We’ve wanted to give you a longer update about what we have done recently, what we are doing now, and what we have planned.
- Hardware -
After testing various fabrics and polymers for the electrodes in the NeuroOn, we have decided on stainless steel. It allows for great conductivity and durability, two characteristics that define what we look in different components. Professional medical electrodes are also made from metal and we do not want to take compromises here either. Our electrodes will be very thin (we are testing 0.2-0.5 milimeter width), virtually resembling plastic. They will be covered in foam so they will also be very comfortable to the skin.
If you want to know more about the type of electrodes we use, you can check out our recent blog post:
Like we said before, the electronics of the NeuroOn are already ready, and the choice of electrodes has completed the sensor strip that will be attached on top of the electronics box. For the rest of the project, the hardware team will be concentrated on testing, tooling, and managing the certification process of the NeuroOn.
We have already chosen the manufacturing plants that will be assembling the NeuroOn and will be signing contracts with them soon. We have already purchased the vast majority of electronic components necessary for the NeuroOn, and they are already stored waiting to be sent to the production lines.
- Software -
We have just completed implementing the alarm clock wake up algorithm. Waking up with be accomplished through, first, lights that imitate dawn, second, delicate vibrations, and, third, if the user has not been woken up by now, sound. There is a lot of evidence that humans can wake up by light alone. Such a gradual waking up mechanism allows us to combine the most natural waking methods with the assuredness that the user will wake up by the time set with minimal sleep inertia (morning drowsiness).
Something less “showy” that we have accomplished recently, albeit still extremely important for us, is the device firmware update manager, a feature that will allow the NeuroOn to keep being updated after the its already shipped. It will allow us to implement new functions and modify existing ones in the NeuroOn that we have already sent out.
We have also completed a test trial of the NeuroOn at a local sleep clinic. We are currently analyzing the signal feedback gathered from those tests. We want to conduct one more trial run in the next month.
Our software team is analyzing the data from the trials. This data is vital to the NeuroOn’s sleep scoring mechanism. We know the project is experiencing a delay from our original Kickstarter timeline and we want to ship the NeuroOn to you guys as soon as possible.
Because of that our software team is working hard on the release release version of the algorithm that, however, we will be updating even after the release as there is always something that can be made better.
In addition, we have recently met with our advisor Dr. Christopher Drake from the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit to discuss clinical trials pertaining to the NeuroOn’s jetlag reduction mechanism with the use of light therapy. This is a great opportunity for us and we will keep you posted on that.
If you want to know more about light therapy and jet lag, check out our blog post on the “social jet lag” here:
Jet lag is something we have really put a premium on in the last couple months. The NeuroOn can be very effective in treating it. Yesterday on our website we have added a jet lag optimizer that you can test yourself right now:
Bright light exposure during sleep inhibits the release of melatonin to the blood stream. There is a lot of evidence that shows that people with a smaller difference of melatonin release during sleep and wake better tolerate nightshifts and other unusual working schedules.
The NeuroOn, combined with the jet lag application that we are working on, will incorporate the algorithm from our website to make sure you feel better when you travel long distances.
The core mechanic behind both jet lag reduction as well as polyphasic sleep is the management of circadian rhythm. That is why we have decided to use a very precise thermometer in the NeuroOn that monitors the release of melatonin (sleep hormone) to the blood, which, in turn, is crucial in understanding of the sleep and wake cycle.
- Mobile -
There will be three applications in the NeuroOn ecosystem: the NeuroOn sleep companion, a polyphasic sleep manager, as well as a jet lag application.
We are putting the finishing touches on the jet lag application. The sleep manager application is also largely complete, but we have to wait until all software algorithms are ready for final testing and accommodation to occur.
The polyphasic sleep manager will also be ready for the NeuroOn release.
- Design -
When it comes to the non-electronic part of the NeuroOn, we are currently in the testing phase. As we have said before, we are working with one of the best design teams in Europe: Ergo Design from Cracow.
Together with Ergo Design, we are creating different versions of the NeuroOn, versions made from different materials and with small design tweaks. We have to test them, literally sleep wearing them, to decide which ones are most comfortable.
We are really proud to have the NeuroOn be made of the most advanced materials on the market. Besides being comfortable, the NeuroOn is also hygenic, as it boasts a antibacterial cover that takes over 100 washes to be depleted. That is two years of continual antibacterial protection if you wash it once a week!
The entire design process, which is already in its 4th month, is conducted in close cooperation with production plants that will be making and assembling different parts of the NeuroOn. That is why in addition to the regular NeuroOn design work, we also had to consider the production capabilities of various factories, especially in relation to specific material availability or production techniques.
Even with the best team, prototyping and testing takes longer than we had originally anticipated. We are currently looking for shipping in the end of first quarter of 2015, yet that is assuming certification will go without letups. We will keep you updated with how work is progressing more often.
We know the project is experiencing delays, and we want to show you what we are doing more often so that you understand better how our work looks like and what we do on a week-by-week basis.
- Certification -
Certification is something we can only start once we have a completely tested version of the NeuroOn, and we hope to start it in the beginning of 2015. The optimistic timeframe for certification is around two months, but we cannot predict how long it will take exactly. We want to obtain FCC, UL, and CE certifications for the NeuroOn, and are doing our best to have the process go as smoothly as possible.
In other news, we have just welcome to our team Agnes, our new community manager, who will be helping us and keeping you better up-to-date going forward.
(Agnes says “Hi, guys!”)
We hope that now you have a better understanding what we are doing here and what still has to be done. Delivering a device that both works and is safe is our priority. If, however, you still have questions about the delay, you can send us a message through Kickstarter and we will arrange a Skype call with us to help answer any outstanding questions you may have about the development process of the NeuroOn and the said timelines.
Also, in the beginning of January we will be attending probably the most important tech event in the world: CES in Las Vegas. Our booth number is 740027, so if you are out and about the Health and Technology marketplace, and want to see the NeuroOn, then come talk to us!
The Intelclinic Team