The Internet of…(Drum Roll Please)…Band-Aids?!?

Posted in f5, silva, humans, big data, iot, things, sensors by psilva on October 22nd, 2014

Last week I told you about my family's experience with an under the skin glucose sensor that tracks blood sugar levels. While this Internet of Things trend often takes the form of a thermostat, light bulb or coffee machine, the medical field has been using sensors for a while and it is about to get even more connected with your skin.

We're talking skin tags of a different kind.


First up is a sensor filled smart bandage. Ed Goluch, an assistant professor of chemical engineering at Northeastern University is working on a smart band-aid that will monitor infections and alert the person. He was investigating how individual bacteria cells behave by using a sensor. The sensor measured the produced toxins and how cells reacted to antibiotics when the idea hit. Next they build an electrochemical sensor with computer chips to detect Pseudomonas aerug­i­nosa, a bacteria that commonly takes advantage of people with compromised immune systems. For this particular bacteria, it can detect of an infection is starting before symptoms show and the patient can put an antibiotic on the wound to heal it. So far the testing has only occurred in the lab and the next step is humans and animals. Pretty Cool.

In Japan, University of Tokyo, in cooperation with JST, has introduced the world’s very first flexible wireless organic sensor. This paper-thin, water proof sensor can also be used for band-aids but also a few other health situations. Like urine. OMG! Did he just write the word for pee in a blog post?!? Yup, we all do it but back to the story. The idea is to be able to detect the chemical compound for health related matters. The circuit was actually tested on a wet diaper where it was successfully able to transmit the needed data and receive power from a nearby source. The cool thing about this sensor is that they wanted to develop something that is easy to make, use, dispose and replace. Instead of expensive components, they went for simple detectors for thing like humidity and air pressure. Being small and low cost, they could be used for such disposable things like diapers or bandages.


Next up is a microchip that can now be printed directly on the skin. Originally designed for sports physicians, MC10 has created a health sensor that is formed with spray-on bandage material. Since it is essentially a second skin, it can detect hydration levels and temperature of the wearer. It lasts about two weeks on the body even while bathing or swimming and it is 1/30 the size of previous sticker sensors.

Lastly, the iPhone 6 and it's NFC (near field communications) chip has been one upped by a human. Robert J. Nelson has had a NFC chip implanted in his hand! We've seen stories the past couple years about body modification with chips so he isn't the first but for $99 he picked up a chipset and got someone to implant it. In his story he states,

'I should make it clear that I am not trying to become a cyborg or anything like that. For me, getting this implant came down to having a strong interest in technology and the connected space, and more to the point is that I am someone who likes seeing technology integrated into life. Or in this case, my body'

Seriously, wouldn't be cool if you twisted your ankle and your sock would tell you how bad the sprain was? And then sent the data to your doctor for an appointment if it was serious? Or just quickly cooled down so you have ice around the sprain? Dizzying, all the applications for this.

Forget about the internet being this thing we use to look up stuff and email...soon we all will be part of the internet with our connected bodies. The Internet of You!




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My Sensored Family

Posted in f5, silva, control, iot, things, sensors by psilva on October 14th, 2014

The Important Things


Lately I've been writing a bunch about the Internet of Things or IoT. You know, where everyday objects have software, chips, and sensors to capture data and report back. Household items like refrigerators, toilets and thermostats along with clothing, cars and soon, the entire home will be connected. Many of these devices provide actionable data - or just fun entertainment - so people can make decisions about whatever is being monitored. It can also help save lives.

Recently my daughter became a robot, at least according to her.

My daughter has a rare genetic disorder called HI/HA GDH - Hyperinsulinism/Hyperammonemia Syndrome in the Glutamate Dehydrogenase gene. Say that 3 times fast. Basically, she produces too much insulin (extreme hypoglycemic) and too much ammonia. She gets blood work done every couple months and recently we've had some concerning numbers on those reports. While we certainly check her blood multiple times a day, the doctor wanted to get a more precise reading over the course of a few days to determine a plan of action. Enter the sensor.

The doctor installed a Medtronic Sof-Sensor Glucose meter which measured her blood sugars every 5 minutes and stored it on a chip. They also have models which transmit the BSL to a base for instant readings. Out of the package, the device has a needle almost tented over the sensor. You put it in an apparatus which punches the needle and sensor into the skin. You remove the needle and the sensor stays. You then connect it to a clam shell looking thing which houses the microprocessor. Tape over it, go on with your daily routine and the sensor does the rest. While she had hers in for 3 days, there are some that can be inserted for longer term measurements. After our three days, we pulled it out and retuned it to the doctor. Pulling the tape off her skin hurt more than yanking the sensor out.


They connected the storage to a computer and retrieved the data. We could match the charted times and readings (along with a daily food diary) with the regular meter readings to get a great overall picture of what might be causing some of the recent abnormalities. From that, we got our medical marching orders and so far it seems like things are moving in the right direction. The parental worries have also dwindled now that we know what's going on. That anxiety is part of the challenge whether you're a global business or a parent...the data and context to make informed, knowledgeable decisions about a path forward. Sometimes sensors can provide that.

This Internet of Nouns trend is still in the early stages and many of our already connected gadgets do provide human benefits over the typical infotainment. While IoT is certainly interesting and the wave is building, I'm not particularly rushing to get everything or everyone connected like that...except for our micro chipped dog. But in this instance, installing a sensor in my daughter's side for a few days made all the difference in the world.

And gave us some uncensored peace of mind.



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Oracle OpenWorld 2014: That’s a Wrap!

Posted in f5, cloud, silva, video, oracle, trade show, oow by psilva on October 10th, 2014

Peter Silva wraps it up from #OOW14. Special thanks to guests Dana Gauthier, Jonathan George, David Wallace and Rubyanne Deang along with Natasha, Robert, Jonathan & Courtney for their spectacular camera work. And of course, thanks to you for watching. He also gives a quick update on the Shellshock vulnerability and how to find information on Reporting from San Francisco, that’s a wrap!

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Oracle OpenWorld 2014: Partner Architectural Solutions (feat Wallace)

Posted in security, f5, cloud, silva, oracle, infrastructure, oow by psilva on October 10th, 2014

Oracle’s David Wallace, Director of Partner Architected Solutions, takes over the mic – literally – and offers some insight of the F5 and Oracle global partnership…from an Oracle perspective. After many years and many joint solutions, David covers some of the coolest F5/Oracle integrations that are being used by 47 of the top Fortune 50 companies. Very well versed in our joint solutions, David has joined the F5 booth staff for the last 4 years at #OOW14.

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Play Ball!

Posted in f5, cloud, silva, data center, iot, things, sensors by psilva on October 7th, 2014

...Oh Wait, Let Me Check the Stat-Cloud First!


It is like a SAT question: 

Cincinnati Reds Billy Hamilton has a 10.83 foot lead off first base, can hit a top speed of 21.51 mph and clocked a jump of 0.49 seconds. If the Milwaukee Brewers catcher took 0.667 seconds to to get the ball out of his glove to throw to second and the ball is travelling at 78.81 mph, is Hamilton safe or out?

A few weeks ago I wrote about the Internet of Sports, and can't believe I missed this one. But with the MLB playoffs in full gear, I didn't want this to slip through the IoT cracks. Sports analytics has been around for a while but never to this degree.

Just like the NFL, Major League Baseball is equipping stadiums with technologies that can track moving players, flying baseballs and accurate throws. More than the RBIs, hits and stolen bases that appear on the back of trading cards, new technology (and software) also gathers stats like pop-fly pursuit range or average ground ball response time. Professional sports teams have always tracked their players' performance and often such milestones are included in the player's contract. Bonus for so many games played, or home runs hit or some other goal. With all this new detailed data, teams can adjust how they train, prepare for games and even player value for personnel moves like trades.

For the 2014 season, only 3 stadiums (Mets, Brewers, Twins) had the new Field f/x (Sportvision Inc.) system but the league plans to have all 30 parks complete for the 2015 season. Field f/x can show data such as the angle of elevation of a batted ball, the highest point in its trajectory and the distance covered and top speed attained by a player attempting to field a ball. Of course all this can then be crunched for cool graphics during a replay. Cameras, sensors and software are all now part of the game.

So are data centers, clouds and high speed links.

All this data needs to be crunched somewhere and more often it is in a cloud environment. Add to that, the connection(s) to the fans and with the fans at the stadium. Levi's Stadium, for instance, has 1200 access points and an app that allows you to order food, watch instant replays and know which bathroom line is the shortest. Our sport stadiums are becoming data centers.

Announcer: Welcome to Exclusive Sponsor Data Center Field! Home of the Hypertext Transfer Protocols. Undefeated at home this year, the Prots look to extend their record and secure home field throughout the playoffs.

And of you were wondering, Hamilton was Safe.





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Oracle OpenWorld 2014: Identity & Access Management in the Cloud (feat Deang)

Posted in f5, cloud, silva, video, oracle, saml, saas, oow by psilva on October 1st, 2014

Rubyanne Deang, F5 Global Field Systems Engineer, shares some insight on many identity and access challenges organizations face when deploying applications in the cloud. Multiple directories, orphaned accounts and business risk all make the list. Not to leave you hanging however, she also guides on how organizations can solve this dilemma with BIG-IP.

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Oracle OpenWorld 2014: Delivering Oracle Apps from the Cloud (feat George)

Posted in f5, cloud, silva, video, oracle, infrastructure, oow by psilva on October 1st, 2014

Jonathan George, F5 Sr. Product Marketing Manager, shares some insight on how F5 can help deliver Oracle applications from the cloud. From DNS, to application heath to identity management to security to disaster recovery to cloud migration, Jonathan gives some great tips to those looking to expand into a hybrid model.

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Oracle OpenWorld 2014: F5 & Oracle Integration (feat Gauthier)

Posted in f5, silva, video, oracle, oow by psilva on October 1st, 2014

Dana Gauthier, F5 Sr. Business Development Manager, talks about some of the highlights of the more than 15 different solutions from F5 & Oracle partnership. He also discusses the customer benefits of deep integration and collaboration in today’s software defined data centers.

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Oracle OpenWorld 2014: Find F5

Posted in f5, silva, video, oracle, oow by psilva on October 1st, 2014

I show you how to find F5 booth 1837 at Oracle OpenWorld 2014. The theme this year is Digital Disruption and how that’s contributing to the massive business transformation occurring. Get a behind the scenes view of trade show prep along with a sneak peek at the F5 giveaways! We’ll be here all week. Dateline San Francisco.

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I Think, Therefore I am Connected

Posted in f5, silva, mobile, smartphone, people, human behavior, big data, iot, things, sensors, wearable by psilva on September 24th, 2014



Descartes' proclaimed that since we can think, it was proof that we existed. Well today, we exist in a connected world and while wearables seem to be all the rage - at least according to me - soon those hot items might be kicked to the curb with the next hottest thing: Thinkables.

You heard, or rather read that right. Thinkable. Just what is a thinkable? Well, it is a wearable (on your head) but it tracks brain activity. Muse is the first consumer-focused headband that reads brain activity and helps you to stop thinking so much. That's right, ahhhh...ummmm...errrr...what was that again? Oh yeah, stop thinking. It is a Bluetooth connected headset that helps you meditate. It also comes with an app called Muse Calm which tracks your Zen like state. It turns meditation into a game and you only need to play it 3 minutes a day.

Meditation can help people with anxiety, heart problems, headaches and other ails. Every morning on my walk/run I meditate and chant. Sometimes it is a Buddhist phrase or a Hawaiian chant over and over and over mixed with whatever song is in my head. It certainly does help me clear my brain but also prepare for the day. Without getting all religious or philosophical, but I am able to connect with whatever energy is stirring in the universe. Over the years, many personal roadblocks were suddenly cleared since that 'ah ha!' moment instantly appeared. 'Why didn't I think of that earlier?' I wonder to myself. It came to me since my brain was uncluttered. Einstein said that he didn't want to remember his own phone number since he could look it up (reference it) and he didn't want to clutter his brain with useless information. Have you ever noticed that some of the best ideas come when your brain is wandering or not really focusing on a single task?

But back to the Muse.

After installing on your head, it'll calibrate with your brain (and the app) and then will tell you to think of a few things. This is to get your brain away from what it is currently doing and light up your frontal lobes. Based on the initial brain readings, it'll then take you through a meditation session. When you brain is starting to slow down and your calm(er) self is focusing on breathing, you'll hear a breeze. The weather you hear reflects the state of your brain and if your mind wanders, the weather will change. If you go deeper into relaxation, then the birds start chirping. The more birds that are singing, the more Zen like you are. The app will also report how much of the time your brain spent in three categories: Active, Neutral and Calm. As far as the game aspect, you earn points for each session and can unlock additional functionality all while understanding the patterns of your brain activity.

This, I am sure, is just the initial rush of many brain readers that'll be competing for our attention - or non-attention in the case of Muse. Oh, and a plastic hanger does NOT work as a Thinkable - in case you were thinking that.




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