The second phase of the Breathe with me project is investigating the use of the breathing cushion interface for mediating social touch interactions. The purpose of this iteration of the cushion design is to enhance physical presence when people are interacting with loved ones far away. To allow partners to hug each other when they are apart, and children to feel their parents presence during times of separation.
On the technical side this is acheived by updating the cushion hardware to allow for greater pneumatic control and creating a waistband that measures breathing rate and sends the data via wifi to the control mechanism of the cushion. Further explorations with the cushion for this purpose are currently ongoing, you can find out more about some of these in my PhD thesis.