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 ")

First 3D Printed Human Corneas From Stem Cells
Just what we need! Lots of spare parts.

Nanorobots Roam Your Bloodstream, Cleaning It
Too bad they won't have lasers, though...

MIT Ampli Blocks Build Biomedical Devices
Damn it Spock, I'm a doctor not an engineer!

Handheld Human Skin Printer
It outputs a thin wad of uniflesh.

 

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

Elon Musk Seeks To Create 1941 Heinlein Speedster
'The car surged and lifted, clearing its top by a negligible margin.'

Somnox Sleep Robot - Your Sleepytime Cuddlebot
Science fiction authors are serious about sleep, too.

Real-Life Macau or Ghost In The Shell
Art imitates life imitates art.

Has Climate Change Already Been Solved By Aliens?
'I had explained," said Nessus, "that our civilisation was dying in its own waste heat.'

First 3D Printed Human Corneas From Stem Cells
Just what we need! Lots of spare parts.

VirtualHome: Teaching Robots To Do Chores Around The House
'Just what did I want Flexible Frank to do? - any work a human being does around a house.'

Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence (METI) Workshop
SF writers have thought about this since the 19th century.

Nanorobots Roam Your Bloodstream, Cleaning It
Too bad they won't have lasers, though...

Galini 3D Printed Sleeping Pod Tiny Houses
'The houses are prefabricated units...'

MIT Boffins Create Psychopath AI On Purpose
There's a lesson in this for neural net AI engineers everywhere.

Skin Electronics 3D Printed
'June's body is a tracery of lambent lines, like some arcane capillary circuitry...'

Artificial Sensory Neurons For Prosthetics, Robots
Great for humans and robots!

China Uses Artificial Intelligence To Grade Student Papers
Looks like the City Fathers are starting to take over China's education system.

Electronic Tongues Will Rule The Kitchen
'Install taste buds in the end of one tentacle...'

Self-Healing Circuits From Carnegie Mellon
'It even had an inter-skin layer of gum that could seal the punctures...'

Swarm Of Mindless Robots Works Together
'Very tiny pseudo insects that... can unite to form a superordinate system.'

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.