BARFS was conceived as an entry into the microMedic 2013 National Contest to develop a medical training device.
Breathing and heart rate control is recognized as a method to maintain effectiveness in stressful situations. Conscious control of breathing increases the ability to react rationally in stressful situations. Proper control of normally autonomous functions contributes to an increase in situational awareness, improved decision-making under duress, and increased effectiveness in weapons use and accuracy. Cardio-monitoring using oximeters has been used to provide biofeedback for control of heart rate in training. While there is a correlation between heart rate and breathing rate, there is causation between breathing and heart rate. It was proposed that use of a system that non-invasively analyzes breathing rate and provides intelligent feedback to the user during training would increase overall performance, especially under stress.
It was proposed that a composite set of sensors, mounted on the boom of an inexpensive headset, could provide the necessary inputs to a Parallax Propeller processor. Taking advantage of the multi-cog parallel processing architecture, powerful I/O, and communications capabilities of the Propeller, it should be possible to incorporate composite sensors in breathing rate analysis.
Based on the early success of investigations of the combined microphone input and humidity and temperature sensors, not only can this device be used by military personnel for training, but has potential for additional medical benefits related to non-intrusive methods of measuring breath parameters.