Finalist 2022

Allevia

Amelda Norsworthy

"Allevia" is an efficient, non-medicinal treatment for motion sickness, utilising low-frequency vibrations to provide relief, directly at the source.

Allevia's design brief was outlined to focus on solving a medical, health related issue in the consumer based design world, that would provide positive impact and benefit to the user. More specifically, the brief was to; "Design a wearable product to assist in alleviating symptoms of motion sickness, without the use of medication. The design should fill a need in the market, and add value to the customers experience."

The expected outcome was to design a wearable that not only could work with existing interventions to motion sickness, but also provide an entirely alternative, non-medicated option for those who wish to avoid medication stimga and motion sickness shame. Its target audience is towards young adults, with the aim of assisting in the process of habituation (gradually growing used to) motion sickness, to decrease its effect overtime.


This project was developed by:

Design Process

The design processed utilised the "Double Diamond" Approach to design. Split into four major sections, including Research, Conceptualisation, Testing and Refinement. Based on a range of resources, from studies based in VR linked motion sickness, to vertigo patients in treatment, pregnancy studies and more - Allevia holds a broad scope of qualitative and quantitative findings and insights.

Conduction of Interviews, Surveys, and speaking with Health Professionals assisted in affirming a strong project foundation. Throughout the conceptualisation phase, multiple concepts were explored and vigorously broken down and analysed by peers and industry professionals. Each round of ideation was informed by findings, insights and research.

The prototyping/testing phase was conducted over the COVID-19 Victorian Lockdown, however produced a 1:1 scale prototype that fit comfortably, and was reflective of true to size tech packaging and use case. Finally, the execution of the project in total exceeded the design brief, producing a project that would later be recognised as an Outstanding Project throughout the cohort.

Design Excellence

Allevia exceeds the expectations and criteria around Good Design. Not only is the product functional, backed by ongoing research and development into Non-Invasive Vestibular Masking systems, but it is also an aesthetic, small factor design that doesn't draw attention, while also having a strong sense of style and is adjustable to the individual user.

It considers driver/passenger/traveller safety, by ensuring that no level of hearing is impeded on throughout the duration of wear. It is designed to be high quality, reliable and easily fixed, as it is intended for multiple uses, not just once. It also considers sustainability in that it is made from recycled plastic waste.

Allevia was founded heavily on the narrative of the relationship between the user and travelling. So, it takes into consideration each stage of the user-journey, ensuring a purposeful fit into the users day to day life. Allevia is a device unlike any that currently exists on the market, and allows for the rapid advancement of technology to support the Health industry in a commercial sense.

Design Innovation

The design utilises an emerging technology, known as Non-Invasive Vestibular Masking, that has minimal existing applications on the current market - especially in the commercial world. Unlike so many existing solutions for motion sickness, such as medication or off-the shelf items (acupressure bands, mints, gum, aromatherapy), which target either the stomach, or utilise low-level distraction, Allevia addresses motion sickness at the source - the otolith organs. This means that it can not only be used to provide relief from motion sickness, but also prevent it all together.

Motion sickness is something that 1 in 3 people experience. It is indescriminant, and can be brought on by many other medications, or medical conditions. 80% of users leave their motion sickness untreated, leaving them disoriented, inhibited and uncomfortable. Allevia bridges this gap, and allows users to discreetly, efficiently, and stylishly, address their motion sickness in comfort.

Design Impact

Allevia will support users in their efforts to travel, making these experiences more comfortable and rewarding. Along-side that, the continual use of Allevia may influence the users natural "habitation" or growing used to motion sickness, and over time reduce the overall severity of their conditions. It is also not something that must be used each and every time, so it is context flexible for the user and those around them.

The entire product is designed to use sustainable materials, including recycled plastic and metal, all of which are capable of being recycled infinitely. Allevia is also designed for disassembly, to ensure access to repairs are available to increase the products lifespan.

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