Using Virtual Reality to teach the basics of Mindful Meditation
Breathe explores how virtual reality (VR) can be used to teach the basics and fundamentals of mindfulness meditation to beginners. Where current teaching platforms make meditation out to be diverse and broad in meaning and purpose. Breathe intends to bring awareness to the moment by guiding their attention to their breath. It is a simple, but powerful action. The project consisted of research of concepts and existing technologies of VR and mindfulness meditation, this included conducting two original interviews. This research produced the beginnings of a design methodology for a VR experience aimed at teaching mindfulness meditation. This design methodology was used and refined during the design and development of the series of low fidelity, 2D video prototypes.
These prototypes showed how further development could lead to a successful VR delivery of the experience. The prototypes are basically a guided meditation, delivered solely through visuals, with zero audio. One important finding and element of the design methodology was the use of minimalistic design, for this project this mainly consisted of cartoonish visuals and geometric forms. The purpose of these styles is to minimize distractions, limiting the overall visual stimulation of the environment by reducing finer detail, to subtly control and guide the focus of the user to the point of interest. That being their breath. The prototype, below, aims to guide the user’s breaths, through the use of timed animations of a circle, while calming them with elements of nature. A more in depth summary of all of this project’s findings and more of the video prototypes can be found on the portfolio site linked below.