Most of our parents work in the IT industry - which involves long hours bent over a computer screen in one position. We have seen them develop neck and back problems due to bad posture over time. After discussing with doctors and yoga teachers we decided that the best solution consists of constant reminders to keep the back in the correct posture.
Why a jacket? Since we had to use an arduino101 - the jacket is the only clothing item where we can fit it in a non cumbersome fashion.
What it does
The smart jacket constantly monitors the posture of the wearer, through the inbuilt gyroscope, and upon detecting a slouch, alerts him or her through an LED after 5 seconds of the slouch. If there is no response for 15 seconds or more, a buzzer/vibration device is activated to firmly alert them. This removes false alarms, such as people bending down temporarily.
How we built it
We have made use of the arduino 101’s internal gyroscope and accelerometer, to determine the angle of the user’s upper back. When this angle ((an angle we arrived upon after extensive testing) falls below a certain value, an LED lights up, and after a delay of 10s a buzzer goes off. We have also used the internal bluetooth chip to connect the arduino to a mobile application, where the wearer can monitor, and track his or her posture throughout the day. The app also logs the total amount of time spent slouching versus upright. The arduino 101, the LED, the buzzer, as well as the battery have been seamlessly sewn into the jacket, so it looks and feels no different than a regular jacket, and is not much heavier either, due to careful positioning of the sensors and arduino. We in fact hacked the seed studio shield and the buzzer to make the shield unnecessary so that it does not take up space on the back of the jacket.
Challenges we ran into
It took a good amount of thinking and tinkering to come up with an ergonomic and user-friendly design for our smart jacket. We had to conceal wiring while allowing the user to feel as if he/she were wearing just another piece of clothing without any additional resistance. We also had to get the arduino bluetooth to work, which for 4 people, who have never worked with bluetooth low energy devices, and 2 non coders, was quite a challenge - especially figuring out all the different terms and ways in which they exchange information. For example we could only find tutorials initially to send information one way, and not both ways, so we had to reverse engineer it.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Sewing a jacket with electronics to make it appear such that it is Successfully communicating via bluetooth from arduino101 to phone. Making a video in 2 days (we had exams and therefore only 1-2 weeks to do the entire project).
What we learned
How bluetooth LE works. The correct posture, The shape of the back when people have good posture. How to quickly build a jacket and make a video(very very quickly) - having had exams during june, we had less than 1-2 weeks to make the entire project.
What's next for Smart Jacket - Posture control
We need to find a better (and cheap) power source, rather than a small power bank, one that fits into the jacket easily. Also we aim to figure out a way to collect data even when the phone is not connected and then link it up to an analytics platform (either web or app), to give the user detailed information about his posture and his habits, so that he can correct any spinal imbalances before they occur.
Turning it from a jacket into a shirt/suit - one that people can wear. (obviously using smaller sensors, and perhaps not an arduino101)