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November 5, 2014 AT 3:00 am

What’s Your Wearable Idea for Fighting Ebola? #WearableWednesday

EbolaSensor

I don’t know if you’ve ever checked out IDEO’s site, but they have the most interesting opportunities to contribute ideas for problems around the world. Case in point, check out this Challenge to Equip and Empower the Ebola Care Community that was brought to my attention by Makezine. One idea, proposed by Travis Good, is a wearable with a proximity alarm to warn doctors of their own habits when using protective gear.

The idea for the alarm is based on the problem that we all unconsciously address issues like a nose tickle or some other adjustment. Unfortunately these movements are exactly what puts mucous membranes at risk for Ebola. So, imagine attempting to adjust your goggles when an alarm sounds. Here’s more detail on Travis’ idea.

This idea is to put reusable wrist bands on caregivers which will trigger a warning chirp if they get within 12 inches of their goggles where a proximity sensor with speaker will be attached. Both wristbands and goggle proximity sensor should:

– be reusable after immersion in a mild disinfectant
– run on inexpensive, long life industry-standard batteries
– have increasing rate and pitch as the distance closes

This would be a fairly easy hack but it needs to be small and elegant.

I know these outfits can get quite hot and humid, so I’m sure there are even more challenges to be met with electronics here. Still, it’s a great idea, and I’m excited to see makers attacking the problem. Hopefully you are jazzed about being a hero at a time when help is desperately needed. Have an idea? You are going to have to move swiftly for the challenge as submissions close on November 7th. Write it up, already! Oh yeah, and check out our learning guide on PIR Motion Sensors.

proximity_pirsensor


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