Reboot Life In A Heartbeat

This hoodie senses your heartbeat and uses it to control Life. Conway’s Game of Life, popular in all kinds of electronics projects, uses a grid of cells coupled with a set of rules to mimic the life and death of simple organisms. This iteration displays the game over your own heart, then taps into your heart rate, resetting the game at the beginning of each cardiac cycle. We guess you could say that Life goes on only if you do not.

The EKG circuit that detects the heartbeat is made up of an IR transmitter shining through the tip of your finger to a receiver. An ATmega168 running the Arduino bootloader controls the EKG circuit and resets an ATmega48 which is responsible for Life. [Joe] admits that this is overkill but he’s currently without an AVR programmer; he went this route to make it work. The stylishly-geeky hoodie is taken for a test run (er… test-hop?) after the break.


18 thoughts on “Reboot Life In A Heartbeat

  1. @Pete is absolutely correct! this is not EKG (measures electrical impulses) nor is it pulse oximetry (measures oxygen in the blood). It’s a very DIY way to get heartbeat data – it uses just infrared light to spot spurts in the blood level between the emitter and detector. Really dirty, really unscientific. I’ll take all the comments about my girlfriend as compliments ;) thanks for reading.

  2. Next time you jack a circuit from somebody and call it really dirty, at least give them credit for it. It fit the application I made it for and cost about 10 dollars to make. So you can figure it out yourself next time and document it on your own website so you don’t have to link my work. It’s real easy not to be a dick.

  3. justin, so sorry you took offense to my comment. What i was referring to was the technology (using IR) to detect heartbeats (which IS really dirty and unscientific) – I was NOT referring to the circuit itself. The circuit is fantastic, worked great, and as you said, VERY CHEAP. Your schematic was very clear, and I DID link to it – but, I will add your name in my post as well (unless you don’t want me to… email me if that’s the case). Thanks very much for posting your great work–

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