IM DoW #2 – Ramifire

My IOT device of the week is the Ramifire Smart extinguisher and the Heart, the 5G navigation mask. I chose two because they are both simple devices that can  both be used in case of a fire, however, they use IOT in different ways. 

The Ramifire is a smart home fire extinguisher. It features a sleek but ergonomic design meant for intuitive use. Ramifire uses IOT by pairing wirelessly to smart phones for a few functions.  Firstly, each extinguisher comes with their own QR code that can be scanned with the accompanying phone app to track data of the particular extinguisher. Data like pressure and guarantee period/ expiry date is available via the app. Ramifire also comes with an in-built fire detector. When it detects fire, or when the extinguisher is expired,  alarms will be automatically sent to the house-owners phone for notification via wifi.



Images from: The Intelligent Extinguisher 


The second IOT device is Heart, a 5G navigation fire mask. Unlike Ramifire that uses wifi to alert home owners in times of fire, Heart uses 5G network to guide users to safety. Upon pulling a mask out of its housing, it will automatically connect to the internet and obtain building data about the location of the fire. When the mask is worn to your face, the other end will function as a projector, emitting a flashing light that not only lights up the ground ahead of you, but also projects the direction and distance you should walk towards. The smart mask will direct you to the nearest exit.

Images from:  Futuristic mask uses 5G to guide you to nearest exit! 


The pros of the Ramifire are that it is a straight forward device that makes use of simple IOT. The system is easy for home owners to connect to. It also helps users track factors like expiry dates which are important for fire extinguishes but often neglected. The design of the device itself is sleek and ergonomic, unlike traditional fire extinguishes which are bulky and

I find that for the 5G mask, it is smart to tap onto the 5G network so that the mask can function as a GPS to help give directions during times when people would be the most disoriented. Additionally, I think that it is very effective to combine a mask and torchlight as well as a GPS into a single device. By blending so many functions into one, this shows that the designers have a clear understanding of their target audience and context of use, and what is needed during that time.

As for cons, I feel that the Ramifire does have some setbacks. Because the fire detection sensor is inbuilt into the Ramifire, if the fire does not start in the same room as it, then it would take some time before the device detects the fire and notifies the user. It might be too late then. I think that the Ramifire could develop on its IOT system, perhaps like pairing the fire extinguisher up with a ceiling smoke detection system or sprinkler system.

For the 5G mask, it shares a similar problem with the Ramifire. Both devices are hooked onto the buildings/house network to get information on the internet. But what if the buildings physical network system gets compromised, then the internet would be down. I’m not very sure how network connections function but maybe a harder but more reliable solution would be to connect to the internet outside of the buildings? Like perhaps a satellite connection?

IM DoW #3 – Sense 5 Walking Stick

My device of the week for senses is the Sense Five walking stick. 

The stick’s angled design allows its user to instinctively hold it the right way. The handle is held horizontally, and the stick naturally leans forward, allowing the user to tap their surroundings as they navigate through spaces. A camera on the front actively captures images, recognizing objects and obstacles, while a simple switch allows you to toggle a torch to use the stick at night. When the camera identifies something worth alerting the user about, it communicates with the user through the handle.

The integrated ultrasonic sensor detects ­obstacles within a distance of 5 meters and is specially designed for waist-high obstacles that cannot be detected with conventional canes. It also recognizes fast-moving objects such as cars that normally pose a danger to visually impaired people. The environment information is processed in real-time and passed on to the user as surface changes to the handle. Using different rhythms and intensities, a differentiated and pleasant ­communication is possible, which uses the ­human sense of touch and thus frees the ­remaining senses.

The pros of Sense Five are not only its main functions but also its thoughtful details. For example, the Sense Five indicates the battery level by surface change. If the battery level is low, the user can simply charge while on the move with power banks, or via public power outlets. At home, it is charged on a wall mount which also functions as a recognizable and easily accessible location. Additionally, the Sense Five doesn’t just aid its owner. It can help communicate the user’s presence to others around them with its front torchlight and red taillight, making the user more obvious in low-light settings.

As for main functions, I thought that it was really interesting that the camera on the walking stick is smart and able to recognize objects. This adds so much more value to the function of the walking stick by making it a smart device. Now, blind users can truly depend on the walking stick as their eyes, instead of simply being an extension of their arms like the traditional walking sticks. Additionally, I think that another pros is the haptic touch of the walking stick. The use of haptic touch reminds me of our multi-modal sketch. Hence, I think that a pro of the Sense Five is that it is un-intrusive.

I think one of the cons of this device is that it relies heavily on only touch to inform the user.  I think that the walking stick can detect quite few things and different scenarios, but the fixed design of the handle does not allow for much change in the haptic feedback. Things like intensity and rhythm can  signal different meanings, but the difference might be too subtle or noninstinctive for certain users such as children or the elderly. I think this walking stick has the potential to be developed further, and become an IOT device. Perhaps it could be connected to something like an earpiece or a headset that could tell the user additional information to complement the haptic touch. However, their choice of tactile response is good because audio feedback could be missed in noisy environment. I think that the stick could also be connected to a GPS, so that it can also give the user directions on where to go.

Image source: This smart walking-stick uses real-time image-recognition to help the visually impaired ‘see’

IM DoW #1 – Portal Telemedicine Headset

My healthcare device of the week is the Portal Telemedicine Headset. The device is a headset that functions as a medical diagnostic tool. With the help of this device, patients are able to have online conferences with doctors, eliminating the need to go to the hospital or medical clinic. 

The doctor simply uses an ordinary digital device (laptop, phone, etc) to communicate with the patient, while the patient wears the headset and has a separate display screen for video communication. The headset has a movable camera that allows doctors individually check each of the patients eyes with clarity. It also has a detachable digital stethoscope that will automatically broadcast readings to the doctors screen when used. Like a normal headset, the Portal Telemedicine Headset also comes with inbuilt speakers and a microphone for ease of communication.  The headset is also designed with many user friendly considerations. For example, the ear muffs at the side are adjustable so that people with smaller heads, such as children are able to use the same device. The earbuds are also interchangeable for health and hygiene reasons. The adjustability of this device means that one device can be used and shared among the whole household, instead of everyone needing their own personal one.

portal_headgear_2 portal_headgear_3 portal_headgear_5 portal_headgear_6

Images from: ER meets VR 

I think the main pros of this device is its remote function that can be utilized in various scenarios. The headset is suitable for people who live in remote locations, but in need of (basic) healthcare or occasional checkups. The headset is also suitable for people who prefer the privacy and comfort of their own homes, as they are able to consult a doctor without stepping out of the house. It could really be used to help people who suffer from mental illnesses like social anxiety.  I also think that this headset would be really useful for when people feel like they are on the verge of getting sick, or are already slightly sick, but either not sick enough to warrant a doctors visit and/or are too busy to do so. The convenience of a teleconference medical visit could save a lot of time.

Another pros of this device is its adjustability. I find it really smart that this device was designed so that it would fit people of different head sizes and ages/sex. It makes the device more universal, and more buyable. Additionally, I think that the changeable earpiece covers are a nice touch, something to add on to the share-ability of this device whilst maintaining hygiene.

Besides being used in a family household context, I think that this device has the potential to be used by hospitals or clinics as well for quick and simple diagnostics. It can also be used by governments, especially during times of disaster. For example, say a natural disaster like an earthquake or tsunami appeared, and a large number of people are injured. Having a device like this would be able to greatly help rescue efforts, especially when (human) resources are limited. These headsets can be used on the field, so that other countries can “send” their doctors to help the country in need, without having to physically fly their doctors over to the disaster area. With an increase in medical help and diagnostics, it would be much easier to further treat the patients once the aid/treatment they need is identified faster.

However, this device also has a few cons. Although this device has potential in the medical industry, I think that it still has some places to improve on. Firstly, the healthcare functions of this device might be a bit too basic right now.  It is a good step for teleconference diagnostics, but still too simple. If a patient has a more serious or uncommon illness, then this device would not be able to help medically, and the patient would most probably still need to go see a doctor physically. Other functionalities could include blood glucose level, ear camera, sample analysis? The area of diagnosis for the headset is also very centered on the head, and kind of neglects the rest of the body. Perhaps a handheld diagnostic device would work better, or could compliment the headset.

Secondly, would be factors like price, I’m not sure of a device like this would be too costly for some of its target audience (like people living in remote locations). And although this device is a good idea, it is not confirmed whether or not doctors/hospitals/ medical systems will be willing to take this on and integrate it into their healthcare system. And as they are major stakeholders in this device, the success or failure of this device will depend heavily on them.  A teleconference medical diagnosis without a doctor on the other end would render this device useless. Perhaps this device could also incorporate the use of AIs to help with diagnosis, though that’s a whole nother open door itself.