MengSheng Chen, a UC Berkeley graduate and San Francisco resident, was chosen as one of 25 finalists in tech start-up Zyxio’s Be A Mind Blower contest. The company asked the public to submit ideas for applications for its breath-enabled technology SensaWaft, which allows people to control digital technology through breathing on it. The winner is to be announced Friday.
What was the concept behind your invention? Basically, my idea was to combine technologies to create a device where sensors can sense pressure. As a result of the pressure change, stage lighting effects at concerts and performances can be controlled to change in real time.
How did you come up with the idea? I first had the idea at a Nine Inch Nails concert. The show had outstanding technical effects and had a huge screen with stage lighting in the background. I thought to myself, “What if they could use technology to change the digital effects in real time as part of the light show?” So then I started trying to answer that question.
What is the next step in the competition? Basically what Zyxio asked for is an idea. If I find out I’m in the top five and the idea is feasible, then it can be developed into an actual product.
How did you become an inventor? I have a little experience. I studied physics and music in undergrad, and studied operations reach in graduate school. I also have a certificate in management of technology.
— Juliana Bunim