Tag Archives: Bluetooth

Alcohoot Edge is a palm-sized, Bluetooth-enabled breathalyzer


This mobile breathalyzer will call you an Uber or find some food nearby when you’re drunk.


Chances are, at some point, many of you have been out with friends throwing back a couple of drinks and found yourself unsure as to whether or not you were sober enough to get behind a wheel. Before having to summon an uber, what if there was a convenient way to detect your blood alcohol levels right there on the spot, eliminating any possibility of bad judgment? Now there is, thanks to Vertisense.

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The New York City-based startup has developed the Alcohoot Edge, a mobile device for monitoring your alcohol consumption at home or while out and about. It works like any other standard breathalyzer, employing the same advanced technologies as law enforcement. The unit combines a platinum electrochemical fuel cell along with an active breath sampling system that includes a 15-second timer ensuring the most accurate BAC reading to encourage smarter and more responsible decisions.

To get started, users simply blow into the Alcohoot Edge to instantly measure their breath receiving instant and accurate feedback on their BAC level in their body. The portable tracker is powered by a lithium-ion battery and is rechargeable via USB. Need to share with friends? Germaphobes fear not, the Alcohoot Edge comes with replaceable mouthpieces.

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Alcohoot Edge is more than just a gadget, however, it’s a complete monitoring system. The palm-sized breathalyzer will communicate over Bluetooth with its accompanying app to offer users with an insightful way to stay on track with their alcohol consumption. Through morning quizzes answered by the user, the app performs qualitative analysis to algorithmically predict optimal alcohol consumption levels, seamlessly keeping tabs on user behavior. It also contains a Smartline Line that provides users with trends in their alcohol consumption, and is supported by both Apple Health and Google Fit.

What’s more, the Alcohoot Edge has a few tricks up its sleeve to keep you out of harm’s way. The app can puts ride-sharing services one touch away so you can get home easily without taking any risks, and using your GPS location, can even map out a list of local restaurants so you can soak up some of the booze with greasy food.

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Ready to become a more responsible drinker? The Alcohoot Edge is there to help. Head over to its Indiegogo campaign, where the Vertisense crew is currently seeking $25,000. Delivery is slated for August 2016.

New gateway will connect billions of Bluetooth devices to the IoT


The Bluetooth SIG’s new architecture and toolkit will enable developers to create Internet gateways for Bluetooth products.


The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) just introduced a new architecture and supporting set of educational tools that enables developers to quickly create Internet gateways for Bluetooth products.

These gateways allow any Bluetooth sensor to relay data to the cloud and back again. This architecture expands the potential functionality of the IoT by giving anyone the ability to monitor and control fixed Bluetooth sensors from a remote location, whether that’s turning off their lights while away or unlocking their front door for a pet sitter.

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The Bluetooth Internet gateway architecture and toolkit show developers, Makers, hackers and OEMS how to quickly and simply create a connection between Bluetooth and the cloud without the need for a smartphone or tablet to serve as the middleman. This essential communication capability is the next step to enabling the IoT by giving people and systems control of sensors regardless of proximity.

The new architecture will meet an immediate need for smart home developers looking to create a hub for all the sensors in a home or to integrate gateway functionality into existing products. It couldn’t come at a better time either. A recent report has revealed that out of the 4.5 million people identified as IoT developers in 2015, 1.4 million of them were focused on building smart home applications.

“People want to monitor their home security system from their couch and office. The Bluetooth Internet gateway architecture provides a standard way for any developer to create this gateway functionality. Routers, thermostats, security systems – the always on, always connected infrastructure in the home – can now speak to and control tiny, low power sensors and relay that information to the cloud, providing control from anywhere,” explains Steve Hegenderfer, Director of Developer Programs.

This architecture is part of Bluetooth SIG’s bigger play to grow throughout the IoT and home automation markets. Plus, it will help them extend the range of Bluetooth data transfers beyond the wireless range of Bluetooth itself.

“The key value promised by the IoT is that we can make life a little better by linking technologies and giving people more knowledge and control,” said Errett Kroeter, Bluetooth SIG VP of marketing. “Our new Bluetooth gateway architecture enables the IoT to do just that. We are extending the monitoring and control of Bluetooth enabled sensor devices to the cloud and making the data accessible.”

Intrigued? The Bluetooth Internet Gateway Smart Starter Kit can be downloaded here.

Sensor-1 is a tiny powerful security system


This movement tracking sensor is a thief’s worst enemy.


Losing valuables or getting things stolen is a pain. Even though today’s smartphones and laptops come with GPS tracking apps, your lost device would still need to be online to pinpoint its exact location. What if you could just stop a thief in the moment and avoid the hassle of following their trail? The team at MetaSensor has taken a new approach to Bluetooth tracking to do just that.

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Sensor-1 is a Bluetooth-powered motion sensor that can light up, sound an alarm and alert you the instant your belonging moves outside a certain pre-set radius. This quarter-sized gadget adheres to any item you want to protect, which means even your non-digital valuables can be protected, too. The idea came about when MetaSensor’s CEO Nick Warren’s family had their home burglarized, and few months later, a colleague’s laptop holding sensitive information was stolen.

The Sensor-1 contains an accelerometer, a gyroscopic stabilizer and a magnetometer that all together tracks the orientation and movement of the object you’re trying to guard. With the accompanying app, you can specify the movement sensitivity and proximity. The sensor will automatically be armed when you walk away, or you can be notified when you accidentally leave a belonging behind. It will also alert you when someone is attempting to remove the sensor. You can adjust the alarms settings such as having the sensor play a noise, flash light, and/or silently send an alert. Sensor-1 also logs motion events while you’re out of range.

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This tiny, but very powerful security device is made of UV and impact resistant polycarbonate, and is waterproof. It’s Bluetooth Smart and iBeacon-compatible, and powered by a replaceable CR2032, giving it about a years of battery life. Sensor-1’s API is available for custom app development.

“Your Sensor-1 API key can be used to view and analyze the raw streaming data from Sensor-1 via the Aletha Web Platform, mobile app, and directly over Bluetooth,” MetaSensor explains. “Sensor-1 can communicate with Arduino (using a BLE shield), Raspberry Pi, Nordic dev kits, or any custom system capable of sending and receiving BLE communications.”

Interested? Head over to Sensor-1’s project page, where Warren and his team are currently seeking $10,000. You can get your own sensor for $79 and the first batch of units is slated for delivery by October 2016.

High school student creates a smart wearable for Parkinson’s patients


OneRing monitors motor distortions and generates patient reports.


After school activities for the average high school student typically entails sports practices, music lessons and homework; but creating a smart medical device for a disease that affects 10 million people seems unlikely. That’s not the case for Cupertino High School sophomore Utkarsh Tandon. Tandon is the founder of OneRing, an intelligent tool for monitoring Parkinson’s disease.

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OneRing is a wearable that captures movement data from a patient, algorithmically identifies Parkinson’s tremor patterns and classifies the severity. Tandon first became interested in studying the disease when he watched a video of Muhammad Ali, who has Parkinson’s, light the Olympic torch in 1996. After volunteering at a local Parkinson’s institute, the 15-year-old decided to build a company that focuses on improving the lives of those affected by this movement disorder. He began working on signal processing and machine learning algorithms, before evolving the concept and founded OneRing.

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OneRing quantifies Parkinson’s disease movements and its mobile app leverages the data collected to generate smart patient reports that physicians can use to better prescribe medication. At the core of the device is its machine learning technology. The OneRing has been trained to model various Parkinson’s motor patterns such as dyskinesia, bradykinesia and tremors. A Bluetooth module encased inside the 3D-printed plastic ring allows it to communicate with its accompanying iOS app to provide time-stamped analytics about the patient’s movement severity during the day.

The ring itself currently comes in three sizes, each varying in diameter: 18mm, 19mm and 20 mm. Tandon and his team hope to develop a “one-size-fits-all” piece in the near future.

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With this Kickstarter campaign, Tandon hopes to deploy OneRing to a local Parkinson’s institute where the device can be used in exams and sent home with patients. Ultimately he wants to bring OneRing to patients all around the world in hopes of suppressing the condition’s rapid progression. Interested in the cause? Head over to the OneRing project page, where Tandon and his team have already doubled their pledged goal of $1,500.

Building a power switch for Chromecast


This Maker built a power switch for his Google Chromecast with the help of an ATtiny85, Bluetooth and Tasker.


The Google Chromecast device is a neat media player that simply plugs into your TV to play media. One thing it doesn’t have, though, is a way to turn it off remotely. This might not be a problem for most people, but Ilias Giechaskel was using it as an input for a computer monitor which didn’t have a “remote off” function. It did, however, have the ability to go to sleep when no input was received, so turning off the Chromecast would serve a useful function in his setup.

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Gichaskel decided to accomplish this task with “hardware that he already had available,” and opted for an ATtiny85 with its small physical footprint and number of I/O pins to control everything. He also used a Bluetooth chip for communication with his smartphone. The module receives an “on” or “off” command from the phone, then the ATtiny switches power to the Chromecast appropriately.

Originally, this setup meant that the user had to manually turn Bluetooth on, connect it to the Arduino, send the appropriate commands, then turn Bluetooth off. Doing all of this manually wasn’t what Giechaskel had in mind, so he wrote a Tasker plugin which takes care of this for him.

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Of course, this isn’t Giechaskel’s only ATtiny85 hack. Be sure to check out how he replaced the guts of a bathroom scale using one!

This carry-on bag follows you wherever you go


NUA Robotics’ new suitcase features a camera sensor that can detect where you are, and travel alongside you while on flat surfaces.


Good news frequent travelers, you may soon be able to navigate the airport with a piece of robotic luggage. This, of course, will allow you to free your hands to make calls, respond to emails, grab a quick bite to eat or whatever else you do during a layover. Not to mention, this can certainly come in handy for those in wheelchairs or on crutches.

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Designed by NUA Robotics, the autonomous suitcase (whose prototype was on display back at CES 2016) is equipped with powered wheels, a camera sensor to avoid bumping into others and Bluetooth technology, which enables it to move alongside its user once activated by its accompanying mobile app.

A built-in rechargeable battery lasts anywhere between 60 to 90 minutes, which is plenty for rushing around the airport or heading to your car in the parking garage. But what happens when it dies? Despair not! Simply pop out the handle and pull it yourself, as if it were any ordinary ‘dumb’ bag. Or, if you have time to refuel, just plug it into an outlet. The suitcase can even be used to juice up any of your mobile devices via USB, and boasts an anti-theft alarm to prevent any envious onlookers from stealing it.

At the moment, the robotic luggage can achieve speeds of up to 3 mph, but that may be enhanced in the coming months. While it is not commercially available yet, you can see it in action below!

 

Change the color of your shoes with your smartphone


Can’t find the perfect shoes for your outfit? No worries! This pair can change colors in seconds. 


Have you ever spent hours looking for shoes to match an outfit, only to never arrive at a decision? Well, French company Eram, digital agency Phoceis and startup BlueGriot may have come up with a solution… or sole-ution! That’s because the collaboration has developed a lineup of smart footwear, appropriately named #CHOOSE.

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An earlier model consisted of an open toe sandal driven by an Arduino Micro (ATmega32U4), while the latest iteration — which we had the chance to see firsthand at CES 2016 — is a fashionable white low-top powered by a LightBlue Bean (ATmega328P). With an accompanying smartphone app, users can now change the color of their footwear to match their attire in a matter of a few seconds.

All the electronics are housed inside the sole. Communication is handled through Bluetooth, while optical fiber and an LED are tasked with illuminating different hues. There’s even a battery in each shoe, which can be refueled when placed on an induction-charging mat.

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What’s more, the app even features a color scanner that enables a wearer to truly match the shoe to any outfit, a handbag or whatever other accessory. While clearly still in its early stages, could such footwear become the future of industry? After all, it’s only a matter of time before smart clothing becomes mainstream.

The good news is that you won’t have to wait too long to get your hands on some, as the company hopes to have them on sale by the end of the year. They’ll likely be priced somewhere in the ballpark of $150 to $200.