As part of the EU's "RUNSAFER" project, researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems in Germany have developed a running shoe that prevents injuries while training. Sensors and microelectronics were integrated into the sole of the shoe to measure the athlete's biomechanical data and send it via Bluetooth to a smartphone. Incorrect foot positions or one-sided stress can thus be identified immediately and reported in order to prevent serious injuries. The shoes can be recharged by a supplied charger.
Scientists at Microsoft and Rochester University have developed a bra that determines the wearer's mood and uses the information to prevent unhealthy eating behaviour. The bra can measure heart rate and breathing, as well as capture movement. The data is transferred via Bluetooth to a smartphone, where the subjective mood can also be added in an app. If the user is deemed to be subject to a stress-related bout of eating, the app recommends action such as relaxing breathing exercises to fight off the stress.
The American company Intelclinic is working on the development of an intelligent sleep mask called "NeuoOn", which records the wearer's brainwaves and eye movements while sleeping in order to allow people to switch from monophasic to polyphasic sleep more efficiently. The collected data is transferred via Bluetooth to a smartphone. When the mask detects that the REM phase is over, it wakes the wearer up. This makes it possible for people to sleep less but enjoy the same level of recovery.
"The Doberman Variations" is a photo book from the band Roadside Picnic, which reveals its digital value once it's been ripped up and had its pages re-arranged. Several pages in the book feature part of a letter on the back of the photo, which is part of a password. After correctly assembling the ripped out pages, it's possible to enter the password into the publisher's website. Audio and video of the band's tour of Norway is then made available.
The Swiss telecommunications provider Swisscom is testing a customer service model in Zurich in which competent assistance from people's own neighbourhoods replaces having to send out technicians. In a partnership with the service platform Mila, technically skilled people are connected with customers who need some help with their routers or e-mail software on their phones. Besides reduced costs and greater flexibility, this service will also lead to more contact with people in the neighbourhood and thereby create a more personalized customer experience.