We first saw a prototype of Scout, the tricorder and companion app built by Scanadu for the Tricorder X-prize competition late last year. Today, the company is unveiling Scout's final version and launching an Indiegogo campaign to let folks order Scout and sign up to participate in a usability study -- which will provide Scanadu the user feedback needed to help its tricorder get certified by the FDA. In the six months since Scout was first revealed, the design has changed somewhat, and we checked in with company CEO Walter De Brouwer to get the lowdown on the new version.
Like the prototype, the new model tracks your temperature, respiratory rate, systolic blood pressure and stress level. Scout now pulls your vitals in ten seconds using just optical sensors, which enables it to read the vital signs of others -- as opposed to the prototype which utilized an EEG sensor and could only record the info of the person holding it. Plus, thanks to some newly developed algorithms, it can now take both systolic and diastolic blood pressure readings with 95 percent accuracy. Running the algorithms to translate the optical sensor info takes a good bit of computing power, however. So, Scout got upgraded from an 8-bit processor to a 32-bit unit based on Micrium, the operation system being used by NASA's Curiosity Rover for sample analysis on Mars. If you're into supporting real world space technology being used to make science fiction a reality, the crowdfunding project of your dreams has arrived.
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