If you missed our Kickstarter, you can now pre-order Memo Box.
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No sensor can yet determine whether someone swallowed their pills or not. The decision to build Memo Box with the ability to learn and to reason, instead of installing sophisticated sensors (such as a weight sensor), is based on the cost-effectiveness of making accurate predictions. Reasoning such as - 'the possibility that you would have taken your pills without opening your pillbox is minuscule' - and the ability to learn from your habits and feedback, allows Memo Box to learn whether the user is likely to have opened the box by accident or has in fact taken their medication. We believe that installing power hungry and expensive sensors for marginal improvements in predictive accuracy is a poor trade-off for shorter battery life, increased cost and bulkiness.
Much like the central nervous system, the Memo Box system consists of a ‘brain' (cloud computing servers), 'sensors' (hardware which tracks the user’s access to its contents), and 'nerve fibre' (wired and wireless technology which seamlessly syncs information across the hardware, App and server).
Memo’s cloud server decides what and when notifications are pushed to you if your loved one misses a dose. These cloud computers carry out the heavy lifting of data crunching the user's habits. Memo Box uses learning algorithms to create an increasingly personalised device capable of making smarter decisions for you.
Learning algorithms are the key to Memo’s 'Intelligent reminder' and 'misplace alert' features. Intelligent reminders save you the hassle of an inflexible alarm by automatically cancelling an upcoming alarm when it predicts that you have indeed taken the scheduled dose. These predictions are enhanced by learning your intake habits and by getting occasional feedback from you. For example, if you access Memo Box at an improbable time (e.g. an hour before your set schedule), the model will start to shift to find this more probable. The learning algorithms mean that your Memo Box becomes more intelligent and better suited to you over time.
Memo Box is not just a project. It is a real story of a journey embarked upon by us- two college students (Shan Lu and Meichen Lu) from our dorm rooms 2 years ago in the old university town of Cambridge, United Kingdom.
It started with an idea to solve the problem our parents faced with taking medication. We wanted to build Memo Box for our parents and for people facing similar problems. This simple idea translated to a formidable task as neither of us had experience with sourcing electronic components, industrial design or manufacturing.
We didn’t give up!
To design Memo Box, we taught ourselves CAD software. We went halfway around the globe to the world’s largest electronic market in Shenzhen to source the electronic parts that would fit in with the Memo Box design. Through kind help from friends, a top-tier manufacturer lent us their much-needed expertise in manufacturing.
It takes a great team to build great products. We built our team along the way.
Very passionate and talented engineers and designers trusted us and worked together with us to build Memo Box. Rujian Chen who is our trusty old coding buddy in MIT has kindly helped us design many of our machine learning logics.
With very limited resources chipped in by our families and friends, and with just 2 full time team members, your support is pivotal in making the Memo Box project come alive.
Would you like to be part of Memo Box’s story and support us?
Risks and challenges
Before starting this Kickstarter campaign, we developed and tested 5 generations of the electrical circuitry with electronic components from different suppliers. Seemingly insignificant components such as USB connectors would have a great impact on the quality of our Memo Box if the supplier has not done the proper quality control in the electroplating procedure. As a result, selecting the right suppliers is no trivial business. Apart from rigorous testing, we are careful with selecting reputable suppliers to provide reliable electronic components to build Memo Box.
Many Kickstarter campaigns can encounter problems when taking their prototypes to production. We take this lesson seriously. We have worked closely with our trusted manufacturing partner to improve our design for manufacturing. In the last year, we have built 4 generations of prototypes and tested our design both in terms of manufacturing and assembly.
There will no doubt be some surprises along the road. We will work very hard to overcome any obstacles, just as we did in the past 2 years, so that we can deliver an exceptional product that would make everyone who has given us their support really proud!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (45 days)