Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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The Floatation Stimulation Platform: An investigation into the feasibility of delivering audio and audio-visual stimuli into the floatation tank

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posted on 2021-11-23, 00:09 authored by Boyle, Henry

The floatation tank experience is unique. It involves floating on a body of water dense in Epsom salt, inside of a purpose-built tank. The buoyancy from the salt density means there is little sensation of gravity, and the water temperature is the same as the skin temperature so there is minimal sense of touch. There is no light, no sound, and no one else. This research considers the feasibility of developing technology designed to stimulate the senses in the floatation environment – conceptualised as the floatation stimulation platform (FSP). The identified target market for the FSP is the commercial floatation centre. Three phases of investigation were conducted to assess feasibility of the FSP. Phase One involved surveying 10 existing floatation centres and assessing their use of stimuli in the floatation environment in a commercial context. Phase Two involved surveying 37 participants connected to a commercial floatation centre's online network. Participants were asked a range of questions about their perceptions and experiences of floatation, stimuli within the floatation tank, and activities they participate in. Phase Three involved analysing a commercial offering of audio stimuli designed for a specific model of floatation tank. The findings of all three phases of investigation suggest the FSP is a feasible concept. A major finding from Phase One was that all surveyed commercial floatation centres currently use stimuli in their floatation tanks, while in Phase Two it was found that all participants surveyed were open to the concept of experiencing stimuli in the floatation tank. Phase Three of the investigation found that stimuli designed for the floatation tank is most valuable to floatation centres if it can increase customer retention. From the investigation findings, recommendations were developed for appropriate business models and developmental pathways for FSP technology. It is suggested that FSP technology operate as different components for different senses. It is also recommended that a content library for existing floatation tank and FSP technology be developed and made available on subscription-based access. The feasibility of creating personalised content for FSP technology is also explored.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Innovation and Commercialisation

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Innovation and Commercialisation

Victoria University of Wellington Unit

School of Chemical and Physical Sciences

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code


Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Engineering and Computer Science


Hunt, Maree