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Monday, December 10, 2012

Around the blogs in 80 summer hours

This week-end, I sparsely attended a BeMyApp 48 hours coding session around some version of the Internet of Things (#BMAtelethon). The teams were given kits that included Rapsberry Pi, Arduino, NFC chips etc and 48 hours to build something out of that. In the end, there were eleven projects presented some of which resembled some projects on Kickstarter and related crowdsourcing sites.  I was impressed by at least four projects, three of which required actual hardware hacking for the most part of the 48 hours period (as opposed to just building an app). One of the them was a heart monitor made out of LEDs and an Arduino (Theletonix). A LED would blink near the finger and a photodiode would record the intensity of the light scattered through the skin. That intensity change would be translated into heart rate pulse a little bit like what we saw on the recent Eulerian Video Magnification effort out of MIT.  Even with one pixel, one can already record dynamics of wide interest. The second app was a pillow with embedded sensors (Sleepillow). As I have said in the past, sleep is 1/3rd of our lives yet there really isn't a substantial quantitative effort in that area. The third project, Domolife, was based on OpenPicus boards and seemed to provide a very cheap solution to change everyday appliances into intelligent appliance (I liked the Siri voice app command to switch off the lights). The last app (Infoxygen) focused on reducing Junk mail and provide merchants that ability to be very local in their ads campaigns. In all, with the right people nowadays, rapid prototyping of hardware is really becoming ... lightening fast. 

On the more theoretical side of things, here is what showed up on my radar screen:

Larry
Math Blogging

Rich
Christian
Arthur
Djalil
Greg

Credit: NASA



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