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EDUCATIONAL DEVICE FOR SIMULATING ADDICTIVE BEHAVIOR AND METHOD OF USING

A simulator which may be programmed to interactively mimic the effects of an addictive habit as well as the characteristics of a particular personality or trait. A case houses a speaker, microphone, visual display and associated electronic components, including a microprocessor. Numerous messages as stored in a nonvolatile random access memory which are issued to a user of the device to prompt the user to engage in activities that would simulate participation in the addictive behavior being simulated. In one version, the simulator is used in a teaching environment and includes controls that permit a teacher to select certain simulation parameters. In the case of a simulation of the habit of smoking, such parameters would include, for example, the number of packages of cigarettes available for consumption, the number of packages to be consumed each day and the rate at which the user's craving for nicotine will escalate. The device will calculate various physiological parameters and generate information relevant to the elapsed time since the simulation began. The simulator includes a signaling device such as a beeper or vibrator to notify the user that a cigarette must be consumed. The microprocessor is programmed to recognize sounds such as coughing and inhaling received through the microphone to ensure that the user is performing these activities in response to prompts by the device. An orifice is formed within the surface of the case into which a straw or tube is inserted through which the user must occasionally exhale, inhale or puff. A slot is formed within the case to receive currency in order to simulate the purchase of the addictive product.

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