Marcus Melconian -

Technologist Engineer Innovator

MICO

Tracking assistant tackling strain injuries in high screen users

PRODUCT DESIGN i HARDWARE DEV i SOFTWARE

Video edited by team member Luke Holland.

MICO is a tracking assistant for high intensity gamers and screen users in the workplace. Tackling physical and mental implications like repetitive strain injuries (RSIs), insomnia, poor posture, and diet, all resulting from sitting at your desk for extended periods of time whilst working or gaming.

'There is no perfect way to sit, you have to get up and move. If people can't get up from their desk then that can be a serious problem, especially over time' - Lucy (our physiotherapist for MICO)

The design of MICO is split into 3 separate components: the base, the mousepad, and the interactable object.

The base contains a microphone sensor, which is the first of two sensors in MICO. By applying a matched filter, the code running on an arduino can suppress all sound coming from either a gaming or office environment and detect the number of keyboard clicks in a given period. This gives an initial measure of gaming or work intensity. The base station also acts as a dock for wireless charging of the object, and is the master of all communication in the MICO system.

The mousepad contains a capacitive sensing matrix, to track the user's change in mouse velocity and thus their overall workflow intensity. This data is sent over I2C to the base, and combined with the microphone sensor data to get an overall value for the user's current workflow state.

The interactable object is the main touchpoint of the user with MICO. An LED display communicates all information to the user via the use of motion and colour, resulting from the analysed sensor data. This information includes when to take a break, their current length of time away from their desk, and when the set break has been completed. The user must physically interact with the object, get up, and leave the room to switch off the alert. Bluetooth connectivity with the base enables this touchpoint, with wireless charging implemented.

Images of the complete MICO system can be seen below, as well as final product packaging.