Technology
Life improvement devices

Life Devices

There’s a lot of commercial technology out there intended to improve our quality of life (in a sense, almost all of it). A speaker @ Bay Area Maker Day mentioned a few devices she found effective for modifying her own behavior –

Sleeptracker watch – wakes you at the end of the REM cycle closest to your ideal wake up time.

StressEraser – Breathing regulation device

Motivaider – simple vibrating reminder device with timer.

These are relatively simple and are apparently handy for tweaking the human machine – they also seem quite easy to emulate/incorporate into your own design or interface.

Related:

Hack Your Brain – Best of Weekend Projects

10 thoughts on “Life improvement devices

  1. Sleep Tracker, where’s the data to support this other than celebrity testimonials (Dr. Phil???). Just because someone “speaks” about this doesn’t mean it’s legit. WIRED thinks it worked ~70% of the time…wow, my alarm clock does that for me. C’mon…let’s get some good stories about good hacks, makes, creates, etc…

    This makes my joints ache…gimme some snake oil!

  2. I haven’t tried the sleeptracker myself, but the theory seems sound – waking between REM cycles is far preferable to interrupting them.

    It is true, someone speaking about something does not make it true – the same goes for writing.

  3. I have to agree this seems a bit more like advertising versus make content. So I googled, and found this:
    http://www.emant.com/694006.page

    You can make your own heart rate monitor to attach to your PC. With some work I would assume you could make a computer version the StressEraser.

    The watch, might be a bit harder to make/mimic in functionality.

    MotivAider looks like a cheesy little device that someone could probably design and kit given the proper skillset. You can pick one of these amazing devices up for like 10-15$ online and not waste money on that overpriced POS linked here. Its just a vibrating timer…

  4. Well I can officially confirm this is not spam. I really don’t expect the Make:Blog readers to run out and buy something like the “Motiv-Aider” when many could remake it with parts they already have on hand.

    It’s simply a post noting devices used to enhance and modify human behavior, perhaps something a little different gleaned from the information torrent we call Maker Faire.

    Anyway, @Seth –
    That optical heart monitor you pointed out looks similar to the one used in Recotana’s MIDI project:
    http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2008/02/heartbeat_midi_controller.html

    These seem quite useful.

  5. Sleeping in Rem cycle increments works very effectively, though it really doesn’t require this much technology. I spent 5 years sleeping in 1:35 increments (as in 3x or 4x, not just 1:35 at a time) and I was able to sleep much less and be better rested.

    The best way to try it out is to go to sleep some night that you don’t need an alarm in the morning. Note the time you go to sleep and the time you wake up. Do this a couple of times and you can find an increment that you sleep in. Most people’s cycles are between 1:30 and 1:50, the more tired you are the faster they are.

    Once you have found your cycle time (mine has moved by about 8-10 minutes in 10 years) set your alarm at night depending on what time you go to bed. Even if you have to set it earlier, it is worth it. The optimal timeframe to wake up in the cycle is rather large, so you don’t have to be too exact. Being married or sleeping with someone else makes it a bit tougher though.

    Try it, you won’t be disappointed.

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