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kipstr2

(image source: Mark Waugh)

I’m not a big TV watcher, but every night before I go to bed, I usually watch about an hour or two of my favorite TV shows or the latest movies that have hit cable. It helps me unwind from a busy day, spend some time with my wife, and enter the fantasy world of whichever show or movie I decide to tune into. I am like millions of other people though, as is my wife. I usually fall asleep watching TV, only to wake up four hours later to turn it off. Most of the time, this happens just when I am about half way through a movie or in the middle of a commercial. The next morning I wake up wondering, “what ever happened in the second half of that movie that I thought I was so interested in?’. This happens regularly and unfortunately there is no way around it. That is until now…..

Virgin Media wearable technology.Photograph: Rosie HallamThanks to 14-year-old Jonathan Kingsley, and 15-year-old Ryan Oliver, both Manchester students, there is a solution on its way. Partnering with Virgin Media, the two students have developed a 3D printed wristband that is able to determine when its wearer has fallen asleep or has awoken, based on a monitoring system called a pulse oximeter. When it determines that someone has dozed off, it will pause the user’s Virgin Media TiVo box, and begin recording. When that person wakes up it will again begin playing the show/movie right where they had left off before being conquered by sleep.  At the same time, others in the household can tune into another channel while their buddy is passed out on the couch.

Virgin Media wearable technology.Photograph: Rosie Hallam

The KipstR, which monitors heart rates to determine when someone is in an awake or sleeping state, was 3D printed on a Stratasys Objet Connex 3D printer, using Polyjet technology. It features a spark core chip, the aforementioned pulse-oximeter, a sleep mode indicator, small LiPo battery and a push button.

Oliver and Kingsley were both commissioned by Virgin Media to develop this 3D printed wristband as part of the company’s ‘Switched on Futures’ initiative. Virgin Media is now allowing their TiVo customers to signup to receive a trial of the KipstR.

kipstr3

(image source: Mark Waugh)

There is also research going into determining which other ways this unique technology could be used. Could it be used to control a homes central heating system, or perhaps something as simple as a computer or coffee maker? A lot of things within a home are not utilized when a person falls asleep, yet need to be accessed immediately after they wake up.  Could this be a solution?

They are also looking into perhaps using the KipstR, or a device like it, to monitor a person’s emotions during a TV show and then create a special tagging system to help the TiVO better understand which shows, movies or sporting events a person is more prone to enjoy watching.

What do you think about the KipstR? Will it change the way we watch TV? Discuss in the 3D Printed KipstR forum thread on 3DPB.com.  Check out the video below.

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