Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Computer science grad student develops 'musical heart'

Date:
November 6, 2012
Source:
University of Virginia
Summary:
A computer science graduate student has developed a “Musical Heart” biofeedback-based system that unites wellness and entertainment.

A University of Virginia graduate student has developed a biofeedback-based system that helps smartphones select music that will help get their owners' heart pumping during exercise, or slow it down when they want to cool down or relax.

"Whether I am driving, jogging, traveling or relaxing -- I never find the appropriate music to listen to," said Shahriar Nirjon, a doctoral student in computer science in the School of Engineering and Applied Science. "I believe there are many like me. The problem is: The heart wants to hear something, but our music player does not understand the need. My joy was in connecting them together -- in a non-invasive and cost-effective way."

Called "Musical Heart," the system "brings together wellness and entertainment," Nirjon said.

Musical Heart works by merging a microphone that detects the pulse in arteries in the ear with earphones that bring in music from a playlist on a smartphone. An app selects tunes that optimize the heart rate of an individual user based on a given activity, whether running, walking or relaxing -- playing fast-paced music for hard workouts, and slowing the beat for cool-downs. An algorithm refines the music selection process of the system by storing heart rate data and calculating the effects of selected music on the rate. Over time, it improves music selections to optimize the user's heart rate.

Musical Heart uses a pair of specially built earphones equipped with tiny sensors to continuously monitor the user's heart rate and activity level. That physiological information, along with contextual information, is then sent to a remote server, which provides dynamic music suggestions to help the user maintain a target heart rate. The system learns, in essence, to select music that will have a desired effect on heart rate customized to the individual user, based on the effects of past music selections on the heart rate. In addition to helping to optimize heart rate for various activities, Musical Heart also can select music that helps the user relax.

"We've designed Musical Heart to be convenient, non-invasive, personalized and low cost," Nirjon said.

Most portable heart monitors, he said, are not personalized to the user, meaning they don't provide the biofeedback feature of Musical Heart. They can be inconvenient to use, requiring bulky watch-like monitors, sometimes with a chest strap, and can range in price from $80 to $400.

The Musical Heart system, which is not on the market, may cost about $20, Nirjon said, and is more than simply a monitor because of its music selection feature.

Nirjon will present his system at the 10th Association for Computing Machinery Conference on Embedded Networked Sensor Systems (SenSys 2012), being held this week in Toronto -- the most important annual meeting in the field, he said. His paper describing the system has been accepted for publication in the conference's proceedings.

Nirjon's area of expertise is in smartphone sensing and networked embedded systems. Musical Heart is one of his research projects and will be a part of his Ph.D. thesis. He works with computer science professor John A. Stankovic, who runs a research group that bridges health and computer science. The industry partner on this project was Microsoft Research Asia (Beijing).

Nirjon currently is working on a generic acoustic sensing platform for smartphones that hosts a suite of apps -- one of which is the Musical Heart. He does not currently have a marketing plan, but may develop one in the future.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Virginia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Virginia. "Computer science grad student develops 'musical heart'." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121106125454.htm>.
University of Virginia. (2012, November 6). Computer science grad student develops 'musical heart'. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121106125454.htm
University of Virginia. "Computer science grad student develops 'musical heart'." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121106125454.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

Newsy (July 25, 2014) An online quiz from a required course at Ohio State is making waves for suggesting atheists are inherently smarter than Christians. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A study by German researchers claims watching TV while you're stressed out can make you feel guilty and like a failure. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins