Article source: Intel Free Press
Indira Negi brings passion for running, biometric experience and maker skills to development of Intel smart earbuds.
When she literally jogged on-stage to join Intel CEO Brian Krzanich in his opening keynote at International CES in Las Vegas, engineer Indira Negi was there to demonstrate the Intel smart earbuds that she and her team had developed, but the “smart” design she showed off also helped solve an issue the avid runner had personally encountered.
“I am a runner — I get hives from the sun, I have to run with gloves on,” said Negi about running with a smartphone. “That means when there is a bad song, I have to take out my phone, take off my gloves, unlock my phone and change the song.”
Starting from solving a problem that she knew all too well, Negi, a sensors systems engineer in the Intel New Devices Group, and a team set out to create a device and software that would monitor heart rate and adjust music playback based on sensor feedback. The result was the Intel smart earbuds reference design, developed in collaboration with Valencell.
Negi’s study of bioelectronics and biosensors in graduate school — she earned a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Arizona State — lent her a keen appreciation of the value of biometric monitoring.
One project she worked on while at ASU measured stress levels in saliva using specially treated paper. When you are working out, you are stressing your body in a positive way, explained Negi. If you work out too hard, this becomes negative stress, which can increase the chances of getting injured. She also worked on molecular imprinted polymers while at ASU coated with biochemical sensors that reacted only to specific molecules.