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Improved Wearable Sensor Systems

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000030041D
Publication Date: 2004-Jul-23
Document File: 19 page(s) / 2M

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Related People

Jeff Lindsay: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

A condition monitoring system is proposed that employs radio frequency identification (RFID) technology and other recent advances in information management to provide improved multi-sensor condition monitoring systems relative to what is currently available on the market. In addition to tracking user states over time, the improved systems can employ RFID technology or related tools to obtain information about the user's environment (e.g., objects being used or objects located near the user, location of the user, etc.). By combining information about the environment and the types of objects with which the user interacts, much more detailed information about the physical state and physical response of the user can be obtained for improved health diagnostics, exercise planning, safety monitoring, etc. Further proposed improvements include: --replacing bulky, stiff measurement units with multiple flexible patches (including transparent gels) that that provide wireless data to a central hub; --integrating sensors with items of clothing to cover multiple areas of the body discreetly; --providing rich feedback and data display systems with heads-up display systems or other display systems without the need to look at a computer monitor; --providing three-dimensional virtual reality displays of data for improved tracking of trends and physiological response; --adding biometric identification features to identify the user and maintain security; and --using multiple condition monitoring systems to track performance of groups rather than individuals alone to improve operations in the workplace or other group or team settings.

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Improved Wearable Sensor Systems

by Jeff Lindsay and Fung-Jou Chen

Abstract

A condition monitoring system is proposed that employs radio frequency identification (RFID) technology and other recent advances in information management to provide improved multi-sensor condition monitoring systems relative to what is currently available on the market. In addition to tracking user states over time, the improved systems can employ RFID technology or related tools to obtain information about the user's environment (e.g., objects being used or objects located near the user, location of the user, etc.). By combining information about the environment and the types of objects with which the user interacts, much more detailed information about the physical state and physical response of the user can be obtained for improved health diagnostics, exercise planning, safety monitoring, etc.

Further proposed improvements include:

* replacing bulky, stiff measurement units with multiple flexible patches (including transparent gels) that that provide wireless data to a central hub;

* integrating sensors with items of clothing to cover multiple areas of the body discreetly;

* providing rich feedback and data display systems with heads-up display systems or other display systems without the need to look at a computer monitor;

* providing three-dimensional virtual reality displays of data for improved tracking of trends and physiological response;

* adding biometric identification features to identify the user and maintain security; and

* using multiple condition monitoring systems to track performance of groups rather than individuals alone to improve operations in the workplace or other group or team settings.

Background

Several companies have developed wearable biosensors that can monitor and record variables pertaining to the condition of the wearer (heart rate, heat flux, galvanic skin response, etc.). Typically, these devices communicate with a computer to transmit data, such as time histories of physical performance. In some cases, a wearable sensor can also obtain radio-transmitted signals from a scale to record the weight of the user. For some products, proprietary algorithms are said to be capable of integrating multiple physiological variables from the wearable sensor to predict caloric expenditure and other factors pertaining to health. For example, various sensor measurements are said to permit estimation of calories burned and basal metabolic rate, detection of the onset of ovulation, determination of the user's stress level, and so forth.

The interest in biosensor monitoring has even extended to the area of computer games. One gaming product, The Wild Divine by The Wild Divine Project (Eldorado Springs, Colorado), provides biosensors worn on the fingers for monitoring details of pulse and galvanic skin response as a biofeedback tool. In playing the game, the user must

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complete a number of tasks requiring adjusting the user'...