I discovered the box breathing method on http://quietkit.com/box-breathing/ and I decided to make this device because I didn't want to stare at a screen with possible distractions around. I wanted to be able to pull something out of my pocket and begin the cycle immediately.
I reduced it from a 4 LED design because it was drawing too much power, and I realized that running a single LED can be quite pretty too.
It is fun to fiddle with and nice to look at. A case of white plastic helps to soften the glow of the blue LED and keeps the electronics safe.
The LED follows a cycle of brighten (breathe in), lit (hold), dim (breathe out), off (hold). The challenge is to indicate when it is time to release your breath because it is hard to visually tell the exact point when the LED starts to dim because the human eye is not sensitive to changes in bright lights. So the changes in brightness levels are programmatic. I am also experimenting with the use of RGB LEDs to provide a a more pleasing array of colours.
I believe this project can be a potential aid for anxiety and can provide a touchstone object in a convenient and useful manner.
Once this project is complete I will release the files and show you how to put the project together yourself with just a soldering iron. However do note that these are SMD parts so you might have to salvage a few parts yourself like resistors and LEDs. You can also buy them from Digikey for a few cents each.
Comments? Questions? Ideas on how to improve? I'm always happy to talk in further detail about the design considerations. Just leave a comment below.
If there is interest I am open to making a few. Just drop a line in the comments below.
Currently I am working on a new version. There is an option of purchasing some on Tindie for those who want to experiment with one without going through the hassle of putting one together.