Search results for: "wearable technology"

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Are Tattoos The Next Big Wearable Technology?

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UnderSkinWearable technology is all the rage these days, whether it’s to diagnose epilepsy, travel to space, or create music. To that end, tattoos are becoming an unexpected entry into this arena, but they do more than play music—technology can also be implanted under the skin, or stuck onto the skin like stickers.

New Deal Design, the company responsible for FitBit, has come up with a project called UnderSkin, a small, tattoo-like device that gets implanted under the skin on your hand. Your body charges the device, which is equipped with sensors and monitors all kinds of data. New Deal designer Jaeha Yoo says the device could “become a paper trail for yourself,” as it stores information about the user’s movements, habits, and relationships. The tattoo can do everything from unlocking smart locks, to communicating health information via wireless near-field communication.

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Google’s Getting Into ‘Cinematic Reality’

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magic-leapYou didn’t think Google was going to let Facebook have all the fun, did you? Facebook bought virtual reality darling Oculus Rift back in March for a cool $2 billion, pissing off a bunch of early Rift supporters and securing its own position in the burgeoning virtual reality market. It seems that Facebook and Google have been engaging in tit-for-tat acquisitions recently, and this time is no different. Google is reportedly poised to invest in a “cinematic reality” company called Magic Leap.

It isn’t 100% clear what exactly Magic Leap does. Its website, which is well worth a visit, says that the company “brings the magic back” and shows virtual images in real-world scenarios, such as an elephant in the palm of one’s hand, or an image of a ballerina twirling at the foot of a toddler’s bed. Magic Leap’s CEO says the company is developing “the most natural and human-friendly wearable computing interface in the world,” but the company has by and large remained under the radar. But with Google’s interest, it’s not going to stay that way.

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Robotic Cheerleaders Are Adorable And Have A Ball

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murata cheerleadersPlenty of science fiction features robots that demonstrate what Isaac Asimov called the “Frankenstein Complex,” humanity’s fear that robots will eventually operate outside of our control and overthrow us and our way of life. Of course, this makes for more interesting stories, as demonstrated by Battlestar Galactica, Terminator, I, Robot (the movie, not the book), and countless other sci-fi narratives. The ubiquity of these stories makes it important for robot designers to combat this idea and fear, whether it’s by creating robots that aren’t terrifying to behold, by creating ones that actually help humans, or by creating little guys that are just so darn cute and adorable that you can’t help but smile at them—like Murata Manufacturing Company’s robotic cheerleaders.

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Smart Clothing Helps To Diagnose And Monitor Epilepsy

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epilepsy-suitSmart clothing, or wearable technology, has turned heads on the runway, turned movement into music, and may soon make its space debut. It has also entered the medical industry, though often in small steps, such as Google’s contact lenses and this tiny pacemaker. Now, there’s smart clothing that has been designed to diagnose and monitor epilepsy.

Bioserenity, a French medical device company, has teamed up with the British Epilepsy Action organization in order to create the WEMU system, which is designed to help improve and speed up the time it takes to make a diagnosis and develop an appropriate treatment regimen for patients.

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3D-Printed Dress Responds To Wearers’ Available Data

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x.poseWearable technology isn’t just for astronauts, scientists, or crime fighters these days. There are now 3D-printed dresses and other fashions, dresses that illuminate and shift around when someone’s looking at them, and dresses that become more transparent and revealing as the wearer becomes aroused. Technology may inhibit our ability to express ourselves in some ways, such in as face-to-face conversations, but hey, at least our clothing can help make up for it, right? Now, there’s a new 3D-printed dress that reveals more and more of the user’s skin, but not in response to arousal or others’ gazes. This new dress responds to the amount of information the wearer reveals via the internet and social media.

We’ve all been inundated with articles and warnings about the unprotected state of our personal information, but studies show that, while people care about their compromised privacy, it seems that most of us remain vulnerable to hacking and other forms of surveillance. While studies also show that younger folks are just as concerned about their privacy as older folks, I do wonder if the consequences of privacy violations are less real to younger users (as so many other consequences are), or if any of us can really grapple what it means to have our data harvested — particularly by our own government. One way to impress upon people the impact of having their data up for grabs is by creating something physical that can manifest those vulnerabilities, such as a dress that bears the wearer’s skin as the wearer bears information.

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Five Reasons You Should Be Watching Continuum

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continuumThere’s a dearth of quality sci-fi on television right now. Admittedly, I’m a tough critic, but die-hard sci-fi fans tend to be. Even though I tried repeatedly, I never got into Almost Human, (or Falling Skies or Under the Dome). I stopped watching Helix after three baffling episodes, and suffered through an episode-and-a-half of Revolution before reaching the same decision NBC recently did. There’s Doctor Who, of course, which remains in a category of its own, but the pickings are slim, which is why anyone who appreciates sci-fi should be tuning into Continuum (just for the record, Orphan Black makes the short list too, and I don’t count Cosmos as sci-fi, even though creationists would have us believe it’s fiction). Continuum’s first season is pretty strong, but the show has only improved from there. Now, 7 episodes into season three, the show has officially become a go-to genre fix for me.

Warning: There are some spoilers ahead.

Continuum

Here’s the helpful “green branch / red branch” explanation of the timelines

Time travel

Continuum is a time travel show that has become more than just a show about jumping through time. The premise, for those who don’t know, is that in the year 2077, the world has become a dystopian surveillance state. Protagonist Kiera Cameron (Rachel Nichols, who also showed up on Alias and Star Trek) is a City Protective Services officer who attends the execution of a group of terrorists, only to get accidentally sucked into their last-minute time travel shenanigans. Whisked back 65 years, Kiera hooks up with the Vancouver Police Department and tries to stop the terrorists while also trying to get back home to her family.

But here’s the thing—the better she is at stopping the terrorists, the more likely it is that she’s eradicating the life she had in 2077. She won’t necessarily change the future, as the time travel paradox suggests that what she is doing has always been a part of the plan, but she may be starting a new timeline altogether. That dynamic tension, as well as the discovery of the time travel rules of the show, functions as compelling driving force.

Season three has upped the ante even more. Another major character, Alec (Erik Knudsen), also took a spin with the time travel device, so now the timeline has split and there are two Alecs. One of them will bring about the future as they know it, and Kiera has to figure out which. She jumps back too, and now there are two of her. They don’t heed Doc Brown’s advice about not messing with the space-time continuum—the dueling Alecs come face to face more than once and fisticuffs ensue. But now all this time-travel stuff has become exponentially more complicated due to the multiple strands.

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