KipstR band

Okay, this wearable Health Tech doesn’t really have that much to do with health, unless perhaps you’d include avoiding the anguish of sleeping through your favorite TV show a mental health issue. But it’s too good to pass up, especially given that we’re in the holiday season when feast-induced carbo-comas result in thousands of people passed out on the couch in front of their favorite show, seasonal movie, or sports contest. Working with the British telecommunications giant Virgin Media, a pair of teenagers have designed a device that makes sure that the company’s subscribers don’t miss out on another television program.

The KipstR wristband measures heartbeat and blood oxygen level to detect whether or not the wearer has fallen asleep in front of the TV. When the user is asleep, the band mimics their TiVo remote control to record the current program automatically. When the wearer wakes up, he or she can resume the program from where they stopped watching. The wristband includes an outer casing that is produced using 3D printing.

Unfortunately, you have to be a Virgin Media customer with a TiVo in the U.K. in order to get and use one of these devices. While its mission may seem a bit frivolous at this point, it is actually a practical project that tackles a narrow usage model but could be applied to broader tasks. For example, it could be used to trigger changes in home heating systems or other devices when the wearer falls asleep. It also could be used to provide biometric feedback for television and movie creators to map the reactions of the viewer to different content. Ultimately, a future KipstR could have a variety of money- and time-saving applications simply by monitoring whether or not the wearer is awake.