IISc takes up research on jewels with in-built sensors

How would you like it if a sensor in your diamond ring or locket, could at the press of a button, open a car garage, get your cellphone to play music or even measure pulse rate?This may soon be a reality as research on jewels with in-built sensors and cognitive capabilities, is being undertaken by IISc’s Robert Bosch Centre for Cyber-Physical Systems. The project, first taken up by the Centre for Product Design and Manufacturing (CPDM), aims to build a collection of jewels with sensing capabilities. “For instance, with just the press of a button on a ring or locket, say made of diamond, one can put a mobile phone into silent or ringing mode. The ring and locket can also get your cell phone to play music, which can also come in handy when searching for one’s misplaced mobile,” scholars at the Robert Bosch Centre said.

There is also a health function that the piece of jewellery can perform. The person who wears it can get his or her pulse rate measured. There can also be exchange of contact information when two persons shake hands, possible when both persons wear a similar piece of jewellery with an in-built sensor. This was demonstrated under the Master of Design (MDES) research programme.

There are other popular functions that jewellery with sensors can perform, such as opening a car garage, switching on music, TV and DVD systems. Then there is the recognition of movement, very similar to the sixth sense technology, made famous by MIT graduate Pranav Mistry. This project was premised on the belief that wearable computing and digital information could act in addition to the five traditional senses. The device has also been described as a name for extra information supplied by a wearable computer, like the device Mistry had built - “WuW” (Wear your World). Going by this, the diamond with a sensor can act as the sixth sense.

The sixth sense technology works with a pocket projector, mirror and a camera, all contained in a head-mounted, handheld or pendant-like, wearable device.
The projector and the camera are connected to a mobile computing device in the user’s pocket. The projector projects visual information, enabling surfaces, walls and physical objects around us to be used as interfaces. The camera recognises and tracks users' hand gestures and a software program processes the video stream data captured by the camera and tracks the locations of the coloured markers at the tips of the user’s fingers, which are interpreted as gestures. Once done, one can interpret messages that are being conveyed by gestures.

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