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LightVision: Meditation Made Easier

LightVision: Meditation Made Easier
The new LightVision headset combines traditional meditation techniques with a pattern of vibrations, sounds and lights. (Credit: LAYER)

Launched at Design Miami 2021 last December, the new LightVision headset designed to help meditation should be available for general consumers in early 2022. The system combines traditional meditation techniques with a pattern of vibrations, sounds and lights that is able to stimulate the brain in the right direction.

As the pandemic marches into its third year, it carries with it all of the associated uncertainties such as remote working and studying and the resulting excessive screen time.  When this reality is combined with problems that were already an issue before Covid-19 like an unrestrained deluge of information and lack of contact with the natural world, it becomes obvious that clearing the mind and meditating have never been more important.

However, the challenges facing those interested in meditation can seem overwhelming. Myths such as the idea that one needs to be able to completely shut off the mind in order to truly meditate or that the benefits will only be attained after years of practice make meditation seem out of  reach for most of us. The good news is that not only are these beliefs being increasingly discredited, there are also devices such as LightVision that can be immensely helpful for those who wish to make meditation a part of a healthier daily routine.

The LightVision headset enables a deep and immersible meditation experience. (Credit: LAYER/Resonate)
The LightVision headset helps people relax by changing the frequency and patterns of their thoughts. (Credit: LAYER/Resonate)

Designed by Benjamin Hubert, the founder of design agency LAYER, LightVision is the fruit of the firm’s first partnership with American start-up Resonate who created a system combining traditional meditation techniques with a pattern of vibrations, sounds and lights able to stimulate our brains in the right direction for meditation. 

The idea behind the LightVision headset is to use the cutting-edge science of neural entrainment—a method of stimulating the brain into entering a specific state by using a pulsing sound, light or electromagnetic field—to help people relax by changing the frequency and patterns of their thoughts. According to studies conducted by Resonate, even meditation sessions of only 20 minutes a day have proven to be very beneficial when carried out consistently—to the extent that 51% of users reported an immediate decrease in stress and anxiety levels.

A Deep and Immersive Meditation Experience

The headset features an LED light matrix that converts videos of the natural world, like fish swimming underwater or trees moving in the breeze, into an ever-changing sequence of biomorphic patterns that can be “seen” even with our eyes closed. In other words, these “images” are able to activate the brain’s frequency-following response and synchronize with the user’s circadian rhythm—a mechanism more important for our well-being than just its well-known function of regulating our sleep. 

The headset features an LED light matrix that converts videos of the natural world into an ever-changing sequence of biomorphic patterns that can be “seen” even with closed eyes. (Credit: LAYER/Resonate)
The headset features an LED light matrix that converts videos of the natural world into an ever-changing sequence of biomorphic patterns that can be “seen” even with closed eyes. (Credit: LAYER/Resonate)

According to Resonate, the combination of this stimulation of “synchronized vibrations and a soundtrack of monaural and binaural beats and isochronic tones, rapidly guides the user’s mind to a deeply meditative state.” Users can control the brightness of the LEDs and the volume of the videos’ soundtrack through an intuitive and ergonomically accessible interface on the underside of the casing. This interface also includes the power button and a USB-C charging port.

An interesting feature of LightVision is that it induces calm even before the headset is used as its minimal and elegant design encourages a restful state of mind. The flowing geometry that closely follows the contours of the face makes an interesting contrast with the progressive, futuristic interior which houses the high-tech LED matrix display. 

The headset induces calming even before being used as its minimal and elegant design encourages a restful state of mind. (Credit: LAYER/Resonate)
The headset induces calm even before the headset is used as its minimal and elegant design encourages a restful state of mind. (Credit: LAYER/Resonate)

Producing this aesthetic contrast was in itself quite a challenge. Benjamin Hubert explained:

“Designing a product that fits seamlessly to the face is extremely complex and it was essential in this project due to the need to block out the surrounding environment. You need to combine a deep understanding of ergonomics and variable face shapes and sizes across a wide range of demographics and percentiles.”

He added:

“Integrating complicated electronics into a small format made this even more challenging. We worked closely with Resonate’s electrical engineers to package the LED array to help create a deep and immersive meditation experience for the user.”

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