ATtiny85 powers this posture sensor

Anyone who stares at a computer screen for 8 hours a day probably has learned the hard way that posture does indeed matter. 

Enter Wingman’s posture sensor, a device that monitors the position of your head (relative to the chair) and reminds you to sit upright.

As HackADay’s Nick Conn reports, the posture detection platform is powered by Atmel’s versatile ATtiny85 micrcontroller (MCU), paired with the HC-SR04 ultrasonic distance sensor.

“Rather than going down the wearable route, which has its own drawbacks, Wingman decided to attach his sensor on the back of his chair,” Conn explained. 

”The best part is that the sensor is not mounted directly on the chair, but rather on a piece of fabric allowing it to be easily moved when needed.”

There are basically three modes on the software side:

  • Configuration
  • Watch (monitoring) mode
  • Standby

“The configuration-mode waits until the user holds his head still and saves the distance of a comfortable position. After this the watch-mode starts, what compares the current distance to the saved distance,” Wingman wrote in a recent blog post.

“If your head is too far away it will sound an alarm. If you get your head back the alarm will stop immediately. If not the device beeps a few times and then mutes. After some time it enters standby-mode. This is meant for leaving the device alone, the sensor reads the distance only every few seconds during this to save energy. If you get back to your chair the configuration-mode starts again.”

Unsurprisingly, the project can be easily expanded simply by adding multiple sensors in various locations – allowing the angle of the back and possibly the neck to be determined. This configuration would likely provide a more accurate indicator of poor posture.

Interested in learning more? You can check out the project’s official page here.

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