Download the latest issue of Business Today Magazine just for Rs.49
How sensors can improve daily life

How sensors can improve daily life

Sensors are infiltrating our lives, and they have a knack for making things better by keeping tab on things.

How many times have you gone to bed realising that youhardly drank any water during the day or have woken up in the morningremembering that you forgot to have your medicine the previous night. As ourstressful lives make us more and more forgetful, technology is coming up withsolutions to keep us ahead of the game, quite literally. And you are likelygoing to see a few of these in 2012. Small sensors, hidden away in gadgets andeven objects of daily use, are now helping people keep better track of theirlife.

The HydraCoach, for instance, is an intelligent water bottle whichcalculates how much water you should be drinking-based of your weight, heightand other factors-and keeps reminding you so that you achieve the goal.

A combination of sensors connected to a small inboardcomputer tells the bottle if you have taken a sip, or forgotten to. Don't besurprised if in the coming years similar technology makes its way to medicinebottles, beeping to remind you that it's time for that dose of cough syrup. Andit's not just about drinking water or taking your medicines. Sensors could soonbe dictating everything from when to feed the family pet to how you brush yourteeth, and we are not talking about the distant future. San Francisco-basedGreenGoose has already started marketing in the US wireless sticker sensors whichwill let you "play real life".

Confused? Well, the concept is simple. GreenGoose's wirelessstickers can automatically tell what's happening; like someone using histoothbrush, or taking the dog for a walk or even using the flush in the loo.The sensors then transmit the data to a small receiver that attaches to yourhome WiFi within a 250 feet range. The data is then used by apps (there is justone iPhone app now) for a host of things from real life gaming to toilettraining your kid.

While the sensors have started shipping, the company has nowinvited developers to come up with apps that put this data to the best use. Aday when there will be Facebook posts giving people badges for the number oftimes they watered the cactus on their desktop does not seem to be far away. Asof now, founder Brian Krejcarek is not thinking of serious 'gamification', andis keeping it simple with the sole target of fun for the entire family.

After its first release of sensors for pets, the companywill work on sensors that can tab physical movement in the form of a card thatcan slip into your wallet or purse, again opening up hundreds of possibilities.GreenGoose calls itself green because all its sensors can be recycled oncetheir lifecycle - roughly around a year for the battery - is over. But othersensors are seriously green. For instance, most developed countries now mandatethat commercial establishments should have lights with motion sensors toprevent wastage.

These lights, many of which are also available in India, switchoff on their own if it detects no human movement in its field for a specifiedperiod of time. Used in large offices and other commercial buildings, they canhelp reduce power consumption by as much as 30 per cent. And this is whysensors have now started making more sense.

Courtesy: Gadgets and Gizmos