“It’s crazy to think that a small sketch during my degree has turned into a product that is now on the market. It’s an inventor’s dream!”
That is the view of University of Brighton graduate and entrepreneur Liam Murphy, who celebrates a major milestone this week as his mindfulness product for kids goes on sale.
Liam has launched his product, The Stix Mindfulness Remotes, to market on 2 February 2023 with the aim of improving children’s mental wellbeing through fun, interactive mindfulness activities.
His company, Stix Mindfulness, aims to support children’s mental wellbeing by guiding them through a variety of fun, therapeutic activities, using technology that combines sensory and motor skills training with an app to encourage continued practice through gamification, enabling them to take control of their mental wellbeing.
An estimated one in six children and young people in the UK now have a diagnosable mental health condition, and many may continue to have these problems into adulthood.
Liam said: “After witnessing such challenges in the family setting, I was driven to explore mental health interventions and self-management. The benefits of mindfulness are well researched – not only does mindfulness help to reduce anxiety and stress, but it also improves focus, emotional regulation, sleep and family relationships.”
The award-winning innovation was first conceptualised during Liam’s BSc (Hons) Product Design with Professional Experience degree at the University of Brighton, from where he graduated in 2019. After witnessing mental health issues among children rise as a result of Covid-19, Liam was determined to launch the product and was successful in a Kickstarter campaign in 2022.
Liam continued: “I had no idea how relevant my Product Design degree would be for the development of my startup. Design thinking was involved at every step of the journey at the University of Brighton, from concept development to creating marketing plans.”
Stix is unique in the way mindfulness is taught to children. Comprising two interactive remotes, one held in each hand, the device talks and guides the child through mindful activities in balance, focus and breathing. Stix monitors their movements and gives feedback through audio instructions, lights and vibrations to keep them focused and engaged.
After completing mindfulness activities, children can sync back up to the app, where they are then rewarded with badges and stars, which can be used on the app to customise their own mindful monster.
Liam says: “We spoke with families and found that a key driver to continuing healthy habits at home is being rewarded – children value rewards – and so we decided that this would be central for our product offering to encourage children to develop a mindfulness practice.”
Lily, aged 7, from London, said: “Stix helps me when I’ve had a stressful day of school or I need to calm down at the end of the day. I love using them before I go to sleep as it relaxes me. They are really amazing!”
Stix Mindful Remotes are on sale from 2 February 2023 from www.stixmindfulness.co.uk.
Watch a video of Stix Mindfulness in action.