Drift Off

Global Nominee

Drift Off received a Global Nomination.

Space Station

Out-of-this-world fashion with function: clothing or accessories for earth or space wear!

Every space traveler – even the robotic ones – should feel? their very best during the journey, infused with the very best data and technology available. Earthlings can follow suit. Design a space data-tech-fashion wearable in the form of clothing or accessories that will collect or distribute data and technology in the following categories:

Design for Interconnectivity (staying more connected to team, community, and tools)

  • enhance the work/life experience of humans and/or capabilities of robots  

Design for Health (biometrics, physical and emotional health, and/or environmental alerts)

  • maintain or improve the health and well-being of the human
  • provide early warning for unhealthy environmental factors (air quality, radiation, outgassing, temperature)

Design for Entertainment (sights, sounds, music, activity)

  • enhance the human experience whether during work or play

Drift Off - Helping Astronauts Sleep Soundly in Space.

Imagine you're getting ready for bed. You put on your Drift Off Headband, which fits snugly against your forehead, so comfortable and light that you barely notice it’s there. As you lie down your Drift Off Diary asks how your day was and how you’re feeling now. It then leads you through some mindfulness meditation tailored to your needs, to help you drift off to sleep. When you wake in the morning, it’s to an ambient glow which reminds you of a sunrise. By the time your eyes are fully open you feel refreshed and energetic, after a sound night’s sleep.

Sounds nice, right? Well this could become a part of your daily routine in the near future.

Getting a full night sleep is something which many people struggle with, both on Earth and in Space. Taking a look at our astronauts aboard the ISS right now, it’s obvious just how important is it for them to be as focused and healthy as possible, as small mistakes could have life threatening consequences.

Whether it’s due to the constant hum of the machinery around them, motion sickness, or the frequent sunrises causing disruptions to their circadian rhythms, astronauts have a difficult time getting as much, and as healthy, sleep as they need to perform at their best.

Three in four astronauts use sleep-promoting drugs on a regular basis to try and overcome this problem, but this is neither a healthy nor a long-term solution. This will become particularly problematic in the future, when mission lengths will increase, as prolonged use of sleep-promoting drugs could lead to dependency.

Drift Off tries to solve this problem in a unique way by integrating some of the most well-recognised treatments for sleeping difficulties into one solution. A Raspberry Pi-like computer makes up the core of Drift Off, coordinating the Drift Off Diary, Drift Off Headband and Drift Off Visor.

Drift Off Diary

The Drift Off Diary is a voice controlled log, running on the Raspberry Pi, connected to a microphone and directional speaker, all of which are built into the hood of the astronauts’ sleeping bag. The Diary allows the astronauts to record their thoughts on how they’re feeling, physically and emotionally, and how they’re sleeping, both before they go to sleep and after they wake.

The directional speakers can be used to playback previous entries in the diary, but are also used to provide instructions for mindfulness meditation prior to the astronauts’ sleep. As they’re directional and within each astronaut’s sleeping bag, it’s possible for each to participate in their own unique, responsive meditation without disturbing others in the cabin.

Drift Off Headband

The Drift Off Headband rests against the wearer’s forehead, hooking behind their ears and continuing down to their neck. Sensors across the forehead measure EEG (electrical activity in the brain), while sensors on the neck measure heart rate, blood pressure, respiration and EDA (electrodermal activity). All of these metrics are fed back to the main controller through the use of a wireless bluetooth connection.

The various biometrics, in combination with the data from the Diary, help to tailor the mindfulness meditation to the astronauts’ particular needs. This data can also be streamed back to mission control on Earth to provide insight into their sleeping patterns.

Drift Off Visor

The Drift Off Visor is comprised of a matrix of LEDs which sit across the front of the astronauts’ sleeping bag. When they awake in the morning, the LEDs turn on to simulate a sunrise, stimulating the retina and helping to advance the astronaut’s circadian phase, which mitigates the effect of circadian rhythm sleep disorders (CRSD).

Drift Off is not just a product designed for astronauts. Sleeping difficulties are common worldwide, and this product could easily be adapted into a compact bedside device which would become part of the daily lives of those struggling with sleep.

Whether you’re an astronaut soaring through the stars, or a human in your bed below them, Drift Off will help you get the sound night sleep you need.

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