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Kickbee : portfolio.menscher.com http://portfolio.menscher.

com/itp/kickbee/

MAY 6, 2009 | Kickbee is a part of a larger project entitled The


Honeycomb, which focuses on connecting parents who are physically
separated. The project was completed for my NYU Graduate Thesis at
portfolio.menscher.com the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP). Please check out the
Corey Menscher's Project Portfolio entire project at http://portfolio.menscher.com/itp/honeycomb
Home

ITP Projects As a baby grows inside the womb, pregnant mothers are constantly and acutely
Honeycomb aware of its presence mostly through its movements. With the Kickbee, I intend
Kickbee to extend a baby's minute contact with the world beyond the mother's body by
GeoGenius sensing these movements and transmitting them to digital networks.
The Asterisk File Transfer Protocol
The Peggy Lite-Brite There's something special about pregnant women's bellies that make so many
HeadJack want to touch them. The presence of a child inside the womb is mysterious
ITPedia because we only have visual clues to its presence. Yet we know that if we press
The Naked Pixel our hand and wait patiently, we may be greeted with a physical manifestation of
Infinity Mirrored Room - LEDs Forever its existence by feeling the baby's subtle (and not so subtle) movements inside.

Corey Menscher As an expectant father, I am once-removed from the physical knowledge my


corey[[at]]menscher.com wife has of our baby and its development. With the Kickbee, I wanted to create
©2008 a device that would give me a chance to be aware of our baby's movements. It
can also aid in tracking the frequency of fetal movements, which is an important
Built with Indexhibit way to monitor the health of the developing child.

The Kickbee is a wearable device whose base is a stretchable spandex band.


Piezo sensors are attached directly to the band, and transmit small but
detectable voltages when triggered by movement underneath. An Arduino Mini
microcontroller filters and analyzes the movement and transmits the signals to
an accompanying Java application wirelessly via Bluetooth. (a SparkFun
BlueSMIRF v2 module that communicates serially with a Macbook Pro.) The
band and electronics are covered in a soft fleece cover for comfort. An updated
version presented at the ITP Winter Show 2008 uses XBee radios for better
stability and to prevent interference from the hundreds of bluetooth cell phones
in the vicinity.

The Java application receives the sensor values and analyzes them. When a kick
event is detected, a Twitter message is posted via the Twitter API. I chose to
use Twitter because it is easy to initiate an SMS message to any mobile phone
when a kick is detected. It also acts as a data log that can be accessed
programmatically for visualization or archiving.

12/13/2008 - Kickbee has been getting a lot of internet attention, and I've
responded to some comments I've been reading on my blog.

12/20/2008 - After a week of press and attention, I've made some additional
comments and observations on my blog.

Kickbee Press:

April 27, 2009 - "New Device Twitters Baby Kicks" - Reuters TV

April 16, 2009 - ABC's Good Morning America piece on "Tweeting During
Surgery"

April 14, 2008 Edition of the New York Times - Putting Twitter’s World to Use

PBS Frontline: Digital Nation website - "Kickbee": texting from the belly
(YouTube link to video)

Twitter CEO Evan Williams references Kickbee in his TED 2009 talk

NYC WPIX News Video (also aired on CNN) - Kickbee: Fetal Kick Detector

NY Daily News - "Twittering from the womb: How soon is too soon to 'tweet'?"

Daily Mail UK - "'I kicked mummy at 11.38': Pregnancy belt allows unborn
babies to open Facebook 'chat-womb'"

The Telegraph UK - "Babies in the womb to record kicks on Facebook"

The Sun - "Baby's message from the womb"

BoingBoing - "Youngest Twitterer Evar"

MAKE blog - "Kickbee: Twitter from the Womb"

Gizmodo - "Kickbee: Now the world can know what your fetus is up to"

Engadget - "@kickbee OMG, this Twitter / baby-tracking hack is so great. Keep


on kicking mommy!"

Hakaday.com - baby twitters via kicks

Geek.com - "Device allows babies to Twitter from the womb"

designboom - "Twitter Baby"

Talk2MyShirt.com - "Interactive maternity clothing - Kickbee"

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Kickbee : portfolio.menscher.com http://portfolio.menscher.com/itp/kickbee/

Corporeality.net - "Kickbee - what's the point?"

portfolio.menscher.com
Corey Menscher's Project
Portfolio
Home
ITP Projects
Honeycomb
Kickbee
GeoGenius
The Asterisk File Transfer
Protocol
The Peggy Lite-Brite
HeadJack
ITPedia
The Naked Pixel
Infinity Mirrored Room - LEDs
Forever
Corey Menscher
corey[[at]]menscher.com
©2008
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