Sym is an offspring of Symbiosis - an immersive biofeedback art installation created by award winning artist Kira Zhigalina (founder of Sym) in collaboration with engineer Adrian Godwin. The concept originated from a personal experience of breathwork and it's transformative potential, and the idea of recreating that experience became an artistic obsession. Starting in 2014, we developed custom sensors to pick up diaphragmatic breathing to visualise in light, which seemed the most appropriate medium for representing breath, expressed in different structural compositions. Since 2015, Symbiosis has been shared with over 5k participants, in various contexts including and not limited to European Burning Mans and UK Light and Music Festivals, creating calming and awe inspiring experiences for the participants. Many have commented on the positive effect of the experience to reset anxiety and teach beneficial deep diaphragm breathing techniques, which as it turned out, many didn't know. We decided to make it our mission to bring this experience in other forms that can reach a wider audience and benefit more people, resulting in the compact version - Sym. You can see our journey from Symbiosis to Sym in the video below.
The initial pivotal point in our journey was when a gastroenterologist was sparked by interest to use our technology in aiding IBS patients with relieving their symptoms. This cross discipline concept resulted in winning Best Pitch Award in the MedTech Superconnector hackathon, which led to the development of the first prototype. In 2022 we participated in Central Research Laboratory Accelerator finalising designs for manufacture, and are preparing to launch this year. We have tested the product to positive results with IBS patients and within physiotherapy and psychotherapy practices and are always interested in other partnerships and research. Sym is all about symbiotic relationships and we are keen to create a community which fuels collaborations with like minded projects and individuals.