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Slideshow: Smart Devices Add Intelligence to the Next-Gen Home

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naperlou
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great innovation
naperlou   2/18/2014 12:43:54 PM
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Elizabeth, these are some very interesting devices.  I really like these design challenges.  What really drives them is the availability of devices and development tools that are very affordable.  This gives a much wider group the ability to try things in a very low cost and risk environment.  Kudos for element 14.

Debera Harward
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Silver
Re: great innovation
Debera Harward   2/19/2014 1:38:41 AM
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Thanks Elizebeth for such an interesting post , No doubt these smart devices have added more value to our lives . These days when we look around in every device we can see how technology has moved on and has improved our living style and standards .

Elizabeth M
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Re: great innovation
Elizabeth M   2/19/2014 5:26:46 AM
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You're welcome, Debera. I agree it is very interesting. Some day some of these devices may become as integral to our lives as, say, an iPhone. Remember life before iPhones? They're only seven years old (if memory serves me, the first ones were introduced in 2007) but it's hard to remember what life was like without one. I imagine some of these types of innovations will some day be the same, although not nearly as life-changing, I imagine.

Elizabeth M
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Re: great innovation
Elizabeth M   2/19/2014 5:07:29 AM
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Thanks, Lou. Yes, I agree, this is a great venue for innovation. Element 14 especially is instrumental in driving these types of challenges and encouraging inventors to experiment with tools to build new devices. I will be curious to see what their next competition inspires.

Charles Murray
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Sleep studies
Charles Murray   2/18/2014 9:42:10 PM
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Great ideas. The Sleep Sensor seems especially interesting to me because sleep studies on individuals are becoming more commonplace. Sleep apnea has been linked to dozens of other problems, ranging from insomnia and memory loss atrial fibrillation.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Sleep studies
Elizabeth M   2/19/2014 5:08:40 AM
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Yes, Chuck, the sleep sensor would be a very useful tool. I have known people with debilitating sleep apnea. And having suffered from bouts with insomnia my whole life (just last night I even had trouble sleeping), I can tell you that sleep is very important to one's health and well-being--so any new gadget that can help would be a bonus.

NadineJ
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great minds think alike?
NadineJ   2/18/2014 11:37:46 PM
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I wonder how similar Douglas Wong's Henrietta Project is to the Nest Thermostat. 

https://nest.com/thermostat/life-with-nest-thermostat/

 

bobjengr
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Platinum
SMART DEVICES
bobjengr   2/19/2014 5:20:20 PM
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Thank you Elizabeth--very informative.  Element 14 should be commended for sponsoring this competition.  Living environments could be greatly improved with application of "usable" and proven technology.  It appears to me this field is wide open when you consider the possibilities.  Somewhat common, everyday devices such as the toaster you mentioned could be greatly improved with the application of technology.   I think also many devices could be actuated automatically using timers or via the internet or Wi-Fi from remote locations.  The very best thing about a competition such as this is we are challenged to "keep thinking".  Again--great post.

Elizabeth M
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Re: SMART DEVICES
Elizabeth M   2/20/2014 7:54:46 AM
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Thanks, bobjengr. And i completely agree with you--competitions like this really spur the imagination and encourage people to rethink every-day devices and realize how technology can make them more user-friendly or better. I hope to see some of these and many other devices in common use someday. Technology that makes our lives better is the best kind, in my opinion.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: SMART DEVICES
Ann R. Thryft   2/20/2014 1:50:08 PM
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Wow, this is quite a range. I've seen various versions of sensor nets that record a sleeper's motions, sounds and temperature. We wrote about one here http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1386&doc_id=254180 The more the better if they help sleep problems--I sometimes get those, too.

Elizabeth M
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Re: SMART DEVICES
Elizabeth M   2/20/2014 2:37:00 PM
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Oh yes, I remember that story, Ann. That was quite a cool one! Yeah, lots of people seem to struggle with sleep and it seems like quite an area for technological innovation. I actually wrote about a company called Rest Devices awhile back that has a shirt with sensors to monitor someone's sleep to help with problems like sleep apnea. http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1386&doc_id=257818

The more of these types of things around, the better night's sleep those of us with these issues might have!

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: SMART DEVICES
Ann R. Thryft   2/20/2014 3:11:46 PM
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I remember that shirt. What I'd like to know is when are these devices going to stop monitoring our sleep problems and start fixing them?

Elizabeth M
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Re: SMART DEVICES
Elizabeth M   2/24/2014 3:54:12 AM
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Good question. I am trying to think what that might look like. Maybe the additional of a respiratory regulator with something that can also monitor sleep apnea?

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: SMART DEVICES
Ann R. Thryft   2/24/2014 11:28:23 AM
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Only as long as it doesn't sound like Darth Vader--or make the sleeper sound like Darth Vader. If there's an anti-Golden Mousetrap Award, then the CPAP machines take the prize. Of all the poor designs for people with sleep problems!

Elizabeth M
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Re: SMART DEVICES
Elizabeth M   2/25/2014 5:03:04 AM
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You're funny, Ann. I didn't know what a CPAP machine was until you mentioned it and so I looked it up and it seems your sarcastic comment is quite true! Surely there has to be a better solution than that! Seems like this is where an innovation-minded engineer needs to take over the problem...

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: SMART DEVICES
Ann R. Thryft   2/25/2014 12:19:13 PM
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CPAP machines were clearly invented by someone with no concept of sleep difficulties. To "help" people get better sleep by keeping the airways open they make an incredible amount of noise and are invasive--like sleeping with a face-eating squid that sounds like Darth Vader all night. And it's really, really expensive. Hello? Of the roughly 50% of people with sleep apnea who actually try this, more than half stop using it for those reasons. There's apparently a smaller version, and all kinds of other devices for people with less severe cases. I agree, it's time for engineers who understand the user problems to come up with some better solutions.

Elizabeth M
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Re: SMART DEVICES
Elizabeth M   2/26/2014 4:13:03 AM
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That machine sounds terrible! Seems like it would inhibit sleep rather than help it. I definitely hope some better inventions are on the market soon for people with this problem.

AnandY
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Re : Slideshow: Smart Devices Add Intelligence to the Next-Gen Home
AnandY   2/24/2014 10:56:44 AM
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This is very obvious but often neglected side of technology. We are so overwhelmed by advancements in personal technology that we never think that technology used in our homes for everyday usage has not really progressed for quite some time now. New gadgets are definitely being added but automation in the old armory of gadgets has not really happened at a sufficient pace.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Re : Slideshow: Smart Devices Add Intelligence to the Next-Gen Home
Elizabeth M   2/25/2014 5:15:08 AM
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AnandY, you make a good point. It definitely seems home technology has been slow in terms of evolution compared to other personal technology. But this seems to be changing, as this slideshow demonstrates. I think that's especially why it's good communities like Element 14 exist to push designers to create new things.

AnandY
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Gold
Re : Re: Re : Slideshow: Smart Devices Add Intelligence to the Next-Gen Home
AnandY   2/27/2014 2:27:44 AM
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@ Elizabeth M, I have also been suffering from sleeplessness throughout my life. I often have to face this problem of turning over in my bed for hours without sleeping. People who have problems with sleeping can imagine how annoying and depressing it could be. Anything that could aid me in sleeping would be welcomed by me at least.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Re : Re: Re : Slideshow: Smart Devices Add Intelligence to the Next-Gen Home
Elizabeth M   2/27/2014 5:21:47 AM
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Well I can feel your pain in some respects, AnandY...is it sleep apnea or something else? At one point during a bad bout with insomnia I found a mobile application that played soothing noises to be quite good help. But for more serious problems, I agree, it would be good if the research already being done reaps some real and useful inventions soon.

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