Smart Squeeze

Gold
2012

Smart Squeeze is a wearable sensory tool to calm teens with autism or attention disorders. The inside layer is an inflatable bladder that places pressure on the torso. Firm pressure to the body is known to relieve anxiety and increase focus and attention when the sensory system is over stimulated. When feeling anxious, Smart Squeeze enables users to inflate their vests to the desired pressure with the use of a discrete hand pump. The outer shell is composed of a large collar and hood to block out overwhelming distractions and light. Textured pockets attach for individuals who crave tactile stimulation for additional calming. Smart Squeeze uses air to provide evenly-distributed and adjustable pressure that can be discretely controlled by the user to promote independence.

Teens with autism often experience anxiety and benefit from deep pressure therapy. In school, it is inappropriate for caretakers to give hugs for pressure, and therapists are not present to provide pressure therapy techniques (such as rolling clients in blankets) when needed. Current products for providing pressure inhibit mobility and do not allow the user to have control. Unfashionable weighted vests are most commonly used; however, they only provide pressure on the shoulders, and the pressure is not adjustable and cannot be controlled.

Unlike many products for providing deep pressure therapy, the Smart Squeeze allows mobility and promotes independence. In addition to being effective in even, adjustable pressure distribution, the Smart Squeeze creates an entire sensory calming garment with additional features, such as the large hood and textured pockets to suit each individuals needs while catering to individuals on the entire autism spectrum range.

The style of the Smart Squeeze is intended for a teenage girl. Many other styles to suit individual preferences can be used to conceal the inflatable bladder technology, helping users fit in with their peer group. Smart Squeeze can be worn anywhere, so it is instantly ready when needed. It does not have to be removed when not in use. It is easy to take on and off, as well as inflate and deflate. Because the inflatable bladder adjusts in length and width, it will fit properly to each user and provides product longevity since Smart Squeeze will adapt as users grow.

Many products on the market for providing pressure as well as other therapeutic devices are not user friendly and have a social stigma surrounding them as their visual appearance does not support the users’ dignity. Smart Squeeze is a stylish alternative that also functions more effectively. It enables users to complete their daily tasks efficiently and with ease. Because Smart Squeeze relieves anxiety and helps increase focus, it can aid in reducing tantrums and other inappropriate behaviors and help users communicate better.

Credits: Emily Carr University of Art & Design and Lisa Fraser
Contact: Lisa Fraser: lisa.fraser3@gmail.com