Hall of Fame
Winner of the WT Innovation World Cup 2009-2011
Category: Healthcare & Wellness
Ear Worn Sensor for Activity Recognition by e-AR
Although many sensors exist in the market, providing a single miniaturised sensor that can capture gait/balance as well as activity is a challenge. The innovation consists of an ultra light-weight (7.4g) e-AR (ear-worn activity recognition) device, which is a bio-inspired miniaturised sensor with an on-board micro-processor, a MEMS three-axis inertia sensor with ultra-low power wireless transmission. It may sound counterintuitive to measure gait by using an ear-worn sensor, the device is in fact inspired by the function of the human inner ear. It fits discreetly behind the ear and captures similar information, i.e., balance and body posture of the wearer. Advanced on-node signal processing enables further information about the gait, posture, skeletal/joint shock-wave transmission and activity of the individual to be obtained. The innovation provides efficient means of continuously observing gait and balance parameters, activity type, level and energy expenditure and heart rate monitoring. As it is of really small size and light weight, power consumption is one of the most important aspects to be considered in the design process, which is where Bluetooth low energy technology comes in. Adopting Bluetooth low energy technology will significantly prolong battery life and might even enable further miniaturization while still providing for a very efficient way of transferring vital data to a clinician.