Mindful Bloom is a mindfulness intervention for the coming age of spatial computing, addressing concerns of increased cognitive load and reduced sense-of-self from wearing headsets throughout the day. We’re improving on current digital mindfulness solutions such as Headspace by taking an active, finger-painting approach to destressing, and allowing more flexibility between user to user in how guided or freeform their meditation should be.
Previous work in VR guided meditation has shown that virtual environments and objects can guide beginners’ attention towards body awareness subtly. Additionally, finger painting’s movements and tactility have been found to enhance one’s state of mindfulness and broaden their scope of attention.
Mindful Bloom would be breaking new ground thoughtfully - although digital finger painting has been less studied, we’d be adding tactility back by having our user paint onto their environment, brushing objects and surfaces around their bodies.
During ideation, the team utilized actual finger painting as a quick way to evolve concepts hands-on before jumping into Unity.
The freeflow nature of our unguided finger painting was something we decided to follow instead of a more guided, Headspace-esque approach, and we felt that being able to spatially paint would enrich the overall experience.
Working with older hardware - a first-gen Magic Leap - and having to implement our own designs without a large development team, we prioritized smooth experiences over aggressive technical exploration.
For example, brush strokes were Unity’s Line Renderer component with tweaks to make user input feel gratifying, and plane detection was not used in favor of pose detection - with the same effect of grounding the user before a meditative session.
With Mindful Bloom, we wanted to focus on a joyous and destressing interaction first whilst exploring less-used technology such as EEG brain-sensors. Our limited timeframe meant that supporting features such as onboarding, a launch experience, and reward model would be nice-to-haves in the future given a larger scope.
We plan to expand the experience to be a mix of guided and unguided mindful experiences, with enough structure for users to paint freely but not get bored or lost.