The Proteus body monitoring platform

Posted by on March 24th, 2009

From SingularityHub:

Proteus has designed a platform for body monitoring, called Raisin, which measures when and if a patient takes their medication, and also measures how various bodily vital signs, such as heart rate, respond to the medication. From the Proteus website:

Proteus ingestible event markers (IEMs) are tiny, digestible sensors…Once activated, the IEM sends an ultra low-power, private, digital signal through the body to a microelectronic receiver that is either a small bandage style skin patch or a tiny device insert under the skin. The receiver date- and time-stamps, decodes, and records information such as the type of drug, the dose, and the place of manufacture, as well as measures and reports physiologic measures such as heart rate, activity, and respiratory rate.

All of the data collected by the Proteus system can be sent wirelessly to the doctor for remote monitoring. The system is currently in clinical development.

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thanks for the tip-off Cat Vincent!


two more handy Twitter tools

Posted by on January 17th, 2009
  • via URBEINGRECORDED comes TwitchBoard.

    This handy service saves any link you post to your delicious account.

    Other features are apparently coming soon.

  • via Mashable comes Tweetree.

    This neat web browser client not only displays threaded conversations, but unpacks most common links and embeds them in your timeline.

    Currently supports YouTube, TweetPic, Flickr, Seesmic, Blip.FM and others.


Twittering from the womb

Posted by on December 11th, 2008

So I thought my friends that registered their baby’s name as a URL were bad, but this Dad-to-be has out-geeked them all, building “a kick sensor which monitors his pregnant wife’s belly, and generates a fetal tweet whenever the baby kicks.”

From BoingBoing:

baby tweet

Follow @kickbee if you don’t have enough randomness if your life already.


Papua mulls chips for HIV victims

Posted by on December 1st, 2008

From the BBC News:

The bill proposes tracking the movements of HIV-positive people who behave in what some MPs describe as an irresponsible way.

The proposal is the most controversial of a swathe of programmes to tackle the spread of HIV in Indonesia.

Papua has one of the worse infection rates outside Africa.

As well as proposing to use microchips to track people’s movements, it also suggests tattooing as a way of alerting health officials to carriers of the virus.

It recommends mandatory testing for all Papuans, with special ID cards issued to those who test positive.

Proposal is the first step to implementation.


Tiny Radio Tags Track Bees

Posted by on November 14th, 2008

    - photo via nationalgeographic.com

It’s no mystery to scientists that bees have been disappearing and or dying off in record numbers. Besides contributing billions of dollars to the US economy, they play an important role in the pollination of crops. That apple you are eating? Not possible with out a little help from the honey bee.

Tracking their movement has come one step closer:

In the bee-tracking project, Wikelski and his colleagues are using transmitters the size of three or four grains of rice, powered by a tiny hearing-aid battery and with a crystal-controlled oscillator and an antenna measuring up to an inch and a half.

The transmitters, at a featherweight 0.006 ounces (170 milligrams), are small and light enough to attach to the backs of bees from two relatively hefty species, weighing .02 ounces (600 milligrams), with just a bit of eyelash glue and superglue.

Even loaded up with these backpacks, nearly a third of their body weight, “they fly beautifully,” says Wikelski.

The transmitters allow the scientists to track the insects as long as the bees remain within a few miles of their receiver. So far Wikelski and his team have fitted tags on orchid bees at Panama’s Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and conducted successful indoor tests in a New Jersey lab with North America’s biggest bee species, the carpenter bee.

These early tests are proof of concept. Most bees are much smaller than orchid and carpenter bees. In fact, many wild bee species are the size of just a pine nut.

The tags are tiny, but need to be smaller still for honey bees. Although they have tiny robots, having a camera on a bee would make for excellent surveillance. They would just have to avoid being swatted.

Link and photo via nationalgeographic.com.


Communicate by Remote

Posted by on November 5th, 2008

    - image via yankodesign.com

As communication becomes increasingly reliant on social media experiences i.e., email, IM, and text messages – valuable information woven subtly in physical interaction are lost. Communicate by Remote Concepts isn’t the first of its kind. The idea is simple. A user wears a small device with an integrated camera. This real time image is then translated into an abstract representation.Therefore the receiver gets (at least a part) of the visual stimuli the remote person encounters throughout the day. So you can get a glimpse of the kind of visual context the other person is in. This allows for a feel of connectedness and empathy with the remote user.

In this manner two or more people can always share experiences even from a distance. The receiving unit is a series of modular triangles one can set up however they like. It becomes a dynamic wall sculpture personalized by the abstraction of experience.


    - image via yankodesign.com

Link and video via yankodesign.com.


Social Souvenir

Posted by on October 15th, 2008

    - photo via mocoloco.com

“Visitors can buy a T-shirt of their own choice, the only condition being that they share a bit of personal information about themselves, or more precisely: their name and address”. When paying for the T-shirt at the museum’s shop, the information is automatically mapped in Google Maps, thereby making it possible to see where each T-shirt ends up after leaving the museum.

Nice. Bummer we aren’t to the point where the t-shirt can tell the building where it is.


Firefox Add-On To Track Your Location Via Wi-Fi

Posted by on October 8th, 2008

One of the newest development from Mozilla Labs will be FireFox’s ability to pin point a person’s location, using wifi. The option is called Geode and is a prototype for the location-tracking technology that will be in Firefox 3.1. Don’t worry, the website will ask you how much information you wish to share – or don’t.

Link via /., original article at pcpro.co.uk.


Next-gen DoCoMo phones predict your every move

Posted by on October 5th, 2008

From textually.org:

Japan’s NTT DoCoMo mobile carrier is working on new technology for its next generation mobile phones that will quite literally predict your every move. Their next gen phones will be stuffed full of senors that will be able to identify the movement that you’re making.

“Based on your actions you make when you move in a particular way (all of which the phone records via its sensors), sophisticated software will predict what your next actions wil be and will provide recommendations in advance. In other words, the phone will attempt to guess what you’re doing, and the predict what you’re about to do, which sounds just a little bit freaky if it works too well!

The work is part of Japan’s “Information Grand Voyage” research project, in which they’re trying to capitalize on the untapped data that can be harnessed through a world of sensors. Japan recognizes that Google effectively owns the Web’s information, and so cannot compete with existing digital info.”


Holodeck

Posted by on October 1st, 2008

Spotted on Gizmodo, a new tech allows users to interact tactically with a virtual 3D object.

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The rise of the lifeloggers and self-trackers

Posted by on September 10th, 2008

The Washington Post has an interesting overview of the rising lifelogger scene. There is what might perhaps be a little generational-bias in there, but they have still come back with some interesting anecdotes:

When San Francisco couple Brynn Evans and Chris Messina heard of a new Web site called BedPost, they registered an account before the site was even out of beta. BedPost was created to map users’ sex lives online — everything from partner to duration of the encounter to descriptive words, which could later be viewed as a tag cloud….After all, they already use project-management site Basecamp to chart the nonsexual parts of their relationship.

They use location tracker BrightKite.com to study where they’ve been.

They track their driving habits on MyMileMarker.com, their listening habits on Last.fm, and their Web-surfing habits, to the minute, on RescueTime.com.

“Brynn uses a service to track her menstruation,” says Messina helpfully. (Two of them, in fact: MyMonthlyCycles.com and Mon.thly.info). Some of these trackings are visible to other people, but mostly the couple monitors the information just for themselves.

Before BedPost, they’d been using an Excel spreadsheet to track each interlude since the beginning of their six-month relationship, though they found the interface limiting. They saw BedPost and thought, “Oh, look, this guy’s doing this, too, and he’s actually making plots of it. Plotting was cool,” says Evans.

Messina and Evans prefer the term “data junkies,” spoken with the self-effacing self-awareness that comes from months of meticulous self-study.

Self-trackers like Messina and Evans could spend hours online, charting, analyzing, tracking. Life as a series of pure, distilled data points, up for interpretation.

It’s not about tracking what you do, they say. It’s about learning who you are.

In San Diego, statistics student David Horn already belongs to BrightKite, Last.fm and Wakoopa.com, which tracks his Internet usage. He’s also experimented with Fitday.com to map food intake and calorie expenditure…Horn is working with his engineer girlfriend, Lisa Brewster, to develop an all-encompassing life tracker, under the working title of “I Did Stuff.”

“I’d like to track the people I talk to,” says Brewster, “and how inspired I am six hours later. And definitely location history — where I am, what time — ”

“Correlated with weather history,” interjects Horn. “And allergy data, pollen and mold in the air.”

Plus, “Web sites I read and their effect,” says Brewster.

These ideas are the types of heady possibilities that will be discussed by the members of a new group in San Francisco called Quantified Self. Members plan to meet monthly to share with one another the tools and sites they’ve found helpful on their individual paths to self-digitization. Topics include, according to the group invite: behavior monitoring, location tracking, digitizing body info and non-invasive probes.

And on it goes.

What are they odds that we have readers in the Bay Area heading along to Quantified Self? Hit us back with a report if you go!

via @chris23


DIY lifestreaming sunglasses

Posted by on September 10th, 2008

One man’s pervy spycam is another man’s lifestreaming device.

Remember when phone-cams first came out and you could not disable the annoying faux-camera-click? Yeah, that lasted about a year. Being out in public in today’s world means almost certainly being photographed in the background of someone’s quick holiday snap, not too mention the increasing spread of CCTVs.

So, want to get easily add video to your lifestream, as you go about some cool activity. For around $40? Then check out this guide from Instructables:


How To: Spy Sunglasses! – video powered by Metacafe

via GizoWatch.


Clive Thompson talks about Ambient Awareness in the New York Times

Posted by on September 6th, 2008

“It’s like I can distantly read everyone’s mind,” Haley went on to say. “I love that. I feel like I’m getting to something raw about my friends. It’s like I’ve got this heads-up display for them.” It can also lead to more real-life contact, because when one member of Haley’s group decides to go out to a bar or see a band and Twitters about his plans, the others see it, and some decide to drop by — ad hoc, self-organizing socializing. And when they do socialize face to face, it feels oddly as if they’ve never actually been apart. They don’t need to ask, “So, what have you been up to?” because they already know. Instead, they’ll begin discussing something that one of the friends Twittered that afternoon, as if picking up a conversation in the middle.

This is just a small sample of Clive Thompson‘s excellent piece in the NY Times, I’m So Totally, Digitally Close to You.

It’s a great overview of the emergence of ambient awareness (or intimacy); how a whole generation are using to online tools to maintain relationships, discover and re-connect with each other.

The anecdote about Facebook’s introduction of the News Feed is particularly interesting. How people’s first reaction was to rebel against ‘lost privacy’, but soon came to appreciate the benefits – the gestalt, if you will – of being able to scan what their friends have been up to.

Great work Clive!


Adaptive Path and Mozilla Labs present Aurora – a future vision of the web

Posted by on August 12th, 2008

Ready for some interface design pr0n? Then prepare yourself for Aurora:

…a concept video presenting one possible future user experience for the Web, created by Adaptive Path as part of the Mozilla Labs concept browser series. Aurora explores new ways people could interact with the Web in the future based on projected technological trends and real-world scenarios.

This is, to my mind, quite a linear extrapolation from current usage. A pretty fair guess at the world we will all reside in within a few years.

For more detail, click through to the site, where they have chunked up the video into four parts, with a helpful commentary explaining the technologies they see intersecting to accomplish the scenes depicted in the video.

UPDATE – Adaptive Path have put up some background on this in their blog, including the scenarios that were developed and how they workshopped this vision of the future:

Through a series of group exercises, we identified three major trends that we thought would have the biggest impact on the web:

  • Augmented Reality: The gap is closing between the Web and the world. Services that know where you are and adapt accordingly will become commonplace. The web becomes fully integrated into every physical environment.
  • Data Abundance: There’s more data available to us all the time — both the data we produce intentionally and the data we throw off as a by-product of other activities. The web will play a key role in how people access, manage, and make sense of all that data.
  • Virtual Identity: People are increasingly expected to have a digital presence as well as a physical one. We inhabit spaces online, but we also create them through our personal expression and participation in the digital realm.

IBM’s PENSIEVE – Next-Gen searchable outboard memory

Posted by on July 29th, 2008

This is the PENSIEVE user interface (click through for high-resolution):

PENSIEVE UI

This is IBM’s promo video for it:

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This is ganked from PhysOrg:

“This is like having a personal assistant for your memory,” said Dr. Yaakov Navon, the lead researcher and image processing expert from IBM’s Haifa Research Lab. “Our daily routines are overflowing with situations where we gain new information through meetings, advertisements, conferences, events, surfing the web, or even window shopping. Instead of going home and using a general web search to find that information, PENSIEVE helps the brain recall those everyday things you might normally forget.”

…By simply typing the person’s name into PENSIEVE, you can recall when and where you met them, and any related information garnered at that time. You could even browse forwards or backwards in time to find out what events transpired before or after the initial meeting.

Another use of this technology is in reconstructing and sharing an experience or memory. If enough media-rich data was collected about a particular event, it can be used to build a more complex visual associative representation of the experience.

“This is where the real power of collaboration kicks in,” said Eran Belinsky, research team leader and a specialist in collaboration. “You can recall the name of the person you met right before you entered a meeting by traversing a timeline of your experiences, or share a business trip with colleagues by creating a mashup that shows a map with an animation of your trail and the pictures you took in every location.”

This is the corporate future and it is only just starting to get messy. Let us just say I would be very careful now about using any company property for personal reasons.

Obviously this is awesome technology for personal use though, but I would want to be controlling the database. In a secure location. (According to CSI) Police already take people’s mobile phones in the event of emergency or tragedy. Would you want to hand over an indexed/tagged, searchable lifestream?

That being said, how rad would it be if it pulled-in CCTV images of you walking around?

Philip K Dick :- becoming more a prophet of the modern condition every second.


Ankle bracelets for everyone!

Posted by on July 22nd, 2008

From NaviGadget:

Spanish brand Keruve has come out with a GPS device designed to keep an eye out for Alzheimer’s patients.

The system consists of a special bracelet and a PSP like handheld device that can show the location of the person wearing the bracelet. Speaking of the bracelet; it is water resistant and it can only be taken off using a special tool.

According to Engadget “it can also apparently fall back on cell tower triangulation (otherwise known as A-GPS) provide a location when regular GPS is unavailable”.

So what we have here is a device perfect not just for finding your favourite senile uncle, but also for any would-be stalker, controlling spouse, un-trusting parent, or anyone else who just can’t bare to not know where someone is.

That’s the Con side. The Pro being, you could stalk yourself, ie lifelogging. And I am sure this could be incorporated into some neat RL/ARG games.

via medGadget


Twhirl embraces identi.ca

Posted by on July 21st, 2008

twhirl logo In a move that I suspect will benefit both parties immensely, the latest version of Twhirl now supports the new indenti.ca microblogging service.

This just cements Twhirl as the desktop client of choice, since it already supported not only Twitter, but Friendfeed and Seesmic accounts (not to mention allowing broadcasting to Jaiku and Pownce).

So what is indenti.ca? As they explain on the Twhirl blog:

identi.ca is a very young service, just a few weeks old. So please keep in mind that it does not support all functionality you are used to from twitter. For example, it does not allow to send private, direct messages, so everything you post is visible to everyone.

Not to mention no text-messaging support either! So why bother integrating it? Because it is built from the ground up to be far more stable and scalable!

As CNET exclusively reported:

…the Twhirl client won’t have to ping the Identi.ca servers to get updates; instead, updates will be sent directly to the Twhirl client. This makes nanoblog conversations more live–you can have a back-and-forth without hovering over the “update” button. It also means that your Twhirl client doesn’t have to be hitting the Identi.ca servers every few minutes for updates, which reduces the load profile on the service, theoretically at least.

So how is this win-win for both Twhirl and identi.ca? Twhirl gets a more robust alternative (ie no FailWhales) to Twitter, something that will keep people using it’s software. identi.ca gets to tap into an existing user-base, something that will help give it momentum, and encourage developers to extended its feature-set to be a true competitor to Twitter. How they solve the Web->SMS problem though, I am very keen to see.

Right, the best for last. Rumor has it that integrated time-lines are in Twhirl’s immediate future; ie one time-line, multiple services. If they would just switch Pownce and Jaiku from broadcast/cross-posting to full integration we would be just about there.

Previously:

(Apparently, I really like Twhirl…)


Immortality Thru Japnese Robots

Posted by on July 16th, 2008

    - photo via yankodesign.com

Japan wants to make robots to cover every segment of the market. Oboe is one designed for the elderly – sorta. In a creepy cybernetic way, Oboe contains all the knowledge, or will contain, everything your loved ones know before they pass. This way, they’re immortal since all of their experiences can be passed onto future generations.

Fast forward 1000 years from now and it won’t be surprising to find Earth populated with nothing but robots – conflicted because they remember being human.

    - photo via yankodesign.com

Link and photo via yankodesign.com


Twitter-based Assistant instructions translated into Brazilian Portuguese

Posted by on July 9th, 2008

The instructions to configure your own Twitter-based Digital Assistant have now been translated into Brazilian Portuguese over on Jardel’s Corner.

So Grinders of Brazil, you can point your non-English reading friends over there.

It’s worth pointing out that I think we’re all open to having an of our original content here translated into any language. I sure welcome it!


Rhode Island school turns kids into SPIMEs

Posted by on June 18th, 2008

From Natural News:

schoolA Rhode Island school district has announced a pilot program to monitor student movements by means of radio frequency identification (RFID) chips implanted in their schoolbags.

The Middletown School District, in partnership with MAP Information Technology Corp., has launched a pilot program to implant RFID chips into the schoolbags of 80 children at the Aquidneck School. Each chip would be programmed with a student identification number, and would be read by an external device installed in one of two school buses. The buses would also be fitted with global positioning system (GPS) devices.

Parents or school officials could log onto a school web site to see whether and when specific children had entered or exited which bus, and to look up the bus’s current location as provided by the GPS device.

I am all for the future, but not when it is being driven by Fear.

That being said, it would be cool to have a screensaver that shows your child and pet running around on a GoogleMap.

thanks for the tip-off Ryan Jarrell!