The bobi story, at its inception, involves an unassuming coastal village located in Turkey. At that time bobi’s founder, Damien Thomas, was attending a yoga retreat. Damien had recognised that months of isolation, and exposure to substantial work pressure, was taking a psychological toll. Damien was leading the first international war crimes investigation involving the Islamic State in Syria.
After returning to practice as a psychologist, Damien had observed the impact of mental health issues, particularly among school students. At the time Damien was working as a psychologist in an outreach clinic at a local high school. Between appointments, Damien rhythmically opened and closed his hand to match a slow breathing rate. This was a profound moment on the journey towards the creation of bobi.
Client after client, no matter the demographic, had presented with dysfunctional breathing patterns. Damien had attempted numerous interventions to support his clients to learn, and maintain, better breathing habits. Very few of his clients found the available supports, including mobile phone apps, to be beneficial.
The intersection between what his clients needed, and his own experience, provided the motivation to bring bobi to fruition.
“No army can withstand the strength of an idea whose time has come.” – Victor Hugo
The long and arduous journey of bringing a concept to its ultimate conclusion begins with a testing of ideas. Damien had settled, conceptually, on what bobi should do. But translating the concept to physical reality relied on an embrace of the abstract.
The humble sprinkler head represented the first and most significant concept towards bobi’s physical development. Damien, at one point, held the sprinkler loosely in his hand and realised he had stumbled on a key part of the puzzle. Incorporating a valve onto bobi, allowing for ‘control of fluid release’, remains the cornerstone of the device’s functionality.
Over the months that followed, a natural curiosity was tethered with a determination to provide a method of support to his clients. Damien eventually sought collaboration with Australia’s leading industrial design firm, Design + Industry, and a period of scientific exploration began.
Damien remained true to his initial vision: Improve the lives of any person through a simple and accessible device that coaches better breathing. Damien had also recognised the importance of physical touch, including as a fundamental human need. Design elements included the incorporation of a back of hand strap that responded with gentle touch when bobi is compressed.
A simple, durable, patented device to coach its users in a preferred breathing practice.
And that is only the beginning of the ‘bobi’ journey. Overwhelming scientific research has not only confirmed the importance of breathing in regulating emotions. Numerous papers are now stating that the very practice of squeezing a tactile device in the left hand has many neuro-sensory benefits, including regulating cortisol, enhanced cognition, sports performance and psychological readiness.
bobi was invented with the clear intention to support anyone to improve their wellbeing.
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