Panic attack prevention device Calmingstone launches
This pebble-shaped hand-held device eases anxiety through the use of light and sound.
Calmingstone was originally designed in 2014 by Ramon Telfer, who – after suffering with anxiety himself – found that there wasn't a tangible product on the market to help him.
"During 2014 I was struck with an idea to combine my industrial design background with my close experiences in mental health," he said.
"Because stress is very real and life is a fully tactile, sensory experience, we have created and evolved our learnings into a beautiful, intimate product that anyone can hold, feel and listen to."
Calling upon his own experiences, Telfer worked with Calmingstone co-founder Alex Johnson to develop the device, which sits in the palm of the hand.
A copper ring around the edge of the device works as an integrated heart-rate sensor.
When in the user's hand, the sensor picks up on their heart rate and mimics it through a softly glowing light and a slight pulsing sensation.
As the user relaxes, the Calmingstone's pulse and glow become more subtle.
Specially selected audio runs alongside the vibration and light, giving the user a comprehensive sensory experience.
Each of the Calmingstone's functions can also be manually controlled. To alter the level of light, the device is flipped over; to alter volume, it is tipped up and down; and to turn the audio on, it is moved in a circle.
"We want people to talk about their mind the same way we talk about our body," said Johnson. "Sharing experiences and insights are so powerful in normalising the conversation."
A Kickstarter campaign for the Calmingstone launched yesterday – two years after Telfer presented his 3D-printed prototype.
Mental health is becoming an increasingly explored topic in the design industry, particularly amongst graduates.
At this year's Design Academy Eindhoven graduate show, designer Nicolette Bodewes presented a tactile toolkit designed to be used in psychotherapy sessions, while Yi-Fei Chen presented her personal struggle with speaking her mind through a gun that fires her tears.