Virgin Media TiVo KipstR hits pause-and-record if you fall asleep after too much turkey

Virgin Media may have found the killer app for wearable tech with KipstR, a wristband which tells TiVo boxes to pause and start recording if you fall asleep in front of the TV.

The 3D printed wristband is being trialled with TiVo subscribers over the Christmas period, when one-in-five of us are expected to fall asleep on the sofa during our typical four-hour festive viewing marathon.

KipstR was designed by teenagers Ryan Oliver, 15, and Jonathan Kingsley, 14, as part of Virgin’s Switched on Futures initiative, using a pulse-oximeter to sense if the wearer is asleep or awake.

Ryan commented: “We jumped at the chance to work with the Virgin Media team on this project, it was a brilliant challenge for us but we’ve learnt so much and are really pleased with the end result.”

The students at Manchester Creative Studio built their device to mimic signals from the TiVo remote, so it will also resume playback if you wake up before someone else has changed the channel.

The traditional British Christmas dinner is a triple-whammy for afternoon naps, with turkey rich in the sleep-inducing amino acid tryptophan, red wine boosting melatonin to fool your body into thinking it’s bedtime, and seasonal snack almonds full of magnesium, which boosts sleep quality.

Neil Illingworth, head of advanced technology and innovation at Virgin Media, said: “We have been exploring the possibilities of connected entertainment for some time and are very excited to unveil KipstR.

“With emerging new technologies, it is possible to create almost anything, such as emotionally intelligent entertainment systems that can suggest shows based on your moods, or even harnessing brainwaves to control your television.”

The KipstR technology could also be used to monitor users’ emotional reactions to their TV viewing, helping TiVo learn and tag programmes that evoke the strongest responses from the wearer. Virgin is also investigating other applications like lights on and off, or controlling central heating.

DTG Staff  |  23.12.2014

Previous story  |  Next story