Amulet team retreat

Group photo

The Amulet research group fall 2016 (L to R): David Kotz, Ron Peterson, Emily Walters, Joe Skinner, Vivian Motti, Kelly Caine, Jacob Sorber, George Boateng, Josiah Hester, Gunnar Pope, Steven Hearndon, Varun Mishra, Byron Lowens, Kevin Storer, Sarah Lord, Taylor Hardin, Ryan Halter; missing Emily Greene and Emma Oberstein.

Amulet Redesigned

It’s been quite awhile since our last hardware update, so we thought it best to update you all on our newest Amulet Hardware! Below are pictures and specs for our most recent hardware revision, which features a Sharp LS013B7DH03 display, three capacitive touch sensors, and a custom 3D printed case that is made up of two different types of materials–a soft flexible plastic to cover the buttons, and a hard durable plastic to encase and protect the inner electronics.



Full List of Features

  • Processing:
    • Texas Instruments MSP430FR5989, 2 KB SRAM and 128 KB of FRAM
  • Sensing:
    • Analog Devices ADMP510 microphone
    • Everlight ALS-PT19 light sensor
    • Texas Instruments TMP20 temperature sensor
    • STMicroelectronics L3GD20H gyroscope
    • Analog Devices ADXL362 accelerometer
    • Lapis Semi ML8511 UVA/B sensor
  • Communication:
    • Nordic nRF51822 used as a modem for communicating with peripheral BLE devices (such as a heart-rate monitor)
  • User Interface:
    • Sharp LS013B7DH03 display with 128×128 resolution
    • Two buttons
    • Three capacitive touch sensors with low power MPR121 touch controller
    • Haptic buzzer, and two LEDs.
  • Storage:
    • The small secondary storage board holds a microSD card reader.
  • Misc:
    • The board also includes a battery charger (MCP73831)
    • 110mAh battery
  • Supported Applications:
    • EMA – Displays a question after a timer or manual trigger, gets the user’s input, and logs it to the SD card
    • Battery Meter – Lists the current charge left in the batter in terms of percentage
    • Blinky – Demonstrates how to blink an LED
    • Clock – A clock for the system
    • Fall Detection – Detects when the wearer falls down
    • Heart Rate Log – Records and displays the user’s heart rate
    • Pedometer – Counts the user’s steps
    • Sun Exposure – Measures a user’s sun/light exposure over time
    • Temperature – Measures temperature over time

Wearable Amulet design

A few weeks ago we assembled our first complete Amulet, ready for wearing!   Here are a few shots so you can get a look at the case – which is mounted on a off-the-shelf wristband we hacked to encase the battery.





On one side, a button and a scrollwheel.



On the other side, two buttons.

On top, a low-energy display (like e-ink).


More pictures (inside the case!) below the break.

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Amulet presented at mHealth Summit

logo for the mHealth SummitPerhaps the largest annual event related to mHealth is the mHealth Summit, held near Washington DC.  Today, the summit kicked off with a Privacy & Security Symposium, including a presentation by David Kotz on Developing a Secure mHealth Platform for Wearables, in which he described the Amulet project.  The talk presented the Amulet approach to providing a wearable hub for body-area mHealth applications, and our latest hardware and software prototypes.  The talk generated a lot of interesting questions from the audience of about 60-70 people.

More news once we publish our new paper describing Amulet – hopefully within the next six months.

Amulet paper to appear at WMMADD

I’m pleased to share a new paper that we’ll be presenting next month at the Workshop on Mobile Medical Applications – Design and Development (WMMADD)  at SenSys in Memphis.

Abstract: Interest in using mobile technologies for health-related applications (mHealth) has increased. However, none of the available mobile platforms provide the essential properties that are needed by these applications. An mHealth platform must be (i) secure; (ii) provide high availability; and (iii) allow for the deployment of multiple third-party mHealth applications that share access to an individual’s devices and data. Smartphones may not be able to provide property (ii) because there are activities and situations in which an individual may not be able to carry them (e.g., while in a contact sport). A low-power wearable device can provide higher availability, remaining attached to the user during most activities. Furthermore, some mHealth applications require integrating multiple on-body or near-body devices, some owned by a single individual, but others shared with multiple individuals. In this paper, we propose a secure system architecture for a low-power bracelet that can run multiple applications and manage access to shared resources in a body-area mHealth network. The wearer can install a personalized mix of third-party applications to support the monitoring of multiple medical conditions or wellness goals, with strong security safeguards. Our preliminary implementation and evaluation supports the hypothesis that our approach allows for the implementation of a resource monitor on far less power than would be consumed by a mobile device running Linux or Android. Our preliminary experiments demonstrate that our secure architecture would enable applications to run for several weeks on a small wearable device without recharging.

  • Andrés Molina-Markham, Ronald Peterson, Joseph Skinner, Tianlong Yun, Bhargav Golla, Kevin Freeman, Travis Peters, Jacob Sorber, Ryan Halter, David Kotz. Amulet: A secure architecture for mHealth applications for low-power wearable devices. In Proceedings of the Workshop on Mobile Medical Applications – Design and Development (WMMADD), November 2014. [PDF]