Perihelion is a meditative, biofeedback experience that integrates Microsoft Band sensor data along with serene visuals and a calming audio scape to help users manage stress. The virtual environment reflects the user’s physical state by altering elements of the world based on biometric data provided by the Band. As the user relaxes, the world around them transforms, increasing in serenity.

A companion tile on the Microsoft Band extends the experience beyond the virtual world by providing statistics on time meditating, average meditative heart rate and more.

Although we anticipate a single environment will be available initially, users will be able to use their meditative skills to bring harmony to multiple and diverse locations ranging from a secluded spring to a war torn street.

[[Development Update 4/27/15]]

Microsoft provides an Android SDK for the Microsoft Band and the original plan was to use the jar directly in Unity, however after working with it for a bit, we decided to build a wrapper around the MS SDK to ease the integration. The wrapper is currently in progress. This is the highest priority at the moment; once communication is established, we'll be much happier.

We used a wonderful low poly asset off of the Unity store to provide the initial environment for the application. We've got a few elements that we can animate, specifically, the water wheel, particle systems and flags to give a range from very windy to tranquil. The plan is to look at least at the heart rate and as it drops from the baseline (determined at application start, although this might be a poor implementation), calm the "wind" in the environment and begin to ramp up a calming audioscape. The best approach would probably be to use a combination of sensors, but we're starting with the simplest case. You'll notice in the screen shot, that the low poly asset didn't come over to the Android target cleanly. This is going to result in a bit of extra work.

We're already thinking of other bite sized environments. Our favorite so far is a Pit and the Pendulum map where you need to calm yourself before either you or a proxy is sliced in half. I'm not sure that's exactly calming, but given continued development, that map will likely make an appearance.

I think that's it for now. There are a few studies that came out recently regarding the successful use of meditation. I'll dig up the link and post an update.

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