Saying no to IoT

I did not think I would ever do it – refuse some new sensors around me. Generally I’m all for that, and I will gladly augment my body with IoT devices when the technology is mature enough. And now this offer from Stockholm university arrives: my little boy has been selected to participate in a research study that tracks brain wave patterns through an electroencephalogram. Check it out:

Most probably the researcher who composed the letter does not have own kids. Because to me this picture looks as if it has been taken directly from a horror movie, and I would never let my little Paul participate in such an experiment, even if I know that the small metal discs with electrodes placed on the scalp only read and send the signals. This is still too much for a mother. This is how my heart reacts – we are programmed to defend our kids in every situation. And of course I see the value of such experiments and that researchers in linguistics do need a representative population of small kids to make experiments on. But then at least ask a marketing person to present it to parents in a selling way, especially when using Stockholm University branding. 

One thought on “Saying no to IoT

  1. Hi Elena,First, thank you for keeping your blog. Every post of yours is very different from the rest of those in my RSS inbox and provokes many thoughts! I could not read the text of the offer in Swedish, unfortunately, but if I am not mistaken, this are no “new sensors” in a typical encephalograph at all. I know it feels kinda weird to undergo such a test. I did it myself in the childhood when the doctor wanted to make sure everything was all right after a minor concussion of mine. As a side note, the setup on the picture looks much better than its “rugged” Soviet counterpart, which had the same electrodes placed on a rather rigid black rubber hat to prevent damage to the electrodes – you know, those kids :DI totally agree with you that the spread of the technology and especially the ways in which we are informed (or not, as it is usually the case) of its use is sometimes terrifying.I can't really change your opinion (who am I after all to do that), but in this case I think the tech is rather harmless 🙂 In case you are interested, an EEG machine should use instrumentation amplifiers to pick the electrical potential (100% produced by the body) between two points on the skin and amplify it. The circuits which connect to the body must not be electrically connected (i.e. not even sharing a common ground) with the rest of the equipment [1]. This is frequently done via optocouplers (previously transformers). In other words, if it's a standard certified medical equipment (not experimental), it should never send signals to brain, just read them [2].I wish all the best to you and your kids! – Andrew[1]:


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