ton of scientific research around mindfulness, meditation and the brain.
Here are some links to get you started:
Long-term meditators self-induce high-amplitude gamma synchrony during mental practice
Meditation states and traits: EEG, ERP, and neuroimaging studies
Short-term meditation induces changes in brain resting EEG theta networks
Signal Processing and Machine Learning of EEG and Respiration Changes During Mindfulness Meditation State
The Impact of Long-Term Meditation on Attentional Engagement
Meditation experience is associated with differences in default mode network activity and connectivity
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