Knit orbs that use biofeedback to induce calmness are the exciting brainchild of Noga Sapir, and are based on her unique background in both neuroscience and design.
When people think of biofeedback today, we imagine being hooked up to some electrical sensors and interacting with a screen in a psychologist’s office or lab. Biofeedback has been shown to help us influence our body’s responses and lower stress levels, but the current implementations are not something most of us can easily integrate into our daily life.
Enter Reflect. Small, portable orbs encased in a knit layer which is pleasant to the touch, and emitting a soft glow. Reflect is the first biofeedback product of its kind that will make people really want to interact with it and be accessible to us throughout the day.
The meeting of two worlds – neuroscience and textile design – are the happy accident that led Sapir to invent Reflect. After completing her B.Sc in neuroscience at Tel Aviv University, Sapir shifted gears and began studying textile design at Israel’s prestigious Shenkar College of Engineering and Design. “After my first degree, I couldn’t imagine spending the rest of my life running lab studies. I wanted to create something of my own, express my vision and see a result that embodies that vision. My love of knitting, which began on my grandmother’s knee as a child, led me to textile design. I had thought I’d left the world of neuroscience behind me, but then the idea for Reflect came to me, which combines both worlds,” explains Sapir.
Biofeedback allows us to become aware of our physiological parameters. By acknowledging them, we learn to gain control over them, lower stress and induce calm and wellbeing. When we hold the Reflect prototype, the hidden micro-controller that’s connected to the outer layer of conductive yarn senses our stress level by measuring the skin conductivity level (known as GSR or EDA), a physiological parameter that correlates to stress. We then begin to engage with the orb through changing intensities of light – as we slow our breathing and become calmer, the light at the core of the orb becomes brighter. Originally Sapir’s award-winning final project for Shenkar, Reflect now has a path forward to reaching consumers.
“We are very excited about Reflect joining the Joy Ventures portfolio, as it is beautifully aligned with our vision and mission,” says Miri Polachek, CEO of Joy Ventures. “Reflect is not only effective in reducing stress and improving wellness, it is on a path to deliver a truly delightful user experience, and we are happy to be working hand in hand with Noga to bring her vision to life.”
The path forward for Reflect at Joy Ventures includes development on many fronts – technology, product/market fit, and consumer experience design. Sapir is now working out of the Joy Ventures offices and predicts that in 3-5 years the product will make it to consumers. Joy Ventures is providing not only funding, but ongoing support in everything from strategic direction and team building, to collaboration with their global expert network to push the project forward. “Joy Ventures is the perfect home for Reflect, and I know together we will have the best chance of success,” says Sapir.