Darma Smart Cushions

The winner of Jolt the Library 2015 was MSc International Innovation (Engineering) student Kyaw Tun Sein. 

Kyaw's idea was to use Smart Cushions to help students to improve their study habits in the Library.

The Library worked with Darma (a Kickstarter organisation) to trial their innovative smart cushions with staff, before offering them for student use in May 2016. We believe that it's the first implementation of this kind of technology in an academic library anywhere in the world! 

How it works

Darma cushions use fibre-optic sensors to monitor posture, heartbeat and respiration rate. When paired with the Darma app via Bluetooth, the smart cushions allow you to monitor your heart rate, breathing and stress levels (based on heart rate variability). Impressions of Darma Smart Cushion App

How to use the cushions in the Library

First, install the Darma app on your phone or personal device.

Get Darma on Google Play

Get Darma on the Apple App Store

A list of compatible devices is available on the Darma website

Once you have the app, borrow a cushion! Smart cushions are available from the Library Information Point during staffed opening hours

Next it's just a case of pairing the app with your device via Bluetooth, choosing some notification settings and away you go! 

Your Darma Smart Cushion can tell you when you need to take a break (based on your preferences) and help you to develop healthy sitting habits. 

Step by step instructions are available in our Darma Smart Cushions instruction leaflet

Health and Wellbeing

The Library is committed to the health and wellbeing of students studying at Lancaster. 

The recent library refurbishment was designed to create a calm and contemplative environment with improved access to natural light via glass roofing and lower shelving, water fountains on every floor and improved ventilation and heating.

The Library has supported University-wide initiatives including University Mental Health and Wellbeing Day and LUSU's Study Break. Check out our Health and Wellbeing Resource List for a range of books and videos to help you study healthily and happily. 


Let us know what you think of our Smart Cushions or any of the other ideas implemented as part of Jolt the Library.

Visit our Feedback pages to let us know what you think and to find out how we act on your comments.