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Sensoree was honored to receive the Responsible Design Grant to co-design multi-sensoree wearable technologies for clients with Profound Intellectual and Multiple Disabilities (PIMD) at De Parabool’s care center De Schure. In this year long project, Sensoree’s bioresponsive technologies will collaborate with the professional caregivers and the non-verbal clients to develop new tools for expression, to give the bodies a voice. 


IMG_0910PIMD has a vast range of abilities which might include autism, epilepsy, locked in syndrome, or a combination. The intellectual development age of this group is between five months to two years, all with the commonality of limited sensory integration and expression. With the physical limitations including mobility, visual, or hearing impairments, awareness of environmental surrounding and events are unclear. One of the biggest challenges is communication. Most cues are nonverbal and are interpreted by the caregivers and parents for meaning. Sensoree’s goal is to create a new language based on the fundamental sensoree bioresponsive technologies the Mood Sweater and Flexo

In the Netherlands, about 10,000 people have PIMD. De Schure is a daycare center run by De Parabool located in Deventer, Netherlands. Started in February 2019, it is a location for experience-oriented daytime activities for severe multiple disabilities aged 18 or older. Together with the professionals they undertake various activities to stimulate their experience and feeling. All activities are personally adjusted to what is possible for the client.

When the grant began in September 2019, De Schure had seven clients, which will be expanded to twelve clients by the end of the year 2020.

Kristin Neidlinger (Sensoree):

“From our initial client tests and parent interviews, we found that non-verbal tones and breathing rate communicates how they are feeling. For example, a father said he listens for increased breathing rate and sounds of erratic body movement  to inform if a seizure if coming. Since his son is non-verbal, he listens for the sounds. Another client communicates uniquely with the sound “ha” in various tones. The mother knows if he is agitated by the pitch. Noted that many clients have a strong sense of hearing, we are enthusiastic to try sound and breath sensing for the non-verbal cues. Over the year long project, we plan to continue design research into which biosensors are the best fit to give their bodies a voice.”

Please stay tuned for updates!

Team: Kristin Neidlinger – Design Lead (Sensoree/UTwente), Stephanie Koenderink – New Technology Lead (De Parabool), Khiet Truong – Research Lead (UTwente), Edwin Dertien – Creative Robotics Lead (UTwente),
Arnav Mundkar – Intern (Sensoree /UTwente), Naveen Setty – Robotics (UTwente)