Wobbleshroom is a pre-habilitative device designed to prevent future ankle injuries by bringing Neuromuscular Training and Whole Body Vibration into our everyday life. The device utilizes sound and vibration to guide the user in which direction to move – always ensuring a safe, fun, and effective exercise routine that does not feel burdensome.
We all have experiences of getting ankle sprains at least once in our lifetime. We often regard it as a minor injury and move on with it. However, doctors point out that it takes up to 8 weeks before stepping back into our daily lives for one to fully recover. If not, it could develop into ankle instability, requiring medical attention like surgery.
There is a way to prevent it. Interviews with experts, including the Doctor of Occupational Therapy at Johns Hopkins University, have taught me that by developing our leg muscles, including peroneal muscle, and our overall balance, we can reduce the chance of getting an ankle sprain in the first place. That is where neuromuscular activity and whole-body vibration kick in – both of which are methods of exercise adopted by professional athletes to train.
However, we already know that. We all know that regular exercise is the key to our health. It is just that many, including me, fail to do so as we must a lot of resources – including both money and time. We cannot afford the two for us people living busy lives. We are too tired to take it into action. On top of that, it is just not fun. Wobbleshroom solves all those problems by gamifying the professional rehabilitative exercise routine, and packaging in a beautiful form brings joy.
The friendly mushroom form of Wobbleshroom came about while studying ways to elevate pattern on conventional wobble board that offers better friction – thus preventing accidental slip. By embracing such a safety element and deciding to celebrate it in a fun manner, a hat of mushroom came into my mind. From there, the rest of the form came naturally.
Wobbleshroom is a product designed to be located on anyone's floor out in the open to elaborate further on design choices. It is an exercise tool and a design statement. Becoming the design statement was necessary as the product located in visual proximity serves as a reminder for the user to engage with the device. However, that means there is always a possibility of one tripping over. To ensure safety, Wobbleshroom is designed to be as rounded as possible. Material too is carefully chosen to be soft yet firm, greppable, and durable for the very same reason. The product is also readily manufacturable, as the rounded form lends itself to any form of production.
Without a doubt, a key component of Wobbleshroom is its delightful user experience. The experience had to be joyful enough to be welcoming but should not be addictive as it becomes an ankle sprain causer. Finding the right balance of fun and effectiveness was important. I produced several functional prototypes and conducted numerous user testing to strike the delicate balance between entertainment and safety. I recorded them all and reviewed them together with the doctors mentioned above to decide on a user interaction akin to the 'Simon' game device from the 70s.
That is how Wobbleshroom came about. The product adds user-friendliness and fun to exercise, allowing anyone to access that routine without feeling burdensome.