2024
Dom Lavender
Product Design Engineering BSc
Interaction
David
Picture of current MIB team

Project Description

One of the lesser-known symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease is changes in voice and speech. The deterioration of the vocal muscles hinders effective communication, which in most cases lead to a decrease in confidence, isolation, and anxiety-related issues. More than 90% of individuals with Parkinson’s experience voice changes, with some no longer able to speak audibly. 10 million people are currently living with Parkinson’s which is the fastest growing neurological disease worldwide. Voice changes are often overlooked due to the lack of, and expense of available solutions or their ineffectiveness and associated emotional side effects. Consultations with caregivers of individuals with Parkinson’s and rigorous testing of form and functionality, David offers a viable solution to this complex and delicate issue. David empowers users to enhance their communication with dignity and independence, improving upon the current, available solutions on the market. Given the reduced dexterity of many individuals with Parkinson’s, David’s design strikes a balance between size and discretion, enabling users to easily interact with the device using enlarged and tactile touchpoints while maintaining a minimal outer presence to avoid drawing unwanted attention. David operates via two, paired, Bluetooth devices: the transmitter, which clips onto the top of the shirt using magnets, and the receiver, which can be handheld or placed in a trouser pocket. Many individuals living with Parkinson’s are unaware that they are speaking any differently. David aims to address this by detecting when the users' speaking volume drops sending a signal to the receiver, alerting the user to raise their voice.