Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Bluetooth


Google Glass is a recently designed wearable device capable of displaying information in a smartphone-like hands-free format by wireless communication. The Glass also provides convenient control over remote devices, primarily enabled by voice recognition commands. These unique features of the Google Glass make it useful for medical and biomedical applications where hands-free experiences are strongly preferred. Here, we report for the first time, an integral set of hardware, firmware, software, and Glassware that enabled wireless transmission of sensor data onto the Google Glass for on-demand data visualization and real-time analysis. Additionally, the platform allowed the user to control outputs entered through the Glass, therefore achieving bi-directional Glass-device interfacing. Using this versatile platform, we demonstrated its capability in monitoring physical and physiological parameters such as temperature, pH, and morphology of liver- and heart-on-chips. Furthermore, we showed the capability to remotely introduce pharmaceutical compounds into a microfluidic human primary liver bioreactor at desired time points while monitoring their effects through the Glass. We believe that such an innovative platform, along with its concept, has set up a premise in wearable monitoring and controlling technology for a wide variety of applications in biomedicine.

Concepts: Device, Control, Bluetooth, Remote control, Wireless, Keyboard, Wireless energy transfer


To investigate effects on rat testes of radiofrequency radiation emitted from indoor Wi-Fi Internet access devices using 802.11.g wireless standards.

Concepts: Standard, Internet, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi


In this paper, we report on a novel sensor for the contactless monitoring of the respiration rate, made from multi-material fibers arranged in the form of spiral antenna (2.45 GHz central frequency). High flexibility of the used composite metal-glass-polymer fibers permits their integration into a cotton t-shirt without compromising comfort or restricting movement of the user. At the same time, change of the antenna geometry, due to the chest expansion and the displacement of the air volume in the lungs, is found to cause a significant shift of the antenna operational frequency, thus allowing respiration detection. In contrast with many current solutions, respiration is detected without attachment of the electrodes of any kind to the user’s body, neither direct contact of the fiber with the skin is required. Respiration patterns for two male volunteers were recorded with the help of a sensor prototype integrated into standard cotton t-shirt in sitting, standing, and lying scenarios. The typical measured frequency shift for the deep and shallow breathing was found to be in the range 120-200 MHz and 10-15 MHz, respectively. The same spiral fiber antenna is also shown to be suitable for short-range wireless communication, thus allowing respiration data transmission, for example, via the Bluetooth protocol, to mobile handheld devices.

Concepts: Electromagnetic radiation, Frequency, Hertz, Mobile device, Bluetooth, Clothing, Wireless, Heinrich Hertz


This study explores the effects that the weather has on people’s everyday activity patterns. Temperature, rainfall, and wind speed were used as weather parameters. People’s daily activity patterns were inferred, such as place visited, the time this took place, the duration of the visit, based on the GPS location traces of their mobile phones overlaid upon Yellow Pages information. Our analysis of 31,855 mobile phone users allowed us to infer that people were more likely to stay longer at eateries or food outlets, and (to a lesser degree) at retail or shopping areas when the weather is very cold or when conditions are calm (non-windy). When compared to people’s regular activity patterns, certain weather conditions affected people’s movements and activities noticeably at different times of the day. On cold days, people’s activities were found to be more diverse especially after 10AM, showing greatest variations between 2PM and 6PM. A similar trend is observed between 10AM and midnight on rainy days, with people’s activities found to be most diverse on days with heaviest rainfalls or on days when the wind speed was stronger than 4 km/h, especially between 10AM-1AM. Finally, we observed that different geographical areas of a large metropolis were impacted differently by the weather. Using data of urban infrastructure to characterize areas, we found strong correlations between weather conditions upon people’s accessibility to trains. This study sheds new light on the influence of weather conditions on human behavior, in particular the choice of daily activities and how mobile phone data can be used to investigate the influence of environmental factors on urban dynamics.

Concepts: Weather, Mobile phone, Bluetooth, Wind, Rotary dial, Push-button telephone, Rain


We performed a re-analysis of the data from Navarro et al (2003) in which health symptoms related to microwave exposure from mobile phone base stations (BSs) were explored, including data obtained in a retrospective inquiry about fear of exposure from BSs.

Concepts: Mobile phone, GSM services, Bluetooth, Radio, Cellular network, Base station, GSM


This paper presents a 2.4 GHz ultra-low-power (ULP) reconfigurable asymmetric transceiver and demonstrates its application in wireless neural recording. Fabricated in 0.13 μm CMOS technology, the transceiver is optimized for sensor-gateway communications within a star-shaped network, and supports both the sensor and gateway operation modes. Binary phase-shift keying (BPSK) modulation with high data rate (DR) of 1 to 8 Mbps is used in the uplink from sensor to gateway, while on-off keying (OOK) modulation with low DR of 100 kbps is adopted in the downlink. A fully integrated Class-E PA with moderate output power has also been proposed and achieves power efficiency of 53%. To minimize area usage, inductor reuse is adopted between PA and LNA, and eliminates the need of lossy T/R switch in the RF signal path. When used as sensor, the transceiver with frequency locked phase-locked loop (PLL) achieves TX (BPSK) power efficiency of 28% @ 0 dBm output power, and RX (OOK) sensitivity of -80 dBm @ 100 kbps while consuming only 780 μW . When configured as gateway, the transceiver achieves sensitivity levels of -92, -84.5, and -77 dBm for 1, 5, and 8 Mbps BPSK, respectively. The transceiver is integrated with an 8-channel neural recording front-end, and neural signals from a rat are captured to verify the system functionality.

Concepts: Signal processing, Integrated circuit, Alternating current, Modulation, Bluetooth, Amplitude-shift keying, Phase-locked loop, Circle map


The development of telemonitoring via wireless body area networks (WBANs) is an evolving direction in personalized medicine and home-based mobile health. A WBAN consists of small, intelligent medical sensors which collect physiological parameters such as EKG (electrocardiogram), EEG (electroencephalography) and blood pressure. The recorded physiological signals are sent to a coordinator via wireless technologies, and are then transmitted to a healthcare monitoring center. One of the most widely used wireless technologies in WBANs is ZigBee because it is targeted at applications that require a low data rate and long battery life. However, ZigBee-based WBANs face severe interference problems in the presence of WiFi networks. This problem is caused by the fact that most ZigBee channels overlap with WiFi channels, severely affecting the ability of healthcare monitoring systems to guarantee reliable delivery of physiological signals. To solve this problem, we have developed an algorithm that controls the load in WiFi networks to guarantee the delay requirement for physiological signals, especially for emergency messages, in environments with coexistence of ZigBeebased WBAN and WiFi. Since WiFi applications generate traffic with different delay requirements, we focus only on WiFi traffic that does not have stringent timing requirements. In this paper, therefore, we propose an adaptive load control algorithm for ZigBee-based WBAN/WiFi coexistence environments, with the aim of guaranteeing that the delay experienced by ZigBee sensors does not exceed a maximally tolerable period of time. Simulation results show that our proposed algorithm guarantees the delay performance of ZigBee-based WBANs by mitigating the effects of WiFi interference in various scenarios.

Concepts: Medicine, Electrophysiology, Electroencephalography, Bluetooth, Electrocardiography, Wireless network, Wi-Fi, Personal area network


To enhance the performance of location estimation in wireless positioning systems, the geometric dilution of precision (GDOP) is widely used as a criterion for selecting measurement units. Since GDOP represents the geometric effect on the relationship between measurement error and positioning determination error, the smallest GDOP of the measurement unit subset is usually chosen for positioning. The conventional GDOP calculation using matrix inversion method requires many operations. Because more and more measurement units can be chosen nowadays, an efficient calculation should be designed to decrease the complexity. Since the performance of each measurement unit is different, the weighted GDOP (WGDOP), instead of GDOP, is used to select the measurement units to improve the accuracy of location. To calculate WGDOP effectively and efficiently, the closed-form solution for WGDOP calculation is proposed when more than four measurements are available. In this paper, an efficient WGDOP calculation method applying matrix multiplication that is easy for hardware implementation is proposed. In addition, the proposed method can be used when more than exactly four measurements are available. Even when using all-in-view method for positioning, the proposed method still can reduce the computational overhead. The proposed WGDOP methods with less computation are compatible with global positioning system (GPS), wireless sensor networks (WSN) and cellular communication systems.

Concepts: Mathematics, Measurement, Units of measurement, Bluetooth, Global Positioning System, Multiplication, GPS, Wireless sensor network


This paper presents a wireless biosignal acquisition system-on-a-chip (WBSA-SoC) specialized for electrocardiogram (ECG) monitoring. The proposed system consists of three subsystems, namely, 1) the ECG acquisition node, 2) the protocol for standard IEEE 802.15.4 ZigBee system, and 3) the RF transmitter circuits. The ZigBee protocol is adopted for wireless communication to achieve high integration, applicability, and portability. A fully integrated CMOS RF front end containing a quadrature voltage-controlled oscillator and a 2.4-GHz low-IF (i.e., zero-IF) transmitter is employed to transmit ECG signals through wireless communication. The low-power WBSA-SoC is implemented by the TSMC 0.18-μm standard CMOS process. An ARM-based displayer with FPGA demodulation and an RF receiver with analog-to-digital mixed-mode circuits are constructed as verification platform to demonstrate the wireless ECG acquisition system. Measurement results on the human body show that the proposed SoC can effectively acquire ECG signals.

Concepts: Integrated circuit, Human body, Bluetooth, Radio, Wireless networking, Wireless, System-on-a-chip, Personal area network


Traditional contact tracing relies on knowledge of the interpersonal network of physical interactions, where contagious outbreaks propagate. However, due to privacy constraints and noisy data assimilation, this network is generally difficult to reconstruct accurately. Communication traces obtained by mobile phones are known to be good proxies for the physical interaction network, and they may provide a valuable tool for contact tracing. Motivated by this assumption, we propose a model for contact tracing, where an infection is spreading in the physical interpersonal network, which can never be fully recovered; and contact tracing is occurring in a communication network which acts as a proxy for the first. We apply this dual model to a dataset covering 72 students over a 9 month period, for which both the physical interactions as well as the mobile communication traces are known. Our results suggest that a wide range of contact tracing strategies may significantly reduce the final size of the epidemic, by mainly affecting its peak of incidence. However, we find that for low overlap between the face-to-face and communication interaction network, contact tracing is only efficient at the beginning of the outbreak, due to rapidly increasing costs as the epidemic evolves. Overall, contact tracing via mobile phone communication traces may be a viable option to arrest contagious outbreaks.

Concepts: Mobile phone, GSM services, Bluetooth, Radio, Base station, Push-button telephone