Production Release of V2.3.2

I have just released V2.3.2 of OpenSeizureDetector as the main version of the App on Google Play Store.   The main changes in this version are:

  • Changes to the Watch App to improve efficiency (Note this will also make it more sensitive, so you may need to increase the Alarm Ratio Threshold setting from the default of 30 to between 50 and 60 to reduce false alarms).
  • Improved start-up screen that has buttons to help solve problems with set-up, and make initial set-up easier – updated installation instructions page to match.
  • Added an initial run message prompting user to subscribe to updates to this web site or the facebook page.
  • Added facility to auto-start the app on phone boot up.
  • Added GPS location information to SMS alarm notification messages.
  • See CHANGELOG.md for more details.

Next I will start work on converting OpenSeizureDetector to work with Android Wear and wrist worn Android Phone devices so it will continue to work once Pebble Watches are no longer available.

Update to Beta Version

I have just published an update to the Beta test version of OpenSeizureDetector (now V2.3.1).   This fixes two issues reported by testers:

  • The detection was much more sensitive than previous version, so the default Alarm Ratio Threshold setting has been increased to 50 (we use 56 for Benjamin because he is quite bouncy), so you may need a higher value, but I don’t want to make it too insensitive.
  • The auto-start on boot feature now works with the phone screen locked.

This release will be available to anyone who has registered as a beta tester here in the next couple of hours.

Implications of Pebble Sale to Fitbit on OpenSeizureDetector

A couple of weeks ago Pebble announced that they have been bought by Fitbit (who make fitness tracking devices), and no longer sell or support smart watches.

A few people have asked what this means for OpenSeizureDetector.    My thoughts are:

Short Term (around 1 year)

No change – if you already have a Pebble watch or can buy one, you will be able to install the Pebble Android App from Google Play Store to connect your pebble to the phone, and install OpenSeizureDetector on it.

It is possible that Pebbles may become scarce (or looking more positively, they may get cheap – Argos and Amazon are selling them for £49, and cheaper if you like pink!   Amazon.co.uk currently says they only have 5 in stock (17 December).

Medium Term (1-3 years)

The Pebble Android App and Pebble firmware may no longer be available from Pebble.   There is an open source project that implements the Bluetooth communication with the watch, so I think it will be possible to bypass the Pebble Android App and build this all into OpenSeizureDetector (OpenSeizureDetector does not need any of the Pebble web services to work) –  I will look at doing this over the winter while the Pebble software is still available.

Long Term (>3 years)

Pebble watches are unlikely to be available so we will need an alternative device.  The options are:

  1. If we are very lucky FitBit may release a pebble-like device with software development kit so you can program it like you can the Pebble, as they bought all the Pebble intellectual property.   I am not too hopeful about this – I did try to work out how to program a fitbit before I discovered Pebble, and it is all closed-source protocols….
  2. Android Wear – Android Wear watches such as Moto 360 should be capable of doing what OpenSeizureDetector does on the pebble, and use the same Android App infrastructure (since Verison 2 I have the internal structure of the code set up to use different devices).   I haven’t done this yet because Pebbles were so much cheaper than Android Wear devices, so no point using anything else….but now I’ll have to look at it.
  3. Embrace – the Embrace ‘watch’ is doing something very similar to OpenSeizureDetector and includes skin electrodes to detect stress.  This should give better false alarm discrimination than just using Acceleration like I do with the Pebble.   But, up to now I am not impressed with the reliability of the device – it drops bluetooth connections without any of the fault warning beeps that we have built into OpenSeizureDetector – I am minded to try to use Embrace as a data source for the OpenSeizureDetector alarm notification system rather than use their Android App, which relies on an active internet connection to raise alarms.
  4. Another Device – I had looked at AngelSensor, and I do have a device to work on, but I am not sure if the company still exists – no point developing for a device that no-one can get hold of….
  5. Anything else?  I’m open to suggestions for alternative devices with accelerometers that we could use the OpenSeizureDetector system with.

Conclusion

OpenSeizureDetector will continue to work while Pebble Watches are available (I  am confident enough that I just bought Benjamin two spares for when his current ones break).

But we need to decide what to do once Pebble Watches are not available any more…

New Features in OpenSeizureDetector V2.3.0

I have just published V2.3.0 of OpenSeizureDetector to the Google Play Store as a Beta test release.

This release introduces three changes requested by users:

  1. Add the user’s location to the SMS alarm notifications – it now sends two SMS messages – the first one gives the last known location (if we have one).  It then spends a minute trying to get the best location information it can, and sends that location as a second SMS after a minute.
  2. Added an option in the General Settings screen to auto-start the app when the phone boots.
  3. Improved Start-Up screen that now checks whether the Pebble App is installed and provides a button to install it for you if not.

To install this version you need to register as a Beta tester here.

Please let me know if you have any issues with this version.

(note on version numbering – I messed up the version numbers on the last few releases – the first two figures are supposed to match the version of the Pebble App that the Android App works with, but I forgot.    Version 2.3 of the Pebble App is included as part of the Android package, so the Android Package is V2.3.0).