A high-tech plaster could keep a constant check on your health, thanks to a tiny electronic device, which can be attached to an ordinary plaster.

The "digital plaster" contains a silicon chip, which can carry sensors for a range of symptoms and check vital signs such as temperature, blood pressure and glucose levels.

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The data would then be processed by the Sensium silicon chip which is powered by a tiny battery, and sent via a mobile phone or PDA on to a computer database.

Patients could be alerted if the results were worrying. The computer could also be primed to detect a change in the pattern of results seen, and a doctor could be alerted to the problem.

Keith Errey from Toumaz, a spin-off company from Imperial College in London, which is developing the device, said it could even be used by people who want to keep a remote eye on an elderly relative: "You could include a motion sensor on there and it could act as a kind of 'granny monitor', so you would know if your relative had had a fall."

Via BBC News.

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Q Star FlashCam-530 vociferous lampposts are being deployed across the UK.

The FlashCam has already been attached to street furniture in 52 locations in London, Glasgow and Birmingham, where it aims at detering vandalism, in particular graffiti and illegal trash dumping. Water companies are using the system to protect water storage tanks against intruders. Some systems are being used to deter burglary, drug dealing and prostitution.

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The FlashCam-530 senses motion up to 100 feet away. When motion is detected, the system starts taking 35 mm photographs. A bright flash goes off and a loud voice message warns the intruder to "leave the area now" and that his/her photograph is being taken.

Former London Met police officer Steve Galinsky enthused: "They have already caught lots of people - some quite literally with their pants down, engaged with prostitutes. The look of utter amazement on their faces when the camera starts to shout is priceless."

However, The Guardian wonders exactly how the FlashCam distinguishes between strumpets administering sexual relief to punters and old ladies out walking their dogs.

Via The Register.

Space for privacy (2)

The Digital Shelter Kit contains self-adhesive tape -with "digital shelter stand inside the line" printed on it, a mobile phone jammer and an instruction booklet.

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Once the location is chosen, the tape is stuck in place and the mobile phone jammer activated. An electronic space is created by the demarcation of the boundaries of the mobile phone jammer by the taped rectangle. This proposal suggests the potential of electronic spaces by creating a shelter that prevents mobile phone signals from penetrating its boundaries.

This kit is part of Digital Shelter, a PhD project by Pedro Sepulveda-Sandoval, that explores how critical responses to the surveillance and telecommunication systems in the city can inform the development of aesthetic possibilities for electronic spaces.

Cities across Germany are being equipped with electronic jogging paths to beam runners' heart beats to a computer.

Joggers wearing a heart rate belt to send signals to solar-powered radio receivers, will have a "running account" at a computer in Munich, which will analyse their data over months or years.

"Good results" should win the runners discounts on health insurance premiums, which amount to a compulsory 14 per cent cut of salary.

Via The Telegraph.

Japanese software company SGI has developed a mannequin robot that can strike a pose for the nearest person by sensing his or her position - and spy on who s/he are and what s/he's buying.

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"It makes the product the mannequin wears look more attractive, increasing consumers' appetite to buy," explains robot designer Tatsuya Matsui, who heads Flower Robotics.

Palette uses motion-capture technology to replay the movements of supermodels.

Its maker plans to program it to judge the age and sex of shoppers and identify the bags they are carrying and pass along the information to stores for marketing purposes.

Palette has no face as "consumer attention would be diverted to the face if there were one," said Matsui, noting he wanted customers to focus on the clothes or jewellery the mannequin wears.

Palette is available in two versions - the whole-body without legs or upper torso models for jewelry displays. The designer intends to make a Palette with legs along with male and child models.

Via IOL.

Microchips inserted into the new bins in Croydon (S.London) may be adapted so that the council can judge whether residents are producing too much rubbish.

If they are, they may be visited by officials bearing advice on how they might "manage their rubbish more effectively".

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In the shorter term the microchips will be used to determine how many bins the refuse collectors have emptied and how many have been missed.

While the move will be welcomed by environmentalists, Andrew Pelling, the Conservative who represents the area on the London assembly, has been quoted as saying: "The Stasi or the KGB could never have dreamed of getting a spying device in every household."

He believes the technology might yield information which could be misused.

"If, for example, computer hackers broke in to the system, they could see sudden reductions in waste in specific households, suggesting the owners were on holiday and the house vacant."

Via The Guardian.

Related: tags on trash.

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