Bristol Wearable Computing

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Project Meeting August 19th 1997

10am at Bristol University

Present: David, Alex, Henk, Jim, Paul, Phil, Stewart

Progress reports

The team now have a working CyberJacket capable of delivering synthesized speech through an earphone to inform the wearer of their longitude and latitude and orientation and angular velocity around the planet! The jacket weighs between 5 and 10 pounds, takes a few minutes to boot up and another few to get in touch with enough GPS satellites - but it works!

Phil: bought battery holders and recharger and power board. The group then discussed power issues. Apparently 2 batteries power the unit for some 45 minutes. The smaller hard drive seems to require more power than the batteries could deliver - now fixed. In any case, what if the batteries discharge unevenly? Phil to consider this. Phil to make up display connectors using milling machine back on line at HPLB.

Stewart: modified GPS daemon to work with the overall "super" daemon. Helped fix up the CyberJacket.

Alex: got graphics working: VGA under Linux. Also got pen positions from resistive overlay. Looked at GSM issues - PCMCIA based modem should be fine for us, since they almost invariably use standard modems. David had talked to Andy Bateman, who had commented that most of the non-PCMCIA solutions required some hard software on the PC side. This lead into a discussion of GSM phone procurement. It seems that the Ericsson GS18 is not yet available in the shops (contacted Bristol Cellular), no pricing information is available and while it is unsupported by Orange, we would have to work with more expensive network providers. Consequently we agreed to go for two standard Orange phones and two suitable PCMCIA cards on an Orange TALK 60 plan. The PCMCIA cards must be both linux and Orange phone compatible. By using the second Epson kit as a base station we avoid having to buy PCMICA readers for a PC. Hi Phil - Phil will do all this procurement!

Jim: set up meeting between James, Alex and Richard Hull to discuss SitComp server design. Wrote up the outcome in the guise of a student project (since other demands mean that it is unlikely the team will be able to get started on this much before October). Set up meeting with Roz Picard from MIT's Media Lab, Phil Stenton, David and Jim. Tailed Roz during her day in Bristol presenting at HCI 97. Jim reckons Roz is on the ball and that we should look for opportunities to work alongside her in affective computing - particularly on the application side, since they have focused on the sensing/interpretation problems. Other stuff: will not find another display for Bristol Uni as we need it for Phil's work on FootBridge (previously PocketDocket) - a short range inductively coupled communication link to a handheld, battery-powered LCD display.

Henk: lots of soldering and hack-sawing - helping to assemble the jacket.

Paul: as above! The PC104 ribbon cable bus was not needed in the event. We returned to a discussion of power issues - Paul to produce graphs of voltage versus time for each of the batteries. Phil to look into the MAXIM chip required to provide the 300V supply needed for the LCD display.

Action Summary

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