The purpose of this project was to use Arduino and Processing as prototyping tools and design an experience that promoted behavior change. Our goal was to create an experience that would change a person’s toothbrushing habits through a fun and positive interaction. Brushing your teeth is a drag, but it doesn’t have to be. We chose to motivate adults with a physical device that encourages adults to brush their teeth for the recommended time, rather than the national average which is a mere 17 seconds.
We created Pause, an interactive device that encourages users to brush their teeth for the recommended three minutes. It accomplishes this by showing a curated set of puppy videos to entertain the user while they are brushing. When the three minutes have completed, the last opened video plays till the end and a congratulations screen appears letting the user know they have completed the suggested time. By using fun to change behavior, users will look forward to brushing their teeth and try to incorporate it into their daily routines.
Neither of us had worked with Arduino or Processing before this project, so it was an experimental learning process of trying something, seeing if it would work, then trying again. We began by attempting really simple exercises like making an LED blink on the Arduino through a Processing sketch, or disassembling a child’s toy to better understand how sensors are used (we chose a Bop It). As we advanced in our coding skills we used pre-made toothbrush holders with a switch in the bottom to test our code. For the final product we built a toothbrush stand with an Ipad in the back used to display the screens for our Processing sketch as well as the puppy videos.