Full Alert
Sensory alert technologies keep users apprised of physical and social stimuli
Tech / 14 Mar 2013
Push notification services are gradually becoming better informed and more intuitive. Nonetheless, their ubiquity has led some to wonder whether they add too much to increasing ’screen clutter.' Now, new innovative devices are honing the notification concept, using more conspicuous physical and auditory means to keep users apprised of stimuli and social notifications while not deluging them with unmanageable waves of alerts.
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Moneual SCS1000
: Much of the recent buzz over the latest smart watches has centered on the question of whether anyone actually wants one. But a new offering from South Korean electronics company Moneual may prove indispensable to wearers with hearing disabilities. The SCS1000, short for Smart Care System, uses audio detection technology to identify noises in the immediate vicinity. When the watch picks up a sound that warrants a response from the wearer—such as a car honking, a phone ringing, or even the sound of water boiling—it vibrates and flashes an LED light, alerting the wearer to the circumstance at hand.
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SpiderSense
: UIC PhD candidate Victor Mateevitsi has built a suit that lets wearers experience the tingling sensation that alerts Spider-Man to imminent dangers—AKA, Spidey Sense. Called SpiderSense, the garment simulates the 'superpower' through a series of microphone modules that send and receive ultrasonic reflections from physical objects. When the ultrasound detects a proximate object, the suit’s robotic arms respond by exerting pressure on the body, physically warning the wearer of the approaching person (whether friend or foe). The suit has vast implications for humans’ extrasensory perceptive abilities, but for now Mateevitsi has more pragmatic uses in mind, like improving cyclists’ road awareness.
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EMBRACE+
: Though reminiscent of the glow bracelets that defined the ’90s tween party scene, EMBRACE+ puts its neon styling to practical use. The smart notification bracelet syncs to smartphones and uses colored blinking lights to alert wearers to incoming calls, texts, emails, social media updates, and upcoming calendar events. Users can customize their bracelets through a corresponding app, specifying the color and number of flashes for different kinds of alerts, so they’ll know exactly what’s incoming. Though not likely to appeal to those who crave moments of unplugged time, the EMBRACE+ could prove a boon to wearers’ phone stacking strategies.
©The Intelligence Group