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Do You Know What All Activities Your Smartwatch Can Sense? Read Here To Find Out!

Apps might alert users to typing habits that could lead to repetitive strain injury (RSI), or assess the onset of motor impairments such as those associated with Parkinson's disease.

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smartwatch
To reach this conclusion, Harrison and his team began their exploration of hand activity detection by recruiting 50 people to wear specially programmed smartwatches for almost 1,000 hours while going about their daily activities. Pixabay

Smartwatches, with a few tweaks, can detect a surprising number of things your hands are doing like helping your spouse with washing dishes, chopping vegetables or petting a dog, say researchers from Carnegie Mellon University.

By making a few changes to the smartwatch’s operating system, they were able to use its accelerometer to recognise hand motions and, in some cases, bio-acoustic sounds associated with 25 different hand activities at around 95 percent accuracy.

Those 25 activities (including typing on a keyboard, washing dishes, petting a dog, pouring from a pitcher or cutting with scissors) are just the beginning of what might be possible to detect, the researchers said.

“We envision smartwatches as a unique beachhead on the body for capturing rich, everyday activities,” said Chris Harrison, Assistant Professor in Human-Computer Interaction Institute (HCII) at Carnegie.

smartwatch
Sensing hand activity also lends itself to health-related apps — monitoring activities such as brushing teeth, washing hands or smoking a cigarette.
Pixabay

“A wide variety of apps could be made smarter and more context-sensitive if our devices knew the activity of our bodies and hands,” he added.

Just as smartphones now can block text messages while a user is driving, future devices that sense hand activity might learn not to interrupt someone while they are doing certain work with their hands.

Sensing hand activity also lends itself to health-related apps — monitoring activities such as brushing teeth, washing hands or smoking a cigarette.

“Hand-sensing also might be used by apps that provide feedback to users who are learning a new skill, such as playing a musical instrument, or undergoing physical rehabilitation,” the study noted.

Apps might alert users to typing habits that could lead to repetitive strain injury (RSI), or assess the onset of motor impairments such as those associated with Parkinson’s disease.

To reach this conclusion, Harrison and his team began their exploration of hand activity detection by recruiting 50 people to wear specially programmed smartwatches for almost 1,000 hours while going about their daily activities.

dog
Those 25 activities (including typing on a keyboard, washing dishes, petting a dog, pouring from a pitcher or cutting with scissors) are just the beginning of what might be possible to detect, the researchers said.
Pixabay

More than 80 hand activities were labeled in this way, providing a unique dataset.

For now, users must wear the smartwatch on their active arm, rather than the passive (non-dominant) arm where people typically wear wristwatches, for the system to work.

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Future experiments will explore what events can be detected using the passive arm.

Harrison and HCII PhD student Gierad Laput presented the findings at “CHI 2019”, the Association for Computing Machinery’s conference on human factors in computing systems in Glasgow, Scotland. (IANS)

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Development of Alzheimer’s Disease Not Totally Linked to Genetics: Study

The research team analyzed the gene sequence and the biological age of the body's cells from blood

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Genetics
With additional funding, researchers could further explore the interaction between Genetics and environment in the development of Alzheimer's disease and the impact of environmental factors in delaying the onset of this disorder. Pixabay

The colour of our eyes or the straightness of our hair is linked to our DNA, but the development of Alzheimer’s disease isn’t exclusively linked to Genetics, suggest new research.

In the first study published about Alzheimer’s disease among identical triplets, researchers found that despite sharing the same DNA, two of the triplets developed Alzheimer’s while one did not.

The two triplets that developed Alzheimer’s were diagnosed in their mid-70s, said the paper published in the journal Brain.

“These findings show that your genetic code doesn’t dictate whether you are guaranteed to develop Alzheimer’s,” said Dr Morris Freedman, head of neurology at Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care.

“There is hope for people who have a strong family history of dementia since there are other factors, whether it’s the environment or lifestyle, we don’t know what it is, which could either protect against or accelerate dementia.”

All three, 85-year-old siblings had hypertension, but the two with Alzheimer’s had long-standing, obsessive-compulsive behaviour.

The research team analyzed the gene sequence and the biological age of the body’s cells from blood that was taken from each of the triplets, as well as the children of one of the triplet’s with Alzheimer’s.

Genetics
The colour of our eyes or the straightness of our hair is linked to our DNA, but the development of Alzheimer’s disease isn’t exclusively linked to Genetics, suggest new research. Pixabay

Among the children, one developed early onset Alzheimer’s disease at age 50 and the other did not report signs of dementia.

The research team also discovered that although the triplets were octogenarians at the time of the study, the biological age of their cells was six to ten years younger than their chronological age.

In contrast, one of the triplet’s children, who developed early onset Alzheimer’s, had a biological age that was nine years older than the chronological age.

The other child, who did not have dementia, of the same triplet showed a biological age that was close to their actual age.

Genetic
Your Genetic code doesn’t dictate whether you are guaranteed to develop Alzheimer’s Disease. Pixabay

“The latest genetics research is finding that the DNA we die with isn’t necessarily what we received as a baby, which could relate to why two of the triplets developed Alzheimer’s and one didn’t,” says Dr. Ekaterina Rogaeva, senior author on the paper and researcher at the University of Toronto’s Tanz Centre for Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases.

“As we age, our DNA ages with us and as a result, some cells could mutate and change over time”.

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With additional funding, researchers could further explore the interaction between genetics and environment in the development of Alzheimer’s disease and the impact of environmental factors in delaying the onset of this disorder. (IANS)