The 38th International Conference And Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques

Mommy Tummy: A Pregnancy Experience System Simulating Fetal Movement

West Building, Ballroom B

Mommy Tummy is an interactive system that simulates pregnancy. A user wearing the Mommy Tummy jacket can feel the fetus’s temperature, movement, and heartbeat, and, by rubbing the jacket, communicate with the fetus. Within a few minutes, the jacket's weight and size change, simulating fetal growth over nine months. An auxiliary screen displays the condition of both the fetus and the mother in each simulated month with a 3D model of the fetus. The moods and activity of the fetus are displayed in a natural manner to simulate normal fetal development.

There are two types of fetal movement: kicking and wiggling. Achieving a kicking simulation is not so difficult, but wiggling simulation is not simple. It was achieved by using a technique inspired by the tactile funneling illusion (PhS) initially discovered by Georg von Bekesy as a type of illusory tactile sensation that arises between two points of simultaneous vibration or electric stimulation. Using PhS, Mommy Tummy simulates a wiggling sensation through continuous, temporally displaced operation of multiple air actuators.

When the user moves violently, the fetus enters a bad mood state and makes intense movements. On the other hand, when the user caresses the abdomen, the fetus enters a good mood state and makes steady movements. Heavy physical exercise is discouraged until a stable period is reached.

Takayuki Kosaka
Kanagawa Institute of Technology

Takuya Iwamoto
Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology

Robert Songer
Kanazawa Technical College

Junichi Akita
Kanazawa University

Hajime Misumi
Kanagawa Institute of Technology