Are You Ready for SensorWorld?

Sensors, sensors, everywhere sensors. In our clothes, our shoes, air conditioners, cars, diapers and beds. And what are all these sensors doing? They’re collecting and analyzing data of course – billions of discrete pieces of information every picosecond of every day so we can, a) make informed decisions and, b) automate all of the things connected by the IoT (Internet of Things). Soon sensors embedded in my pajamas will determine I’m dehydrated from having a little too much fun the night before, then send a message to the 3-D food printer in my kitchen to make a drink designed to replenish my electrolytes. Sensors will also heat my house the minute my car heads for home and tell me when my 16-year old is driving over the speed limit.

Sound far-fetched? It shouldn’t.

Recently, Senior Editor of Wired Magazine, Bill Wasik, reported, “A new device revolution is at hand: just as mobile phones and tablets displaced the once-dominant PC, wearable devices are poised to push smartphones aside.” In truth, the U.S. sensor market is expected to surpass $15 billion in 2016, causing On World to forecast that by 2017, global shipments of wearable, implantable, and mobile health and fitness devices will be up 552% from 2012.

Welcome to SensorWorld.

Now sensors and data analytics are preparing to go where ‘no man has gone before.’ Tackling an activity we spend a third of our lives ignoring: sleep! Why sleep? The National Sleep Foundation reports that 43% of Americans rarely get a good night’s sleep, and 60% experience a sleep problem almost every night. A recent Gallup poll revealed that since 1942, the amount of sleep we get has decreased roughly a half an hour per night and continues to trend downward. And the Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) claims over 9 million Americans currently rely on a pharmaceutical to fall asleep.

According to technology pioneer, and inventor of the world’s first camera phone,Philippe Kahn, our growing problem with sleep began during the Industrial Revolution when “the mythical eight-hour sleep night” was fabricated to extract longer hours from factory workers. “Before the Industrial Revolution,” Kahn explained, “people were mostly sleeping in two shifts… nobody was really sleeping eight hours straight.” He continued, “The concept that we have to sleep in uninterrupted ways all the time, in a perfectly quiet environment, in a perfectly dark room… to me is a misconception and something that is misleading people to understand how to optimize their sleep.”

Kahn stumbled on the idea of “budgeting” sleep on a record-setting, two-man Transpacific sailing trip in 2009. With a two-person crew, each person is allowed to sleep for only brief periods of time. So Kahn decided to use his sailboat as a laboratory to determine the amount of sleep that produced the highest levels of alertness and energy. He discovered that number was twenty-six minutes. From that point on Kahn began modeling his sleep after his dog – short periods of deep rest with the ability to wake at a moment’s notice in a high state of “readiness,” and then quickly return to a deep sleep. Kahn claims that from an evolutionary standpoint this is the way humans were designed to sleep – they function best when sleep is “budgeted” for, and “optimized,” in the same way we do investment planning – only when it comes to sleep, returns are measured in terms of health and productivity.

Enter Kahn’s latest breakthrough in sensor and data analytics technology: the Smart Bed. The Smart Bed replaces the traditional “box-spring” with a sensor-based unit designed to monitor movement, body temperature and other metrics so we can optimize when and how much we sleep. The Smart Bed and Sleep Tracker was developed by Kahn’s company Fullpower – an enterprise focused on precise, non-invasive data monitoring and analysis. According to Kahn, sleep was a logical application for his company because of the number of hours humans spend sleeping, the mythology surrounding the need for a continuous eight-hour rest, and his personal revelations while sailing. Kahn observes, “Sleep is a bit like the deep ocean. We know it is there but we don’t understand it well. Modern science doesn’t understand sleep very well because it is very difficult to monitor sleep in a non-invasive way.” With the new Smart Bed, Kahn is poised to revolutionize the way humans rest and the effect this will have on efficiency, output, health and ultimately, longevity.

While Fullpower is pushing the frontiers of sleep technology, other companies are leveraging sensor and data analytics technologies to optimize other areas. Pixie Scientific, is embedding sensors into “smart diapers” that will allow diseases, dehydration and nutritional deficiencies to be detected in diapers. Intel’s new Smart Band tracks, monitors and analyzes the tremor patterns of Parkinson’s patients, and a new generation of smart pills and monitoring patches from Proteus are in the works. Peter Reinhart, Director of the Institute for Applied Life Sciences for the University of Massachusetts recently revealed that sensor technologies would soon shift from diagnosis to treatment, “As we get better and better at this, we’re going to find that new therapeutic options are going to be open to us. Identifying an Alzheimer’s patient at the [observable] behavioral point, when 70 percent of the brain mass has already disappeared, really limits the number of therapeutic options you can provide that patient. If you could identify someone like that seven or eight years earlier, it now opens up a very different array of intervention strategies.”

But, as Kahn points out, collecting and translating data is only half the story. The other half is connecting to devices, which will be automatically instructed by the analyzed data. Google’s Nest offers a home app that uses sensors, analytics and the internet to connect everything from your thermostat to your fire alarms and home security system. Apple has launched a similar IoT application called HomeKit. According to Kahn, the Smart Bed will have the ability to turn your bedroom thermostat down when your body is at rest and turn the heat back up when the bed senses you are waking. It will lift the shades in your bedroom, signal the hot water heater to ready the shower, and the coffee machine to prepare your coffee just the way you like it. And if that sounds like the stuff of science fiction, look again. Theo Priestly, technology strategist and Forbes contributor claims the IoT will be comprised of 50 billion interconnected devices before 2020 – representing a whopping $19 trillion market. Fitbit, smart watches, smart clothing, diapers and beds are just the beginning. Within the next five years, sensors will monitor, customize and automate everything.

Are you ready for SensorWorld?

Follow Rebecca Costa on Twitter: twitter.com/rebeccacosta
Read the original article @ Huffington Post

Wear It’s At

Wearable technology is changing how we exercise, and even how we live—but you ain’t seen nothin’ yet

goodtimes-wear-its-at

We live in an age where technology is intertwined into almost every aspect of our lives. Perhaps the only place it hasn’t yet completely conquered is our own bodies. That may be why mainstream culture greeted certain wearable technology like Google Glass with distrust and even outright hostility—after all, once technology is on us, isn’t it only a matter of time before it’s in us, or simply is us?

But Philippe Kahn, best known as the inventor of the camera phone, and now CEO and founder of Santa Cruz-based Fullpower Technologies Inc., thinks that attitude is rapidly becoming a thing of the past. More and more consumers are embracing gadgets like FitBits, smart watches, smart beds, and even fitness-tracking smart shoes for their potential to revolutionize the fitness and health care industries. These wearables can track every aspect of daily life, from sleep patterns to steps taken to heart rate, calories burned, body weight, and time spent standing.

Meanwhile, Kahn’s company is already working on all sorts of ideas that will help usher in the next era of wearable tech. Why is he betting the industry will continue to grow? Because knowledge is power. When it comes to improving our health and lifestyles, extremely individualized data can go a long way. And when we decide to make a change and do something about it, wearable technology can provide immediate feedback on our progress.

“It’s simple and amazingly efficient,” Kahn tells GT. Wearable technology provides the kind of information that can get results fast, he says, which feeds its popularity. “Without any other changes, if Ms. and Mr. Everyone are just a little more active and sleep just a little more, health immediately improves.”

Whereas current fitness wristbands and watches collect data mainly through an accelerometer that tracks step-related movements or lack thereof, devices of the future will be able to distinguish among many different and diverse types of exercise, as well as provide data about blood sugar, hydration, hormone levels, and beyond. Additionally, whereas a current concern among wearable technology users and makers is a lack of privacy, the wearable tech of the future will use authentication techniques that are unique to every individual, such as heart rhythm.

Current wearable fitness trackers are fairly limited in the types of exercise they can track, and this is especially true if the exercise doesn’t involve taking steps. The next generation of wearable tech will not only be able to “learn” and measure new exercises performed by the wearer, it will also be able to more accurately track activities like weight lifting, swimming, and even something like playing an instrument that while usually performed stationary is nonetheless a legitimate workout for the upper body. Future fitness wearables will also be able to instantly access the wearer’s diet and medical history and even be able to “critically think” and provide advice. Smart sports gear is also just around the corner, such as a basketball that has an implanted computer and can track made baskets and provide feedback on shooting form, or a football that can help aspiring quarterbacks throw a tighter spiral.

PICTURE OF HEALTH

Exercise and sport aren’t the only frontiers for wearable technologies. They show even greater potential to improve personal health on a large scale because they provide a larger amount of more accurate data to a doctor or health care provider. As long as the patient consistently wears his or her health-and-fitness-tracking wearable technology, a doctor can easily use the data from the device to get a more accurate picture of the patient’s lifestyle. This will allow doctors to make better decisions and diagnoses than ever before. Eventually, wearable technology will allow doctors to treat patients remotely, without having to see them in person—transforming health care for travelers, those who find it difficult or impossible to visit a doctor’s office, and pretty much everyone else.

Some examples of cutting-edge health care wearable technology include body-worn sensors and contact lenses that monitor blood sugar levels and could revolutionize the care and management of diabetes, an increasingly common condition in America. Companies are also developing smart bras that track breast health, as well as wearable technology that could help a person quit smoking by detecting cravings and then releasing medication before the smoker falls off the wagon and lights up a cigarette. There is even ingestible technology being developed that is powered by stomach acid and could monitor the timing and consistency of when a person takes their medications. This could provide doctors with unprecedented information about the adherence to and effectiveness of prescribed therapies.

FUZZY DATA

Wearable technology, however, is still in its infancy, or, at most, its toddlerhood. And there are plenty of growing pains.

One challenge is the drive to constantly improve the accuracy of the data these devices provide. When current wearable technology can only provide estimates on steps taken, calories burned, or anything else, it simply isn’t good enough. This can be a major problem, especially if health care providers are basing recommendations for medication, exercise, diet, and lifestyle on the accuracy of this data.

“Accuracy is important, as that is key work that Fullpower focuses on more than any other company on the planet,” says Kahn. But for most current applications of wearable technology, he believes this issue shouldn’t be overblown. “Remember that the benefits come from being more active and sleeping a little longer, not necessarily understanding every detail of everything.”

At this point, there is little industry regulation and no governing body to make independent verifications of wearable technology data, and to make sure standards are upheld. Greater industry regulation with independently verified data will go a long way toward legitimizing the entire industry. “We sure hope this happens soon, as it will make Fullpower’s technology shine even more,” says Kahn. “My understanding is that there are a couple of labs who are evaluating the business opportunity.”

There is also the issue of interpretation of all this data—without it, the information is basically useless. “It’s not just quantified self-measuring, it’s using big data science to give meaningful insights,” explains Kahn. “For example, Fullpower’s new Sleeptracker® Smartbed will soon start being deployed by major bedding manufacturers and will provide lots of insights and tools to improve sleep.” Kahn says the insight the smart bed provides is based on data from more than 500 million nights of detailed recorded sleep, and calls it “the greatest sleep study ever.”

Wearable technology not only needs to be stylish, in Kahn’s view, it also needs to be at least somewhat invisible or at least seamlessly integrated into a person’s “look.” Making a one-size-fits-all product that also has universal aesthetic appeal is no small challenge. Just consider how many different companies sell widely diverse products that are all essentially either a shoe, a shirt, a hat, or anything else wearable.

“We believe that wearable tech and fashion are tied at the hip. We are focused on making non-invasive technology that is green, invisible and beautifully discreet,” says Kahn.

Battery life is another challenge. “Fullpower is working on energy harvesting off the host. It’s no different than getting solar energy to work in the home,” says Kahn. His company recently launched the Movado smartwatch that can run for over two years without a charge. Whether it’s using body heat, body movement, or some other source, renewable energy is a big part of the future of wearable technology.

WEARABLE FRONTIERS

As bright as the future may be for wearable fitness technology, the possibilities for merging man and machine on a larger scale may be even more astounding. For example, Lockheed Martin has developed an unpowered exoskeleton that makes heavy tools feel almost weightless, as if they are being used in zero gravity. This kind of technology could revolutionize many industries including construction, demolition, disaster cleanup, and first-responder situations. Still other exoskeletons are being used to help paraplegics regain the use of their legs and walk again. There is even wearable technology being developed that turns sound into patterns of vibration felt on the skin from a garment that, with training, can help the deaf “hear” the world around them in a similar way to how Braille turns letters and words on a page into tactile representations that allow the blind to “see.” Some people are even pushing the boundaries of our senses by implanting magnets into their fingertips in order to be able to “feel” electromagnetism.

The incredible neuroplasticity of the human brain allows for all of this remarkable technology to be seamlessly integrated into the brain’s representation of the body over time. For example, ask any experienced surfer where the body ends and they will all tell you that eventually the surfboard becomes an extension of the self. To them, the body does not end at the foot, it ends on the wave.

All of this seemingly space-age technology being closer to our doorstep than most of us thought begs the question: How much technology is too much technology? But the reality is that technology is in many ways the ultimate embodiment of everything it means to be human, showcasing our ingenuity, ambition and creativity. Wearable technology is only the latest expression of an age-old truth: We have always been natural born cyborgs, using technology to transcend ourselves and our biology.

Visit gtweekly.com to view the original article.

Jawbone Up and Sleepio

 

Jawbone Up and Sleepio app review

 

 

Using a wristband to collect sleep data, an app to help learn new habits, and online tutorials for tips, Observer corespondent Alice Fisher works on getting better sleep with the Jawbone Up.

 

“I used the Sleepio app in conjunction with a Jawbone UP wristband. The band tracks movement and sleep, information that’s stored in your smartphone and online in your Sleepio account. It’s very easy to use. Wear the wristband to collect data and add any extra explanatory information into a simple online diary along with your subjective experience of last night’s slumber. Sleepio analyses it for you.”

 

Click here to read the original review @TheGuardian.com

 

 

 

 

Powered By MotionX

 

BMR reviewed its first Jawbone UP in August 2013. Fresh out of the box, it was impossible to miss the play taken from Intel’s book, which was the statement imprinted inside the band that this was the “UP by Jawbone with MotionX”. Combined with the copyright notices in the phone app, we had all the motivation we needed to start the journey to learn just what MotionX is all about.

 

That journey quickly led to Philippe Kahn, CEO of Fullpower, the makers of MotionX. If that’s a familiar name it’s with good reason – Philippe is the former CEO of Borland, founder of Starfish Technologies, inventor of the camera phone, leader of the Pegasus Racing sailing team, and holder of endurance sailing records (a pursuit that calls for performance and decision making optimization under conditions of serious sleep deprivation). There’s plenty more, but back to our topic.

 

What follows is based on recent exchanges with Fullpower intended to bring greater clarity to what MotionX does and why it’s important. Currently, MotionX solutions can be found in the Jawbone UP and UP24, Nike+ running products, and the MotionX 24/7 app found in the iPhone App Store (where it alternates between first and second place on Medical category’s top seller list). Let’s start by digging into the technology’s various facets:

 
  •  Wearable device algorithms.
  • Communications capability.
  • Apps for iOS, Android, and Windows.
  • Cloud infrastructure to support interaction, data retrieval and presentation, updates, etc.
 

On their own, fitness bands contain a fair amount of miniaturized technology which typically includes processors, an accelerometer, a battery, and an antenna, usually Bluetooth. That’s just the hardware. Software is required to make these components function and work together properly to support power management, communications, and critically, data interpretation and collection.

 

On its own, an accelerometer can detect movements and send those signals to be processed and stored. From this point it gets complicated in a big way – particularly if accuracy and reliability are high priorities. The key challenge is how to interpret the signals coming from the accelerometer and distinguishing between a stride, a run, a handshake, or another Dorito chip.

 

It turns out that Fullpower has mastered this interpretive process the hard way – with time and painstaking effort. To begin with, activity monitors are usually worn on the wrist or arm, or carried in a pocket. As a result, products like the Jawbone UP must be carefully calibrated or “tuned” in order to accurately interpret and estimate what the wearer is doing.

 

There are different approaches to solving this problem. One way is to adapt commonly available algorithms like those designed to protect laptop hard drives in the event of a fall; another is to partner with research institutes which have a focus area on this topic and then adapt their work; and a third is Fullpower’s.

 

In broad, suitable-for-publication terms, Fullpower has invested many years of effort developing a rigorous approach to measuring and estimating natural human motion. Part of this process is includes video footage, inertial measurement unit (IMU) recordings and other undisclosed techniques, all performed 24/7, because sleep has to be studied too. These data are compared to the data being reported by the activity monitor with the net effect that this comparison and verification process greatly reduces errors in the estimation process by eliminating questions like “did the subject just twitch their arm or did they roll over while asleep?” Or, “is the subject running or are they just shaking their leg during a meeting?”. The video analysis can be conclusive and this knowledge can be factored (literally) into the algorithm development process. Repeating this process over the course of years, with many different people, activities, and situations yields a high level of precision backed by a very large and unique data set which only gets more accurate over time. This process doesn’t just apply to tracking steps – it plays a central role in developing sleep cycle alarms and more.

 

As an aside, another result of this kind of original research is a substantial intellectual property (IP) portfolio of early, seminal patents that have been awarded with many more awaiting approval. In Fullpower’s case, these patents cover more than just algorithms – they go on to include wearable devices, health/fitness/medical patents, sensor-related patents, and more. The net effect is that Fullpower has created a significant asset that can be licensed to produce current, ongoing revenue streams that complement the rest of the company’s efforts. In light of the early stage of wearable technology, this is a significant achievement.

 

Once precision has been assured and the required computational power has been designed to minimize power consumption, the question turns to how to offload the data that has been collected and stored on the device. Today, some devices require a cable connector to transfer data to a phone or computer. Others can use a cable or Bluetooth, and yet others use Bluetooth alone. It’s possible that the low energy feature of Bluetooth v4.0 will become the standard of choice for activity monitors, but we’re still early in the evolution of these products. The MotionX platform is compatible with cable- and Bluetooth-based channels.

 

We’re now ready to leave the device and move through the rest of ecosystem starting with phone apps. Innovation in this part of wearable technology is alive and well – in the course of its review process BMR always includes an analysis of the associated phone app. Some are rudimentary, others are considerably more sophisticated. Regardless of the features there are some basic functions that need to be fulfilled, including retrieval of data from the device, displaying it on the phone, delivering updates, and possibly provide connections to social media. Oh, and this all has to be done reliably while maintaining an engaging and satisfying user experience. Regardless, apps are an essential part of the experience and form another important part of the overall wearable ecosystem.

 

From the phone, the data are sent to a cloud-based platform that does the heavy lifting of managing user accounts and their associated data, and generally serving as the coordinating management platform for these devices once they’re in the wild.

 

MotionX is an end-to-end ecosystem designed expressly for wearable technology. It provides all the primary functions required to make a wearable technology product work, and it does so with a very high degree of accuracy and reliability. In the course of developing MotionX, Fullpower has amassed a substantial intellectual property (IP) portfolio, and its value is likely to increase as wearable technology continues to expand its footprint in our daily lives. If MotionX is another home run, it would be perfectly at home with the rest of Philippe Kahn’s successes.

 

Read the Original Article @Body Monitor Review

New MotionX-24/7 Delivers Advanced Sleep and Activity Tracking to iPhone

 

SAN FRANCISCO, CA–(Marketwired – Jan 30, 2014) – Fullpower® today announced the new MotionX-24/7 App for iPhone.

 

MotionX-24/7

 

MotionX-24/7 leverages patented algorithms at its core to deliver the highest quality medical-grade 24/7 sleep monitoring, snore/apnea, and resting heart rate detection and activity tracking available for the iPhone. The algorithms for sleep monitoring, apnea and snore detection, and heart rate tracking have been significantly improved in this version with the help of the feedback of millions of MotionX users. This is a milestone in that the quality and accuracy of MotionX is on par with state-of-the-art polysomnography equipment, yet run on an iPhone.

 

“We’d like to thank the millions of enthusiastic MotionX users around the world for their feedback,” said Philippe Kahn, founder and CEO of Fullpower. “We are proud to launch the new 24/7 which includes state-of-the art medical-grade technology for sleep, snoring, heart rate and activity tracking.”

 

The Fullpower patent portfolio includes more than 40 issued patents and more than 70 patents pending. Broad coverage for the MotionX Technology Platform introduces a new and necessary approach for continuous activity and sleep monitoring and analysis, with applications spanning a variety of health and fitness, medical, and navigation applications. Fullpower’s ongoing innovation translates to continually broadening and deepening of the IP related to the MotionX-24/7 Plug & Play Ecosystem for Wearable.

 

“Fullpower’s MotionX leadership position in powering wearable ecosystems is measured in years — no one else comes close,” said David Provost of Body Monitor Review.

 

MotionX-24/7 version 8.0 is immediately available from the App Store on iPhone or at www.AppStore.com/MotionX. For a limited time get MotionX-24/7 for $0.99, an 80% discount from the regular price of $4.99. This upgrade is free to current MotionX-24/7 users.

 

Important Links:
www.fullpower.com
www.motionx.com

 

About Fullpower Technologies
Founded in 2003, Fullpower’s world-class team leads the wearable revolution with the MotionX Plug & Play Ecosystem for wearable. MotionX powers market-leading wearable solutions from Nike, Jawbone and others. The Fullpower wearable patent portfolio includes more than 40 issued patents and more than 70 patents pending.

UberGizmo.com: MotionX-24/7, activity tracker and sleep monitor for the iPhone

 

 

Wearable technology and the Quantified Self movement are pretty trendy nowadays, especially since the launch of the ultra-popular Jawbone UP powered by MotionX technology. Today, Fullpower-MotionX, MotionX-24/7 for the iPhone and iPad, an activity tracker and sleep monitor optimized for the iPhone 5S M7 processor and iOS 7.

 

Click here for the complete article at Ubergizmo.com

 
Motion-24-7-1 Motion-24-7-2