Lyndsay Williams Cambridge UK    +44 (0) 7970 101578

    Managing Director Girton Labs Ltd, Cambridge 

 Electronic Engineering  for analog sensors,  mobile phones, cameras, digital audio, medical computers

Last update 26/10/2012

I am a Consultant Electronic Engineer, designing  embedded hardware and software  (digital and analog).  I also do 3D CAD design and printing  for handheld computers. 

From Jan 2012 to Oct 2012 , I was a Reader in Hardware and Software Integration  at the  Northumbria School of Design, Islington,  London I helped set up the new P3i lab. I  did  designs for biomedical devices,  technology for future mobile phones and intelligent clothes as here 

  I was a Senior Research Fellow for The University of the Arts, London 2010 to 2011,   working on a design for a fragrance release computer.  My main area of research is applications of analog sensors, life logging and computers to assist with short term memory loss caused by brain damage. 

I was a Researcher at Microsoft Research Cambridge from 1999-2007, where I designed SenseCam a camera for helping people with memory problems. 

I  also work  occasionally for Apple Inc  Cupertino as a Consulting Expert, and also several USA lawyers re patents and iPhone. 

I sometimes speak on BBC Radio 4 about my research in lifelogging, memory loss, and  sensing systems.

click to enlarge, some designs 2012 from Girton Labs

Click to Enlarge Designs from 2007

Older Work

I was born in Cheshire, UK. I graduated in BioMedical Electronics Hons  from The University of Salford.

I started my career designing and building some of the earliest commercial designs of digital audio, music  and sound sampling computers for PCs  in the 1980's. This work was used in Commodore Computers, Amstrad and Philips computers.

my synthesiser designs about 1976
music synthesiser designs 

In 1997, I  designed and built a new type of mobile  phone called Smartquill. This had no visible controls, no keyboard, but used  touch sensors, accelerometers, heat sensors,  GPS and camera to control the phone.  I asked  British Telecom  to finance my time for  the building of this prototype. They made me a Senior Research fellow at BT Research, Martlesham, UK.  Apple bought my patent in 2007 and some of this early work now used in the Apple iPhone and iPad as here.

Smartquill with Kopin VGA display

SmartQuill 1997 now bought by Apple

In 1998 Microsoft heard about SmartQuill  and asked me to work for them as a Hardware  Researcher at Microsoft Research Cambridge.  In 1999  I came up with the idea and patent  of SenseCam, a wearable camera with sensors to aid people with severe memory problems, e.g. Alzheimer's and Dementia . I  designed and built the hardware and software for the early prototypes.  Some patients who have only a few minutes of memory have been helped by SenseCam ®). BBC video here . Here is a longer video .  This is now shipping under license from  Microsoft.    Here is the first ever SenseCam movie.

At Microsoft I designed, tested  and patented  many new types of user interfaces for mobile phones using sensors as used in Windows 7 Mobile phones, here is some work I started in 2002 which contributed to  Microsoft Kinect.

 First SenseCam prototype

I left Microsoft Research in 2007 and set up Girton Labs, Cambridge.  Here is a synopsis of some of my earlier work at Microsoft in The Guardian.

Since leaving,  my team and I have won 5 research awards and grants for my  innovations, e.g.  from East of England Development Agency and  Technology Strategy Board.

One is for  SenseBulb, is a new type of low power  lightbulb with human tracking  sensors and  a built in mobile phone.  It calculates what people and objects  are doing  in a room according to heat flow patterns from a thermal camera  and sends SMS  text messages. It's useful for games controllers,  security, greenhouse gas  reduction  and Assisted Living. SenseBulb is a working prototype. 

Another design is SenseSurface, this allows a standard LCD screen to have real control knobs placed on it for control of audio and video etc. There is a video of working demo here.

I specialise in research and development of disruptive design of mobile computers and mobile phone technology.  I am an electronic engineer and experienced in embedded microcontroller software and hardware design, (ARM,PIC, Arduino)  digital signal processing,  analogue and sensor design.  I have experience in Rapid Prototyping, I prototype my own designs and use 3D CAD printers for some mechanical  work.

The media covers my work on occasions, e.g. The Guardian , BBCThe Times and October 2010 Time Magazine.

Some videos of designs



Some USA patents 

  I am an Associate of 42Technology, St Ives.  

contact  or  +44 (0) 7970 101578