01 Feb Weekly Wearables Roundup: Smartglasses, Biometric Security, CricFlex, VivoSense

1. Forget about getting your spectacles corrected

For people wearing spectacles maintenance of the wearable glasses is hectic and time consuming because of the changing prescriptions. With the boom that the wearable technology has seen recently, these pity maintenance issues are like to get resolved. A team of engineers is developing smart glasses that automatically focuses on giving the, wearers the best view. The smart glasses can automatically focus on what the wearer is seeing no matter how far and how near and gives the wearer the best view. Equipped with liquid-based lenses, the smart glasses mimic the lens inside the human eye.

The human eye is equipped by the lens that tend adjust the focal length depending on what the person is seeing. However, over time and due to certain biological factors, this lens deteriorates and thus people feel the need to use eyeglasses to get a clear vision. The condition of deterioration of the lens can either be nearsightedness or farsightedness. The focal length of the smart glasses depends on how the shape of the lens change and change the shape of the membrane to change optical power. The lenses of the smart glasses are made of glycerin enclosed by a flexible rubber like membrane in the rear and front. A series of mechanical actuators are connected to each rear membrane that changes the shape of the lens thus adjusting the focal length. The actuators are powered by the specialized smart glasses’ frame that hides the electronics and a rechargeable battery. In order to measure the distance of an object from the glasses, a distance meter is placed on the bridge of the glasses’ frame. Infrared pulses are used to measure the distance. The distance meter tells how far the object the glasses is seeing and this tells the actuators how to change the lens’ focal length.

All the wearer needs to do is to input his or her prescription into the accompanying app which then automatically calibrates the lenses of the smart glasses via Bluetooth. The smart glasses, particularly its frames, can last for 24 hours before charging. Currently, a bulky prototype of the smart glasses is available. According to the engineers, consumers can expect a smaller, lighter, and improved version of the smart glasses three years from now. The wearable device has been launched under the banner of a start-up company, Sharpeyes LLC. for commercialization.

2. Monitoring Heartbeats For Biometric Security

When it comes to things such as wearable technology, safety and security are always a highly desirable. This is due to the evident amount of personal information, that these devices are capable of storing and recording. This has caused a revolution in terms of resources, and similar development tools aimed to improve and devise new strategies to protecting a user’s device, from the unauthorized access. The latest of these innovations comes in the form of biometric scanners, capable of using heartbeat scans, to determine authorization for authentication.One of the most popular forms of biometric security, worldwide, on a multitude of devices, currently comes in the form of fingerprint scanners. However, this can be redundant on people, who have lost the quality of their fingerprints, introducing the need for something better, and safer. This initiative that focuses on the development of heartbeat scanners for authentication purposes may come out as a viable solution.


The first product, which integrated this form of biometric security technology, is Nymi Band, which is a wearable technology that relies on both Apple ID, as well as heartbeat authentication for security purposes. This, tied in with the current focus being placed on all industries relating to technology, certainly more so in the case of wearable technology, seems to indicate that sooner than later, consumers will be privy to complete security, through the authorization of uniqueness of heartbeats.

One of the biggest pros when it comes to using heartbeat authentication is the fact that no longer do individuals have to worry about the quality of their fingerprints. Instead, a fully accurate and comprehensive heartbeat scanner can be put in place to ensure complete privacy for said user. Another major benefit for this form of biometric security is the fact that it is a lot more economical when it comes to the consummation of battery life, on said device.

3. Determining legality of bowling action using sensors

Bowling with an illegal action or ‘chucking’ the ball has continued to bedevil the game of Cricket right from its birth. For much of cricket’s history, the rule on the road was the same as that in international matches – the umpire used the naked eye to determine if an action was illegal. Many names from the lobby of great bowlers have been accused of chucking the ball, with varying degrees of impact on their careers.


A group of young Pakistani engineers claim to have developed a wearable technology that can measure the elbow flex in an action in real time, and so could potentially be used in match play. CricFlex, as the product is called, consists of small motion sensors attached to a sleeve that a bowler can wear. The device sends its readings to an app, either on a mobile phone or a computer, immediately after the bowler has delivered. The team’s research paper on the subject was accepted at an MIT conference in 2015. They have also patented the technology in the US and their work has been acknowledged by a leading biomechanist. They are now seeking formal validation testing from a biomechanics lab.

The device is still a prototype, and requires further testing. CricFlex’s simplicity is appealing. The bowler wears the sleeve, which is then calibrated using a simple two-step process. When they bowl, the four data points show up instantaneously on the mobile, on a simple interface. All this means that some basic instructions would suffice in getting someone to start using the device. Rather than worrying about bowling actions, analysts and coaches can now begin to fine-tune strategies and skills, learning how to best utilise the unique abilities of each bowler. In a few years, that wave of technological advancement could well be crashing all around the sport.

4. VivoSense: Respiratory Inductance Plethysmography System

Infants with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) develop respiratory insufficiency due to progressive respiratory muscle weakness caused by degeneration of alpha motor neurons in the spinal cord. This weakness results in ineffective airway clearance which is the major cause of morbidity and mortality in infants with SMA. Thus measurement of longitudinal changes in respiratory muscle function in infants and young children with SMA-1 is critical to the evaluation of interventions targeting SMA-1. Many studies of infants with SMA-1 are significantly hampered by the lack of appropriate respiratory testing tools, suitable for infant use. This results in many SMA-1 trials not appropriately evaluating objective measures of respiratory function. Accurate measurement of pulmonary ventilation or breathing traditionally requires the use of devices such as masks or mouthpieces coupled to the airway opening. These devices are ill-suited for infant monitoring.

Vivonoetics, Inc., developer of VivoSense respiratory testing solutions, announced that in partnership with Great Lakes NeuroTechnologies, they will be providing advanced respiratory assessment to the Roche Firefish study. As an alternative, the Roche Firefish study will be the first large SMA-1 clinical trial to use Respiratory Inductance Plethysmography (RP) systems to non-invasively sense respiratory excursions of the body. By measuring and analyzing the precise patterns of movement of both the chest and abdominal wall, objective measures of pulmonary function may be appropriately evaluated.

Specialty analysis of RP data for the evaluation of infant breathing is possible using Vivonoetics’ proprietary VivoSense analysis software together with trained data analysts. Vivonoetics are the leading experts in providing analysis of RP for clinical trials. The VivoSense analysis is expected to observe clinically significant changes in respiratory morbidity and mortality. “We strive to advance clinical trials through the use of wearable technology,” says Dudley Tabakin, Vivonoetics chief operations officer. “With our expertise in wearable respiratory sensors and detailed data analytics we have developed a solution that works for monitoring infants with airway obstruction observed in SMA.”

RP sensing technology will be provided using the BioRadio  from Great Lakes NeuroTechnologies, a wireless, wearable data acquisition system capable of recording RP on infants in real time. RP data are wirelessly transmitted to a computer via Bluetooth and made available to the Vivonoetics analytics team for post-collection processing and analysis. “Great Lakes NeuroTech is very proud to collaborate with Vivonoetics on this exciting study in SMA. This represents successful integration of wearable technology and advanced data analytics to capture infant respiration”, says Carissa Simmerman, BioRadio clinical trials manager at Great Lakes NeuroTech. “We are strongly committed to using wearable and remote monitoring technology to make a positive impact on quality of life for those affected by respiratory disorders.”