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Making the World a Little Bit Brighter

At Drexel, our students tend to go against the grain and shake up the norm. Product Design major Troy Hudson is a prime example of someone who's doing just that.

Troy's goal for his senior project: create a product that would have a beneficial impact on others. Searching for a topic, Hudson became fascinated by the benefits of light, which led to an interest in seasonal affective disorder (SAD). SAD is the recurrent depression caused by the lack of sunlight. Over 10 million people in the United States alone experience SAD.

In his research, Hudson discovered that the widely used SAD treatment is sitting with a stationary light therapy box for 20-30 minutes. Although the treatment is effective for 50-80% of people, it is simply inconvenient for everyone in this busy, on-the-go world. As a result, there is a profound dropout rate among users.

Seeing the current state of light therapy, Troy knew that there was room for improvement. That's why he created Lumiware, a light therapy treatment that meets the needs of patients in a portable and unobtrusive way.

Lumiware is wearable technology that, at first glance, looks like a pair of funky glasses. In reality, these glasses produce 2,000 lux of artificial light that hit the retina to simulate the effects of sunlight. The angle of the glasses ensures the light stays within the peripheral vision and doesn't detract from clear vision.

To track the time, progress, and engagement of the Lumiware, Hudson also created a Bluetooth-enabled mobile application. Working with their doctors, Lumiware users will determine how much light they need and use the app whenever they wear Lumiware.

After an extensive design process, Troy's ingenuity and hard work paid off; subjects who tried the final prototype hardly noticed the light and found it to be relaxing and easy to use.

There are many of us who have aspirations to change the world, but Troy has already started. Lumiware is just the beginning of what Troy has in mind — we're excited to see what's to come.

Get the full scope of how innovators like Troy are changing the world at the Westphal College of Media Arts and Design. And learn about how the Close School of Entrepreneurship can help you turn big ideas into marketable realities.