Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Device to measure a persons fitness regime

From my research there seemed to be four main options to accurately measure the exercise a person claims to undertake. 

1. Heart Rate Monitor
  • Very easy accessible and cheap
  • Can upload information to he internet
  • Used by athletes to condition or improve performance
  • Can be affected by stress
  • Used for tactical training
  • Used for motivation already connected to a watch giving immediate feedback to user
  • If used near another heart rate monitor can give false reading  
The major bonus of heart rate monitors is the fact it can be uploaded to the internet already, but I don't think it would give an accurate reading for resemble a workout as stress effects it also.

2. Pedometer
  • Counts number of steps a person takes
  • It is worn throughout the day by a person
  • Constant update of how steps you have taken
  • Most basic pedometer is the spring-levered pedometer
  • Piezo-electric pedometer (accelerometer) more accurate than spring-levered pedometers
  • GPS pedometer
This device has numerous advantages can be uploaded to the internet, gives accurate reading but all it is doing is measuring steps undertook in a day which to athletes wouldn't be considered as a workout.

3. Telematics
This is a GPS system measuring distance is possible for cycling, running etc. It is a good system to measure distance and speed for a user but a user would have to undertake long hard exercise regimes to give the system useful feedback.

4. Skipping Counter
  • Gives accurate amount of skips taken
  • Calculates calorie lose
  • Motivates a user by itself already
  • 70-110 calories in 10mins
  • 600-900 calories in 1 hour
  • Cheap and easy accesible
  • Upload to the internet unknown
This seems to be a suitable device as it measures accurately already is motivational and is not a daunting task for some one to attempt. I'm still not sure if it can be uploaded to the internet I have emailed a few producers of the product to see if it is possible.

Ice-resistant Road

People imprisoned in their houses due to awful road conditions during the festive season  could soon come to an end. It is all thanks to this new innovative ice-resistant road has been invented by a group of Harvard University scientists. The leader of the group Joanna Aizenberg explains "What we want to do is to have ice not form at all". It is a surface material that wont allow ice to form on it up to temperatures as low as -30 degrees. The idea was inspired by the unsuspecting eyes of a mosquito and nanotechnology. They use millions of silicon bristles to prevent the water droplets spreading on the surface so they wont freeze as easily. What happens on our roads at the moment the water droplets hit the road spreads across the road and grips and ultimately becoming the base for aggregation of more droplets and finally a hazardous sheet of ice. The scientist's solution prevents the water droplets spreading, it in turn prevents it from creating ice patterns and creating a sheet of ice. The scientists are only beginning to test the nanotechnology in real world scenarios. This technology could be the key for deicing any issues from road paving to power transmission in the future if it can be manufactured feasibly.

Via: Yahoo News

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Ambient Knowledge & Alan Meaney

On Monday the 15th of November Alan Meaney gave a talk about his Masters project Ambient Knowledge how he came up with the concept and how he proceeded to create the project. His project is a "lamp that glows different colours to display the current energy consumption in a persons home". He used a cct clip over an electricity wire going into the fuse box which was connected to an arduino board which uploaded the data to his website which in turn adjusted the colour of the perspex lamp. Alan researched the area he had interest in and came up with a solution. His project was exhibited at Ars Electronica in Germany where he represented Cork Institute of Technology. He had a very sucessful exhibition there and was invited to do other exhibitions in Paris and Slovenia.
                                                                                          This was a very informative talk as he gave personal accounts and experiences about the Masters project. He really enforced the fact of researching being critical to a successful project firstly learning the terminology and then narrowing down to what interest you. He also mentioned to find the main researchers in your area of interest and study their work to date.

Tips & Advice
Alan was very informative about his experience in the course last year and developing  the project he gave us the following tips for our projects.
  • Get drafts up to lecturers as soon as possible so they can evaluate and correct them saving you time in the long run.
  • Look at Endnote for referencing when creating proposal and final document as he found it essential.
  • Use Google scholar for researching
  • Don't be afraid to interact with blogs and forums to look for help as there are plenty of people out there willing to help.

The New Paddle Pro

If your familiar with the Paddle already you'll probably notice that it looks more or less the same as the previous edition that was released in June 2010. What excites me to write about this emerging technology is the astonishing new feature that enables a user on control the Windows OS using their head movements. The Paddle uses head tracking technology to enable this new futuristic feature. Unusually clicks are activated by a user looking at an item for a mere half a second I'm a small bit pessimistic about the overall success of this sensational feature but shall wait and see on its popularity. It also has the essentials of every tablet these days native resolution of 1,024 x 600 pixels,1 GB of RAM with a hard disk of internal capacity of 160 GB,a collection of connectivity and I/O capabilities, such as 10/100 Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, an SD/MMC card reader, plus 3G.It can be purchased for 890 euro with a preloaded operating system or you can purchase it for 990 euro if you wish for it to come with Windows 7.
Via: Slash Gear

Monday, November 15, 2010

Try lose the remote control now

The perfect lazy man control has finally arrive its the universal pillow remote control. It has solved the annoying issue of losing the remote control. I personally love this concept and want one immediately. It use power-saving technology as it powers off after 60seconds of not being used. It also has a feature that you can deactivate the remote control aspect so you can effectively use it as just a pillow. Well I think I'm a small bit optimistic thinking it will be an efficient pillow and remote control but for only £29.99 and a packet of triple A batteries its definitely worth an investment. You can purchase it by following this link

Source: Engadget via Brookestone

A new intimate "Path" for social networks

The newest addition to the long list of social networks was added today Monday the 15th Novemeber 2010 called "Path". It is basically a social network built around a user's photographs. The main feature what I find appealing about this social network it limits a user to 50 friends which eliminates the vast friend circles like users have on social networks such as Facebook. You are sharing your photographs with your genuine friends instead of someone you went to secondary school you haven't seen in a few years. Dave Morin a former Facebook executive explains their reasoning for the friends limit, "We chose 50 based on the research of Oxford Professor of Evolutionary Psychology Robin Dunbar, who has long suggested that 150 is the maximum number of social relationships that the human brain can sustain at any given time".  
This personal social network hasn't been globally accepted yet since Path doesn't utilize other social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. "It is oddly passive for a social app. You put up photos, see other people's photos, and that's it. No discussion allowed," Erick Schonfield (Tech Crunch) claims. Since it don't connect to the other social networks I personally cant see this social network being as popular as the rest since your going to have the same friends on other social networks with the same photographs. It only allows users visual connections not leaving people to instant chat or even comment on photographs. I personally think besides the feature that you are only photo sharing with your genuine friends is the main appeal of the social network. 

Source: Wired, Tech Crunch