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+ - More wearables to be replaced by contact less sensing 2

Submitted by n01
n01 (693310) writes "Last week's story reported on some MIT research for measuring breathing and heart rate from a distance. While that approach required custom built radar hardware, there's now a software-only solution for smartphones that uses sonar instead of radar. The iPhone app (a sleep cycle alarm clock) is not sensitive enough to detect breathing or even heartbeat, but it works remarkably well to detect when the user is moving in its vicinity, the advantage being that it works with the iPhone's built-in audio hardware. The app continuously analyzes non-linear changes in the acoustic room-transfer-function (sampled at ultrasonic frequencies) to detect motion. The user's motion during the night is detected acoustically (instead of mechanically, like the previously existing apps or wearables), so there is no need to wear a device or to place the iPhone inside the bed, it all works from your bedside table."

+ - iPhone App Includes Ultrasonic Motion Sensor 6

Submitted by flovdu
flovdu (3689945) writes "A recently published sleep cycle alarm clock app for the iPhone continuously analyzes non-linear changes in the acoustic room-transfer-function (sampled at ultrasonic frequencies) to detect motion within the vicinity of the smart phone. Because this app detects the user's motion during the night acoustically (instead of mechanically, like the previously existing apps), there is no need to place the iPhone inside the bed, rather it can remain on the bedside table. (Alternate Video Link)"

Comment: Is anybody else heavily reminded of Scala? (Score 1) 636

by n01 (#47170409) Attached to: Apple Announces New Programming Language Called Swift
I didn't have much time to look at the language guide, but in the short time I already discovered many things that exist in Scala, and even the syntax is very similar:
* Tuples
* Closures
* Swift seems to be a functional programming language, even more than Objective-C (the 'functions'/closures there are called blocks).
* For comprehensions
* var/val is named var/let here

Comment: Question to experts in quantum physics (Score 1) 108

by n01 (#46308179) Attached to: Making Sure Our Lab Equipment Isn't Tricking Us
Does the following make any sense?

My thinking was that if two far-away detectors measure an entangled pair of photons (e.g.), each detector will measure both possible results (e.g. up *and* down). Each detector and thereby their environment becomes entangled with that photon. So each detector and it's environment starts a new branch in their respective many-worlds reality. (One side of the branch for “up” and one branch for “down”).

When you later compare the measurements of the detectors, you will find the measurements pair up (for example they are opposite). In the classical interpretation this could be thought of as a “spooky action at a distance” (instantaneous synchronization). But in the many-worlds interpretation only the worlds where the two separate measurements pair up would survive (the worlds where there is no match would cease to exist, as you put it). This would require no instantaneous synchronization, but would appear as such at the moment when the station that is comparing the measurements is becoming entangled with both detectors, e.g. by receiving the measurement outcome information from both detectors. The four “realities” (e.g up-up, up-down, down-up, down-down) meeting at that moment would be reduced to two “realities”, by merging pairs of “compatible realities” (only up-down and down-up “survive”).

INAQP (I’m not a quantum physicist) so I hope all of this makes sense. And I guess I haven’t added much to the parent’s point except adding a (hopefully valid) example.

If any expert reads this, I would love to know where I can read more about these ideas. There would certainly be a term for this already.

I only wonder why this possibility isn’t discussed more often, I seems such an easy way out of the paradox.

Comment: Apple allows other browsers now (Score 1) 251

by n01 (#42209445) Attached to: Android Options Mean "Best" Browsers Might Surprise You
The times when Apple would reject any other browser are over. There's Chrome avaible here: I even managed to get my own browser on the app store I'm still waiting to win a most-useless-app-award with that one though.

Comment: Try Kosmos Verlag from Germany (Score 1) 118

by n01 (#40277725) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Advice On Child-Friendly Microscopes?

+ - Smartphones given new capabilities by novel use of sensors

Submitted by n01
n01 (693310) writes "The advent of mass-produced highly capable smart phones and tablet computers has started to transform economies world wide. Many tools that previously required specialized hardware can now be virtualized by software running on such a device. Through clever programming, the available sensors can be put to novel use that most probably wasn't foreseen in the original design process of the computing device. Take, for example, the app Acoustic Ruler that uses the propagation of sound waves to measure distances of up to 25 meters. Or take an app such as Cardiograph that equips your smart phone to measure your heart rate. While one app uses the audio playback and recording capabilities of the iPhone to measure distances, the other uses the smart phone's camera to sense your heart beat by the variation of light that passes through your finger. What once required the physical production and delivery of a traditional cardiograph or yardstick can now be reproduced and distributed digitally."

Comment: Re:Not impressive (Score 2) 154

by n01 (#38043342) Attached to: iOS App Acoustically Measures Distances Up To 25 Meters
Please watch the second video, it shows how the app can be used with just one iOS device and headphones.

I agree that by having the clocks exactly synchronized this could be a lot easier. (But even 1 ms of deviation means an uncertainty of around 34cm.) The challenge was to do it without having the devices synced by an external source (it works on iPod touch devices and iPad as well) and without using a communication channel other than sound.

Prediction is very difficult, especially of the future. - Niels Bohr