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CeBIT 2013: The armchair as a fitness trainer
Date:2/4/2013

For years the trends have been clear: not only are we getting older all the time, but we are also increasingly left to take care of ourselves in our old age. This is why researchers are already working on technologies that will assist us in everyday situations later in life. One of these technologies is will be presented by the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS in Erlangen (Germany) at the CeBIT trade fair in Hanover, March 5-9, 2013 (Hall 9, stand E08): an intelligent armchair we can not only comfortably sink into in front of the television but one that also motivates us to keep ourselves healthy and fit.

On the outside, GEWOS looks like a conventional armchair. Even when you sit down you don't notice any difference. But first glances can be deceiving. A glimpse inside the armchair reveals sensors, circuit boards and all kinds of wiring. The microsystem technology built into the seat cushions, backrest and armrest constantly measures the state of health of the seated person. "GEWOS measures the key bodily functions and determines the correct sitting posture. If the acquired values deviate from specifications, the system shows the user how he or she can practice improving endurance or sitting in a healthier position," explains Sven Feilner of the Image Processing and Medical Technology Department at IIS.

A very different way to watch TV

A tablet PC applied to the armchair transmits the data to the TV via Bluetooth and WLAN. Feilner describes the system: "At a glance the user can view trends in pulse rate, blood oxygen saturation, blood pressure or weight over a certain period of time. A virtual health assistant uses the recorded data to come up with exercise plans tailored to the user and updates these plans based on the progress made". If the values fall outside a prescribed range the health assistant may recommend more exercise. Then, the armchair is transformed into a rowing machine of the kind seen in fitness st
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Contact: Sven Feilner
sven.feilner@iis.fraunhofer.de
49-913-177-67349
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Source:Eurekalert  

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