Virgin-Branded Wristband Notices When Users Fall Asleep And Records TV show

Virgin Media wearable technology.
Photograph: Rosie Hallam

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Two tech prodigies have created KipstR, a wristband that records users TV shows when they nod off.


Wearable technology is great, but so much of it is obsessed with getting you fit.

Apps can track your heartbeat, encourage you to hit the gym, and remind you just how many calories were in that last donut. But what about a product designed for more relaxed individuals?

Wouldn’t it be helpful, say, if a wristband could tell if you doze off while watching the TV, then automatically record the rest of the show?

As it happens, two young tech prodigies have created exactly that. KipstR was developed by teenagers Ryan Oliver, 15, and Jonathan Kingsley, 14, students at Manchester Creative Studio, in conjunction with TV and broadband provider Virgin Media.

The pair have come up with a 3D-printed wristband that uses a pulse oximeter, a clinical device for diagnosing sleep disorders, to sense when the user has drifted off. The KipstR band then mimics the user’s TiVo remote to pause and record the TV show that was playing.

The prototype features a spark core chip, pulse oximeter, push button, sleep mode indicator and a small LiPo battery.

Virgin Media says the application could also be used in the future to determine a user’s emotional reaction to a show, helping it suggest similar programmes. The team is also exploring how KipstR could control other connected devices at home, such as central heating.

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