Narcisystem Belt - The Biometric Self Captured

The Narcisystem is an effort by one person to continuously gather as much biometric information as possible and then use it for environmental control. The device is worn as a belt, and uses a Funnel IO Arduino clone from Sparkfun Electronics to gather all the sensor readings and then transmit them to a laptop.


(Narcisystem belt video)

Here's what kind of sensors were used:

  • Heartrate monitor - In order to detect heartbeats, I used a Polar heart rate monitor strapped to my chest.
  • EEG - To achieve something that looked like an EEG, I ripped apart a Ramsey Electronics Electrocardiogram Heart Monitor Kit.
  • Breathalyzer - I measured my breath alcohol concentration using a MQ-3 Alcohol Gas Sensor from SFE. This cute little sensor was strapped to my arm, so I had to remember to occasionally breathe on it.
  • Compass - I measured my bearing using a HMC 6352 compass module from SFE.
  • Accelerometer - The accelerometer is a ADXL202 on a SFE breakout board.
The data from the device was used to control the user's environment in various ways. For example, Eric erected a lighting tree in a ring around himself. The lights would flash red with his heartbeat, but selected lights would turn blue whenever he faced a given light. So, to the user, all the lights looked blue (see video below).


(Narcisystem controls the lights)

The breathalyzer triggered a fog machine; the accelerometer data triggered a subwoofer.

I would connect this project to several other recent articles. In Total Health Surveillance, I opined that having allowing 24/7 monitoring of your physical state might have some dark applications. In the Narcisystem project, Eric takes as much information as he can about himself and then makes his environment all about himself.

In Roomba Detects Emotions Like HAL-9000, I wrote about how machines could take their cue from human beings in less explicit ways. A roomba was programmed to respond to bio-electric signals relating to the stress level of the user.

In novels like 2001: A Space Odyssey, Arthur C. Clarke wondered about the implications of letting a machine have access to the voice data and stress analysis software that would allow the HAL-9000 computer to deduce stress. Just how much biometric data do we want the machines around us to have? And how smart do we want them to be?

Kind of a neat experiment, though.

From Narcisystem via hack a day.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 3/30/2009)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Medical ")

Targeted Neuroplasticity Training For 'Downloading Skills'
'I know kung-fu.'

Will The FDA Approve This Antiaging Drug?
'So what we're looking for now is... an anti-agathic, an anti-death drug.' - James Blish, 1951.

EVE Artificial Womb For Lambs (For Now)
'In the crimson darkness, stewing warm on their cushion of peritoneum and gorged with blood-surrogate and hormones...' - Aldous Huxley, 1932.

Bees Royal Jelly Helps Wounds Heal Faster
'An alien drug... used by an insect race.' - Clifford Simak, 1961.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Dubai Scorpion Police Hoverbike Ready To Pull Young Kirk Over
'Is there a problem, officer?'

HEXA Robotic Help For Plants
Then some unknown race had chanced upon the dreamers and decided to "help them out."

Korean Tesla Model S Video 'Excelsior' Is Indeed Our Motto
'Improving man by bringing him close to Nature, while they combine the sensations of coasting with the interest of seeing the country well...'

DIY Robot Shoots You In The Face
'...there were automatic guns that fired ligamine darts.'

A Bayesian Approach to Safe Imitation Learning For AIs and Robots
Um, how about that pension for the humans who serve as the models for robot behavior?

Qoobo Headless Robotic Therapy Cat Was Anne McCaffrey's Idea
'...used as surrogates in intense dependency cases.'

Autonomous Cars Talk To Each Other At MCity
'My cars talk to one another.'

PUFFER Robots - From Philip K DIck's Second Variety?
'Across the ground something small and metallic came, flashing in the dull sunlight of midday.'

Russian Space Garden
'We saw the gardens, flooded with artificial sunlight...'

Targeted Neuroplasticity Training For 'Downloading Skills'
'I know kung-fu.'

U of M's MCity To Feature Asimov's Automatobuses
Should you turn autonomous buses off?

Crazyflie Drone Swarm Technology
'...Programmed to hang in space in a hexagonal grid pattern.'

Our GodBot, Who Art In Cyberspace
Vaal hungers! We must serve him.

easyJet Short-Haul Electric Jets
Have a little faith, will you? They're working on it.

Meet Assist-e Honda's Self-Balancing Motorcycle
'He had never ridden any motorized device that lacked onboard steering and balance systems...'

Kalashnikov's One-Seater Hovercraft
Not for windy days.

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.