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Tag Archives: Wireless

ShockBox Is A G-Meter For Potential Head Injuries

Playing contact sports is all fun and games (literally) until someone gets a concussion, or worse. It’s not always easy to tell between the player that’s laying on the ground because he got the wind knocked out of him, or the one that needs medical attention because his brain got a shakeup. The ShockBox is a special sensor that is meant to be placed either on or inside a helmet, and it contains two things: an accelerometer and a Bluetooth radio. Should any one player experience a severe hit, a signal is immediately sent to a paired smartphone (say, the coach’s) with impact data and analysis. It uses long range Bluetooth, so the device has a range of up to 100m, and one smartphone can pair with up to 128 sensors at once. This means you could conceivably monitor an entire team, and provide medical assistance when needed. ShockBox installs with 3M double sided tape, which is provided with your $149 unit. Yeah, that’s a lot of money to fork over when you’re decking out an entire high school football team, but if you’ve got the budget, you don’t want to be skimping on safety.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Gizmag ]

Researcher Claims It’s Possible To Create A Pacemaker Virus

This is some scary stuff. Apparently, in a presentation at the BreakPoint security conference in Melbourne, IOActive researcher Barnaby Jack discussed a vulnerability in a brand of pacemaker that could be used to deliver fatal shocks to their wearer’s hearts. It seems this as-yet-unspecified brand of pacemaker contains a secret wireless backdoor that could be accessed by hackers up to 30 feet away, and which would allow them to either kill immediately or (perhaps more alarmingly) reprogram the pacemaker to turn it into an autonomous source of infection. The wearer could go then around, unknowingly “infecting” other patients and spreading the virus to the population, making them vulnerable to lethal attacks at any moment.

It is indeed a scary situation but is fortunately not one that is necessarily imminent. Barnaby’s type of “white hat” hacking is meant to raise awareness and potentially lead to tighter software security among manufacturers. He hasn’t released any details that would allow less scrupulous people from exploiting this vulnerability, though there’s no mention if the manufacturer in question has rectified the situation yet.

[ SCMagazine ] VIA [ BoingBoing ]

This Mouse Doubles As A Vibration Device (wink wink)

It’s nice when products are able to do more than one thing. We usually call that convergence and it sort of makes sense, like when your phone also browses the Interwebs. That makes sense. Or if your printer can also scan; that too makes sense. We’re not so sure about the Massager Mouse. Officially, it’s a computer mouse that offers up to 10 vibration levels and 2 vibration patterns and is meant to “relieve stress”. But, uh, it’s being displayed at EroFrame 2012 which happens to be a sex show. So when the product description includes “ambidextrous design” as a feature, we know what they’re hoping you’ll do with it. Even its shape and the use of a mood-setting LED is clearly designed with one thing in mind, and we don’t really believe that it’s stress relief. Although, really, stress would be relieved as a side-effect, we suppose.

All this being said, if we ever see that thing on anyone’s desk, you can be sure we won’t touch it with a 10 ft pole. There’s no price or availability information but we hear it’ll also be at CES, so we’ll try to update you on that when we go.

[ Product Page (down at the moment) ] VIA [ Geekosystem ]

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 ]

Stupid Product Of The Day: Text Bands

By David Ponce

We’re torn between thinking there’s some kind of genius, kid’s-mind-controlling magic going on here, and thinking the Hallmark Text Bands are just one of the worst products we’ve seen in the last little while. To be honest, we’re really leaning on the stupid side. They’re these wristbands that kids are supposed to wear and use to exchange texts from a distance. But here’s where the fun starts. The texts are limited to 10 characters. And you only have 3 buttons to type them out! So the kid is expected to scroll left and right, select a letter and press enter, then move on to the next. No wonder it’s only 10 characters! But even if we assume that a kid will be happy to painstakingly enter and send messages like seeyoul8tr, the range at which these things communicate is… 10 feet! Well, for crying out loud, at that range why not just say what you want to say? It… boggles the mind.

And yet, children have been known to make mind boggling decisions, so should they somehow fall in love with this product, know that it’ll only cost you $15.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ DVice ]

RED5 RC Plane Lets You Spy On Your Neighbours

By David Ponce

This is the Spy Hawk. It’s a remote controlled plane with a 5megapixel camera in its nose and an LCD screen in the controller. It sends live footage right back to the controller from up to 400m away, and if that footage needs to be preserved, it can be recorded onto a 4GB SD card at the press of a button. The card doesn’t need to be much bigger than 4GB anyway, because you’ll only get about 15 minutes of flight time on a single charge. But at least it’ll be a fairly stress-free experience due to the plane’s many built-in flight stabilization features. Just get it up to a certain height, press “autopilot” and a gyro will make sure it stays level, even if a gust of wind tries to knock it off course. It’s made from EPO crash resistant foam, so it should be able to withstand some dings and knocks, although don’t go thinking it’s indestructible; your possibly illegal snooping drone still needs some degree of care and flying skill. It’s $305 (£249) and can be pre-ordered now for shipping in early August.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Engadget ]

xPrintserver Gives You Trouble-free Wireless iDevice Printing

By David Ponce

Unloading a document off your iDevice and printed onto some dead tree sheets is easier said than done, especially in a corporate environment. Sure, there’s AirPrint, but there are tons of different printers in your office and they may or may not play well with the technology. That’s where xPrintserver comes in. It’s an iPhone sized device that plugs into your network and automatically discovers all the printers. Connect to it through your mobile device and print away. The xPrintserver comes preloaded with drivers for over 4,000 printers, including from brands like HP, Brother, Epson, Canon, Dell, Lexmark, and Xerox. Yes there are app that may do the same thing already for free, but remember this is for the office. And as such, you might be able to chalk the $150 price tag up to a legitimate business expense.

xPrintserver will ship in January 2012.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Engadget ]

Tamagotchi’s Back For Its 15th Birthday

By David Ponce

Tamagotchis were so annoying, much like receiving endless Farmville requests on Facebook is still annoying; this editor had no interest in seeing how much poop your virtual pet had produced. And it appears that neither of these distractions are going away. To celebrate the toy’s 15th anniversary, Bandai is releasing the Tamagotchi iD L. As you can imagine, it’s gotten quite the technological makeover:

features full color, and tons of different scenes as you explore the digital world with your pet. There are 32 different characters to choose from, with 11 of those being exclusive to the iD series. You can also connect to other Tamagotchi owners wirelessly. You can swap items with other pets, or, if there’s a love connection, join the two pets in marriage (after a proper courting period, of course).

Yes… marrying pets. And the worst part of all this is the price: $113 plus $20 for shipping. Just pray your kids don’t see this post.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ ChipChick ]

Wireless Bicycles On The Way

By David Ponce

We’ve never come to see the snaking wires on a bicycle as that much of a hassle, yet there is research underway to get rid of them altogether. And unlike existing wireless gear-shifters, reliability is somewhat of an issue when it comes to braking. The worst that happens if your bike doesn’t shift is that it doesn’t shift. Miss out of the brakes and it could be a fast-track to the bottom of a ravine. So researchers at Germany’s Saarland University have developed a prototype wireless braking system with 99.999999999997% reliability. The number of nines on that figure is important: it means it would fail three times out of a trillion braking attempts, which isn’t so bad. There’s no handle either, everything is accomplished through pressure sensors in the handlebar that apply braking force proportional to your grip (past a predetermined threshold). A receiver box interprets the signals and stops the bike “within 250 milliseconds. At that speed, a cyclist traveling at 30 km/h (18.6 mph) would have to react at least two meters (6.6 feet) before the point at which they needed to stop.” It’s not ideal but they’re working on improving this figure.

There is no clear path to marketplace at the moment, although lessons learned in this project could help engineers develop wireless systems with very high degrees of reliability.

[ Press Release ] VIA [ Gizmag ]