Do you know how much oxygen you have in your blood? You may not be worried about knowing since you’re alive and thus can infer you have enough. But, visiting high altitudes can be made safer, and implementing a new workout regimen can be made more effective, with an oximeter.
These devices can be pricey and offer little to no customization. So, the people at SmartMaker decided to make an oximeter following the open-source model to achieve low cost and an endless potential for modification.
The resulting device -- the SmartPulse -- is a working prototype that is low power, and has an embedded microcontroller for creating the necessary spectrometry wavelengths, reading data, calculating parameters, and generating the output. It includes a Bluetooth 4.0 interface that makes it very simple to link the device to a plethora of others. The SmartPulse can run on two AAA batteries or on 3.7V Li-ion batteries.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.