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Archive for the ‘wearables’ category

Jan 24, 2020

NextMind Unveils Wearable Brain-Computer Interface

Posted by in categories: augmented reality, information science, robotics/AI, virtual reality, wearables

Helsinki-based neurotech startup NextMind unveiled a compact brain-sensing wearable device that delivers real-time device control using just a person’s thoughts. It captures data from the electrical signals created by the user’s neural activity in the visual cortex, and using machine learning algorithms, transforms that output into a signal that can control a computer, AR/VR headset or any device on the Internet of Things.

The lightweight device fits into the back of a cap or headband, and rests gently on the user’s head. NextMind offers a totally new way of interacting with VR and AR environments. It is designed for ‘wear and play’ with no training required making it ideal for gaming. Users have their brain directly connected to the digital world, bypassing their physical body and creating a fully immersive experience.

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Jan 16, 2020

AI Can Spot Low Glucose Levels Without Fingerprick Test

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, engineering, robotics/AI, wearables

Researchers have developed a new Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based technique that can detect low-sugar levels from raw ECG signals via wearable sensors without any fingerprint test. Current methods to measure glucose requires needles and repeated fingerpicks over the day. Fingerpicks can often be painful, deterring patient compliance.

The new technique developed by researchers at University of Warwick works with an 82 per cent reliability, and could replace the need for invasive finger-prick testing with a needle, especially for kids who are afraid of those.

“Our innovation consisted in using AI for automatic detecting hypoglycaemia via few ECG beats. This is relevant because ECG can be detected in any circumstance, including sleeping,” said Dr Leandro Pecchia from School of Engineering in a paper published in the Nature Springer journal Scientific Reports.

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Jan 12, 2020

Engineers design on-skin electronic device providing a personal air conditioner without needing electricity

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health, military, wearables

One day, soldiers could cool down on the military battlefield—preventing heat stroke or exhaustion—by using “wearable air conditioning,” an on-skin device designed by engineers at the University of Missouri. The device includes numerous human health care applications such as the ability to monitor blood pressure, electrical activity of the heart and the level of skin hydration.

The findings are detailed in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Unlike similar products in use today or other related concepts, this breathable and waterproof device can deliver personal air conditioning to a through a process called passive cooling. Passive cooling does not utilize electricity, such as a fan or pump, which researchers believe allows for minimal discomfort to the user.

Jan 9, 2020

Sarcos robo-suit turning Delta crews into superhuman man-machines

Posted by in categories: cyborgs, internet, robotics/AI, wearables

Sarcos sprinkled the flavor of the future on last year’s CES show when it revealed the latest evolution of its robotic exoskeleton technology, the Guardian XO. At this year’s CES, the Salt Lake City-based robotics specialist and Delta Airlines announced pilot trials, with Delta employees set to be among the first workers to suit up in the battery-powered, force-multiplying wearable robots, enjoying superhuman strength and endurance without body wear and tear.

Few things make us want to trade a cushy gig of rambling away about gadgets semi-coherently on the Web for a life of physical labor like the Guardian XO. A full-body robotic suit that turns its wearer into something of a near-cyborg superhero, the XO looks straight out of a dystopian sci-fi thriller and brings the capabilities to match. It bears its own substantial weight, along with 200 additional pounds (91 kg) of payload, letting the wearer lift heavy objects for hours without physical strain or fatigue.

Sarcos says the Guardian XO takes under 30 seconds to put on or take off, responds in milliseconds to the operator’s movements, and amplifies his or her strength by up to 20 times. It offers eight hours of battery power, and a hot-swapping battery system allows users to extend that operational time. All in all, it’s a highly impressive machine meant to help humans complete obligatory lifting tasks that would be difficult or impossible to tackle with more conventional lifting machinery.

Dec 19, 2019

Helping Kids Walk With Wearable Robots

Posted by in categories: cyborgs, robotics/AI, wearables

Can robotic exoskeletons help kids with cerebral palsy walk?

Dec 16, 2019

George Church on reversing aging | ApplySci @ Harvard

Posted by in categories: life extension, wearables

Recorded at ApplySci’s Wearable Tech + Digital Health + Neurotech conference — November 14, 2019 | Harvard Medical School.

Dec 2, 2019

Solving the thermoelectric ‘trade-off’ conundrum with metallic carbon nanotubes

Posted by in categories: energy, nanotechnology, transportation, wearables

Scientists from Tokyo Metropolitan University have used aligned “metallic” carbon nanotubes to create a device which converts heat to electrical energy (a thermoelectric device) with a higher power output than pure semiconducting carbon nanotubes (CNTs) in random networks. The new device bypasses the troublesome trade-off in semiconductors between conductivity and electrical voltage, significantly outperforming its counterpart. High power thermoelectric devices may pave the way for more efficient use of waste heat, like wearable electronics.

Thermoelectric devices can directly convert heat to electricity. When we think about the amount of wasted heat in our environment like in air conditioning exhausts, vehicle engines or even body heat, it would be revolutionary if we could somehow scavenge this energy back from our surroundings and put it to good use. This goes some way to powering the thought behind wearable electronics and photonics, devices which could be worn on the skin and powered by body heat. Limited applications are already available in the form of body heat powered lights and smartwatches.

The power extracted from a thermoelectric device when a is formed is affected by the conductivity of the device and the Seebeck coefficient, a number indicating how much electrical voltage is generated with a certain difference in temperature. The problem is that there is a trade-off between the Seebeck coefficient and conductivity: the Seebeck coefficient drops when the device is made more conductive. To generate more power, we ideally want to improve both.

Nov 25, 2019

These AI-powered swim goggles are the wave of the future

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, wearables

AI-powered wearable tech can help make swimming more interesting while tracking your laps for you.

Nov 21, 2019

Smart contacts: The future of the wearable you won’t even see

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing, wearables

The notion of wearing lenses over our eyes to correct our vision dates back hundreds of years, with some even crediting Leonardo da Vinci as one of the first proponents of the idea (though that remains somewhat controversial). Material science and our understanding of the human eye have come a long way since, while their purpose has remained largely the same. In the age of wearable computers, however, scientists in the laboratories of DARPA, Google, and universities around the world see contact lenses not just as tools to improve our vision, but as opportunities to augment the human experience. But how? And why?

As a soft, transparent disc of plastic and silicone that you wear on your eyeball, a contact lens may seem like a very bad place to put electronics. But if you look beneath the surface, the idea of a smart contact lens has real merit, and that begins with its potential to improve our well-being.

Nov 17, 2019

Research sheds light on the underlying mechanics of soft filaments

Posted by in categories: biological, cyborgs, physics, robotics/AI, wearables

Artificial muscles will power the soft robots and wearable devices of the future. But more needs to be understood about the underlying mechanics of these powerful structures in order to design and build new devices.

Now, researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have uncovered some of the fundamental physical properties of artificial muscle fibers.

“Thin soft filaments that can easily stretch, bend, twist or shear are capable of extreme deformations that lead to knot-like, braid-like or loop-like structures that can store or release energy easily,” said L. Mahadevan, the Lola England de Valpine Professor of Applied Mathematics, of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, and of Physics. “This has been exploited by a number of experimental groups recently to create prototypical artificial muscle fibers. But how the topology, geometry and mechanics of these slender fibers come together during this process was not completely clear. Our study explains the theoretical principles underlying these shape transformations, and sheds light on the underlying design principles.”

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