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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 .
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.
A middle school team from Rochester, Mich., has again nabbed the grand prize in the annual international Future City Competition, which drew students from 37 regions of the United States, as well as from England and China.
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Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.