Imagine if you could switch your music track while running just by tapping on your hand or your arm. What if your TV and lights knew when you had fallen asleep and automatically turned off. Or if doorknobs were as smart as your current tablet touchscreen and you could send messages to people before they knock. Anything becomes a programmable sensor. This video, presented at the CHI conference going on now in Austin, completely blew me away this morning. You have to watch this!
Simon Frid moved to California last year because his data told him he was smarter here than in New York. Well, not really. But this funny story begins his journey of figuring out how to track one of the simplest things that we don’t generally know about ourselves: our own posture. Simon designed a wearable sensor shirt with ten built-in accelerometers, and was able to improve his posture significantly from December to January. In the video below, he shares how he trained the shirt to recognize good posture, why he didn’t want immediate feedback, and what question he most wants to ask people. (Filmed by the Bay Area QS Show&Tell meetup group.)
Alex Grey is developing a better kind of muscle sensor, to help people see their muscle activity patterns and change behaviors like typing or running to be more effective and less painful. The sensors are wireless, stick to your skin, and can measure different kinds of muscle activity including arm/leg (EMG) and heart muscles (ECG). In the video below, Alex describes how he used these sensors to find his optimal stride rate as a runner, as well as to detect when he was starting to fatigue or compensate on one side for an old injury. Fascinating talk with lots of great data! (Filmed by the Bay Area QS Show&Tell meetup group.)
Dave Kil runs marathons. He has detailed records of all his workouts for the past year and a half. Recently, though, he started feeling that running was getting boring, and he wanted more variety in his workouts. So Dave helped create sensors that can monitor different activities passively, including cycling. He also added high-intensity training and social running to his routine. In the video below, he shows the results on his body fat and muscle mass. (Filmed by the Bay Area QS Show&Tell meetup group.)
Ted Punt talks about a device developed by TNO (Dutch Institute for Applied Science) to measure vital signs from people at a distance of up to 10 meters. Heart rate, body motion, and respiration are measured continuously and wirelessly with this device, which should be on the market within a year. He goes into some technical detail and shows prototype video clips in the talk below. (Filmed at Amsterdam QS Show&Tell #3.)
This is a first for us. At our Bay Area QS Show&Tell meetup this week (slides available here), we had so many wonderful folks donate and buy QS t-shirts that we decided to use the money to fund an exciting project on Kickstarter.
It’s an open hardware project called Pulse Sensor, by Yury Gitman and Joel Murphy. The project tagline is “heart rate beats per minute for Arduino, lickety split.” We happily gave them $600 towards their goal of $3,000, which they have already exceeded. Their Kickstarter page is here, and here’s their awesome video:
It’s been almost 2 months, but on the sixteenth of May we held our third meetup of QS Amsterdam. We moved our venue again to the Waag which kindly offered us their space.
Joost Plattel at QS Amsterdam
Our first speaker was Remko Siemerink who discovered a strange pattern during his summer according to Last.fm. It turns out he stopped listening to music and this could be related to his ‘summer depression’.
Up next was Ted Punt from TNO who talked about a wireless sensor for monitoring body functions such as breathing, heart-rate or movement during sleep. The technology presented users radar accurate up to 1 millimeter, which for a wireless sensor is quite awesome!
Withings presented their new blood-pressure monitor while announcing a new product which focuses on the lives of babies.
Then I gave a short talk about our public transportation system, using a card much like the Oyster-card used in London. I made a small tool that allows people to upload their data and make a heatmap and provide a feedback-loop about their usage. I gave a short insight into the development process and the things I had to do with the data to make it understandable.
Frog Design and Novartis showed a wireless pill used for monitoring speciifc metabolic processes in your stomach related to organ transplantion. The crowd was amazed by the size of the pill and the system used for accessing data. (a simple patch you can stick just under your ribs).
And lastly Victor van Doorn presented his iPhone app, with a really nice design that delivers a diary, but not by writing but GPS signals, twitter updates or photo’s that you upload. The design looked really nice and the app is about to be released into the App Store!
He is an expert in wearable sensory augmentation. Boyd’s “North Paw” project showed us how tracking and feedback can affect our sense of direction. His HeartSpark project exposes the intimacy of heart beat to public view.
In this talk, Boyd is going to give us a tour of the new sensors emerging today that make possible entirely new types of self tracking. We know about accelerometers, gyroscopes, and compasses. Boyd will talk about what’s coming next, and what new forms of self-awareness they may facilitate.
Michael Doherty talks about the Open Source Real Time Mobile Sensor Platform he is developing, which flexibly connects a wide variety of sensors to online databases. He wants to make mobile tracking more accessible, and imagines people using it with their own sensors, as well as kids using it to collect environmental data on class field trips. (Filmed at the NY Quantified Self Show&Tell #10 at Google).