Project image
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CA$ 12,015
pledged of CA$ 30,000pledged of CA$ 30,000 goal
89
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sun, December 28 2014 12:57 PM UTC +00:00
CA$ 12,015
pledged of CA$ 30,000pledged of CA$ 30,000 goal
89
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sun, December 28 2014 12:57 PM UTC +00:00

About

Ear-o-smart is introducing a new segment in the wearable electronics market, the first smart earring (patent pending). By combining fashion and electronics, you can now easily monitor your activity level without compromising on looks.

Ear-o-smart connects to your smartphone with Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology and allows you to monitor a wide range of fitness data such as heart rate, calories, and activity level.

The wearable market is expanding quickly, but the problem is that your options are very limited; most fitness monitors are limited to wrist based electronics. Would you want to wear a bulky wrist monitor to a party or on a date? We think not…

We believe that wearable electronics should be embedded into the products we use in our everyday lives; for that reason, we created Ear-o-Smart.

As Seen in....

 
Make your own unique earrings with Ear-O-Smart monitor
Make your own unique earrings with Ear-O-Smart monitor

  As the monitor size is very small, you can use it with number of gems, stones and even readily available earring cases in the market as shown below. 

The best part is that through the Ear-O-Smart app, users will be instructed to switch exercises based on their heart rate zone. The voice instruction in the app will notify you when should speed up or slow down based on your heart rate data to provide optimal results.

We are excited to introduce Danielle Chevalier, a professional fitness trainer, who is helping our team to create workout sessions for our Ear-O-Smart app. She has a large following in her fitness classes and on her YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/axfit motivating people to work out. 

Don't have ear piercing?

We are also providing option to select between clip-on earrings and normal earring posts in the DIY Kit, so that all backers who don't have their ears pierced will also be able to use Ear-O-Smart.

Journey

Trying to Work with PPG Technology
Trying to Work with PPG Technology

We started by understanding the PPG technology in the devices used by physicians. The enabler for scaling down the whole system is the introduction of smaller ICs like AFE4400 by Texas Instruments, which have almost everything on-board, including signal filtering circuits. However, since the IC is so small, it is not possible to use the normal breadboard to hook up the IC for programming. Fortunately, SchmartBoard came to the rescue as they provide boards that make it easier to solder SMT components.

It was a great relief when we started receiving heart rate data on our computer, but the next challenge was to figure out how to transmit the same data to our smartphones.  

When it comes to Bluetooth data transfer, everyone in the electronics world knows CC2541 IC from TI. We love TI not only because they make awesome chips, but they also provide a lot of support.  

The SensorTag development kit comes loaded with CC2541, and is a great way to understand how to communicate between device and cellular phone.

To sum-up these two small ICs, are essentially the heart and brain of our device. Just look at their size!

However the IC alone is not enough to transmit the data: we need to place sensors, passive components, battery and antenna to make a complete functional device. Below is a summary of key characteristics of the Ear-O-Smart.

Sensors and Technology: Our fitness monitor uses the PPG (photoplethysmogram) technology to monitor pulse through blood flow in the skin. To explain it in simple words, light is emitted through LED which gets reflected by blood present under the skin. The reflected light is absorbed by photodiode to exactly capture the moment when there is blood flow. Voila! Heart pumps the blood and this means we can monitor the heart rate.

Accuracy: To understand accuracy we must understand the primary reasons for “noise” or inaccurate readings. The most significant reason for inaccurate reading is the bad quality of contact between the skin and the device. As the PPG monitor takes lot of samples in one second, even a slight relative motion between skin and device can cause inaccuracy. If you have to wear wrist based monitor and you are planning to swing your arms while running, it won’t be the best way to measure calories. Quality of contact is the key and this is where the ear-lobe based monitor would perform better. This is the reason why in clinical studies researchers use ear-lobe sensors as it can provide better accuracy. There are lot more variables involved when we talk about accuracy. It is also related to the ability of hardware and software in identifying and eliminating the noise. Wrist-based monitor have improved several-fold in recent years by using clever techniques to make their instruments more accurate. Nevertheless, I would still bet on contact point like ear-lobe which physicians prefer although the final verdict can only be obtained by conducting proper research to find out the relative accuracy of each fitness monitor out there.

 Size: One of the major constraint while designing fitness monitor in an earring was the size. We limited the size of our fitness monitor PCB to 16mm (0.63 inch) in diameter. With limited space on a single PCB to mount components, we used multilayered boards and 3 stacked PCBs one over the other. One PBC contains coin cell battery, second PCB contains components like CC2541 and antenna while the third PCB contains the AFE4400 and sensors. 

Size of PCBs. Less than Dime
Size of PCBs. Less than Dime
Comparing it with Dollar
Comparing it with Dollar

 Battery: Since the device is so small there will always be a challenge with battery life but we are trying our best to increase the battery life by having optimum sample rate and delivering the data via Bluetooth in periodic intervals. We have work under progress to continuously improve the battery life by improving our circuit design and algorithm. Right now we have functional prototype with 1225 coin cell battery and we are working on designing different variants with rechargeable battery that should last long enough for practical use (8+ hours). All our backer would get option of choosing Ear-O-Smart with rechargeable or standard battery before we ship.    

Design and material: We selected the best design available from our supplier to house the earring but there definitely exists the option to create your own designs and use Ear-O-Smart to monitor your body vitals with your personalized design. It would be cool to have different designs matching your dress everyday while keeping the same circuit underneath. We will ship Ear-O-Smart with surgical steel post but if you like to use your own material, it is easy to create custom earring using our 150$ DIY kit. So go ahead use diamonds or gold but make your earrings smart!

Learner's Kit: We believe that sharing knowledge of our patent-pending invention might herald the onset of new kinds of wearable devices in the market that previously, no one ever imagined. We want to help society by packing all the knowledge which we gained during our 2 years of research within 5 hours of video tutorials. We will cover topics on how to create your own hardware and would also provide important tips that you need to consider when you are planning to design fitness monitor. This 180 CAD$ kit which would include the Ear-O-Smart boards would definitely help geeks to take fitness monitoring to next level.

Special Thanks

We especially want to thank EPICentre at The University of Windsor for backing us throughout our journey. Not only did the University offer us an office facility to work on our groundbreaking technology, but they also provided us with funding and support to help us in building this great company.

We would also like to thank WEtech Alliance for their tremendous support and encouragement. Thanks to their team of business advisors, we were given the coaching and connections to help us launch this project and move our idea forward. Their ability to move at the same pace of an entrepreneur is truly amazing.

FAQ

Do you actually receive a finished pair of earrings — gem and all — or just the circuit boards that you can cover and customize?

With 125$(early bird) and 149$ reward level you will receive finished pair of earrings. 150$ DIY reward level is for modular earrings in which backers get kit to create their own unique designs.

Finished pair of earrings would be in white shade. We may add more color options depending upon funding we receive from KickStarter.

180$ Kit will include Ear-O-Smart boards and is targeted toward people who want to learn more about this technology. It will also have video tutorial on how make fitness monitor, programming these chips, data filtering in app as well as micro-controller and tips for creating good fitness monitor. The knowledge may enable you to create something cool  like apps that control music based on user's heart rate for example music track may be selected from playlist based on intensity of exercise. The possibilities are endless.

Risks and challenges

We work hard and just like any other hardware project, we will need to undergo rigorous testing before we start shipping, in order to ensure the best possible product. Although we considered the possibility of delays in our timeline, there is always the possibility that the delays may exceed the estimated time frame. We will keep you updated throughout the process and hope that we may be able to deliver earlier than expected.

Certification: Every wireless product in Canada and the USA will need to be certified by IC and FCC respectively, to ensure the radiation emitted by the device is within an acceptable range. As we are incorporating widely used wireless ICs designed by Texas Instruments, this should not be a problem. In the event that the device does not pass the first test, this will mean that our product will require additional time and effort to get the necessary approvals.

Not a medical device: Ear-O-Smart provides data to be used for informational purpose only and not intended to replace your medical devices or physician.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 1 or more About US$ 0.74

    Thank you for your support of Ear-o-smart. We will show our appreciation by thanking you on our website.

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    Pledge CA$ 25 or more About US$ 19

    Personal email from our team thanking you for your support and your name on our website. E-certificate appreciating your contribution in introducing new segment in wearable technology.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 125 or more About US$ 93

    EARLY BIRD - Only few Ear-o-smart sets are available at special price.

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 149 or more About US$ 111

    Ear-o-Smart - Receive one Ear-o-smart set and a cool fashionable box to store your earrings.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 150 or more About US$ 111

    Creators/ Jewellery Designers/ DIY Kit:
    If you want to create your own custom jewelry with Ear-O-Smart fitness tracker then this is perfect reward for you. We will deliver you the fitness monitoring chip and instruction on how you can customize it to make your own unique earring. Add your own gemstones or metal posts to Ear-O-Smart monitor. Match your earrings with your dress and let your earring reflect your personality.
    (This is modular design, different from above reward level which will come with finished design.)

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 180 or more About US$ 134

    Geeks/Software Developers/Learners Kit:
    This is the perfect reward for you to learn more about hardware behind fitness monitors. We will ship you the Ear-O-mart PCBs and will also provide you access to video training modules in which you can learn basics on how to make your own hardware more specifically a fitness tracker. If you spent years in front on computer and never created hardware, its right time to jump on this reward for learning some hardware skills and you know what it is not complicated at all. We will also provide you tips on how to improve accuracy of your fitness device.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 299 or more About US$ 222

    Receive 2 Ear-o-smart sets, 2 cool jewelry boxes and a special mention on the fitness buddies section on our website.

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 1,000 or more About US$ 742

    Receive 1 Ear-o-smart set, 1 Learner’s Kit and special mention on our website. 2 VIP pass to our launch party in Windsor also included in this reward. Travel fare not included.

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 2,900 or more About US$ 2,152

    Receive 1 Ear-o-smart set, 1 Learner’s Kit and special mention on our website. 2 VIP pass to our launch party in Windsor also included in this reward. One-day access to our head office in Windsor where we work on creating Ear-o-smart and the opportunity to meet with our team, have lunch with us, and learn more about the exciting journey of Ear-o-smart.

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    Pledge CA$ 8,000 or more About US$ 5,937

    Key-Partners. You get access to personal emails and phone numbers of the founding team and an opportunity to discuss the direction of our company. Selection of this reward shows that you are truly interested in our company. Let’s talk!

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Funding period

- (45 days)