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Qualcomm have an interesting new competition, named the Tricorder X PRIZE. It is jointly organised with the X PRIZE Foundation, who is famous for its Ansari X PRIZE award of $10 million for its first private suborbital space flight. Qualcomm is offering up $10 million to those who could take the concept of a highly-portable health-monitoring device, the Star Trek Tricorder, and make it real.
Peter Diamandis, chair and chief executive of the X PRIZE Foundation says:
There is a dire need to improve access to healthcare globally and provide consumers with an opportunity to be active participants in their own health. The Qualcomm Tricorder X PRIZE will incent the creation of technologies that can empower the consumer with the ability to decide when, where and how to seek health information and care.
Want to get in on the $10 million prize? All you have to do is be the team that most accurately diagnoses a set of 15 diseases across a sample of 30 consumers in three days. Bonus points are award for providing the information in a useful manner alongside logging of health metrics including blood pressure, respiratory rate and temperature. Qualcomm have big plans for the future device, where they would make it available for untrained personnel to self-diagnose ailments.
If only this was approved to grubby gamers across the world. Well, it's starting with a company called Vioguard, which was started by two Microsoft Hardware veterans and their business partners. Vioguard have received U.S. Food & Drug Administration approval for use of its self-sanitizing computer keyboard in both hospitals and other healthcare settings.
Where this is different to the old "pick it up and shake it all about", Vioguard's keyboard can be retracted automatically into an enclosure to be bathed in germicidal ultraviolet light from two 25-watt fluorescent lamps. The enclosure also doubles as a monitor stand (how convenient), and the mechanism for retracting and ejecting the keyboard works hands-free via sensors.
Vioguard states that the technique has been proven effective in killing a minimum of 99.99-percent of harmful bacteria and viruses, inclusive of the flu, MRSA and other nasty bugs that can spread through hospitals. The intent of this new keyboard is to provide healthcare facilities an alternative to manually cleaning a keyboard.
The keyboard has been on sale for consumer use, at a cost of $900 on Amazon. Vioguard announced that the FDA approval for medical use this morning and says it's seeking partners to help bring the keyboard to the market.
Stressed? Want to know if you are while you're gaming, well, according to a series of patents that Sony have filed recently, they might be adding biometric sensors to PlayStation 3 controllers and to a handheld resembling the PlayStation Vita.
Will gaming change if it [the game] knows how you feel? Well, think about it... if a game can detect you're stressed by holding the controller down - it might tone down the AI, difficulty, etc. If it's a horror game, it might amp it up, making you more scared and making you hold the controller ever so tightly.
The sensors in the patents would measure the moisture of your skin, heart rhythm, and muscle tension. This really could change everything, again, and is something I expected from Apple (snicker), but if Sony incorporates this into the PlayStation 4, it really could change the way games are not only played, but made. It would change everything, from background music and facial expressions to running speed and weapon accuracy.
The possibilities of something like this are quite endless.
Scosche already have a portable RDTX detector which has the ability to send radiation warnings through your iPhone, but they've stepped it up a little here with the HRDTX. The HRDTX is designed to monitor your home, providing audible warnings and e-mail alerts when radiation levels become too dangerous.
The HRDTX uses "fast photo sensor technology" accurately measures gamma radiation without the need for calibration, and provides both visual and audible warnings depending on the "threat level". Green lights are always good, which means its safe, a yellow light with a beep every 30 minutes means that radiation levels are elevated. When the radiation levels become too dangerous, the HRDTX has a 105db alarm that will go nuts before the units light turns red.
It even features Wi-Fi, which allows it to send an e-mail to the homeowner while they're away from the house reporting to them that the radiation levels have risen to the point where it is no longer advisable to return.
Fathers of the iPod, Ton Fadell who created the first 18 generations of the iPod and the first three versions of the iPhone, and Matt Rogers who was responsible for iPod software development at Apple, have a new startup: Nest Labs. Their first product? The Nest Learning Thermostat, which is designed to intelligently "learn" the behaviors of the user and adjust accordingly.
During the first seven days of use, the customer will set base temperatures using a single dial which is like a big click wheel. Click the wheel right for the temperature to increase and the display to turn orange, or to the left, to bring it down and the display turns blue. The Nest then records your initial settings and starts to take over after the first week or so. As usage continues, Nest will fine-tune settings using sensors, algorithms and cloud computing.
As an example, Nest is able to detect when users have left the house using a motion sensor and it will throttle back heating or cooling accordingly. The thermostat also includes an ambient light sensor and will adjust the brightness of the display relative to the surrounding light in the room to not cause eye strain.
Our Deal of the Day today is the Nike - Just Reduced Collection! Popular Sizes and Colors.
Offer: They've got a new section now where you can see what has just been reduced. For men and women, and kids are all included.
From the people that brought you the crops that farm you, scientists in Russia were able to surgically implant a temporary device that allowed a patient to operate a computer- with the mind. This news comes to us from the aptly-named Singularity Hub, reminding us that one day, whether we like it or not, robots will take over the world. Also, something's telling me they're going to be able to override the Prime Directive.
The operation was overseen by Dr. Eric Leuthardt, a man previously responsible for developing another Brain-Computer Interface that allowed patients to control video-games with their minds. Clearly, the good doctor's philosophy has taken a turn from "Let's play Space Invaders with our minds!" to "Let's invade Space with Cyborgs". This particular BCI is a net of ECoG (electrocorticographic) electrodes that was temporarily placed beneath the dura, a layer of connective tissue in the brain. Scary? Scarier is that it took some of the patients a mere 4 minutes to get used to the interface and operate a computer with ease. Leuthardt believes this will be instrumental in the operation of bionic prosthetics- I'll be damned if this doesn't get creepier by the word.
Here's a promotional video with more details. Hit the link above to read more about the technical stuff.
In a radical move, patients will finally be able to see just how long the list of people are in hospital emergency departments ahead of time before they arrive. The overhaul of the health system is being lead by Health Minister Jillian Skinner who as her first move is also giving power back to the doctors and nurses to run their hospitals.
In an interview with The Daily Telegraph yesterday, Skinner said she would not rule out job cuts and wanted bureaucrats in "ivory towers" to get back to working in hospitals.
Anyone that has kids knows that you have to sit on them a lot of the time if you need to check their temperature. I know my kids don't want to sit still that long and even when they do they end up talking and it takes twice as long as it should to see if they have a fever or not. NEC has unveiled a new mirror that parents will really like called the Thermo Mirror.
The device is a normal mirror that you can look at to see your reflection. It also has tech inside that shoots uses an IR sensor to check how hot you are. If it detects a fever, the mirror will sound an alarm. The other big upside to this design is that you won't have to cram a thermometer up an infant's bum and there will be no cross contamination between users.
The big downside to the tech at this point is that the thing is very expensive. Two versions are offered in Japan with one selling for $1200 and the other selling for $1460. The difference between the two is unknown and apparently, they aren't shipping outside of Japan at this point.
CES 2011, Las Vegas - Withings has been making some health related gear for a while now that interfaces with the iPhone. The first thing that we saw from the company was a scale that worked with an iPhone app for tracking weight loss and the scale could tweet your weight if you wanted. Withings has unveiled its latest iPhone using medical gadget at CES today and the new product is a blood pressure monitor.
The system has a white blood pressure cuff and a pump that will inflate the cuff that attaches to the sync port on the iPhone. An app running on the iPhone records the blood pressure and shows the current reading for the user to see. The readings can be stored for comparison and sharing with a caregiver that is monitoring the blood pressure of the user.
The Withings Blood Pressure monitor will also work with the iPad and the iPod touch. The app on the iOS device runs the Withings API that allows the sharing of the readings with Google Health and Microsoft HealthVault services. The blood pressure system will ship this month for $129.