Mimo | Helping Parents Rest Better

September 6th, 2013 by NearInteraction

There appear to be very few limits where the “quantified self” movement can go, especially if this piece of baby monitoring equipment designed to give parents peace of mind is anything to go by.

Mimo is a connected onesie that monitors a baby’s sleep and feeds the information back to parents using an integrated smartphone app.

For some it may seem like technology gone too far, but it could address the very real problem of 4,000 infants who die suddenly every year in the US, often with no obvious cause. Many of these deaths occur during sleep, so Mimo alleviates any fears parents might have by letting them know everything is alright, and setting off an alarm when things are not.

Available on a crowdfunding site this Thursday, the kit will cost $200. It comes with three organic cotton onesies that act as respiration sensors, a toy turtle clip that monitors movement, and a Wi-Fi base station shaped like a lily pad – fully equipped with a microphone.

The app that goes along with the equipment is available for Android and iPhone, collecting important information displaying events such as how many times your baby has rolled over in the night, longest nap, and other changes over time.

The company that made the device also had to deal with concerns over choking hazards, and making sure their wearable technology is still appealing to mothers, making them confident enough to put their infants in such a device.

Mimo


Bluetooth ‘Tile’ allows you to find lost keys, bikes, dogs, anything really

August 3rd, 2013 by NearInteraction

Bluetooth 'Tile' allows you to find lost keys, bikes, dogs, anything really - Jason O'Grady

Tile (@TheTileApp) is an absolutely brilliant hardware device that can be attached to keys (or just about anything) so that you can locate them when lost. Tiles measures 36mm x 36mm x 4.2mm (or about the size of a matchbook), uses Bluetooth 4.0 (low energy) and will be compatible with iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPad Mini, iPad 3rd and 4th generation, and iPod Touch 5th generation. (Sorry Android users).

Bluetooth 4.0 is a brilliant choice because the built-in battery lasts about a year and doesn’t require recharging. While GPS would be ideal, it suffers from heavy battery consumption (less than a day, typically) and WiFi requires open hotspot access.

The Tile iOS app (not yet available) allows your to find a Tile by telling you how close you are to it. You can see yourself getting closer and further away from the Tile when within a 50 – 150ft range via the iOS app. The app logs the last location it saw your Tile (via GPS) giving you a good starting point. Tile also includes a built-in speaker, so you can make it emit a tone when you’re getting close.

But it’s the Tile service that makes it compelling. It uses a crowd-sourced model so that you still have a good chance of finding your Tile (when it’s attached to a dog or your MacBook, for example) even when it travels out of its 150-foot (Bluetooth) range. It’s like having the world help you locate your lost item. You can track a Tile by seeing when it’s identified by other Tile users.

Obviously the service requires a large user base to be effective (and may not work in less populated areas) but it’s a no brainer in large metros. And something tells me that the service will gain critical mass quickly.

Even though you’re helping find other people’s Tiles with your iPhone, the company insists that it takes your security seriously. Other Tile users cannot search for your Tiles (or your iPhone) for example and only you and the Tile users you’ve explicitly shared your Tiles with can search for your Tiles.

A single Tile can be pre-ordered for $19 and quantities of four or higher cost around $14 each and will ship in “winter 2013/14″ according to the developers (SRP will be $25 post launch). I pre-ordered eight (there’s a limit of 10 Tiles per account) so that I can attach them to all of my devices and maybe a few non-gadgets as well.

How much would you pay to find your keys in a crunch? What about your MacBook?YouTube Preview Image

Source: zdnet


Diaper Alerts Parents To Babies’ Infections

July 8th, 2013 by NearInteraction

Quantified living and wearable technology seems to be dominated by the adult market – where people actually care enough to quantify their life, but New York startup Pixie Scientific has created a piece of wearable tech that, unlike Google Glass, would be more accessible and used by millions …of babies that is. The startup has developed Smart Diapers, a digital disposable diaper that analyzes a baby’s urine to check for health conditions.

Founder Yaroslav Faybishenko explained to the New York Times how Smart Diapers came about:

I was driving with my wife and daughter one day, when my wife asked if the baby had wet herself. I realized she was sitting in data.

That data is the different proteins that urine contains which provides valuable information about a baby’s health. The smart diaper has a small patch on the front which contain reagents that have different chemical reactions with urine, interacting with the protein in the sample. Should the levels be abnormal, the color on the patches will change. At the end of each diaper use, a parent uses his or her smartphone to take a picture of the QR-like patch. The accompanying app then analyzes the patches to determine whether the baby has a UTI, if the kidneys are healthy, whether s/he is dehydrated, it can even detect Type 1 diabetes. The app will recommend whether the child needs to be taken in to see a physician.

Smart Diapers are not currently on the market, but still in the testing stage. The company has started an Indiegogo campaign to fund their first study and help complete the Food and Drug Administration registration process. Should the requisite funding be achieved, Faybishenko says the diapers will be tested at Benioff Children’s Hospital at the University of California, San Francisco this fall. If testing is successful, the product would then be submitted to the FDA  for final approval.

Watch the video below to see an introduction to Smart Diapers:

YouTube Preview Image

Pixie Scientific

Source: PSFK


TAP M&E Paris Air Show 2013

June 17th, 2013 by NearInteraction

Eye-catching gesture based interactive wall developed by NearInteraction.


FalaComigo Project

June 16th, 2013 by NearInteraction

The FalaComigo Project combines the most modern Information and Communication
Technology with simple, objective speech and raises awareness to safeguard heritage.
This National Strategic Reference Framework (QREN)-funded partnership initiative has
brought together the University, Corporate and Heritage Management Sectors.

Using the Palace of Monserrate as a reference, multimedia products were created which
integrate interactive virtual characters with speech recognition and synthesis,
incorporated into modern support equipment with attractive, ergonomic lines specially
designed to harmoniously blend into museum spaces.


RFID Ring Swipes Just Like A Subway Card

June 11th, 2013 by NearInteraction

“MIT graduate Chris Benson, along with co-founders from the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUDT) have come up with a solution to the problem of digging through your bag for a transport card.

The “Sesame Ring” is a 3D-printed piece of wearable technology embedded with an RFID chip that makes it easy to access MBTA train stations. Initially, the trio tried key chains, bracelets, and iPhone cases, but decided that rings were the best solution.

ring-theory-mbta-rfid-pass-2

After testing the idea with incoming freshman at SUDT, replacing student IDs with the rings, the trio move on to bigger things.

They set up the company Ring Theory as a platform for the idea, and have since launched a Kickstarter campaign as well.

For a pledge of $20, you can be the proud owner of a more convenient way to get through train station barriers. Once you have pledged, all you have to do is choose from one of seven different colors, whether you want a gold or silver ring face, and tell the company your ring size.

ring-theory-mbta-rfid-pass

There is also the option to add a four-letter insignia, or your own custom design for those looking to make a fashion statement.

Benson is confident the idea can be applied in offices, university campuses, and other places where identification is required, such as a bicycle rental systems. He also hopes to combine multiple identifications into one ring at some point, meaning one piece of wearable tech could replace an entire wallet at some point.”

Source: PSFK

Ring Theory


HAPIfork: eat slowly, feel better

May 6th, 2013 by NearInteraction

HAPILABS has introduced a new product at CES that aims to help you lose weight and improve digestion by eating at the right pace. The HAPIfork is a smart fork that lets you know when you’re eating too fast. If you eat quickly, you tend to eat more since your brain doesn’t have time to register that you’re full. The slower you eat, the faster you feel full, so you take in less calories during each meal.

The HAPIfork, which was designed by French engineer Jacques Lepine, sends you vibrations and indicator lights when you’re not eating at a pace that is optimal for your health, helping you to slow down without being obtrusive.

The smart device, available in blue, green, black, white, and pink, counts the number of fork servings during each meal. It also monitors the time you start and finish your meal, the amount of servings per minute, and your meal duration.

This data is transmitted to a personalized online account when you connect the HAPIfork to your computer via USB or your smartphone via Bluetooth, so you can keep track of your eating habits.

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HAPILABS


Lean UX | Metrics – Measuring the User Experience

April 2nd, 2013 by NearInteraction
Lean UX session focused on methods of collecting and analyzing metrics User Experience and fundamental to all entrepreneurs, designers and developers looking to create and develop digital products. Analysis of some models used by successful startups and operation of a set of exercises and tools available.

See the video

NearLab – April 2, 2013
Workshop lectured by Diogo Terroso.


Apron Alert – Digital Apron Tells Others when dinner is ready

April 2nd, 2013 by NearInteraction

“Food is a big part of Smart’s studio culture, but sharing meals can be tricky when we all have different schedules. As part of our ongoing exploration of how products can harness the Internet of Things to keep people connected, we focused on lunchtime in the New York studio.

The Apron Alert project is a concept that emerged when we combined our experiments in wireless devices with our thoughts around improving our communal kitchen experience. Wireless XBee radios attached to Lilypad Arduinos were used to build a “smart” apron that can sense when the cook has put it on to start the meal, and when he or she has removed it to serve it. In response, the apron triggers a series of tweets or text messages to let people know when a meal is being prepped and when it’s time to come to the table.”

The Apron Alert


Lean UX | Metrics – Growth and Retention

March 19th, 2013 by NearInteraction
Lean UX session focused on methods of collecting and analyzing metrics User Experience and fundamental to all entrepreneurs, designers and developers looking to create and develop digital products. Analysis of some models used by successful startups and operation of a set of exercises and tools available.

NearLab – March 19, 2013
Workshop lectured by Diogo Terroso.