Tom Cobbenhagen

A business card and portfolio

SOMNUS

PROJECT TYPE

Project 1 (B1.2) – Design Project

COACHES

M. Heuvelings, Y. Chuang, S. van Gaal

COLLABORATION WITH

R. Bartels, T.T. van Bussel, A.L. Low

SEE REPORT

The idea

We knew that light is an extremely influential appearance. It can change atmospheres but most importantly influence the behaviour of people. Whilst we first focused on applying this to public spaces, we soon wanted to focus on single users. We wanted to create a personal lighting system that would adjust to your mood accordingly.
However, we soon started to take into account one of the three key focus areas of the TU/e: health. We stumbled upon a very interesting article by Stanford University at which a professor successfully found a way to reset the circadian cycle (or the sleep cycle) of a human being. The reaped advantages of this might not be immediately known, but this is extremely helpful for people that constantly have to change their timezone. These people include not only pilots and flight attendants but also businessmen who have to travel to a different timezone for only a few days for a business meeting. Because they have no or ample time to adjust to their new timezone, they lack a great deal in performance and this can be unbeneficial for the result of said meeting. A company could fix this by allowing the employee to go a few days in advance to try and adjust to the new time zone already, but this is the opposite of cost-efficient as well as time-efficient.

The design

This is why we want to integrate this technology in something that is much easier to use. Something that is available already is a mask that administers the therapy from Stanford University, but we want this light to also be able to adjust the atmosphere in a room. A room that is often used by our target group is a hotel room, which is why we started to focus on this environment. After some time of brainstorming and sketching, we ended up with the design of an arc that is placed above a bed. The top of this arc will function as the main light of the hotel room, switching from a bright natural white to a more yellow white light. The way this works is that all natural light should refrain from entering the room. The top part of the arc is the new source of natural light, but is of course artificial. This way, the system can mimic a new day cycle to help adjust the user to the new timezone. The bottom part of the arc will feature a full array of RGB light as well as an infrared motion sensor and proximity sensors. This light is capable of mimicking the light therapy by Stanford University. The infrared motion sensor will track the sleeping pattern of the user. The proximity sensors will allow the user to brush over the bottom of the arc if it needs an assisting light, such as a reading light. The user brushes over the arc with their hand to illuminate just a part of the arc. When the proximity sensors and infrared sensors detect that the person is asleep, it will administer the blue light therapy using the RGB lights at the bottom of the arc. For a visual representation, please see the video below.