POSTUR AROMA

PosturAroma necklace is a wearable device designed to help women feel safer by enhancing their posture. It uses the powerful relationships between scent, emotion and confidence through embodiment. The necklace intends to change body posture to make women feel safer by using a combination of sensors and scents. By sensing the angle of the back and using scent as a trigger, the user is reminded to keep her head up and straighten her back when stepping into the world.

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Feeling safe in public spaces is often seen as a result of a combination of the design of the environment and the social control that is present in the space. But it is necessary to look beyond the space itself as to how the individual can or does influence his or her own feelings of safety. More specifically, the body, its movements and posture as the central focal point. Experiments have shown that body posture can show a person’s vulnerability. When a woman travels in public space, this vulnerability can be noted by possible attackers. In general, this is the one with the most insecure, vulnerable body posture. Studies have shown how emotions are shown during certain postures. Certain postures are connected to fear, which is depicted by a slightly slouching person.

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One of the strengths of the concept is that it involves empowerment by a fashion statement. At the same time it shows that scent can be used as a non-intrusive reminder of emotion-affecting body posture. The design combines an individual focus with a public impact, influencing emotions through embodiment by introducing the necklace that reminds the wearer to walk straight and as a result, influence felt emotions such as confidence and prevent feelings of unsafety caused by slouching. User tests have also proved that scent was a pleasant way to be reminded of a bad body posture. It reminded the participants that they had to sit up straight, because the connection between scent and body posture was made.  Also there is a possible effect of personalised scents on comfort, which is interesting for future research. The necklace is situated in a more preventive approach rather than a defensive one.

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