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Aug 02, 2006

Urban Tapestries

From the project website 
Urban Tapestries is an experimental software platform for knowledge mapping and sharing – public authoring. It combines mobile and internet technologies with geographic information systems to allow people to build relationships between places and to associate stories, information, pictures, sounds and videos with them.

Urban Tapestries aims to enable people to become authors of the environment around them – Mass Observation for the 21st Century. Like the founders of Mass Observation in the 1930s, we are interested creating opportunities for an "anthropology of ourselves" – adopting and adapting new and emerging technologies for creating and sharing everyday knowledge and experience; building up organic, collective memories that trace and embellish different kinds of relationships across places, time and communities.

It is part of an ongoing research programme of experiments with local groups and communities called Social Tapestries.



Jul 25, 2006

UK youth addicted to mobile phones

Re-blogged from Smart Mobs

Young people value their mobile phone more than television, a new study has found. The survey, conducted by the LondonSchool of Economics and CarphoneWarehouse, polled over 16,500 young people in the UK to find out how mobile phones have changed the way we live.

Over a quarter of people aged 18-24 highlighted their mobile phone as more important than the internet, TV, MP3 player and games console. Only 11 per cent chose TV, while nearly half voted for the internet.

VNUnet has the complete story


Jul 24, 2006

Mobile Persuasion 06

BJ Fogg's Persuasive Technology Lab (Stanford University) is sponsoring Mobile Persuasion 06, a one-day conference on how mobile technology can change people's beliefs and behaviors.





From the conference website:

Mobile Persuasion is for innovators, researchers, and companies creating mobile technologies that change people’s beliefs and behaviors. Applications include health, commerce, activism, social networking, addiction, advertising, gaming, and environmental conservation. This full-day event will feature expert presentations and panels on how mobile technology can change attitudes and behaviors.  

The event will take place November 10th at Stanford University. Free registration is available for a limited time.


New remote monitoring system by FitSense Technology

Via Medical Connectivity Consulting 

FitSense Technology's ActiHealth Intelligent Network provides an end to end system that collects, transports and presents physiological data automatically. Data that can be viewed instantly by the user as they go through their day. In the ActiHealth network, the body sensors monitor several health indexes, including physical activity, calorie burn, weight, body fat, blood pressure, blood glucose, heart rate. 



According to the company,  the system can be used in  a range of health care applications, such as  programs for weight management, health & wellness, and disease management.




Biosensor watch: Exmocare

Via Medgadget 

The Exmocare system is comprised of a wireless connectivity-enabled wristwatch which monitors the wearer's heartrate, galvanic skin response, and motion - 24 hours a day. The watch transmits this data via Bluetooth wireless up to 300 feet to the wearer's computer, or Exmocare-enabled mobile device. This device, in turn, uploads the data to the Exmocare data center by way of the ExmoReporter software.
In addition to the PC-based ExmoReporter software, the complete Exmocare system also provides ExmoReporter Mobile Edition, which reports from your Bluetooth-enabled Windows Mobile Smart Phone, and the Exmocare Car Kit, which reports physiological and emotional data correlated with GPS location and vehicle speed data from the wristwatch-wearer's automobile, allowing for a mobile Personal Area Network that moves with the wristwatch-wearer wherever she or he goes.



Once the wristwatch reports, the Exmocare system interprets the sensor data and assesses the emotional and physical activity of the wristwatch wearer. The system can detect up to 10 different emotional states, in addition to the level of physical activity of the wearer.

The Exmocare system stores this data, along with the correlated raw data from the sensor. If something is out of the ordinary with the wristwatch wearer, Exmocare will send you an alert immediately by email, on your cell phone, or by instant message.

At any time you can also log into the website to see the data and correlated emotional state. Additionally, you can install the Exmonitor program on your Windows computer, which allows you to effortlessly monitor your loved one from your Windows taskbar, at home or at work.

Jul 20, 2006


From the project's website 

CatchBob is an experimental platform to elicit collaborative behavior of people working together on a mobile activity. Running on a mobile device (iPAQ, TabletPc), it's a collaborative hunt in which groups of three persons have to find and circle a virtual object on our campus.

Videos of CatchBob!:

  • The long video (3:30, .mov, 15.8Mb) can be downloaded here.
  • The short version (1:20, .mov, 8.3Mb) can be downloaded there.



New Google3D concept

Re-blogged from Smart Mobs


Designed by a young UK designer, Pei Kang Ng, Google3D is meant as a viable business proposal for Google, five to ten years from now. With Google3D, the idea is literally, to bring the conveniences of the search engine to your fingertips. Now, you can find out things on the move - wherever and whenever you want to - just by taking a picture. You don’t even have to type! Considering the technological advances in search, wireless technology and flexible screens, it should be a matter of time before the concept becomes feasible in technical terms. This handy partner brings the Google search bar into your world of real, tangible objects - you do not have to sit in front of your computer anymore. Armed with a camera, it allows you to search live! with a simple snapshot. Scenario 1) Looking for a bargain? Take a picture of the product and Google will tell you where to buy it cheaper. Scenario 2) Lost? Take a picture of the nearest road sign or any landmarks, and Google tells you where you are. Scenario 3) Looking for a good restaurant? Simply take a picture of the restaurant’s signage and Google will tell you its customers’ ratings.

Jul 17, 2006

Cellphones could soon have a tactile display

Via New Scientist 

According to New Scientist, haptic devices (i.e. devices that stimulate our sense of touch) will add a new dimension to communications, entertainment and computer control for everybody, and for people with visual impairment they promise to transform everyday life. One proposed device consists of a headband that imprints the shape of objects in front of it onto the wearer's forehead, something that visually impaired people could find a great help when navigating though a cluttered environment. Moreover, cellphones could soon have a tactile "display", for example, and portable gadgets containing a GPSdevice will be able to nudge you towards your desired destination.

Read the full article 

Jul 05, 2006

Handheld Augmented Reality

medium_artoolkitplus_Smartphone_small.jpg Handheld Augmented Reality: A standard, off-the-shelf Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) constitutes a cost-effective and lightweight hardware platform for Augmented Reality (AR). A PDA provides a simple, well-known user interface, and is fully equipped with a touch-screen and camera for providing a video see-through Magic Lens metaphor of interaction. In our Handheld AR framework, all interactive processing is done exclusively on the PDA without relying on a server infrastructure, which makes this solution highly scalable. Because of the low cost and suitable ergonomic properties of the PDA platform, massive multi-user AR application become possible for the first time.

Jul 03, 2006

Cell phone emissions excite the brain cortex

Source: Eurekalert
Electromagnetic fields from cell phones excite the brain cortex adjacent to it, with potential implications for individuals with epilepsy, or other neurological conditions. This finding is published in Annals of Neurology

More than 500 million people in the world use cell phones which emit electromagnetic fields (EMFs). Though many studies have looked at the effects of EMFs on the body, few have focused on their effects on the brain. Such effects could be harmful, neutral, or beneficial and might be particularly important for individuals with conditions involving cortical excitability, such as epilepsy.

Researchers in Italy, led by Paolo M. Rossini, M.D., Ph.D. of Fatebenefratelli, used Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) to investigate brain function under exposure to electromagnetic fields from a common type of cell phone. Their study reports the effects of EMF exposure on brain physiology for the first time.

The researchers developed a double-blind study in which 15 young male volunteers were exposed to EMF signals from a GSM 900 cell phone for 45 minutes. They measured Motor Evoked Potentials (MEPs) during motor cortex TMS before, and immediately after EMF exposure, and also one hour later.

In 12 of the 15 subjects, the data showed an excitability change in the motor cortex adjacent to the cell phone. "Intracortical excitability was significantly modified, short intracortical inhibition was reduced and facilitation enhanced," the authors report. They found that the effects of the EMF were transient and the subjects' brains tended to return toward baseline conditions one hour after the exposure.

It would be premature to presume that this work implies that using a cell phone is bad for the brain in any way. Much more work needs to be done to understand whether these electrical changes in the brain make any difference whatsoever in the way we think or in any disease process in which cortical excitability is affected.


Article: "Mobile phone emissions and human brain excitability." Ferreri, Florinda; Curcio, Giuseppe; Pasqualetti, Patrizio; De Gennaro, Luigi; Fini, Rita; Rossini, Paolo. Annals of Neurology; July 2006; (DOI: 10.1002/ana.20906 ).

To test - via Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) - the excitability of each brain hemisphere after real or sham exposure to the electromagnetic field (EMF) generated by a mobile phone operating in the Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM).

Fifteen male volunteers attended two experimental sessions, one week apart, in a cross-over, double-blind paradigm. In one session the signal was turned ON (EMF-on, real exposure), in the other it was turned OFF (EMF-off, sham exposure), for 45 minutes. Motor Evoked Potentials (MEPs) were recorded using a paired-pulse paradigm (testing intracortical excitability with 1 to 17 ms interstimulus intervals), both before and at different times after exposure to the EMF. Short Intracortical Inhibition (SICI) and Facilitation (ICF) curves were evaluated both on the exposed and non-exposed hemispheres. Tympanic temperature was collected during each session.

The intracortical excitability curve becomes significantly modified during real exposure, with SICI being reduced and ICF enhanced in the acutely exposed brain hemisphere as compared to the contralateral, non-exposed hemisphere or to sham exposure. Tympanic temperature showed no significant main effect or interactions.


Jun 21, 2006

New wrist-worn Linux PC targets healthcare

 Via Emerging Technology Trends


The Zypad WL 1000 is a new hands-free PC running Linux or Windows CE, which offers wireless networking and GPS tracking. It also includes a patented orientation sensor that can be configured to induce standby when the user's arm drops. According to the manufacter (Eurotech), the Zypad could be used by healthcare or law enforcement personnel. 

Eurotech expects to have the product "on the shelf" in late July, priced at $2,500. 

14:15 Posted in Wearable & mobile | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: wearable

May 22, 2006

Origami Cell Phone

lg_img_origami_cell.jpg Via Pasta and Vinegar 

The Origami Cell Phone is a future cell phone concept, which uses flexible e-paper to create a larger-than-cell display.

The concept was developed at Inventables, a consulting company specialized in "just about possible" applications.



May 15, 2006

Daegu to Launch 'Ubiquitous' Health Monitoring

From Smart Mobs

Daegu in South Korea "will be the first city in the country to provide a “ubiquitous” healthcare service in which so-called wearable computers will be used to monitor the health of elderly people living alone and patients with chronic diseases,"this article says."The devices,in the form of shirts,alert medical staff in real time when an emergency occurs.Daegu City said Thursday that it will launch its groundbreaking “U-Healthcare Service” in cooperation with the Ministry of Information and Communication.The city will distribute the bio-shirts to some 100 elderly people and patients with chronic diseases later this year.The shirts have embedded sensors that register vital signs and send the information to medical centers through the network. They also permit self-diagnosis, distance monitoring, emergency care and medical consultation for users in an environment of ubiquitous connectivity"

Daegu to Launch 'Ubiquitous' Health Monitoring 




May 13, 2006

Phone shui

Via IFTF's future now



According to Unwired View, Motorola has recently put forth a patent for the Feng Shui Phone, which has the following functionalities:

  • Three-dimensional Hall-effect sensor for measuring the strength of electromagnetic fields and to form a compass to determine the geographic direction in which the main wall of the house faces.
  • Digital camera to determine color saturation, order and balance of the surroundings.
  • GPS receiver to determine geographic location of the phone.
  • The coordinates are then sent to the GIS databse through wireless network to to get the information about the surroundings of the location, e.g. the distance from the undesirable sites such as major airports, landfills, and factories.
  • Cellphone microphone is used to measure noise level of the location.
  • AM/FM radio to measure the AM and FM transmission strength and the distance form nearest AM/FM towers.
  • The table with the chi values of each parameter is stored in phones memory and is used for calculation of chi  values of different parameters.

May 10, 2006




The company Sensatex is looking for beta testers for its SmartShirt System, a wearable physiological information management platform based on technology developed at the Georgia Institute of Technology.  

From the website:

the SmartShirt is made using any type of fiber. It is woven or knitted incorporating a patented conductive fiber/sensor system designed specifically for the intended biometric information requirements. Heart rate, respiration, and body temperature are all calibrated and relayed in real time for analysis.

According to Sensatex, the shirt can be used to remotely monitor home-based patients, first responders, hazardous materials workers and soldiers. It also can be used to monitor signs of fatigue in truck drivers and to support athletic training.

May 07, 2006

Motorola Cell Phone Automatically Adjusts to the Elderly

Via Textually.org



Motorola has patented a new phone technology adaptable for the hearing impaired.

"By automatically detecting speech patterns of the elderly, the technology automatically boosts incoming and outgoing audio while simplifying menu structure and increasing font size.

The special needs of the elderly can often be in conflict with other users, such as the youth which often desire the smallest, most feature rich devices possible. Hence, the technology allows one device to adapt and accommodate to both market segments."

Telecommunication devices that adjust audio characteristics for elderly communicators - United States Patent Application 20060088154

Mobile Processing Workshop: Interactive Applications for Mobile Phones

Via Networked Performance 

Lisbon, Portugal, 15 - 19 May 06, Espaço Atmosferas, Rua da Boavista, 67, Lisbon.




From the conference's website 

The mobile phone has reached a level of adoption that far exceeds that of the personal computer. As a result, they are an emerging platform for new services and applications that have the potential to change the way we live and communicate.

Mobile Processing is an open source project that aims to drive this innovation by increasing the audience of potential designers and developers through a free, open source prototyping tool based on Processing and the open sharing of ideas and information. This workshop will introduce the Mobile Processing project and prototyping tool and provide hands-on instruction and experience with programming custom applications for the mobile phone.


- Introduction to Mobile Processing, phone hardware and development platforms.
- Survey of projects with the phone as both the platform and subject for new forms of interactive applications and electronic art.
- Basic programming and prototyping concepts with 2D graphics and animation.
- Phone input/output handling including keyboard, camera, sound and vibration.
- Internet networking. Parsing and generating XML-formatted data.
- Text messaging and Bluetooth networking.

The workshop will be practical and at the end every participant will develop a personal exercise.


Windows highly recommended, but Mac OS X is acceptable, with built-in or USB Bluetooth adapters recommended. Mobile phones with support for Java and Bluetooth recommended.

Participants are encouraged to bring their laptops.


20 hours: 5 sessions X 4 h
15 to 19 of May 06 - 18h-22h


Basic programming skills, familiarity with Processing recommended but not required.

Apr 27, 2006

Mobile phone may impair your ability to make snap decisions

From textually.org 

Electromagnetic radiation from your mobile phone may impair your ability to make snap decisions, such as when driving a car, an Australian study shows, reports Optus.net via Engadget Mobile and Techdirt Wireless.

"The study, which will be published in the journal Neuropsychologia found evidence of slowed reactions, on both simple reactions and more complex reactions, such as choosing a response when there is more than one alternative.

The researchers found these effects after people were exposed to electromagnetic radiation equivalent to spending 30 minutes on the phone."

... Another interesting finding of the study was that the participants showed a slight improvement in working memory, such as remembering a phone number long enough to dial it."

Apr 12, 2006

Social Network Mnemonics for Teenagers

Via Pasta and Vinegar 

Nicolas Nova (Pasta and Vinegar) has found an article describing a a curious device: Telebeads: Social Network Mnemonics for Teenagers by Jean-Baptiste Labrune and Wendy Mackay (IDC2006)

From the article: 

This article presents the design of Telebeads, a conceptual exploration of mobile mnemonic artefacts. Developed together with five 10-14 year olds across two participatory design sessions, we address the problem of social network massification by allowing teenagers to link individuals or groups with wearable objects such as handmade jewelery. We propose different concepts and scenarios using mixed-reality mobile interactions to augment crafted artefacts and describe a working prototype of a bluetooth luminous ring. We also discuss what such communication appliances may offer in the future with respect to interperception, experience networks and creativity analysis.

The ring addresses two primary functions requested by the teens: providing a physical instantiation of a particular person in a wearable object and allowing direct communication with that person. (…) We have just completed an ejabberd server, running on Linux on a PDA, which will serve as a smaller, but more powerful telebead interface

Mar 26, 2006

Textually: Mobile phones in healthcare


In a lengthy and thorough article entitled Mobile phones and health, The Economist, reports on a study carried out by Rifat Atun and his colleagues at Imperial College, London, rounding up 150 examples of the use of text-messaging in the delivery of health care. "These uses fall into three categories: efficiency gains; public-health gains; and direct benefits to patients by incorporating text-messaging nto treatment regimes. The study, funded by Vodafone.