Master Thesis – marked with a 9 (from 2020).

Premo is an experiment to the possibilities of Deep Pressure Touch Contractions for our emotional well being. This is the digital appendix & info page of:

‘Calming pressure: a study through design on stress reduction by deep pressure touch contractions through wearable technology’

The thesis can be viewed here. Issue has disabled download for free members. Please email for pdf

Contact: mailme[at]markdereijer.nl | LinkedIn

This page contains materials like images, building instructions, code, schematics, 3d models, experiment downloads and used materials

expo-Tusi-thumb EN

Stress (and Anxieties) complaints tend to be more pervasive in today’s life [3, 21]. Reducing levels of stress is becoming of more importance for mental wellbeing [5] due to its negative consequences [7, 5]. Therefore a way to lower our levels of stress would be invaluable. The crossover between stress and ever more present wearable technology show such devices would be promising. Deep Pressure Touch (PDT), pressure on the body, is known for its therapeutic calming effect [7, 8, 10, 25]. Derived from this the wearable device ‘Premo’ has been developed and its effectiveness of ability to reduce stress levels and on task performance-related stress. A tailored system had to be designed because of the lack of existing adaptive DPT systems and the novel inclusion of the rhythm instead of continuous pressure.

This paper starts by outlining stress, deep pressure touch, related wearable technology, rhythm and social synchronicity. Then we highlight the gap in the field leading up to outlining the design guidelines for such a device. In order to validate the hypotheses, a device is designed following the design guidelines and this device by participants when performing a stressful task. The research reveals the design processes, potential strengths and potential limitations of this device.

Here is presented how research through design method contributes to the exploration of design for emotional well being and our mental health. It is also argued that the integration of psychological insights with wearable technology makes way for an engaging area of research and enables for more meaningful technologies.

A side goal of the writer is to conduct research that could be done by every maker. Using wildly available and cheap materials it is believed it potentially makes the project accessible for further development by an audience that is not that well funded. Plans on how to build Premo are be made available online here. Therefore this work is CC BY-NC-SA licenced.

Creative Commons-Licentie This work has a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike licence.


Feedback on the project: To be able to do what Mark did he had to take the role of not only a researcher, but also a maker, designer, prototyper and artist and in my opinion he took each of these roles seriously and really achieved something in each of these aspects of the project. Behind almost each final decision is a thorough investigation, even to the point of user-testing different types of hugs! The final product is not just a thesis, but also a working prototype for Premo, a design plan that other DIY enthusiasts can follow to make their own and a whole series of intermediate products that use other techniques that have been attempted (like motors instead of air etc).

  • Premo is my graduation project which was praised with a 9.
  • My master thesis, ‘Calming pressure: a study through design on stress reduction by deep pressure touch contractions through wearable technology’, can be found here.
  • More information and additional files can be found on markdereijer.nl/premo.
  • Or see the visual end-presentation to get an impression of the project.

Main Files

All files you need to build premo

Electronic components:
  • GS 90 Servo motor
  • Solenoid valve 12v
  • Grove GSR sensor
  • aquarium valve
  • arduino uno
  • 139DB Tranistor
  • 220ohm resisor
  • led (opt)
  • 1441 Diode