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Wearable Technologies Innovation World 2013 winners

Posted: 03 Feb 2014 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Moticon? wearable technologies? sensor? flash memory? accelerometer?

An interesting entry from the Suez University, Egypt, is the so-called Third Eye. Categorized in the Gaming & Lifestyle section, the wrap-around device fits like a partial glove holding together an optical sensor at the fingertip and a processing unit nearer the wrist. As the wearer passes his/her fingertip onto the pages of a book or a newspaper, the optical sensor automatically scans the text and the results are then transmitted wirelessly to a hearing unit that reads them out loud.

Third Eye

Effectively, this product enables visually-impaired people to read any regular text, without relying on Braille-only material. Such a device would also prove very useful to illiterates, as a learning tool, "listening to written words." Pairing it with a smartphone and the cloud, you could even extend this learning strategy to foreign languages, for example to automatically translate the scanned text, listen to the pronunciation and learn about the words' meaning.

For blind people, the sensor can also recognize colours, or determine if it is day or night.

In the Security & Prevention category, my choice goes to two very similar approaches to detecting head impacts. One is the so-called Smart Skull, a university project from the Technoplanet Labs at the Manav Rachna College of Engineering, in Haryana, India. The other is a fully integrated head cap, the so-called Reebok Checklight commercialized by mc10.

The Smart Skull is implemented as a bike helmet featuring an inlay with an accelerometer, an optical heart rate sensor, a microcontroller and a 3.7V battery-operated Bluetooth radio. When it detects an impact above a pre-set threshold value, it transmits an alert to the rider's smartphone via Bluetooth and starts monitoring the victim rider with the heart rate sensor pointing on the rider's forehead.

Smart Skull

Using a cloud application, the smartphone can then analyse the data from the sensors and informs pre-selected relatives, nearest hospital, police and emergency centres about the intensity and location of the trauma. On receiving an alert, the application will first prompt the rider for 10 seconds, and only if it does not get any response, it will aggregate the data to make the necessary calls.

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