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iPhone Plugin Device for Measuring Body Temp

As I browse through websites looking for stuff to write about I can’t help but see some little gadgets and apps that appear to be purely for the sake of creating a gadget.  Don’t get me wrong, any little gadget is fun for the nerdy side of me, but some devices are a little more practical than others.

MedGadget.com, which is full of all kinds of gadgets and devices big and small, has a short article about a device that attaches to your iPhone and can be used to measure temperatures of all kinds.  The ThermoDock is a small device that plugs into the bottom of your iPhone.  You then point the device at what you want measured, push a button, an infrared sensor detects the temperature, and it is logged for future reference.

Obviously there is some value in such a device, like when your kid suddenly comes down with a fever.  What I don’t see though is how you would have this little attachment, but not a regular thermometer?  A lot would depend on the accuracy of the device too.

Like I said before, I love little gadgets that do just about anything.  At my old job at the airport, we measured the temperature of the ground just for fun, and to justify our whining (the sensor read 125 degrees).  So I do see some fun in this product.

However, I don’t really see this as a ground breaking technology, but maybe I am wrong.  Please leave me a comment and let me know how wrong I am, and how wonderful and useful this device could be.

April 4, 2012 I Written By

Controlling Your Smartphone With Your Mind Using Siri and the iPhone 4S

Voice controlled smartphones are really nothing new seeing as how my first cellphone almost ten years ago could make calls with voice commands.  Siri, the voice activated personal assistant that debuted with the new iPhone 4S, takes that technology to the next level by doing just about anything your phone can do using only voice commands.

Leave it to the real techies out there to take it to the next level.  Project Black Mirror has taken that technology and attached it to EEG pads so that the device can be controlled using only brainwaves.  It is almost unbelievable until you watch the video below.

Supposedly they are up to 25 different commands that can be carried out through using only brainwaves.  A more detailed description of the process can be found below the video.  As of right now they still have to use a computer to handle all of the computing, but like most things in technology it is only a matter of time.

In the long run they hope to be able to use this technology to help people with disabilities perform tasks that never would have been possible in the past.

When you consider that they have only been working on this for about a month it is even more impressive.  You can follow further developments on their blog.

1. ECG pads provide raw skin conductivity / electrical activity as analogue data (0-5v).
2. This is plugged into the Arduino board via 4 analogue inputs (no activity = 0v, high activity = 5v).
3. The Arduino has a program burnt to it’s EPROM chip that filters the signals.
4. Josh trained the program by thinking of the main Siri commands (“Call”, “Set”, “Diary” etc.) one at a time and the program where we captured the signature brain patterns they produce.
5. The program can detect the signature patterns that indicate a certain word is being thought of. The program will then wait for a natural ‘release’ in brain waves and assume the chain of commands is now complete and action is required.
6. The series of commands are fed to a SpeakJet speech synthesiser chip
7. The audio output of which simply plugs into the iPhone’s microphone jack.

November 15, 2011 I Written By