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Researchers Invent Bluetooth Sensor Which Tracks Hydration Levels

Scientists working at Carolina State University have invented a wearable device that is ideal for people who are interested in working out. The device includes a sensor which can evaluate skin hydration levels during intensive workout activities.

The hydration sensor will tell the person when it’s the best moment to drink water, in order to replace the quantity that was lost due to perspiration and intense physical effort.  The same device makes it easy to monitor people who are working in very difficult weather conditions – when the air is hot and the human body is highly stressed, for example.

Hydration levels were very difficult to measure until now, especially among military personnel, athletes, firefighters and other people who were involved in activities where water levels can decrease fast, leading to fainting and body organs malfunction.

The same sensor can be used in medicine, helping doctors determine the hydration levels of their patients, as well as in the cosmetics industry, where the device can be used to evaluate the quality of moisturizers.

The invention consists of two electrodes, which can evaluate the electrical properties of the skin. They are made from an elastic polymer composite, which has conductive silver nanowires. The sensors can be incorporated in a wrist band, or in a patch that can be attached to the chest.

The patch and the wrist band contain Bluetooth receivers and transmitters, so the data can be easily sent to other devices, where it can be monitored. Other similar devices are very expensive, but the good news is that the sensors used in this new device only cost one dollar to produce. Let’s hope that the costs will be reasonable for us, the end users, as well.

 

Microsoft Surface Ergonomic Keyboard – is it worth it?

People who spend a lot of time in front of their computers appreciate ergonomic keyboards – that’s for sure! But it’s important to understand that the good old QWERTY keyboard was not created with comfort, ergonomics or flexibility in mind. No, the first computer keyboards were designed to look like the typewriters that were used back in the day. Their manufacturers wanted to make people who were using typewriters feel familiar with their new invention.

I have to admit that during the last 20 years, I have seen Microsoft’s interest in changing the classic keyboard, with the goal of making it more ergonomic. Many of their ergonomic models have split the keyboard into two halves, making it easier for people to type.

And now, Microsoft has come up with the Surface Ergonomic Keyboard, which is considered to be their best model so far. It’s a plain grey keyword that doesn’t stand out at first, but – trust me – it may start a revolution!

To begin with, all the keys can be reached easily. They have a nice depth and provide resistive feedback. The keyboard is very quiet, even for heavy writers, who like to bang on their keyboards like crazy.

The hands get a well-deserved rest even while typing, due to the natural angle created by the keyboard layout. This translates to less tiring, even after hours and hours of constant typing.

The new keyboard has a shape that’s different in comparison with the ones we’re used to, but I am pretty sure that we can overcome this issue, especially when we take into account its many advantages. I am not sure how many people will pay $130 for this keyboard, though. Still, I guarantee that if you type for a living, it’s an investment that’s well worth it!