Lipowise - A journey down memory lane
In a previous post here on the blog we wrote about how the idea for Lipowise came into existence.
It has now been 14 years since then. However, Lipowise wasn´t born into its current form, so, today we want to share with you what those first ideas and concepts were all about!
Lipowise has been a maturing process for years. This process has progressed during the course of several Masters theses and a number of prototypes built at the Laboratory of Instrumentation for Measurement at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto, with the aim of digitizing this type of technology in order to facilitate its use, increase its reliability and extract new indicators from the assessments.
The first prototype was an adaptation of a traditional skinfold calliper considered as a reference, replacing the analog comparator with a digital one. A software application based on LabVIEW was created to interface the device, record the data, and compute the body fat %T.
The performance of this first prototype was compared with a reference skinfold calliper and validated with the Dual-energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA) reference method.
The results were excellent. From there, a new sensor system with wireless communication was developed, to replace the digital comparator leading to what became our second prototype.
This second prototype was in effect 11% lighter than the reference skinfold calliper.
The next step was to evolve to a new mechanical and electronic design. With this new development, a new application was created with improved features. This new duo was affectionately named composing what was called the “LipoTool system”.
The LipoTool System was composed of:
1. Adipsmeter, the digital skinfold calliper;
2. AirPCOn, the dongle for wireless communication with a computer;
3. Liposoft, the software application.
The next milestone was characterized by improvements to the hardware roved design, now coupled with the development of an application for mobile phones, with more features, in addition to the digital recording of body evaluation.
This final version has become our Lipowise as we know it today: light, practical, digital, and functional.