"When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly. But those that make it after you, they don’t have to worry about making it. And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when others make it after you"
We’ve got our Fitbits, and now Fido can have his version, Whistle, as seen on CNet. Whistle attaches to a dog’s collar and can monitor movement and who the dog is spending time with. It then transmits this information and makes sense of it in its own app. By the way, the dog in the pic is named Kona, and his owner, Tina Haskins, is able to keep tabs on him throughout the day in New Jersey, even when she is thousands of miles away in Antarctica. It’s pretty impressive stuff.
It’s one of the more colorful instances among Whistle’s users and while it illustrates how Whistle is effective when helping owners feel connected to their pets, it doesn’t show the real magic behind Whistle. Haskins said the big value for her is in the data Whistle gathers. It’s the key to establishing a baseline of data for Kona’s health, something that would be difficult to determine otherwise, given that she doesn’t know everything about Kona’s past.
“Kona’s a rescue. I don’t have any real knowledge of what his life was like before I had him, and I don’t know what his parents were like,” Haskins said.
The app can help its owner see different activities like walking, playtime and rest. The info leads to an understanding of what is typical for that dog. Check out this log of a walk.
There is an even bigger picture with this information gathering. Researchers at the Veterinary Clinical Investigations Center at University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine have been using Whistle to look at chronic pain.
These are cases involving ailment like arthritis or bone cancer. The animals wear the device on their collars for 7 to 10 days and then researchers have them try out various activities, like sitting, walking or running. Understanding how active an animal is — even at night when pain can cause a dog with bone cancer to move around a lot — could understanding how to make an animal most comfortable when dealing with ailments.
In the same way we have seen customized formulas in dog foods, such as puppy chow and senior diet, this data gathering can lead to customized care for breeds. There is the potential to look at epilepsy and asthma in dogs, and offer specific care and products based on those issues. Since people often miss the chance of seeing their dog’s habits throughout the day, Whistle will offer them a chance to be proactive in their dog’s care. This product has just hit the market, but if you want to DIY a collar that helps your pooch stay fit, check out our GPS collar tutorial.
Although we’ve seen various shirts for measuring biometrics in the sports and fitness industries, it appears aerospace is another use. The Canadian Space Agency is currently working with Carré Technologies, creator of Astroskin, according to Mother Nature Network.
Astroskin, a prototype device to monitor astronaut health, is a garment that fits over a person’s upper body and is embedded with wireless sensors. From the ground, doctors can see an astronaut’s vital signs, as well as how well the spacefarers are sleeping and how they are moving.
The shirt needs rigorous testing to ensure that it is space ready, so arrangements have been made to test the product in Antarctica.
Crew members of the the XPAntarctik expedition, while spending 45 days in a previously unexplored region of the continent, are beaming their medical information back to civilization while wearing Astroskin. The expedition, which kicked off on Feb. 2, is quite a workout for the eight-person team, which has vowed to use no motorized vehicles. This means the suit is getting tested during skiing, walking and climbing Antarctica’s jagged peaks and glaciers.
This video not only shares information about the use of the shirt, but also shows some of the extreme locations that astronauts use for their playground.
Although this shirt is well suited for astronauts, it also has uses for other communities — telemedicine.
“The great thing about this technology is since it’s wireless, it can be monitored at a distance,” CSA chief medical officer Raffi Kuyumijian said in a new video released by the agency.
“People who live in remote communities, for example, will have an easy access to a doctor,” Kuyumijian added. “They can have these shirts on them all the time. It can trigger alarms if something wrong is happening, and alert the doctors following at a distance.”
At some point, we all have a cardio check-up with messy gel and stick-on sensors. It’s no wonder that shirts are becoming the next great solution. Perhaps in the future we will have embedded technology transmitting this data to our doctors. In the meantime, you can have your own biometric fun with our heart rate badge.
Startup OMsignal has developed articles of clothing capable of sensing varying levels of body activity, including possible cues to emotional state, and communicating them to mobile devices for self tracking as well as for checking in with loved ones. From Postscapes:
The shirt and bra being released for sale by the company are machine washable and have their sensors woven in them just below the chest to best collect ribcage extension/contraction breathing data and heart rate details. Housed in a hidden pocket a small unit encloses the accelerometer, GPS unit, and memory card storage in case connectivity to your mobile device is lost.
The company is working on an application allowing you to track your historical readings and privately share your data with your loved ones. Example scenarios for its use include sending your partner a comforting text message if you notice their stress levels are rising, or using it to remotely monitor an aging parent for signs of approaching health issues.
The clothing’s GPS capability can provide details on how your body is reacting to a certain environment. You might, for example, learn your stress levels are much higher while working from a coffee shop than from the office, or learn to avoid certain travel routes on your commute home if possible.
It looks like a child’s watch, but this open source wearable, named LEWE, measures biometrics according to Bits and Pieces from the Embedded Design World. This Arduino wristband looks bulky now, but it’s merely to facilitate explaining construction.
According to Boris Landoni of OpenElectronics, the goal of Project LEWE is to leverage available tech and create a low cost platform using sensors for data collection.
“[Ultimately, everything can be] integrated into a single board or two, in a more compact fashion that can be worn thanks to a special container with a wristband.”
The current iteration of the LEWE prototype currently supports at least five functions, including:
Measuring body temperature and sweat rate
Local display of recorded data
Relaying information to a smartphone app
Sending and storing data to the cloud
Organizing data in graph form for analysis
This wristband uses a variety of shields, which are rectangular, and also uses a digital readout. It would be very interesting to see a circular version that gives biometrics through visuals, rather than numerically. This could be done with a FLORA and a Neopixel Ring, similar to the FLORA NeoGeo Watch. A temperature sensor could be incorporated that would take a reading and send the results in the form of color, or amount of Neopixels lit on the ring. A heart rate sensor could also be used with results blinking the Neopixels. Sending information is definitely the tricky hurdle. Since most shields are bulky, it may be wise to figure out a method such as an SMS module, so information could be sent as a text message to a device. Whether you attempt to do this using a traditional Arduino, or create your own version, this is definitely an exciting challenge.
Canadian company Kiwi Wearables lists their new product as, “One device, many apps”. Considering this wearable can handle gestures, as well as tracking, it has the potential to draw in-depth conclusions about a person’s life. Here’s the detail on the tiny clip with multiple uses, as seen on Epoch Times.
Kiwi Move tracks your movement, steps, and climbing action. Take it to the gym, basketball court, or the baseball field. It provides insight in to your daily life, as stated on their blog site.
Much like the Star Trek communicator, it responds to gestures. You can create your own or use the built-in detection settings. Speak with your smart appliances and control them directly with Kiwi Move, or speak directly to the Internet.
The most interesting thing about this device, besides its tiny size, is its app. It is based on a “When/Do” logic. As an example: When I visit the grocery store, do update my budget. Of course, interesting correlations might exist between the time of day that you visit the store and what else is going on in your life. Ask anyone about working late hours and craving burritos. In a sense, this clip is allowing you to be mindful of what you are doing, when you are doing it. Even if you don’t immediately see the link between the activities, you have the opportunity to view them over time and discover what is driving them. Sounds like psychological genius, but it’s really the beauty of a micro-controller. More like this, please.
This smart shirt uses textile embedded sensors making workouts trackable according to Gizmag.
French company Cityzen Sciences has won the CES 2014 Inclusive Innovation in Everyday Health award for its development of a Smart Sensing fabric woven with integral micro-sensors – these add the practical benefit of monitoring the health and fatigue levels of the wearer.
The Smart Sensing fabric reads body heat, respiration rate, heart rate, and motion through location via GPS. “The fabric can be made into any clothing; gloves, shirts, pants, you name it,” said Gilbert Reveillon, Cityzen’s international managing director.
The new smart fabric combines sensors, fabric, distributed computation, and a small battery-powered transmitter into a unit that links in real time to a smartphone. The phone runs an app that stores and analyzes data from the fabric, showing if the person wearing the garment is tired, stressed, or in the path of an imminent heart attack. Obvious applications are for people who find themselves in extreme conditions, such as athletes, first responders, and soldiers.
The shirt can perform many tasks while on the body, but there is more in store while it is off the body.
Perhaps the cleverest part of Smart Sensing fabric is still under development. Cityzen is working on a recharging system for the fabric, that receives most of its energy when the clothing is washed. This is a perfect use for a motion-driven recharging system – can you think of a better environment for collecting mechanical energy than a washing machine?
Artist and engineer Laurie Frick draws on biometric tools to scan and sample data to create striking artwork that asks questions about our experience of our own lives and bodies. Check out her TEDxAustin Talk above, as well as this interview with the artist from Rooms Magazine:
Laurie Frick’s work treads the line between art and neuroscience. Frick uses self-tracking to map out everything in her life, which then gets transformed into beautiful 2D works and installations. Frick’s practice therefore is human existence in data form, made more tangible for the viewer.
What is self-tracking?
It’s about measuring something of yourself, the most interesting tracking comes from capturing something very familiar that you don’t notice. Such as how many times you wake up during the night, your minute-by-minute heart-rate or how many steps you take each day. What used to be something of an oddity, has now become so easy with iPhone apps and gadgets. Self-tracking has exploded into whole movement, called the Quantified-Self.
Your work draws inspiration from neuroscience and from your background in engineering and high-technology. What is it that makes the topics so interesting to you?
At this moment in time biotechnology and neuroscience are exploding, it’s where the biggest breakthroughs in science will come over the next decade. The moment that neuroscience was able to study live human brain activity using fMRI – what we call ‘brain scans’ the field of neuroscience research went into lightspeed. In my lifetime, we’ll begin to understand one of the last true mysteries on the planet – the human brain.
I’m halfway through my 2 year artist-in-residence program at the Poldrack Lab at UT. It’s the Neuroscience Research Center at the University of Texas, Austin, headed by Russ Poldrack, and filled with PhD’s. I get to hang out with them and let some of their smarts and research seep into my artwork…..
October 15th is Ada Lovelace Day! Today the world celebrates all of the accomplishments of women in science, art, design, technology, engineering, and math. Each year, Adafruit highlights a number of women who are pioneering their fields and inspiring women of all ages to make their voices heard. Today we will be sharing the stories of women that we think are modern day “Adas”. We will also be referencing women from history that have made impacts in science and math. Please promote and share #ALD13 with your friends and family so we can promote and share with all of the world wide web!
Today everything in the Adafruit store is 10% off, just use the code ALD13 on checkout! Today’s the perfect day to spark the imagination of a future “Ada” with a gift from the Adafruit store!
Simply flex your forearm muscle and hear the repulsor charge up, then relax your forearm to fire (lighting up the LEDs on your palm and playing explosion sound effects). As an added flair for realism, when you turn on the system, J.A.R.V.I.S.’s voice takes you through the boot up and calibration sequence.
HAPPY HALLOWEEN! Each weekday this month we’ll be bringing you ideas and projects for an Electronic Halloween! Expect wearables, hacks & mods, costumes and more here on the Adafruit blog! Working on a project for Halloween this year? Share it with us on Google+, in the comments below, the Adafruit forums, Facebook, or Twitter– we’d love to see what you’re up to and share it with the world (tag your posts #ElectronicHalloween). Tune in to our live shows, Wearable Electronics with Becky Stern and Ask an Engineer, where Adafruit store discount codes are announced– get the most bang for your Halloween buck!
Unlike other organs, like your liver or skin, your ear doesn’t regenerate . Those tiny hairs on the nerve cells that pick up all the different frequencies before sending them to your brain degrade over time. The hairs tuned to high frequencies are physically located closer to the ear opening and so experience more stress and are the first to go. The older you are, the more sound your ear has experienced and the harder it is to distinguish high pitches. (Youtube’s compression algorithm messes up the 19,000 HZ signal, and make sure you use headphones rather than ear buds.)
Security researchers from the Universities of Oxford and Geneva, and the University of California, Berkeley created a custom program that was specially designed with the sole purpose of finding out sensitive data, such as the location of your home, your debit card PIN, which bank you use, and your date of birth. The researchers tried out their program on 28 participants (who were cooperative and didn’t know that they were being brain-hacked), and in general the experiments had a 10 to 40% chance of success of obtaining useful information.
To extract this information, the researchers rely on what’s known as the P300 response — a very specific brainwave pattern that occurs when you recognize something that is meaningful (a person’s face), or when you recognize something that fits your current task (a hammer in the shed). The researchers basically designed a program that flashes up pictures of maps, banks, and card PINs, and makes a note every time your brain experiences a P300. Afterwards, it’s easy to pore through the data and work out — with fairly good accuracy — where a person banks, where they live, and so on.
In a real-world scenario, the researchers foresee a game that is specially tailored by hackers to extract sensitive information from your brain — or perhaps an attack vector that also uses social engineering to lull you into a false sense of security. It’s harder to extract data from someone who knows they’re being attacked — as interrogators and torturers well know.
People delivering access to affordable care in developing nations always serve as friendly reminder that our devices can be so much more than distracting casual gaming platforms. Eye examinations are one of the clearest applications on that front — around three years ago, MIT’s Media Lab introduced us to a $2 box that could transform handsets into a mobile eye clinic.
Peek offers much of the same, albeit without the need for a (relatively) bulky add-on. Developed by members of the International Center for Eye Health, the app can conduct visual acuity, color vision tests, among several others.
The video from FilmmakerIQ is actually an in-depth tutorial on the science of color temperature and how today’s conventions for white balance came to be. But its analysis of the Cohen brothers’ Fargo and Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing is accessible enough for any layperson. The former uses blue, “cool” color temperature to evoke the cold North Dakota winter, and the film’s icy personalities. The latter uses red, “warm” color temperature to evoke the boiling summer heat in Brooklyn, and the brewing racial tensions in the film. It’ll make you look at all movies differently forever.
The aim of the project is to bring the DIY&Makers approach in the developing of simple, low cost/high impact biomedical devices, precisely, in this particular case, a neonatal Baby Monitor.
The course will take place at Kenyatta University (Nairobi) and it will involve setting up a 3D printing system, developing a neonatal monitoring device, using open source, electronics based on the Arduino platform and powered by solar panels.
The challenges inherent in developing biomedical devices for Africa:
The medical device industry in Africa is largely absent and there is an over reliance on foreign companies to repair and design biomedical instrumentation and resolve technical problems … More importantly, at present there are no specific engines or platforms focused on the sharing of biomedical instrumentation and devices. This is because, by their very nature, biomedical devices possess stringent performance requirements to comply with regulatory standards to ensure patient safety.
via core77: in Helsinki, you can now checkout at a store using biometrics. A Finnish company called Uniqul, whose logo is “Machine Inspired by Magic,” now claims that it has created “military grade” algorithms to ID individual faces. If all goes as planned, your keys, ID, credit card, bank card, and maybe even your entire wallet will become obsolete.