2015 Open Source Hardware Summit Program Published

The Open Source Hardware Summit takes places once a year in different location each year. It was at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2013, in Rome, Italy last year, and this year the event will be hosted in Philadelphia in the US, and the organizers just released the program. It will be a one day event (September 19, 2015) with four “tracks” with a total of 23 sessions, and a keynote: Science and Education Open Hardware, Open Minds: The Rise of Open Hardware in Academia and K-12 Education by Ben Leduc-Mills. The Rise and Fall of an Open Source Hardware Company by Nancy Ouyang. Open Hardware in Community/Citizen Science by Peter Marchetto. DropBot: an Open-Source Platform for Lab Automation by Ryan Fobel, Christian Fobel, Michael Dryden and Aaron Wheeler. Making Open Hardware the New Standard in Science by Joshua Pearce. Open Source Robotics Foundation and the Robotics Fast […]

$55 UWatch UX Strapless Heart Rate Monitor Watch Syncs with iOS and Android Devices

Last time I checked about heart rate monitor, they required a chest strap to monitor ones heart rate, which I found cumbersome. It’s been while though, and I’ve now been informed that a low cost Bluetooth strapless heart rate monitor watch was available for $59.99 on GeekBuying. This type of product should provide a much more accurate evaluation of your daily calories burn rate than typical fitness bands based on an accelerometer and gyro sensor, but I’m not quite sure how they compare to the old models with a chest strap. Uwatch UX specifications and features: SoC – Mediatek Aster MT2501 ARM7 processor @ 108 MHz (A lower end version of MT2502 used in LinkIt One Devkit) System Memory – 32MB RAM Storage – 24MB NOR flash Heart rate monitor – Built-in photoelectric heart rate sensor Other sensors – magnetometer, 3-axis gravity and acceleration sensor Connectivity – Bluetooth 4.0 and […]

Gesto is a Wearable Gesture Motion Solution for Makers (Crowdfunding)

A while ago I wrote about an open source prosthetic arm controlled by signals generated by your arm’s muscles. It used an Arduino board, a bio-feedback shield by Olimex, and inMoov Hand for the arm and hand. It worked, but lacked accuracy. Gesto is a solution based on boards powered by Atmel MCUs that looks somewhat similar, but with higher accuracy (over 100 gestures have been tested), and the project has now been launched on Crowdsupply. Two kits are available: Gesto Stella EMG circuit – ADS1294 MCU – Atmel ATmega1284p 2x EMG cables connector Through holes with GND, PWR, MOSI, MISO, CLK and SC Dimensions – 35 x 20 mm Includes 16 disposable electrodes and relevant cables Gesto Caelum EMG circuit – ADS1294 MCU – Atmel ATmega1284p Sensors – 3-axis accelerometer (MMA8652FC) Connectivity – Bluetooth (RN42-HID) 2x EMG cables connector USB – Micro USB connector Programming – ICSP connector Power […]

$35 Bluetooth Blood Pressure Monitor Works with Android and iOS

People with hypertension or other heart conditions may want to monitor their blood pressure daily, and since I was asked recently, I studied blood pressure monitors available on the market from Chinese websites. The simplest ones that simply display the results on an LCD are quite inexpensive since they cost about $15 shipped, unless you buy brands like Omron. You’d then need to enter the data in a spreadsheet or on paper after each measurements, so you’d rather have the process more streamlined, you could consider a Bluetooth version that will automatically keep measurements stored in your Android or iOS smartphone, such as the model below that sells for around $35 on Aliexpress and Ebay. Key features for this unnamed digital blood pressure monitor Display – 70 x 55mm; 3x 3 Digits lines for systolic and diastolic pressures, and heart rate; Memory/Heartbeat/Low battery indication Measurements: Oscillometric method Pressure Range- 0 […]

Sia Lab Has Designed a $34 Medical Lab Dongle for Smartphones

Technology makes live easier, and often helps bringing down the cost of services. Medical care is one of these things that can be cumbersome, for example if you need to regularly perform some medical tests at your local hospital, and that can also be expensive. That’s why I believe we’ll see more and more affordable devices, at least for diagnostic purpose such as Scanadu Scout tricorder, and there are also some open source solutions for Prosthetics,  electrocardiographs, and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) equipment used to copy DNA sequences. Eventually, I even expect robots to replace most tasks currently performed by doctors. Sia Lab, a lab focusing on tissue engineering and point-of-care diagnostics, has recently published a paper entitled “A smartphone dongle for diagnosis of infectious diseases at the point of care” describing how a low cost dongle can diagnose disease like HIV or Syphilis, and targeting health professionals in developing […]

Archos Unveils “Connected Objects” Home Automation and IoT Systems

There has been many home automation and Internet of things projects featured on crowdfunding sites this year, and IoT products such as smartwatches, fitness bands, smart sockets, connected lights… have started to take off. Archos plans to leverage this trend with their Connect Objects offerings divided in two parts: Connected Home and Connected Self. Archos Connected Home Archos Smart Home is a system that let you monitor and control your home via your smartphone or tablet using the company’s Smart Home App and Connected Objects. The set will come with a 7″ tablet, a mini cam, a USB data cable and documentation. It’s not clear right now if others objects: motion ball, weather tag, movement tag, and smartplug, will be part of the set or need to be purchased separately. Key features of Smart Home Tablet: SoC – Rockchip RK3168 dual core Cortex A9 processor with Mali-400MP4. System Memory – […]

ICMe Cuffless Finger Blood Pressure Monitor Sends Results to your Smartphone via Bluetooth 4.0

Nihon University have developed a tiny blood pressure monitor, which you can just touch with your finger, in order to get maximum and minimum (systolic and diastolic) blood pressures,  both average and real-time values, as well as pulse rate and pulse waveform displayed on your smartphone. ICMe uses photo transistors to detect LED light reflected on a finger, and then converts pulse wave data obtained from the light to a blood pressure value. Phase Shift Method-based data processing and algorithm is used for the conversion to a blood pressure value, and results are transmitted to the phone via Bluetooth 4.0 (LE?). The device is composed of a custom main chip, LEDs, photo transistors, and a Bluetooth 4.0 module. Tech-on reports an early much larger model was exhibited last year at Medica 2013, and the new miniaturized model is currently showcased at Medica 2013, which runs from Nov 20 to 23, […]

ARM TechCon 2013 Schedule – ARM Servers, Internet of Things, Multicore, Hardware and Software Optimization and More

ARM Technology Conference (TechCon) 2013 will take place on October 29 – 31, 2013, in Santa Clara, and the detailed schedule for the event has just been made available. In the previous years, the conference was divided into  Chip Designs day (1 day), and the other 2 days were reserved for Software & System Design, but this year it does not appear to be the case. Whether you’ll be able to attend the event or not, it’s worth having a look at what will be discussed there in order to have a better understanding of what will be the key ARM developments in the near future in terms of hardware and software. There will be around 90 sessions categorized into 15 tracks: Accelerating Hardware Development – This track explores the resources, tools, and techniques that designers can employ to quickly bring hardware to market. Topics include multicore design, ARM IP, […]