Sensor Sunday: Doggie Wearables, Monitoring Shoppers and Catching TV While You Doze Off

In the past two years there’s been a boom in talk around the Internet of Things and Wearables. People are putting more sensors into cities, into their homes and onto themselves. Interest in the quantified self and home automation are on the rise. Scientists are coming up with more efficient ways to monitor health and climate. A lot of talk has gone into the sensors in cameras that enable quicker focusing and better colours. The proliferation of fingerprint sensors is expected to rise with companies like Samsung, Apple and Mastercard adopting the technology. Biometric sensors are getting smaller and the ease with which data can be analyzed and shared is improving. Already, much of the world interacts with sensors on a daily, if not hourly, basis.

Gartner released their predictions on where sensor technology is headed. They predicted that “by 2017, 30 percent of smart wearables will be inconspicuous to the eye” and “by 2016, biometric sensors will be featured in 40 percent of smartphones shipped to end users”. With the way technology is developing and the increasing consumer demand, these seem like reasonable numbers, but who knows what sorts of smart devices may be flying under the radar, ready to take over.

In this series that was launched a few months ago, we’ve looked at new sensor technology and new ways that sensors are being used. More news comes in every week. We’ll keep it coming into the new year, but here’s the last roundup for 2014.

Looking at Shoppers in a New Way

Looking at Shoppers in a New Way

This year, a technology known as BlipTrack was used by Denmark’s Aalborg City Business Association to analyze the impact of large-scale events, in this case Christmas Shopping. The technology uses mobile phones and tablets to collect data on where people are and how they’re moving. This kind of data can be used to ease the flow of urban traffic and optimize retail setups.

(via Gizmag)

Wearables for Your Dog

Wearables for you Dog

The Voyce collar (Photo credit: Voyce)

Earlier this year, the news of researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology working on a vest that would allow better communicate between dogs and handlers came out. While this technology mostly focuses on service dogs, Voyce is something for the rest of us dog owners. It’s basically a “fitness” tracker for dogs, showing activity levels and vital signs. But the collar isn’t about tracking weight loss or exercise goals, but providing longitudinal data on the dog’s health. The data from the sensors can show if the dog is under unusual stress or if a chronic health condition may be worsening.

(via PC World)

Attach your 5V Devices to the Raspberry Pi

Doug Gilliland announced that he’d be launching another KickStarter campaign for his Raspberry Pi connection card that would enable the addition of external 5V devices (like Phidgets). The card will fill a gap that much of the developer community feels when trying to build prototypes with devices like Phidgets or Arduinos (although solutions for both are possible). Although the last fundraiser didn’t reach its goal, Gilliland is confident there’s enough support to get the card going.

(via Geeky Gadgets)

KipstR Will Catch the TV you Can’t Stay Awake For

KipstR Will Catch the TV you Can't Stay Awake For

The KipstR being worn to check if you’ve fallen asleep (Photo Credit: Mark Waugh)

Two teenagers from Manchester have developed a 3D-printed wristband with embedded sensors that can detect when you fall asleep and trigger your TiVo box to start recording so you don’t miss a thing. The pair of keen high-school students have partnered with Virgin Media to develop the device and they’ve just announced that the KipstR is ready for trials. The next step for them is to see if the device can monitor emotions while they’re watching TV.

(via 3D Print)

See you in 2015 with more news on the sensor industry!

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Math lover. Engineering communicator. Mad-lib enthusiast. Total nerd.

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