Sen.se implements cookies in the physical world
Sen.se CEO Rafi Haladjian designed a device that could send and receive a range of data—MP3s, messages, RSS feeds—ten years ago. Named after its physical shape, the Nabaztag (or hare in Armenian) functioned just like an Internet radio. Since then, from a focus of connecting everything together, the company has shifted to data collection and interpretation, making sense of the collected data using multipurpose smart sensors.
The system utilises Mother, a single Internet-connected hub via an Ethernet cable (and soon, via Wi-Fi), and Motion Cookies that tracks the activity of objects or people. The Mother then collects the data from up to 24 nearby cookies and relays this information to the cloud for easy access by third-party applications running on smartphone.
Because they are not dedicated to one specific use like a fitness bracelet, Sen.se says its products are aimed at the majority casual consumers who could find a use for versatile activity trackers, at a much lower cost than dedicated solutions.
What's more, these cookies can be repurposed from one application to another, at any time. Based on the selected application, the cookies will capture and analyse movements accordingly, identifying the movement's signature to recognise sets of actions. This could be monitoring a fridge-door, a coffee-machine, indicating the presence or absence of someone wearing one of those cookies, monitoring sleep, in addition to recording the data, all these actions can trigger SMS or email notifications as the Mother kindly reports to whoever owns and configures the cookies.
The Motion Cookies communicate their data whenever they are in proximity, typically within a similar range as WiFi, of their Mother, otherwise, they can just store the motion and temperature data for up to ten days until they get a chance to offload it through a proprietary radio link—at 868MHz in Europe and 915MHz in North America.
Equipped with a tri-axial accelerometer (ST's LIS3DH ) and a temperature sensor, and running on TI's MSP430 ultra-low power MCU, these 50mmx22mmx4mm units are low power enough to run for a year on CR2016 button cells, or several months when in constant motion.
This very low power operation is a key enabler of Sen.se's new vision of logging, aggregating and bringing meaningful data to the users, while making the Motion Cookies unobtrusive to a point that their presence could easily be forgotten after a few months in operation.
"With wearable connected objects such as a pedometer or a fitness tracker, consumers typically go through different phases of data consumption," explained Haladjian.
"First, there is a revelation phase, when the consumer gets passionate about the data he or she generates and discovers how many steps there are from here to there, how many calories are burnt doing this or that. Then there is a plateau, because after a while the data doesn't change dramatically. Maybe within the first few weeks, users will try to walk longer distances or be more active, but then, unless they are performance-seeking athletes, their interest in the data will soon fade away," he added.