Posted By Simon Montford on Dec 18, 2014
Today Virgin Media announced ‘KipstR’, a wearable wristband prototype that pauses TV as you sleep. It was created by a couple of young "Makers" called Ryan Oliver (15) and Jonathan Kingsley (14) after they were commissioned to help create it by Virgin Media, as part of an initiative between the media company and Manchester Creative Studio, called "Switched on Futures".
The wearable device uses a pulse-oximeter that can sense if the wearer is asleep or awake and contains a spark core chip that processes all the data from the pulse-oximeter, dictating when to trigger the TiVo to record, pause or re-play. KipstR is 3D printed using an Objet Connex 3D Printer using a new resin called Polyjet which is more robust than the rigid plastics used by most 3D printers.
When asked what he thought about working on the project, Jonathan said “We have really enjoyed working alongside the innovation team at Virgin Media. It’s given us a taster for what we would like to do when we leave school. We’re excited to see what the next project with Virgin Media will bring.”
Neil Illingworth, head of advanced technology and innovation at Virgin Media said: “We have been exploring the possibilities of connected entertainment for some time and are very excited to unveil KipstR. With emerging new technologies, it is possible to create almost anything, such as emotionally intelligent entertainment systems that can suggest shows based on your moods, or even harnessing brainwaves to control your television.”
Outsourcing innovation, where large corporates reach out to academia and startups, is an increasing trend. Finally, big companies like Virgin media have recognized that no matter how extensive their internal R&D capabilities may be, no organisation has a monopoly on good ideas!
KipstR is in the process of undergoing trials with a group of Virgin Media customers, so no word yet if it will go into production.
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