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Tag Archives: sensors

Hi-Tech Powered Pet Door Gives Your Pooch Freedom

Owning a canine is as much fun as a barrel of monkeys, but it is also a lot of work. We’re not going to list the ways owning a dog is hard because frankly, you’re not so dense as to not know what we mean. We’re really just looking for a way to segue onto the above product, the “Powered Pet Door, PX-1.” It’s a door that lets your dog go in or out of the house, but doesn’t simultaneously offer an entryway to any small, limber and motivated robber. The powered door opens when an ultrasonic collar worn by your dog is within range, so only your pooch has access. And it doesn’t just unlock: it actually opens. You can set the range at which the collar activates the mechanism, as well as decide if it works as “out only”, “in only” or both. It accommodates pets up to 100 lbs and can be installed on your existing door. Just cut a hole, screw this in, and you’re set.

We think it’s a rather smart way to give your dog the freedom to do its business, rather than have to get up at some ungodly hour to watch Fido excrete in the backyard.

It’s $270.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Gear Patrol ]

Battery Powered Drill Features Gyro Sensor For Automated Drilling Direction

You’d think that setting the direction in which your drill bit rotates isn’t a particularly demanding task, but you’d be wrong. At least, it’s demanding enough that it strikes us as worth removing, especially if it can be done cheaply and elegantly. The Black & Decker Max Gyro features a “gyro sensor” that knows its own orientation and uses this information not only to determine whether you’re trying to screw in or out, but also to set the speed at which it does so. It’s very intuitive: turn the thing clockwise to screw in, with the speed increasing as you increase the angle of your hand. And of course, it works exactly the same way in reverse.

Now we’re not talking about a serious, industrial strength drill here. It’s a 4V model and will be perfect for light jobs but nothing more. Still, its Li-Ion battery will hold a charge up to 18 months, so you can just toss it in a drawer and forget it until you need to hang a painting or something. It’s $40 and will be available starting November 1st.

Hit the jump for a video of the thing in Japanese, as well as links.

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The Swedes Design An Invisible Helmet. No, Really.

Some will tell you that wearing a helmet while riding a bicycle isn’t cool. It’s like turning your head into a giant mushroom, they’ll say. And it’s true. It’s also true that wearing your brain on your outside is bad: this kills the human. What if we told you that you could have your cake and eat it too? Well, two Swedish ladies have spent the last 7 years, and gone through several million dollars in funding developing Hövding, an invisible helmet. Ok, invisible is a bit of a stretch. What it really is, is an airbag that you wear in a collar around your neck. Carefully calibrated sensors detect when you’re in the middle of a crash, and in under 0.1 seconds a canister of Helium pierces and inflates a strong nylon hood that completely wraps around your noggin. This should keep the brains on the inside. What’s best is that when this happens, sensor data is stored in the device’s memory for the 10 seconds before and after impact, providing you with a “ride data recorder” of sorts. This could help authorities figure out what happened in case the helmet isn’t enough to keep you alive.

Sounds wonderful, but of course there are drawbacks. The same fold who think regular helmets are uncomfortable will likely balk at a thick collar around their necks. And then, there’s cost: $600 or so for this admittedly cool tech is a lot of dollars to spend when you can just buy a regular helmet for $30. Still, early adopters with lots of disposable income could dig it.

Hit the jump for a video and links.

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Lapka, For The Hippiest Of Hippies

We’re all for being eco-conscious. But when you get so far out that you feel the need to carry around dedicated sensors to sniff out potential enemies to your granola lifestyle, we worry a little. The Lapka is an admittedly beautiful set of such sensors, whose purpose is to tell you in great beauty and elegance the following: the amount of Nitrites in your food and water (to sense their non-organic provenance), the amount of EMF radiation in your immediate surrounding (so you may find a spot with less “electromagnetic pollution”), a temperature and humidity sensor (to inform you whether you’re currently sitting in an optimal personal climate), and the amount of radioactivity in your surroundings (ok, we’re cool with this). They call it a Personal Environment Monitor. The various sensors will communicate with an equally beautiful application on your iPhone and keep you informed of just how outraged you should currently be at the insalubrity and innapropriateness of whatever place you happen to find yourself in. Unless of course you’ve moved to the country, far from everything, including electricity. At which point… why even have a phone, really?

We’re not sure on price, but it should be available later this year.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Werd ]

FDA Approves Ingestible Sensor That’s Powered By Stomach Juices

It’s called the Ingestion Event Marker (IEM), is made by Proteus Digital Health, Inc., has been available in Europe since 2011, and could turn out to be extremely helpful for people who have trouble remembering to take their medications. It’s a tiny sensor, the size of a grain of sand, which you ingest, either embedded in a pill or any other consumable. It’s then powered by the acid in your stomach and it communicates with the outside world through a patch that’s applied to the skin on your belly. It’s also excreted, you know, the normal way.

Not only can it tell you when or if you’ve taken your meds, it also transmits information about other physiological and behavioral metrics including heart rate, body position and activity. “Then the information can be sent to a mobile phone app to the patient, and, with the patient’s permission, their medical caregivers.” The idea is not to watch over patients and scream at them for not complying with their prescriptions, but to help doctors understand their habits and tailor dosages adequately. And well, maybe also scream a little. There’s no point in taking 70% of your antibiotics, dude. You’re just breeding for really strong bacteria that way.

There’s no word on cost.

[ CBS News ] VIA [ Geeky Gadgets ]

Golf Sensor Lets You Perfect That Swing

By David Ponce

Golfing, it turns out, is hard. We thought it’d be fun to go to a driving range with buckets of balls; we came back with blister covered hands and our dignity in tatters. We, uh, won’t be quitting our day jobs for this. But those looking to actually get better at the game might want to look into the GolfSense. It’s a featherweight sensor (it weighs 0.6 oz (17 grams)) fitted with 4 highly accurate MEMS sensors. Stick it to the back of your glove and the sensors will accurately calculate club speed, club position, swing tempo, and swing path. This data is then relayed to your iDevice for analysis. And because there’s more to a golf swing than club data, you can also put your iPhone in your pocket to add in hip movement analysis.

With so much data available, we feel that the $129 asking price is fair. Especially when you factor in the price of older systems that used lasers and fancy cameras to accomplish much the same thing.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ CoolMaterial ]

XWave Sport Can Tell You What Your Brain Should Already Know

By David Ponce

What you have here is a sports headband with an integrated brain wave sensor. This feeds into a smartphone for analysis. Why? We’re not sure since, while commercially available, the product is in fairly early development. Our understanding is that your “relaxation, focus and other parameters” can be analyzed while you work out to inform you of your own brain status. Are you pushing yourself to the max, or are you just feeling lazy? Now that you’ve been jogging for 4 hours straight, is it your body that’s about to fail, or is it your brain? Are these the sort of questions it seeks to answer? We don’t really know. The company is touting the availability of SDKs for outside developers to create the kind of software that could give the XWave Sport the sort of functionality we hope it can have. For now it’s a sweat-proof, washable headband that can read some brain activity parameters. It’s $99 and available now for Android devices, and not iOS just yet.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Gizmologia ]

Want Some Sensors? Here’s A Truckload

By David Ponce

Smartphones are great and stuff, but can they tell you how humid the air around you is? What about the air pressure? Or can they alert you to a possible carbon monoxide poisoning? Tell you if you’re legally drunk? No, they can’t, and that’s because they’re all missing the appropriate sensors. The Sensordrone aims to extend the capabilities of your smartphone by cramming a bunch of different ones into one small, keychain-sized device. Accessing any piece of data you’re after would then simply be a matter of running the appropriate application. Here’s a list of the sensors on board:

- Precision Electrochemical Gas Sensor – Calibrated for Carbon Monoxide (Also can be used for precision measurements of Alcohol, Hydrogen, and others)
- Gas Sensor for Oxidizing Gases – MOS type for Chlorine, Ozone, Nitrogen Dioxide, etc.
- Gas Sensor for Reducing Gases – (MOS type for methane, Propane, alcohols, other hydrocarbons, etc.)
- Temperature – Simple resistance temperature sensor type
- Humidity
- Pressure – can be used for Barometer, Altimeter, Blood Pressure, etc.
- Non-Contact Thermometer – Infrared sensor for scanning object temperature
- Proximity Capacitance – fluid level, intrusion detection, stud finder & more applications
- Red Color Intensity
- Green Color Intensity
- Blue Color Intensity
- Illumination – combine RGB & illumination for color matching

Yeah, we’re getting into Star Trek Tricorder territory here, and we’re pretty excited to say that the Kickstarter project for the Sensordrone has reached its funding goal. Pretty quickly too. You can get yours at $175, which is $25 less than the expected retail price, with shipping in October of this year.

[ Project Page ] VIA [ ]

Nero Multi Trigger Will Capture The Perfect Shot

By David Ponce

You may think you’re a photography ninja, able to capture the perfect shot at the perfect moment. The truth is you may get lucky now and then, but if you’re after any sort of reliability, you’re going to want to equip yourself with more sensitive equipment. Pictures like this one sometimes happen by accident (as it did here), but very often they’ll have been triggered by a piece of gear like the above Nero Multi Trigger. Featuring extremely sensitive optical, sound and laser sensors, you’ll be able to set it so that it triggers your camera just at the right moment, whether you want to capture lightning or balloon pops, or any event that would normally be too fleeting for your own fingers. It mounts to the hot shoe on your Nikon or Canon and runs on a set of AAA batteries. As you can imagine, sensitivity levels are immensely adjustable, to accommodate for whatever event you want to shoot.

It’s $200.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ The Gadgeteer ]