Inspiration

The inspiration for Navillera came from a lot of personal experience with stress and mental health. As we brainstormed ideas we all talked about the stresses we faced as students and how sometimes it felt that there was no place that made us feel truly calm. In the Arduino workshop we found working with colors really fun and our stress seemed to diminish a little. Then we thought about the psychological effects of colors on the brain and how much of an impact they can have on mood and thus well-being. So we decided to use colors and their relation with human psychology to create an app that shows color patterns that will have a positive effect on a person's mood.

The idea is that the user will be able to open the app, select a mood they are feeling, and the lights will reflect or soothe the user’s mood.

Based on psychological research, an interior space can have a great impact on a student's mood and motivation. There have been many studies showing that warm colors are stimulating and cool colors can be calming. This is based on the amount of visual effort the brain has to go through to process these colors. Longer wavelengths, such as red, require the brain to process much more. Green has a wavelength that is easiest for the brain to process and therefore, tends to have calming effects. Using this knowledge, we have empathized with the student population and by utilizing aesthetics, we can further reach out with empathy. This prototype has the potential to have a wide range of accessibility due to cheap and easy to produce hardware.

For example: The user is feeling stressed , they can select the “I am stressed” option on the app. The lights will turn to a color that has been researched, such as green, that has proven to be calm and stress soothing.

We used an Arduino microcontroller in order to program an LED strip that would change colors via serial communication. We used the P5 language to implement our user interface.

We struggled to connect the Arduino with our application. Without access to an Ethernet shield or other internet connectivity options, we weren't able to solve our integration issue.

All of us are computer science majors, so we really went out of our comfort zone with this project. It was mainly hardware focused and we learned a lot that we would otherwise not learn in our major's curriculum. We are fairly versed in software development and we pushed the envelope a little bit on this project idea.

We learned a lot about hardware and microcontrollers. It was really interesting to see the applicability of the microcontrollers in terms of what they can do for software development. We learned how to solder wires and connect jumper wires to breadboards. We learned basics of the Arduino IDE and how to utilize documentation and examples to achieve what we want to achieve with microcontrollers.

What's next for Navillera expanding the hardware to be an enclosed object with WiFi/internet capabilities. This will enable our app to be fully optimized for the user, with no need to understand Arduino and microcontrollers in order to use the product. We hope to expand our knowledge on color preferences and significance for different cultures across the world and make optimizations available for international users.

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