Eye-Blink Rate Monitor

This device can be used to increase the blink rate in order to mitigate Computer Vision Syndrome in a specific student using a mobile phone during digital learning.

Eye-Blink Rate Monitor

This device can be used to increase the blink rate in order to mitigate Computer Vision Syndrome in a specific student using a mobile phone during digital learning.
sdg 3

#SDG In Focus

SDG 3: Good Health and Well Beings

Idea

The inspiration behind this project came due to the ongoing pandemic, in which the education sector has functioned on digital platforms.

I found a specific student who has experienced problems with eye strain during this time period. After interacting with him, I was convinced that this was also a significant consequence of the pandemic. This student had an increase of 1.25 in eye power from 04/05/2020 to 10/07/2021, according to confirmed hospital prescriptions.

Problem statement

To increase the eye blink rate in order to mitigate Computer Vision Syndrome in a specific student using a mobile phone during digital learning

Constraints

  • Asking students to monitor their own blinking using physical devices may be inaccurate as students might not be fully aware of when they blink.
  • Physical or digital monitors might take away focus on the student’s education, as they would have to pay attention to their blinking and not the classroom

Idea

The inspiration behind this project came due to the ongoing pandemic, in which the education sector has functioned on digital platforms.

I found a specific student who has experienced problems with eye strain during this time period. After interacting with him, I was convinced that this was also a significant consequence of the pandemic. This student had an increase of 1.25 in eye power from 04/05/2020 to 10/07/2021, according to confirmed hospital prescriptions.

Problem statement

To increase the eye blink rate in order to mitigate Computer Vision Syndrome in a specific student using a mobile phone during digital learning

Constraints

  • Asking students to monitor their own blinking using physical devices may be inaccurate as students might not be fully aware of when they blink.
  • Physical or digital monitors might take away focus on the student’s education, as they would have to pay attention to their blinking and not the classroom

Idea Brainstorming

Monitoring the blinking rates to increase consciousness

This method involves solutions like a physical, handheld device that makes you monitor the number of times you blink, or a software application which detects blinking by itself.

Inducing Stress Stimuli

This method involves solutions which momentarily increase the stress level in students, which would trigger blinking in response. This involves solutions such as blowing smoke, periodic alarm clock sounds, and periodic jump scares (through scary images)

Idea Brainstorming

Monitoring the blinking rates to increase consciousness

This method involves solutions like a physical, handheld device that makes you monitor the number of times you blink, or a software application which detects blinking by itself.

Inducing Stress Stimuli

This method involves solutions which momentarily increase the stress level in students, which would trigger blinking in response. This involves solutions such as blowing smoke, periodic alarm clock sounds, and periodic jump scares (through scary images)

Final Solution

To achieve the aim of this project, the solution that was chosen was a physical blink-rate monitor. This would be a handheld device, which consisted of three visible different parts: a button, a screen and an enclosure to hold the aforementioned two parts and other electronic aspects.

The screen would display three features: “blinks”, “time” and “target”. The blinks section would show the number of times the person has blinked, which will be tracked by the button on the enclosure. Every time a person blinks, they would have to click the button, which would increase the “blinks” feature on the display. The “time” section would count till 60 seconds, after which both it and the “blinks” would reset to zero. This was done in order to put emphasis on increasing the blink-rate in a minute to minute basis, while it also increases the urgency to meet the target blinks. Finally, the target for the blinks was set based on the ranges determined by the aforementioned studies; I deemed that a range of 10-15 blinks for the user was appropriate and achievable.

 

Plan and Timeline

ActivityTime (hours)Week
Learning Arduino71
Writing Arduino Code152-5
Designing Arduino Circuit156-12
Assessing Arduino aspect213
Designing an enclosure514-15
Assembling components and building prototype1517-23
Assessing protype224
Test 1 –Sister525
Improving prototype526
Test 2 – Student527

Once the software and hardware aspects of Arduino were completed, started building the final prototype by designing an electronic enclosure. This would allow the Arduino components to fit inside and connect to each other, while it would also make the product easier to hold for the user.

I chose to design a rounded box, with dimensions of 35mm x 35mm x 50mm. These dimensions were chosen based on the dimensions of my Arduino components, and the rounded box made for a better-looking enclosure.Once the components of the box were designed, I used the same maker space to solder the different components together. This saved space in the design and made the overall product far more efficient. Using the soldering gun was a new experience for me, and it exposed me to electronics.

Testing

I first tested this prototype on my sister, and after a few coding updates, I tested it on the student. When I tested the product on my younger sister, I realized the different sections on the screen were not easily visible, and they needed to be made bigger. Additionally, there were certain bugs in the code which led to the screen “blacking out” every few seconds. Once I fixed these issues, I tested it on the student.

 

The testing stage was arduous, as there was no clear way to determine the number of blinks before using the blink-rate monitor, and my code did not track the number of blinks. I fixed this issue by making my code store the number of blinks every minute.  When I tested the product on my sister, I used video footage to count the number of blinks before using the monitor. The student did not have another device to record himself, so I had to go to his house and manually count the number of times he blinked before using the monitor. This was extremely challenging, and I defined only a 10-minute time period for the overall data collection. The results of this testing showed that the student had an approximately 7.79% increase for the student, and a 3.37% increase for my sister.

 

PhaseTest 1 (sister) – Average blink rate (blinks/min)Test 2 (student) – Average blink rate (blinks/min)
Before using prototype8.97.7
After using prototype9.28.3

 

Evaluation and Conclusion

With increases seen in both tests, I have achieved my aims of building a successful monitor and proving its effectiveness in increasing blink-rates. Although these are not massive increases, the monitor has made an impact that can be amplified in the future. It can be concluded that the monitor was effective because it made the user (i.e. myself and the student) more conscious of their blinking. While this is not as ideal as stimulating blinking automatically, being more conscious will ultimately lead to more blinks and reduce eye strain The “target” section of the monitor may not have played a significant role, however, as the average blink rates were lower than 10 blinks per minute, which was the lower boundary for the target blinks in the monitor. Finally, the monitor’s different impacts in the two tests can be attributed to the fact that the underprivileged student received an improved prototype, which may have increased its effectiveness. There were also very few constant variables in this phase of testing, and differences in eyesight, screen contents, screen sizes and others may have played a role in the project’s impact on two subjects. Nonetheless, both tests showed positive results

Skills Applied

CAD | Electronics | Design Thinking | Programming | Soldering | Prototyping | Laser cutting

Project Contributor

Siddhant Agarwal

Detailed Project Documentation

This Project Has Been Developed By The Alumni Of Innovation School

Project Contributor

Siddhant Agarwal

Detailed Project Documentation

This Project Has Been Developed By The Alumni Of Innovation School

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