In the present day, the terms data and big data are thrown around very often, and they are usually seen with a bad connotation. But what do they really mean? As quoted in Forbes “The ability of society to harness information in novel ways to produce useful insights or goods and services of significant value” (Press, 2014). In other words, the gathering of information related to human interaction that can be analysed in order to enhance a product, an experience or a service.
This practice can be applied to virtually anything. In the case of ResMed, they have focused on sleep, to be more specific, the sleeping patterns of humans. This Australian company specialises in monitoring and enhancing sleep with the use of “robots”. Their research is based on the belief, that supplying the right amount of oxygen at the different stages of sleep the user can and will obtain a more enrichening and fulfilling rest period. Maximizing its benefits both physically and emotionally.
The way it works is, the user attaches a mask to his/her nose on one end and to a computer on the other end. this computer can monitor the sleeping stage the user is in and therefore provide the exact amount of oxygen required to enhance said stage. In addition, the computer or robot is equipped with an algorithm design to learn and reach instantly to the subjects needs. In simpler terms what this machine does is gather data provided obtained by the behaviour of the user, then it analyses it so it can be sorted and used by the algorithm. Furthermore, it also offers visual feedback that can be professionally dissected by a medical practitioner. Resulting in a better understanding of the physical state of the patient/user.
It is true that this application needs refinement in terms of how invasive it may be to the user. Having to attach a physical mask over our nose is perhaps not the most appealing design solution but it is certainly a good place to start. Especially because it makes the product completely personal, and allows for a straightforward interaction with the technology. Maybe in the future when this concept of sleep monitoring is more accepted, funding will result in a more seamless solution yet keep the personalised approach that it already offers.
This product is a perfect example of how technology, more specific, robots are no longer a futuristic dream but a current reality. More and more items like this are being seen in the everyday world. Moreover, they are rapidly being accepted by society especially when they are designed with the intent of helping professionals to further understand human behaviour in the different aspects of life. The fact is that having a graphical representation of our personal sleeping patterns is a great advance in technology, human interaction with it and an excellent robotic application.
Anon, (2016). [image] Available at: https://www.nationwidemedicaldirect.com/collections/cpapmasks/resmed [Accessed 23 Oct. 2016].
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Garcha, P., Aboussouan, L. and Minai, O. (2013). Sleep-Disordered Breathing. [online] Clevelandclinicmeded.com. Available at: http://www.clevelandclinicmeded.com/medicalpubs/diseasemanagement/pulmonary/sleep-disordered-breathing/ [Accessed 23 Oct. 2016].
Press, G. (2014). 12 Big Data Definitions: What’s Yours?. [online] Forbes.com. Available at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/gilpress/2014/09/03/12-big-data-definitions-whats-yours/#23e3824621a9 [Accessed 23 Oct. 2016].
Resmedfoundation.org. (2016). The ResMed Foundation | Clinical Research Proposals: Guidelines. [online] Available at: http://www.resmedfoundation.org/funding/scientific-research.php [Accessed 27 Oct. 2016].