Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Memoto updates: the world's smallest camera with GPS - and how to design a lifelogging camera

Last update 4th Oct 2013.

The Memoto camera is the world's smallest camera with GPS  and due to ship  November  for $348.75 in the UK.

 4th Oct 2013 Update covering, new investment, new company name, the  hardware design  and a new shipping date from Slashgear. The Memoto company now renamed Narrator.  It is still not clear if the GPS works from this article, but will be shipped without any GPS functionality such as location search. Here is the Sept progress report from Memoto on Kickstarter.


This post covers some of the engineering issues of designing lifelogging cameras.
I was approached by the Memoto team in June 2012 with regards to help with sensing camera design and lifelogging. They were interested as I had designed the SenseCam for Microsoft, (Gordon Bell of Microsoft used this for the MyLifeBits project) and had been working in lifelogging designs since 1997, starting with The SmartQuill, the sensing technology which  is now used in Apple's iPhone as in this patent.  I am also a Consulting Expert for Apple on sensing and phone patents.  I had various chats with the Memoto team but I declined for various reasons including obligations to Northumbia University,  my employer, at the time.
I have no connection with Memoto apart from being an early Kickstarter  backer, but just for a small amount, $35.

Finance and resources

The Kickstater process start in Oct 2012 and it raised $550,000. This was the result of successful marketing including contacting 100 journalists by each of the 15 team members. More finance was planned to be found in Spring 2013 according to the WSJ Blog.
  Memoto has also raised 500,000 Euros  from the London based  Venture Capital company Passion Capital, giving a total of $1.2M. More here on  Secrets of a half-million-dollar Kickstarter campaign.
There have also been additional advance sales of 3000 cameras via the Memoto website, with income of approx $800,000.  Some early software designers staff have left  but there are new joiners  In Sept 2013 there were approximately 22 people working for Memoto.

How to design a lifelogging camera

The Memoto team asked how to design a life logging camera. 
  • Angle of view of lens.
 A wide angle lens greater than 104-120 degrees is much more useful than a narrow 70 degrees of view on a wearable camera with no viewfinder. The human eye has about 180 degrees of view so a sensing camera needs to replicate this.  As the camera can bounce around in different directions as the person moves, a wide angle is helpful as shown in this cycle ride, a  Sensecam video.  We also get about 4 times the image view with such a wide angle lens.  Here is a video comparing a 70 degrees camera to 140 degrees. Another advantage of a wide angle lens is the huge depth of field from about 6" to infinity, so no focusing needed. We get the image from our point of view showing our hands and also the landscape.

very early test image Microsoft Sensecam , approx 2004, view 104 degrees

  • Timing of capturing the image.
 Interesting life moments can be more easily captured using sensing, e.g. sudden movements, you met a friend, or light change as triggered by walking through a door into a new room or vista. If only  timelapse is used in a shotgun approach (e.g. approx every 30 seconds ) then a series of very dull, blurred, and random  pictures can  be recorded and all the great moments missed (e.g. your friend just walks into view but then walks out  - can easily be detected by heat sensor). If the camera used on timelapse  the camera might only be only sampling for about 1% of the time, rather than being driven by interrupts (sensing events).  Sensor triggering of images also allows very low power mode to be used and a whole day's battery life. Reading a sensor such as accelerometer allows a reduction in blurred images by waiting until camera has less movement, e.g. as caused by walking.  When there has been a quiet period for some minutes, only then were  pictures were captured every 30 seconds. The later Sensecams got around 22 hours battery life.
  • use of motion sensing. Using devices like accelerometers allows features like triggering images based on user's motion. It also allow landscape/portrait orientation of image. Knowing the position of the camera allows power down, e.g. place on a table to power down when in a rest room. There are a series of Apple and Microsoft patents, from 1997,  my designs, which cover these features. 
  • GPS design, power and antenna issues
It is not clear from the Memoto progress reports what the performance of the GPS is yet (I  asked on 31 Aug 2013, no reply by 17/9/2013 ) and the hardware and Printed Circuit Boards are still being revised.
There are so many low cost modules that do GPS well, it is easier to pay £29 on eBay for a dedicated unit, example here  but there are better ones. One advantage is the GPS has it's own power supply so not draining the camera battery. It is a challenge to design a GPS antenna in close proximity to other parts of the electronic circuit re noise issues. The human body can attenuate GPS signals.  These reasons are why a separate GPS unit was used with the Microsoft SenseCam. Later sensing cameras and mobile phones can minimise GPS on time by using a patented system, similar here,  that uses accelerometers or light level  to power down the GPS when no movement detected. You can also use the GPS on your phone to tag and find  camera images.
Note that location data is more accurate  in a mobile phone as the weak GPS signal can be assisted with wifi and cell phone tower triangulation. It is possible to get location information indoors in brick built buildings with cell phones. There is also more space in a mobile phone to isolate the GPS antenna from the rest of the circuit. Here is a good article from a Google engineer about battery issues with GPS. Also here is a useful article of GPS antenna design for small tracking devices. With animal tracking devices the antenna length can be extended along the animal's collar. If the [camera] case is long and thin this can help with antenna design.

If I was designing a tiny life logging camera now (2013), I would concentrate on the camera performance, and leave the GPS tracking  to my mobile phone which does a very good job of tracking, e.g. Google location history on Android phones and producing a track on a map.   No point in reinventing the wheel, if someone else has done a good job, e.g. Google. The camera images can be synced to the nearest second via timestamps. The GPS data is shared with Google but at least stored on your own pc and no need to pay to access it. Each circle on the image below have more data and a time stamp. It can tell me how long I sat drinking tea and chatting today!

Click to enlarge - Google location history 

  • Enclosure design. Although the aesthetics of a new electronic design are important, it is essential to design the miniaturised electronic circuit and test with the chosen battery, and antenna so that all fits inside the case. Design the case after the electronics are finalised. Tooling is expensive. 
This is one of the first wearable cameras from Philips: the beautiful  Key19. (around 2004)

  • Cloud storage. If a wearable camera is generating around 4Gbyte/day, which it could if capturing an image every 30 seconds rather than sensor driven, and is required to be uploaded to cloud storage, this could take some time. The fastest broadband UPLOAD speed in the UK today (August 2013)  is around 4.5Mbits/second.  It is preferable to do some image selection on the pc before uploading to the cloud. 
  • Image sorting, classifying  and processing.
 The 2004 Sensecam had an accelerometer, Passive Infra Red, (PIR) microphone (only for level detection), Red Green Blue (RGB) (16 Million steps) colour sensor, temperature sensor and external GPS.  The accelerometer was used for capturing images due to sudden movement and some simple image stabilisation. It also allowed for power down and power saving. The PIR was used to detect and tag people in photos  via the heat from their body.   The colour and light sensor was used to detect step light changes, e.g. walking through a doorway and capturing the vista of a new room. (I had tried acoustic echos to detect a "new room" but light steps were simpler).  The colour sensor was used to determine if using outdoors, indoors, darkness, flesh, pc screens,   in vegetation (green) etc and allowed simple classification of groups of images. Temperature sensing was not optimum as tended to heat up to 37C, i.e. the temperature of the user. These simple analog sensors allowed real time capturing of "flashbulb" moments at very low battery power. The images were all tagged with sensor data.
  The Memoto camera also uses colour to classify images.The images are clustered by their predominant colours and then then a diagram can be produced as to how the colours vary over the day. It seems that cloud processing is needed for this however and at a subscription cost of $108/year + tax,  with VAT this is $129.60 in the UK.

  • Gender issues
Design  the camera for men and women and consider the different clothes they wear. A clip is not ideal for a women's clothing, (remember the trouble they have with  name badges at conferences e.g. with a dress) so consider a pendant? The camera can also be attached through clothing via a rear magnet. Maybe women just feel uncomfortable with a wearable camera,  feel it is intrusive or ask why is it useful? When I was wearing and testing Sensecam, I would use it for sporting events, e.g. cycling but felt uncomfortable and rude in public and so rarely used it.   Out of a sample of 153 early investors for Memoto, only 4 were women, that is approx 3%. Why? It's probably not just Memoto, but also seems to apply to Google Glass etc.

  • Patents 
Interesting  quote from Memoto re patents and intellectual property:

And what about those patents? Källström reckons the idea of a wearable camera is now well-established enough that there are “no patents hindering new applications in that space”.
Hopefully he’s right. What we’re looking at here is a realization of Microsoft’s old SenseCam project, made realistic – if still a bit pricey – for consumers.

   I mentioned  some the above design aspects covered in my Microsoft SenseCam patent, but there is a work around to avoid infringing this patent.
  • Personal Privacy

 It is also crucial to have a flashing light to indicate image captured so people know the camera is "live" and intruding on their  privacy and so will modify their behaviour, as we do, in front of a live camera. There needs to be a method of not recording other people in public restrooms etc which Sensecam had. For privacy reasons also do not include audio recording, there are other devices to do this if people want. 

Hardware Teardown of Memoto

11 months pass (Oct 2012)   from the Kickstarter funds being placed and  customers want to know when the camera ship will ship. I know the challenges of converting a single working  hardware breadboard prototype into a production item, particularly with analogue design, noise issues, power supplies etc,
I am an electronic engineer so the hardware components interest me, a brief teardown as below:

  • Microcontroller Atmel ARM926   clocks up to 400Mhz, A191SAM9G25

  • 8GB FLASH  RAM Toshiba (is this Gbyte or Gbit?)
  • GPS unit, CellGuide's ACLYS Chip,  5mm x 5mm typical power 20mW, indoor and outdoor use, best resolution 3 metres  Here is the spec.
  • GPS antenna external to case 
  • 5M pixels Camera module, one of the Omnivision variants. These modules have auto focus and image stabilisation. The camera uses Backside Illumination for good low light performance.  In the Memoto the camera is used with fixed focus and an optical lens with 70 degrees of view.  As the  Memoto camera is 5 Mpixels it may be based on the OV5640 family.  Here is the Omnivision OV5640 confidential data sheet. 
  • Accelerometer  Analog Devices possibly ADXL346 This has 3 axis , 13 bit output and a range up to 16g. This accelerometer is  used for triggering images by motion detection and also  to orientate images. This technology  has been used in mobile phones, so much prior art. 
  • Compass AK8963 3 Axis Hall effect sensor
  • power regulator 
  • USB to serial  interface, possibly FT232
  • USB connector
  • custom USB charger cable, orange, unsure why custom cable is needed maybe for recharger or CE labelling? (a guess)
  • 4 LED indicators for battery life
  • power on/off there is no switch but possibly controlled by reading accelerometer orientation. 
  • Lithium Poly battery 3.7V 130mAhr
  • temperature sensing, none - only for the battery charging system. It is hard to measure ambient temperature on a body worn camera as after about 20 minutes it warms up  the temperature of the person.
  • other components not identified yet
  • All components fitted inside 36mm x 36mm x 9mm case.

All the above is powered by a tiny rechargable lithium 3.7V 130mAhr battery, similar to those used in model helicopters. This size of battery takes about 20-30 mins to charge.   Memoto claim the battery provides 24 hours of  life. This compares to the OMG Autographer camera (based on Microsoft's SenseCam) that is twice the size but has just 10 hours battery life.
A Li-poly battery similar to this has a maximum number of charges of 500 cycles and cost around $0.85 in quantity.

  Cell phones normally have a battery with around 5 times the capacity.

Image from Memoto showing 130mAHr battery 

Memoto hardware, picture from Memoto Facebook. Click to enlarge

Some of the power reduction is achieved by offloading the GPS calculation of latitude/longitude onto  a more powerful computer rather than the camera. This is actually done on Memoto's subscription cloud service, not the user's PC. Customers comment here re accessibility of their data  being only via the cloud.

Shipping date?

On 22nd  Nov 2012, Memoto  announced  here that "We are now finished with the last tweaks of the electronics and mechanics and are ready to go into trial manufacturing of both". 
There has been much discussion on the Memoto blog of why the ship date has slipped 8 months  from Feb 2013 to now end of Sept (as of 18/9/2013) There seem to have been engineering challenges since Jan 2013 with the performance of the GPS antenna  re sensitivity issues. The case is very small to fit the  antenna in such close proximity to the  rest of the noisy electronics.  The antenna is now wrapped around the inside of the case and tests ongoing.

 Update 30th August 2013, from Memoto,  there is no shipping date yet but there will be  another PCB revision to add improvements to GPS performance. There are 4000 cameras due to be shipped soon, around 2400 pre-ordered via Kickstarter.com.

  • UK price inc VAT

I will wait until  shipping and some hands on review before handing over my money. It will be interesting  to see the camera one day and I look forward to reviews from some customers. I want one for animal tracking, but autumn is here and the animals are starting to hibernate.

Here is a picture found on Google Street Maps (can revolve link  in 3D)  of the site of the  Memoto office.

This is the beautiful  Mjardevi Science Park  with fountains and  Memoto.

click to enlarge

Other GPS designs from Kickstarter

Memoto isn't the only well funded Kickstarter projects to run late with  hardware issues. The Bia sports watch, ($2.75M investment) also with wearable GPS, a tiny form factor and battery constraints. This  has some interesting mechanical but solvable engineering challenges e.g. waterproofing, to solve before shipping. Bia are open with their customers and explain in detail the technical problems and have good customer/investor  support. The image below shows how the Kickstarter funds are being spent.

Other cameras, some  with GPS

Another wearable lifelogging camera with GPS is  the OMG Autographer camera, based on Microsoft's Sensecam, with similar functions but images triggered by recognising  interesting events, but physically 3x  larger, and more expensive at £400, and now ships. I have no connection with Oxford Metrics (OMG).

Here is a  low cost data logging High Definition camera, GPS, wide angle. There seem to be numerous on eBay e.g. like this, £55, 5 Mpixels, 140 degree lens  with accelerometer data logger but I have not tested it out.

Wearable cat camera here.

photograph from Eyenimal 

Claimed to be  world's smallest 5.0 Megapixel camera,  11 UK pnds.

Lyndsay Williams Sensecam@gmail.com

Friday, 23 August 2013

Technology Strategy Board - £2.4B Grants

In May 2011 I published  some details of Technology Strategy Board grants for £635 Million over 3 years, more details here.
On August 16th 2013 the Technology Strategy Board released the figures for £2.4B of government from 2007 to 2013  spending on a spreadsheet,  click   Research and Development Grants. Then click on  "Collaborative" link.  This covered over 15,000 grants, many companies with multiple awards.

The crucial data omitted is those companies that were turned down, e.g. support for renewable energy in smaller companies.  This is rather like Kickstarter omitting the rejections as well. This would be really helpful for smaller companies. I have requested this from the TSB.

The spreadsheet  covers:
TSB Competition name
Company names, location
Amount in £
Project name
Research area e.g. Low Carbon,  Aerospace, Universities, Assisted Living. 

some top investments

Rolls Royce £182M
Airbus £65M
High Value Manufacturing Technology Innovation Centre £57M
The National Composites Centre (£57M)
National Renewable Energy Centre Limited  - total £45M inc offshore wind
Glasgow City Management System £24M
Microsoft ( research and other  projects  £3,044,870
BBC £2,333,696

Please let me know if any errors.

I will be doing further analysis so perhaps bookmark this page.

Other grant applications include:

Cambridge companies, at least £ 9,655,139

Space Burials (£8000, Pauling Ltd),
Making Musical Mood Metadata (Queen Mary University, £144,000),
Snake Skin (Remotec, £3900),
Making Chilli Oil (Miss Wills Pickles, £5,000)
The Guardian ( Interesting Stuff +, (sic)  £32, 559)

There are at least 19 music grants and 48 games designs grants.

Lyndsay Williams, Cambridge.  Sensecam@gmail.com. Tel 07970 101578

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Lyndsay Williams' Technology and Patent Investigations, Frauds and other Scams


I have been asked to document some of my successful patent,  financial and  fraud investigations over the years. My work is frequently used by the BBC,The Guardian, The Times, Daily Telegraph and The Daily Mail.  I live in Cambridge, UK, and can reveal results and some of the techniques, but a lot of the work involves tenacious internet research. Some of my technology and methods are not in the public domain. These involves image recognition technology,examining  maps,  geographical clues,  patent investigation,  and spotting  human errors as small as leaving spelling errors.   I will offer some tips below  in the interest of saving lives.  Some people enjoy solving crosswords for fun (I do, Daily Telegraph) ) but I also like bigger challenges that other people give up on. I can name large corporations, but not individuals, but many of them are still under investigation, left the UK,  in  prison, or dead. Please see the end of this post if you want help with your investigations.

I started in fraud investigation by accident in 1976 when I was at school. I was approached by Manchester police to design a phone tapping device. I had been building and designing electronic circuits since I was 14, radios, guitar effects pedal designs,  music synthesisers etc.  In those days, phones were analogue and so easy to tap into. The box was put outside the suspect's  house and conversations intercepted.

I am an electronic engineer/computer researcher and I have usually worked for ethical companies with good managers. The larger the company, the more ethical it is as has a reputation and brand to maintain. Smaller companies can shut down and start  trading again  the next day.  I worked for Microsoft Research  for 8 years with mostly good people, and passed the Microsoft ethics exam. E.g. if a person leaves the company, what do you do with the contents of their waste paper basket? Dispose of contents or keep?
I also gave a video deposition to a USA Judge recently re my personal involvement with Steve Ballmer,CEO Microsoft and the company's working practices.

keep the contents

Patents 1997-2013

I have spent many decades working with patent lawyers and noting  how patents are prepared by USA and UK  companies. These were normally patents for my computer designs for reputable companies like Microsoft and Apple.  I  work for  many Texas, USA and Korean  patent attorneys under NDA. I also provide  Consulting Expert  services.  I have given video depositions for US judges.
Some  of my designs now owned  by Apple covered here which is now part of the iPhone design and some handheld computers, camera  and sensing patents from Microsoft here. My Microsoft Sensecam patent is now in production as the Autographer Camera. I also do patent investigations for companies, the original name and company who filed the invention is often not easy to find.

The Coldplay wrist band patent.

I was approached by the Daily Mail in December 2011 and asked how the interactive light up wrist bands, Xylobands,  worked for Coldplay, one of my favourite bands. This involved a fairly convoluted investigation by me, but here is the patent which explained some of the radio technology. This then allowed the Daily Mail write an article with more details on the lights and the design company.

Light fantastic: How Coldplay 'could make a fortune' from radio-controlled flashing wristbands on X Factor Final

Picture by Cambridge Photographer  Geoff Robinson

Patent Investigation - Spinvox $200M 

 Telephone message  fraud, 2009,  or The Mechanical Turk 

click to enlarge

This company provided a service to customers in decoding voice mail messages to text messages. The BBC investigated this as nobody knew how the claimed speech recognition software  could be so accurate bearing in mind the background noise in the voice mail. The company said humans were used on rare occasions.  I investigated how this company actually worked and found the patent that explained that people in overseas call centres  were used and not computers to do speech recognition.Here is my part documented in  The Guardian report. 

PSCA PublicService.co.uk

UPDATE  9th Sept 2013 

Public Service, PSCA,  had been trading since 2005 or earlier under various names.

Last Tweet from Public Service 

PublicService sales staff cold call researchers and scientists and ask for £7000 for an advertorial. They pass themselves of as journalists or other professionals but are not. I suspected a scam a few mins into phone call, passing themselves off as being from the government and saying the Prime Minister was interested in my work. I laughed as was suspicious and said this was very doubtful. After a while the lady said I could publish an article, pay nearly £7000  and it would be placed next to an article by "Lord West".
I didn't know who he was so I searched and found below from The Daily Mail.
from the Daily Mail

They then discounted the price to £5000, I claimed I might be interested (in their scam) and asked them to fax me details, (for Trading Standards), see below document. I got 12 phone calls the next day from the company, which felt quite harassing, see below  I did not answer.
More here on the scam  from this very good blog  from other clients.

Click the image of sales order to enlarge - shows Lord West association 

Image from Google, PSCA International, Ebenezer House, Newcastle Under Lyme

Because the advertisers had not proved the three Government ministers had personally supplied editorial to them, the Authority considered that the claim misleadingly implied the advertisers were endorsed by Government ministers.

August 2013 Patent Investigation  - AQA 63336 - Fortune telling

    Edited 23/10/2014

I worked for a couple of days at AQA 63336,  the UK's most "accurate Text  and Answer" text service.

The AQA  company was set up in 2004 by Colly Myers who also set up Psion Computers and Symbian.
I also worked for Colly Myers.  AQA is  reputable company and bought recently by an Australian company, Bongo.  Here is the 2010 financial data.

Many of  the self employed  researchers inc myself applied for work  into thinking this involved mostly answered general knowledge questions rather than fortune telling.  The staff are bright, hard working and conscientious, but overworked and underpaid and very wary of those "higher up", managers.  Some were paid about £4 per hour on a zero hours contract. This is all public domain information.

Customers ask a question for £2.50 and a human operator is paid 40p to answer the question. The reply can take from 1 to 6 hours for a reply based on my 9 test questions as a customer. Some they could not answer, and one question re a crossword clue took 3 hours to reply (I was woken up at 0015 with a text), and the answer was cut and pasted from Wikipedia. The service has now moved from general knowledge to fortune telling  using data from Facebook etc. Below is an  example, it took 5 hours for reply (see time stamp)  full of errors and 63336 added fictional characters Rachel and Amy who regularly turn up on customer replies. Google gives reliable info for free.

   Here is the patent covering the invention by Colly Myers.
It covers the workflow as done by humans. The 63336 Yahoo blog, accessible by outsiders,  shows much detail. If there are no staff, customers can wait hours for a response.  Around only 10 -30 researchers are online for customers' questions at some times.

Many customers are upset as not knowing they will be charged  £2.50 per question.   63336 are  happy to give you a refund by contacting  feedback@63336.com. You cannot get a direct refund and need a PayPal account.  I spoke to their helpful operative in the Philippines after a problem with a delayed reply and was asked to text the sister company Bongo instead.

 Be careful.  Perhaps use Google local  search, or Apple's Siri  and get an answer in seconds on your phone for free. 

Grant Frauds

These cover some of the largest frauds, over £100M's. It is fairly easy to get a large grant (over £100k)  for some new Research and Development.  Use a reputable scientist or engineer as a "front", saying this person is essential to the grant application. Write the grant, no need to meet engineer face to face, (make numerous excuses not to meet the engineer such as "not enough chairs at the meeting"),  get the grant.  Dispose with the honest engineer by writing a contract that is impossible for an ethical person to sign, e.g. with penalty clauses.  Grant people did not (may have changed now)  check for working prototypes, patents, videos or deliverables, just that the money has been spent. A long investigation over 8 months using the Freedom of Information Act and the personal help of Andrew Lansley, MP,  but here is a result, most are reputable companies.

Hats off to Lyndsay Williams at Girton Labs who has used the Freedom of Information act to see how the Technology Strategy Board has allocated £635 million of public funding to projects. Click here.

Paypal fraud

This is an easy way to print money. Put a Paypal button on your website with the offer to buy a service for a low price. Anyone who clicks it can deposit money into your PayPal account.  For example a new invention of a lightbulb? Sell it for a low amount e.g. £10 and if not delivered, many people with write this small loss off.  Trading Standings were able to sort this out with my help.

Visits from the Bailiffs

Cambridge Council

A client was sent a council tax bill in error and refused to pay. The bailiffs were sent round to the house but did not gain entry. The cats and the children needed to be locked in the house for safety, with windows closed, and this was the height of a hot  summer. Clients suffered this fear for one week. I decided to investigate the basis of this wrong doing. It turned out a forged signature had been used to cause mischief with the council tax office. I provided a valid signature and the council admitted they do not check signatures. Council tax refunded.

This huge guard cat  is dangerous, nobody can pick her up and has very sharp teeth


Marcus Alder

I met Marcus Alder in 2007, he helped me with my business, but matters were complicated when money was involved. Alder was an ex-policeman from Cambridge. Our local police were sympathetic but said a civil matter, not a criminal matter. It took months for the police to sort out with my help and evidence, and agree it was a criminal matter. I was one of the few who would give a statement. Result, 14 years prison sentence.
This was solved by internet research, just leaving one phone number or rarely used email address on the web  opens the doorway into other peoples' 'alternative' lifestyle. There were many more clues, such as spelling errors,  but not disclosed here.   Here is the BBC version. 

Pacific Tycoon

2013 -  an unusual money making scheme.
This scheme enables a 12% annual  return on a minimum of £5000 investment in shipping containers.
Pacific Tycoon. I was alerted to this by a friend and so investigated. The company  have been of financial interest for a while as here.  The company  have no third party recommendations from the media apart from one person called Leighton McCalman.  I decided to investigate with Cambridge friend  MrContrarian.
I discovered mirror imaged portraits of the financial adviser but with 2 other names.  One clue was in  his portrait , when an  image is reversed,  mens' and womens' buttons are are different sides. Leighton McCalman also uses different names and advises on horse racing tips (they loose)  and whiplash injury.

MrContrarian's post here explains more.


This was covered in my blog in Sept 2012. UpdateAug 2013 cat seemed ok. 

The Diagnostic Clinic- Cancer screening for £400 - 2004
If the BBC  investigate the firm and publish  discrepancies, don't use them. My employer  in 2004 did, and the clinic  missed a cancer in me. These was an easily screened issue.  Sorted now thanks to the  NHS.   I did not get a refund. The doctor involved now works with Homeopathy.  Here is the BBC report.


I have only covered briefly some of the investigations and  frauds. I have solved academic plagiarism (some of my academic work in a book copied by by a plagiarist copied the errors on my schematic diagram (errors in resistor calculation). I use the Freedom of Information Act to reveal multi million pound discrepancies, one recently in a UK University.  I have solved Wikipedia vandalism by people (professors?) who try to discredit other academics. They always leave a trace.

It is always important to spend time on  Due Diligence with new people who contact us "out of the blue" via the internet. Be careful with social networking  sites like  Linkedin as data not verified by a third party. There are numerous public resources for finding out what debts people have.

There have been other bailiff issues solved  due to the wrong person being identified, violence threatened, and cash extorted, but solved and money refunded.

The image on the right of bailiff  who threatened violence. 

Finally, my favourite fraud, is the "new tyre" trick. Many years ago I took my BMW into a local garage for a check. Guy said tyre had a nail in it and needed brand new tyre. His colleagues were all mysteriously watching me from behind a glass door. I was therefore suspicious and so I asked him to remove the "nail". It turned out it was just 2mm long, the nail head, and nothing else. Tyre was fine and did many more miles.

Part 2 of my post will contain details of how to create a fraudulent paper cheque which can not be spotted by some banks and accountants.   I spotted the errors (2 non obvious)  but I am still waiting for Cambridge police to return this evidence, a cheque for £7000.
Also in part 2, How Tesco internet could make a lot more money and benefit customers.

Contact Details

Please contact Lyndsay Williams on +44 (0)7970 101578 or sensecam@gmail.com if you want confidential  help with a problem to be solved re patents or technology fraud. Initial consultation is free. I may not charge for personal cases.  I can sign an NDA. References available.

Follow me here on Twitter.

My engineering work is here.

Monday, 19 August 2013

Sensesurface - revolutionary new controls and surface for tablet computers

Sensesurface is a prototype technology that allows adding real control knobs to a laptop or tablet screen.
SenseSurface was first built in 2008 and  now (2013) updated.
These controls allow adjustment of parameters such as volume, time, brightness, etc, in fact any device  that would normally use a mouse. The LCD provides a graphic background.

There are no wires to obscure the screen as in other systems as here, below example from Studer:

 Applications include control of pc music synthesisers via MIDI,  music players, video players,  flight simulators, games.
In 2008  Lyndsay Williams, Director of Girton Labs, Cambridge,  designed a working proof of concept.

Click here is a 10 second  video of  a working  Senseknob from 2008

Here is a web  review.

Here is an example of some Sensesurface controls  made using a 3D printer:

This video and press coverage resulted in an overwhelming number of sales inquires which we could not supply as only a couple of working prototypes ever built.

This month, August 2013, we had more inquires. With advancing technology the design has now been completely redesigned with new wireless sensor technology. The original  technology worked well but we wanted more functionality.

2013 Sensesurface

larger prototype for testing

  • design for laptops and tablet pcs, initial testing on iPad
  • rotary controls, sliders, switches, touch sensors, tap, tactile rubber sensors,  games pieces 
  •  up to 1024 bits of resolution, response time  less than 10ms 
  • controls can be attached  at angle in relation to the screen
  • instant attachmen/removal  to screen, no marking
  • 360 degrees continuous rotation for rotary controls
  • robust sensor system, no interference with existing computer
  • can be used  on most surfaces not just LCDs
  • wireless - no cable, Bluetooth
  • output can be mouse interface, MIDI etc. 
  • typical size 22mm diameter or smaller
  • waterproof, can be washed
  • industrial strength drop proof
  • rechargeable lithium battery
  • all knobs have unique ID, and up to 16 controls can be used simultaneously 
  • cost goal  from around $10 per  control 
  • custom sensor technology details via NDA
Girton Labs is looking for interested partners to finance development, hardware and software and bring to the market. We have many sales leads from audio companies, medical companies,  partially sighted and the military.
Please contact Lyndsay Williams on +44 (0) 7970 101578, or email Sensecam@gmail.com.

Lyndsay Williams Girton Labs Ltd, Cambridge, England.