Violet Plus by Ultra: UV Ray and Vitamin D Tracker
A wearable device (clip-on) that tracks an individual’s sun exposure, monitoring both exposure/overexposure to sun’s harmful rays and also monitoring vitamin D levels. It works in conjunction with app that not just reflects the information, but also allow uses to select their skin type. Henceforth, sun damage alerts/sunscreen reminders will be personalized to wearer. It will let you know if you need to top up, a distinct advantage if you’re prone to vitamin D deficiencies.
In conjunction with the app
The device is a miniature clip-on, thus it is immensely portable and convenient
It can also be used without the app – the device will light up to indicate how long more the user has before being sun burnt, plus it uses vibrations to remind the users to apply sunscreen when the time is up.
How it works
Very lightweight and convenient
Seamlessly integrated to app
Differentiate from other UV trackers – with added vitamin D tracker
Future of beauty wearables
Accuracy of the device not as proven
Fitness activity trackers/Smart watches can incorporate this technology, as wearers who exercise outdoors might want to be aware of their sun exposure
Ultra might want to look into other functions so that it is not so specific to UV – e.g. anti-pollution detector
There were some difficulties in mapping the coordinates and at times there would be a wrap-round thus it is more tough for the players. Also, every 30 seconds the mode would change but it seemed more like a lag.
Tutorial mode – At start of the game to inform the players which axis involves what movement
More developed change mode system – We implemented a change mode system but it was rather rough, in a more developed version the mode will be spelled out for the players to know and more obvious
Various challenges – Instructions for players to put at different parts of the body e.g. head for a special round
A project by Gladys Loh, Valerie Lay and Tan Siew Hua – Using pressure sensors and LED to create a prototype of an immersive Laser Tag meets Paintball game.
Process – How it works
Players will be in a dark room, with multiple obstacles. Their jackets will have points being lit with LED, in which these are the areas that other players need to shoot in order to score. Pressure sensors be hidden underneath these points, recording into the system. The LED strips are a reflection of the health of the player.
A sketch of how the system works
The inner linings of the Jacket with pressure sensors
Our MAX Patcher
There were areas that this prototype did not touch on, but we did discuss.
Multi-player – When there are multiple players, different LED colors will represent different players (Red, Green, Blue etc).
Score System – Reflected on the LED strip, 1 LED rep 10 points. Eg. Hitting a crucial area (100 points) will result in deduction of 10 lighted up LEDs, whereas a minor area (50 points) will result in deduction of 5 lighted up LEDs
Perks System – Areas of the room should be lit up with Pressure Sensor and LED, in which will serve as perks to the player. For example, there could be a pressure sensor whereby the longer you press, you gain back health. However, it becomes louder as you press thus your location will be made known to other players
The trip to ArtScience musuem was really enlightening in helping me realize the rapid development in technology today – it is almost like the realization of Sci-fi movies and games. The devices/artworks were really awesome – they ranged from beneficial – impacting people’s lives via prosthetic arms, to quirky – the wearable skin suit, and even disturbing – the dolls made out of living cells. It also posed many ethical dilemmas in science, being very thought-provoking – how far is too far? While this might be an advancement, seemingly the bright future, it can also be a dystopian outlook for our society if we take this too far. Ethical concerns aside, in which I will be touching upon later, I was still very impressed by how much we can push the boundaries, and how there are just so many possibilities in technology – it gave me further thought that within our course Interactive Devices, there is much to explore, much room to break grounds – thus resulting in the innovative potentially life-changing works in the exhibition.
Changing our environment – Integration of the synthetic and natural
The work I will be addressing on is the Beamer Bees by Anab Jain, in which he attempted to create synthetic animals and seamlessly integrate them into the ecosystem. This is inspired by the destruction of many bee colonies due to many combined factors, also known as colony collapse disorder. Bees are very important to the ecosystem, they pollinate flowers – source of our fruits and vegetables. Bees are said to be responsible for “one of three bites we eat”. They also create honey with is an important consumer product in our market. Therefore, the disappearance of bees are a problem.
How the Beamer Bees look like
The making of the a synthetic pollinator that never perishes
Beamer Bees are hence bees re-designed, synthetic insects that will never perish – so that pollination will not be an issue. It uses various DNA qualities from animals that will benefit the creation of this artificial species – e.g. pigment cells from colorful fish, wing fibres from birds and wave sensing plasmids from bats. After genetic modification, the bee embryos are created – resulting in its creation.
Process of the making of Beamer bees
Here’s the process video on how they made the bees.
Bees in the works
In a fictional Acres Green, the bees are imagined to be living harmoniously with the residents and ecosystem there.
Humans with Beamer Bees – potential near future
Overview and further thoughts
I thought this work was indeed a huge step from our natural system, showing the possibilities of integrating artificial with the natural, eventually perhaps even the creation of an entirely artificial ecosystem. Beamer Bees project is beneficial to wanting to make the world a greener and self-sustaining place, amidst the environmental downfall. If this project is widely successful, we can start creating more species that are essential to nature and human needs e.g. silkworms.
I do find it interesting and slightly ironic, that such methods are attempts by humans to salvage the damage that we have done to the environment, because through technology it has also brought the means to its destruction. The artificial has killed much of mother nature and thus the artificial is used to build it back up. Once again, how far is too far? The future of our ecosystems could be an optimistic turn towards a greener, self-sustaining area. However, there might be a possibilities that our attempts to manipulate the environment might worsen it even more – bringing us closer to downfall. This could be a potentially dangerous bio-weapon if fallen into the wrong hands. Will we be able to do these with humans next time? If we are able to create organisms will ideal qualities and don’t perish, perhaps we can even produce super-humans that don’t perish – seeing that genetically modified babies are already in the making.
All in all, Beamer Bees is a fantastic push in technological field and it definitely has great intentions. It also makes me think of the potential future of our environments – which can be both good and bad depending on its control.
Atomic Bands is the first kinetic gaming wearables that uses dual motion sensor bands and Bluetooth. Users are not constrained by space, they have complete freedom of movement as there is no need to be within the perimeters of a room or camera. A step further from typical fitness band trackers in the market, as it analyzes correct form and movement quality – it can be used to teach dance and kungfu even.
Atomic bands design
These devices bring gaming to a whole new level as it merges fitness and play, and it is highly physical. Moreover, it can be highly educational in allowing players to pick up skills like dance or kungfu. Let’s say the player is interested to learn dance. Wearing these bands on the arms or ankles, the user can operate this alongside with an motion sensor app Funky Dance. The app will touch on the basics of street dance for example shuffling, popping – syncing basic movement with rhythm. The app features world-class dancers like Jardy Santiago. The player just needs to follow the screen and the bands are able to track the movement, providing feedback if the movement is correct. Feedback comes in the form of haptic feedback, LED lights and OLED display.
Advanced motion tracking
Moreover, this provides a platform for movement artists to create art through their movement. This product is also integrated with generative art platform and thus dancers can “paint canvases” digitally through their movement.
Breaks boundaries of Augmented reality / VR gaming, all axis is covered through this band
Fitness-based gaming – This is very good in a sedentary society we live in today, as it promotes play through fitness
Learning of skills – Being a dancer myself, I find it interesting and great that we can learn through digital means an at the same time gain feedback even if learning by oneself
Still limited as to how accurately and how much this device can teach a user skills like dance/kungfu
There are definitely many ways this device can develop into. It definitely brings something new to the fitness wearable market, as it measures quality of movement plus it functions as a gaming device. Games can start to explore this field of wearables and thus providing an even more immersive VR gaming experience.
Looking deceivingly just like a device sticking at the neck, this device can do much more. Thync’s Relax Pro sits around the neck, sending mini brain massages that help individuals de-stress and sleep better. Through nerve stimulation – electrodes that are safe, low-voltage signals – these are sent to the brain’s adrenaline system. The nervous system then instructs the body to relax, helping the user unwind.
Too stressed after a long day? Thync’s Relax Pro uses neurostimulation to relieve stress and encourage well-rested sleep.
The device is paired with a smartphone. Users can select “Deep Sleep” or “Deep Relax” mode. During the session, users are able to customize the intensity of their session. When used 10 mins before sleep, it is known to help the brain reach a peaceful state and thus enhance quality of sleep. It is recommended to use the device for 4-6 weeks to see results to long-term sleep quality.
The 2 different modes that the user can select.
Thync spent at least 5 years to develop this product, with a long series of studies (e.g. 1300 nights of monitored sleep). This is considered a great breakthrough in the wearable market.
This proposes a alternative solution to stimulants like sleeping drugs and coffee, thus users need not be reliant on stimulants anymore. Dietary lifestyle is not affected with this device
Stress is one of the most worrying aspects in today’s fast-paced society – an on-the-go device to help individuals relax as and when is very beneficial in improve overall quality of lives
Moreover, it is fully customisable – one can adjust the intensity and select different modes – something impossible to do with stimulants
This device is not necessarily the safest for everyone. As it does make use of electrical pulses, it is not beneficial for people with existing medical conditions like stroke, seizures or pregnant ladies
The design while already minimalistic, might not be the most comfortable as it is hard
This might be more beneficial if it was a softer wearable – perhaps something that seamlessly sticks to the skin to improve comfort
Perhaps Thync can look into sleepwear, garment or even fashion accessories (choker). I believe many people would want to use this device comfortably and inconspicuously.
A line of hearables can be looked into as well
All in all, this is a wonderful device and groundbreaking in the field of wearables. Stress wearables are very much needed in our fast-paced society where many are stressed and lack a good night rest daily. This can definitely pushed further – who knows even one can an implant?
Smart Homes are increasingly popular, with a great consumer demand for smart devices from smart TVs, home appliances and now, smart robot helpers. The development of Kuri is a huge step forward in the relatively new field of smart home technology. Friendly robot helpers used to only be a fantasy, existing only in movies like Baymax in Big Hero 6. However, now it is turning into reality with the invention of Kuri. Designed like a Pixar character, Kuri takes on an adorable appearance and will be easily endeared by family members. Its appearance is not its only selling point, but it has many smart features as well – it functions as a security camera, virtual assistant, companion and mobile entertainment device. It is constantly updated with new technology with the existence of a mobile app to install updates.
Kuri was designed with natural interaction in mind. By its physical appearance representing a likable Pixar movie character, people will feel more comfortable with it. Moreover, its behaviour is designed to be very affectionate and calming as well – the way its head tilts to look at its owner, the ability for it to “blink”, the adorable body shape, the way it moves, its inviting gestures and sounds – all of these choices are to make the owner feel at ease.
Kuri is like a child’s companion
Kuri is an intelligent robot with features of a security camera, virtual assistant, companion and mobile entertainment device. As an crossover as a companion and entertainment device, Kuri can read to the child a bedtime story, or it can play podcasts or play games with the owner. It can also take photos for the family, in which this camera acts as surveillance if no one is at home. Its intelligence is demonstrated through its ability to adapt and respond smartly – it has sensors to recognize components in the house thus it will not bump into obstacles, plus it has voice recognition to recognize/respond to the owner. Lastly, the existence of a companion iOS/Android app allows Kuri to be customizable, also allowing its firmware to be kept updated.
It even has its own quirks – it is able to capture candid moments of family members when it deems fit, plus it can dance along to the music that the members play as well.
Video on the Making of Kuri, along with its features
Capacitive touch sensor on its head – It looks at you affectionately when you tap its head
Camera behind its “eyes” – Serves as a security camera, but also a HD-camera that performs well under low-light conditions
Mapping sensors – Allows the robot to navigate around the house seamlessly, generating a map recognition of the house and recognizing the obstacles in its path
Four-directional microphone – With voice recognition and sensor to react to strange noises at home, or the owner’s voice
Rotary Motors – Used to generate gestures but more importantly, the wheels at the base of the robot enables it to travel around the house, plus it is suited for many kinds of floor from carpet to gravel.
Processors – It has processors to adapt to voice recognition
Charging pad – Kuri automatically travels to the charging pad to take a short “power nap” when the battery is low
Kuri can find its own way to the charging pod to take a “power nap”
Pros- As mentioned from above, Kuri has many fascinating features, breaking boundaries as a smart appliance. It is one of the world’s first robot helper, functioning beyond a utility tool but also a companion. There are many pros in this devices.
Cons- This technology is however still rather new, there are definitely bound to have moments where the robot react in a non-ideal manner- but this is difficult to gauge as the product has not been launched officially.
Also, Kuri is unable to do any physical work. Ability to perform physical household work is a huge plus factor to have.
Cost is definitely a factor that deters consumers, in which price competitiveness only improves when technology becomes more developed.
Kuri can have a healthcare system, adapted from Apple fitness apps e.g. remind 5-a-day meall plan, users can key in their nutrition/exercise plan and Kuri can serve as reminder or checker. It could cater towards to elderly/children of the home too e.g. alarm reminder for medicine, serving medicine to elderly.
The next huge step for Kuri could potentially be developing its ability to perform physical household tasks.
Overall, this is a wonderful device with many potential development that could allow it to break more boundaries in smart homes.
Pong using Gyro+Accelarator Sensor (MPU6050), Gyro Sensor
In this game, there will be 2 players in each round (1 V 1). Each player will wear a belt that contains a gyro sensor, and will hold a remote that contains Gyro+Accelerator Sensor.
The belt will detect the player’s rotation aka spinning, in which it translates to the up/down movement of the paddle. At the same time, the paddle’s tilt position is randomized. Thus, the player have to use the physical remote to counter-balance the tilt position.
Storyboard of our ideation
Breakdown of the physical components
Example of how the player will look like
How the remote works – the tilt angle of the remote will be used to counter-balance the randomizing paddle tile position
How the belt works – as the player spins it moves up/down e.g. turning clockwise causes the paddle to move up, turning anti-clockwise causes the paddle to move down
Demo of the game – A projector screen, and the 2 players. Game restarts after a player wins 5 points.
Particle Rhythm seeks to explore generation of music through movement using Kinect, Ableton Live and MAX MSP. All sounds were generated live and nothing was pre-recorded.
The visuals generated with the music
The installation involved 3 computers and 2 Kinects. We use a dark room to enhance the atmosphere of the installation.
The setup of the installation
Depending on the intensity of the movement generated by the user, the sound generated and warped also varied. We had a couple of dancer friends to try out the Kinect and the results generated were rather experimental and interesting.
My friend trying out the Kinect
One of the major challenges definitely was the computer power which mostly could not keep up with the layers in MAX MSP, and thus the visuals were not as pleasing. Also, the sounds generated through mapping are rather raw and at times inaccurate due to the mapping of coordinates. The mapping of coordinates will definitely be something to overcome.
Overall, we have learnt quite a lot about MAX MSP and Ableton Live through this final project, and we would definitely want to take this further in the artistic level. In the future as we develop this, we would like to experiment with concept and music – maybe even pure soundscapes and no EDM track. Perhaps there could even be a thematic focus – e.g. nature.