Interactive Devices DOW-IOT: Mother

Standard Mother, the device that is apparently “like a mum, but better”. Mother is a tracker that can keep tabs on many aspects of your life. It helps the user to keep their house organised, while also taking care of the user themselves. And what’s better is that the user can choose what they want their Mother to control. Mother is essentially a wireless hub that comes with 4 small tracking devices that are colour-coded for the user to attach to the respective appliances. These tracking devices contain motion and temperature sensors which collects data and sends to the user’s phone app where they can control everything. The tracking devices communicate with the main Mother hub and display all sorts of useful information on the related web and mobile applications that are paired with the Mother.


The pro of this device is its high adaptability. The user has the freedom to choose what they want to track, and they can put the sensors wherever they want on their appliances. This means that it can be attached to any kind of appliance so it is highly unlikely that there will be an appliance that the tracker can’t be attached to. The different colours on the tracking device is also very useful in helping the user easily match the tracker to the data displayed in the app because the colour scheme of the data showed in the app will correspond to the colour of the tracker on the appliance (instead of a plain white tracker).

The statistics shown are also pretty in-depth for a sensor so small and compact.

However, a con is that the app can only display the data when the user is within 65 feet of the main Mother hub, though the tracker is still tracking the respective aspects. This means that the user cannot freely access their data and are limited to a small range around the main hub. In addition, Mother has to be hard-wired to your router, which means that is is fixed at one location. For a hefty price of $300, Mother is  definitely on the pricier side and is only suitable for people who really want to micromanage every aspect of their life.



Hands on with Mother video


Interactive Devices DOW-Health: Underwater Sweat Sensor


sweat patchA sweat sensor that looks similar to a mosquito repellant patch has been developed by John Rogers, Ph.D, an engineering professor and the chairman of the board of directors at Epicore Biosystems, which is a company that specialises in flexible skin devices that monitor fluids. What I find interesting about this sensor is that it makes use of colour change in certain chemical reactions to give a very visual feedback for the user. A lot of times, devices show users information via numbers and statistics, which can get too overwhelming. This sensor helps the user to decipher in a very simple way of colours.

How the device works via chemistry and indicators:

This sweat sensor can help athletes monitor how much fluids they are losing so that they can replenish accordingly and maintain their best performance.

Although there are other variants to measure sweat levels in athletes as they exercise and engage in sports, they were no ways for swimmers to keep track of their sweat levels even though they are also considered athletes. One pro of this particular sweat sensor is that it is waterproof so that swimmers can also keep track of their hydration level and in turn, their overall performance. Sweat loss is related to electrolyte loss and John Rogers says, “Dehydration affects performance and can lead to cramping in the pool, but you don’t have any idea how much water you need.”. However, one con of this device is that there is no way for it to connect to a mobile app per se, so that means there is no long term tracking included with the device, and that users have to keep track on their own if they want to make use of the data collected from the device in the long run. However, research is still ongoing and they are looking into setting up a mobile app to be paired with this device to make long term statistics tracking a lot easier.