The project aims to address the challenges faced by neurodivergent individuals, particularly those with autism, who struggle with sensory overload and communication difficulties in stressful situations. The proposed solution involves creating a wearable technology that incorporates Universal Design Principles, haptics, and lighting fabrics to provide a fashionable and functional jacket that can help regulate emotions and facilitate communication.
The article “Wearable Technology for Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Systematic Review” (Deb, Mondal & Gupta, 2014) supports the need for wearable technology for those with autism. The review highlights various technologies such as communication boards, deep pressure therapy, and biofeedback that have been used to help regulate emotions and improve communication. The proposed electronic jacket aims to combine these solutions with emerging technologies to create a more comprehensive and personalized tool for the user.
Overall, the project has the potential to improve the quality of life for neurodivergent individuals by providing them with a wearable technology that can help regulate their emotions and facilitate communication in stressful situations.
Design Concept
The proposed project aims to address the challenges faced by neurodivergent individuals, particularly those with autism,  who often struggle with sensory overload and communication difficulties in stressful situations. These individuals may have  difficulty filtering out stimuli like sounds, sights, and smells, which can result in anxiety, fear, anger, or feeling overwhelmed.  When in this state, it can be difficult for them to communicate their needs effectively, leading to further distress and frustration. 
The solution proposed for this project involves creating a wearable technology that incorporates Universal Design Principles,  haptics, and lighting fabrics to provide a fashionable and functional jacket that can help regulate emotions and facilitate  communication. By combining emerging technologies with current solutions such as deep pressure therapy, communication  boards, and meditation, the jacket will provide a comprehensive tool that can be tailored to the user’s needs. 
The wearable technology market has seen significant growth in recent years, with many new products and innovations  emerging. However, very few of these products are designed specifically for neurodivergent individuals, despite the potential  benefits they could offer. The proposed electronic jacket has the potential to fill this gap by providing a personalized and  inclusive tool that addresses the unique challenges faced by those with autism. 
The jacket will incorporate haptic technology, which uses vibrations and pressure to provide sensory input to the user. This  technology can be used to provide calming sensations to the wearer, helping them regulate their emotions and reduce stress.  Additionally, the jacket will use lighting fabrics, which can change color and brightness in response to the wearer’s emotional  state. This can provide a visual indicator of the wearer’s emotional state, helping them communicate their needs more  effectively. 
The jacket will also incorporate communication boards, which are a common solution for those with autism who have difficulty  communicating verbally. These boards can include pictures or symbols that the wearer can use to convey their needs, wants,  and emotions. The board can be personalized to the user’s needs and preferences, and can be easily updated as their needs  change. 
Deep pressure therapy is another solution that will be incorporated into the jacket. This therapy involves the application of  pressure to the body, which can help regulate the nervous system and reduce anxiety. The jacket will use a series of sensors to  provide this pressure, allowing the wearer to regulate their emotions and reduce stress in real-time. 
The proposed electronic jacket will be designed using Universal Design Principles, which aim to create products that are  accessible to as many people as possible, regardless of their abilities or disabilities. This means that the jacket will be  designed with a range of users in mind, including those with different levels of mobility, sensory processing challenges, and  communication abilities. The jacket will also be designed to be fashionable and stylish, so that the wearer can feel confident  and comfortable in it. 
In conclusion, the proposed electronic jacket has the potential to improve the quality of life for neurodivergent individuals,  particularly those with autism, by providing them with a personalized and inclusive tool that can help regulate their  emotions and facilitate communication in stressful situations. By incorporating emerging technologies such as haptics and  lighting fabrics with current solutions such as deep pressure therapy and communication boards, the jacket will provide a  comprehensive and versatile tool that can be tailored to the user’s needs.
Designer
Kellen Toomey, ktoomey1@asu.edu
Research
Evaluation of a Biofeedback Intervention in  College Students Diagnosed with Autism  Spectrum Disorders
https://www.proquest.com/docview/1444162804?pq-origsite=gscholar&fromopenview=true
Garret Westlake, Professor at Arizona State University​​​​​​​
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