Purdue University researchers have designed wearable acoustic emission sensors that could be used to monitor the formation of microcracks that can lead to hairline stress fractures in bones. The goal of the device is to alert users when a stress fracture is imminent so that they can stop potentially damaging physical activity. Purdue researchers say they hope the technology can be used to protect race horses, as well as soldiers, athletes and dancers.
Five years ago, optical heart rate tracking seemed like an obvious successor to the popular chest straps used by many fitness buffs, but the technology has faced myriad engineering challenges on its way to market acceptance.
Design engineers need to prepare for a future in which their electronic products will use not just one or two, but possibly many user interfaces that involve touch, vision, gestures, and even eye movements.
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