Adorable Lean Product Design: Activity Tracker Misfit Shine

Misfit Shine personal activity tracking device
Misfit Shine personal activity tracking device, image source:

Its no surprise that the adorable lean product design of Misfit’s Shine personal activity tracker catched so much public attention that its Indiegogo pledge for funding reached nearly  $700.000 and exeeded its target value by around 600%! Misfit Shine is designed as a waterprove, durable and very light personal device that you can wear even if you go hiking or swimming. Shine is carved out of solid steel within one piece and wirelessly transmits your activity information onto your iPhone. In order to sync your devices data, just lay your Shine on your iPhone.

Misfit Shine offers a lean interaction design by just showing a circle of tiny leds that indicate your potion of activity for your day. The Misfit Shine personal activity tracking device now also is shipped in sleek matte black, which gives it an additional exclusive touch.

Aquaponics Innovation and DIY Greenhouse Technology

Pierre Beauchamp, a young and successfull innovator and evangelist for greenhouse and aquaponics, who’s goal is to bring fresh and natural food production into urban environments. When Pierre Beauchamp was 15 years old he created an amazing aquaponics operation in a greenhouse in his families property in Auburn, Calif.

DIY Aquaponics Innovation by Pierre Beauchamp, source:
DIY Aquaponics Innovation by Pierre Beauchamp, source:

His aquaponics and greenhouse systems are so called closed loop systems that join plant production in combination with fresh water fish production. These aquaponics and greenhouse closed loop systems are great sources for fresh food production in future urban environments. Pierre Beauchamp was awarded the 2012 Sea World / Busch Gardens Environmental Excellence Award and the Global Green International-Citizen Entrepreneur Award.

Measure your Blood Pressure and Health State with your iPhone

The Withings Blood Pressure monitor is one of the first products that measures and monitors your blood pressure over time, by using your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch as sensor data hub. The blood pressure iPhone app gives you a good tracking overview by additionally showing you recommended values and recorded tracking charts. The pressure arm sensor with it’s fancy design goes along well with your iPhone smartphone. Within the next years we will definitely see an increase in body health sensors that are bound to your smartphone, to give you a constant overview on your health or training state.

Seabear-diving : Smart system for underwater blood pressure measurement

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Seabear-Diving, a startup company from Graz Austria, recently published their work on implementing a smart sensor system that is able to measure the blood pressure of divers during their underwater trips. It continuously records depth, time, heart rate, oxygen saturation (SO2) and plethysmogram. Seabear-Diving has specialized on underwater, diver supporting technologies, such as Apnea Dive Computers or Head-Mounted Displays for diving masks. Their main research interest lies within smart underwater sensor systems for measuring medical aspects and diving physiology. A patented OLED-based touch screen allows divers to easily operate their smart dive computers as they would handle a smartphone. For details refer to their research papers here.

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growerbot: the social gardening arduino

The goal of Luke’s Kickstarter project growerbot can be summarized by one simple statement:

Automate growing food and share your real-world farming activity with your friends. Grow faster and better by sharing!

Growerbot combines the growing of food in the real world with enhanced social any community activities. It keeps your friends and followers updated about late braking results in your automated greenhouse. Luke’s  Arduino powered desktop greenhouse couples the power of automation to keep food growing optimally. By adding gamification to get you excited about gardening, you’re going to grow better food with less effort and more fun than ever before.

This project reminds me on a similar project that was presented at the Prix Ars Electronica festival. The project was called Telegarden and it allowed the community growing of seeds by using a remote controlled (through Web) growing of seeds:

Makezine: Some Tips on DIY Projects and Waste Disposition

All forms of making, from electronics and crafts to DIY automotive, invariably produce some type of waste product. Not everything can be endlessly upcycled into something new. From exhausted batteries and spoiled paint products, to that unlabeled bottle of mysterious liquid in your basement, the question of what to do next with waste product and liquids in particular (oils, fuel, degreaser, etc.) can be challenging.

All of these products and more fall under the Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) column, and thankfully, most municipal governments and counties have facilities to properly handle HHW disposal and treatment (quite often including recycling). So whether you decided to flush your vehicle’s radiator DIY-style, or have spent hydraulic fluid from your homemade flight simulator or submersible, call up your local government or search online for a collection site near you. Likewise ask your nearby automotive store, gas station, or hardware store if they have a collection program in place. You’d be surprised to learn what they accept. When drop-off or pick-up events take place (pictured above), they have the added benefit of spreading awareness and building community.

Some tips about HHW and your DIY projects to consider:

  • Never pour waste down storm drains, as they might connect with nearby rivers or streams.
  • Ask yourself, “Would I dump this on or bury this in my yard?” Probably not.
  • Don’t mix things! A good general rule to follow. Because, well, you never know!
  • Keep liquids in separate, labelled containers.
  • Befriend your local retailers, most of them will help you dispose of spent product properly. (For example I take batteries to a local hardware store, and metals to a nearby machining shop for recycling.)
  • Most importantly, have fun making – then act responsibly with the world around you!

Do you have other pointers or tips to share? Leave a comment below.

This post is brought to you by the new OE Fine Wire Spark Plug line from Bosch.

Image courtesy armyenvironmental

Medical Mirror

Ming-Zher Poh form the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology presented a Medical Mirror, which is a novel interactive interface that tracks and displays a user’s heart rate in real time without the need for external sensors. Currently, collection of physiological information requires users to strap on bulky sensors, chest straps, or sticky electrodes. The Medical Mirror allows contact-free measurements of physiological information using a basic imaging device. When a user looks into the mirror, an image sensor detects and tracks the location of his or her face over time. By combining techniques in computer vision and advanced signal processing, the user’s heart rate is then computed from the optical signal reflected off the face. The user’s heart rate is displayed on the mirror, allowing visualization of both the user’s physical appearance and physiological state.