Nidra – Well begun is half done

Copenhagen Institute of Interaction DesignDenmark


Concept / Student


Varenya Raj


The context
The work environment in today’s time produces excessive stress for its employees. This state of working takes a toll on people who work in professions like emergency services, aviation, etc. with erratic schedules. Due to the demanding nature of the work, people put their work before their health. Such routine, when adopted for a longer period of time, leads to many health hazards that fail to detect the real culprit i.e., Sleep Deprivation.

The project
Nidra (means sleep in Hindi) tinkers with the idea of externalizing one’s emotion into a tangible form to bring something invisible to light. Nidra is a portable radio which plays news based on the mood that it’s owner wake up with. Upon waking up groggily, it plays positive news to alleviate the mornings to have a productive day in the office while in mornings, upon waking up in a good mood, it plays news from all the categories. It logs the mood every day and prints them out at each month’s end to let the owner introspect about work-life balance and other factors to make informed decisions. This enables Nidra to produce a short-term as well as a long-term impact on the office goers.

The productivity of work cannot merely depend on sleep. Factors like the workplace, kind of work, people you work with that are outside of our control. Making professionals aware of something intrinsic which often gets lost in the rush of our lives is to look inwards and to know how one feels. This could be used by office goers especially by professionals where a high level of attention is a big necessity in the job.

It was tested remotely by flight attendants, journalists, and teachers. It brought delight to them early in the morning and made them informative and cheerful.

Starting with in-depth desk research about sleep, synthesis and learnings about the factors that contribute to sleep deprivation, the different problems prevalent in the society and the ways sleep impacts the biological and physiological aspects of humans, scientific studies and experiments conducted by scientists, were done. A deeper understanding was established when interviews with flight attendants, a month old mother, frequent traveler, sleep optimizer, journalist, sleep therapist and an entrepreneur who enables athletes to have a good sleep, were taken. After clustering their quotes and stories, insights were generated. Those insights led to ideations and experiments were conducted to test three hypothesizes. After the success of a hypothesis, iterations were made and the final idea was derived.

Inner mechanics
Nidra contains a force-sensing resistor, a thermal printer, a digital button, an Arduino UNO and a speaker. The FSR is covered with a soft (dog-like skin) cloth while a digital button is accentuated with a big size to bear the force of a punch. The interactions are inputted and received by Arduino sketch and then goes to Processing sketch where it connects with RSS feed of happy news websites to fetch and play-back news.


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