MIT’s mind-reading AlterEgo headset can hear what you’re thinking

April 6, 2018 by  
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Have you ever wished you could simply think a command and your computer would respond? That’s the future envisioned by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers who created AlterEgo, a wearable system that allows you to converse with a computer without using your voice or movement. According to a video on the project from MIT Media Lab, the ultimate goal of AlterEgo is “to combine humans and computers.” A computing system and wearable device comprise AlterEgo, a futuristic project led by graduate student Arnav Kapur of the Fluid Interfaces group at MIT . Electrodes, a machine learning system, and bone-conduction headphones help get the job done: the electrodes “pick up neuromuscular signals in the jaw and face that are triggered by internal verbalizations — saying words ‘in your head’ — but are undetectable to the human eye,” according to a MIT News statement. A machine learning system, trained to correspond certain signals with words, receives the signals. The bone-conduction headphones “transmit vibrations through the bones of the face to the inner ear.” Related: Elon Musk’s latest company aims to make us cyborgs within the next four years The video on AlterEgo shows Kapur experimenting with the device, asking for the time or adding up prices in a grocery store without ever saying a word out loud. While the commands he gives are simple, typically involving a single word or number, the video feels like a scene right out of science fiction. MIT professor Pattie Maes, who is Kapur’s thesis advisor, said in MIT’s statement, “We basically can’t live without our cell phones , our digital devices. But at the moment, the use of those devices is very disruptive. If I want to look something up that’s relevant to a conversation I’m having, I have to find my phone and type in the passcode and open an app and type in some search keyword, and the whole thing requires that I completely shift attention from my environment and the people that I’m with to the phone itself.” Part of the goal for a project like AlterEgo is to allow users to stay in the moment. In a usability study with the prototype wearable interface, the system’s average transcription accuracy was around 92 percent, according to MIT News. Kapur, along with Maes and undergraduate student Shreyas Kapur, wrote a paper on AlterEgo and presented it at the Association for Computing Machinery ‘s ACM Intelligent User Interface conference , which took place last month in Tokyo, Japan. + MIT News Image via Lorrie Lejeune/MIT

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MIT’s mind-reading AlterEgo headset can hear what you’re thinking

Insane new flying Iron Man suit will be 3D-printed

August 9, 2017 by  
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Hold onto your seats Marvel fans and tech enthusiasts. Before you know it, a real-life “Iron Man” suit will be on the market — and yes, it can fly. Developed by Richard Browning, the co-founder of start-up company Gravity , the jet engine-powered flying suit was designed to “re-imagine manned flight.” With two engine arm configurations that weigh up to 90 pounds and a temperature threshold of 700°C (1292°F), the highly-anticipated invention will also feature wings. And did we mention it will be 3D-printed? The Gravity jet engine-powered flying suit was unveiled at Comic-Con in San Diego, CA, where Browning dished details to Tested’s Adam Savage. The newest version of the suit is comprised of four arm-loaded thrusters and an additional jet pack that is strapped to the user’s back. As noted above, two engine arm configurations can reach temperatures of 700°C (1292°F). 3D Printing Industry reports that if handled responsibly, the rockets aren’t as dangerous as they first might seem. This is because the heat is quickly dispersed by the air which, in turn, reduces the risk of one’s boots or sneakers catching on fire. Browning explained that the movement of the suit is controlled by a very “intuitive” system. For instance, minor movements of the arms determine the direction and height by altering the jet’s vector. It helps that a DAQRI augmented reality (AR) helmet with a heads-up display is connected. Not only does the AR helmet monitor the suit’s performance, it shows the data of speed and altitude in real-time, eliminating the need to check one’s wrist. Browning flew the suit at Comic-Con, wowing comic fans and technology entrepreneurs . He was reportedly able to fly at a speed up to 45/50 mph. Right now, between seven and eight different versions of the suit are in development; modifications will affect the functionality and appearance of the suit. “We are working on a whole bunch of adaptations with the manufacturer,” said Browning “to make [the engines ] much more fit for what we’re now using them for, because clearly they weren’t designed for this.” Related: Stunning Europe Building facade shows off the beauty of 3D printing in Amsterdam The most exciting part of the next-generation suit is that it will be 3D-printed and will feature temperature proof, one-piece aluminum housing for the thrusters. Because the control modules are in need of improvements, the engine configuration will also be changed. Finally, wings will be added to the suit to change the pattern of flight from vertical to airfoil. I’m quite excited about that, Browning said. “We’ve fully CADed up a beautiful, organic inspired housing, and that’s being 3D printed now.” No further information has yet been obtained about the potential cost or release date of the real-life Iron Man suit. However, in the past, Browning informed interested buyers that a custom-built suit should cost approximately $250,000. + Gravity  Via 3D Printing Industry Images via Gravity  

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Insane new flying Iron Man suit will be 3D-printed

Life-saving Classon bike helmet has built-in cameras and turn signals

July 25, 2016 by  
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The helmet has a number of safety features that aim to make cyclists aware of their environment without taking away the enjoyment of the ride. Cameras in the front and back of the helmet constantly scan the rider’s immediate environment. This info is immediately interpreted by an algorithm and communicated to the cyclist, letting them know when a vehicle is approaching in their blind spot. Related: Jeff Woolf’s Folding Bike Helmet Could Revolutionize Cycling Safety Intuitive turn signals in the front and back are activated by arm movement and blink to let surrounding vehicles know of their intentions to turn. Additionally resourceful is an adjustable light in the helmet that automatically turns on when reducing speed. The helmet’s Kickstarter campaign, which recently ended, exceeded the company’s goal by over 400 percent, demonstrating that bicyclists need and want safer, smarter gear. + Brooklyness

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Life-saving Classon bike helmet has built-in cameras and turn signals

L’Oral’s wearable patch changes color to warn against skin cancer

June 3, 2016 by  
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When most of us hear the name L’Oréal, we think of makeup and hair products, not tech innovation. That may soon be changing . Many don’t realize it, but the cosmetics giant has been pouring its efforts in recent years into celebrating and supporting women in science and running its very own technology incubator. Now, those efforts seem to be coming to fruition as the company unveils its first wearable device , a skin patch designed to help prevent cancer. Named ” My UV Patch ,” the device is a wearable skin patch just a few centimeters in size and half the thickness of a human hair. The sticky, transparent film is meant to be worn for several days, absorbing sunlight whenever the wearer goes outside. The adhesive is loaded with light-sensitive dyes that change color when exposed to UV light, so it allows the wearer to see if they’re being exposed to too many damaging UV rays over time. Related: L’Oreal to begin 3D-printing human skin The color changes can be hard to decode, which is why the patch also comes with an Android or iOS app , which uses a mobile device’s camera to scan the patch, compare it to the user’s baseline skin tone, and then tracks how much sun the users have been exposed to over time. Since the patch is looking at long-term exposure to the sun, it isn’t intended to serve as a warning when the time comes to reapply sunscreen . The patch will be completely free and is set to launch in 16 different countries worldwide sometime this summer. Via IFLScience Photos via L’Oreal and Shutterstock   Save

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L’Oral’s wearable patch changes color to warn against skin cancer

Norway becomes the first country in world to commit to a zero deforestation supply chain

June 3, 2016 by  
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Norway has become the first country in the world to commit to zero deforestation . The Norwegian parliament’s  Standing Committee on Energy and the Environment made the pledge in a recommendation on the government’s Action Plan on Nature Diversity. The committee requested that the government “impose requirements to ensure that public procurements do not contribute to deforestation of the rainforest.” The committee also requested that the government protect biodiversity  through a new policy and the investments made by the Norges Bank Investment Management, which manages Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global. Related: Norway is spending almost $1 billion to build ten bicycle superhighways “This is an important victory in the fight to protect the rainforest. Over the last few years, a number of companies have committed to cease the procurement of goods that can be linked to destruction of the rainforest”, said Nils Hermann Ranum of Rainforest Foundation Norway. “Until now, this has not been matched by similar commitments from governments. Thus, it is highly positive that the Norwegian state is now following suit and making the same demands when it comes to public procurements.” The Rainforest Foundation of Norway called on other countries follow Norway’s lead and commit to zero deforestation, particularly Germany and the UK, the two nations that in 2014 at the UN Climate Summit in New York made a joint declaration along with Norway stating their intention to “promote national commitments that encourage deforestation-free supply chains, including through public procurement policies to sustainably source commodities such as palm oil, soy, beef and timber.” Via Climate Action News Images via Flickr and Wikipedia

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Norway becomes the first country in world to commit to a zero deforestation supply chain

Google and Levi Strauss created a smart jacket that let’s you control your phone

May 28, 2016 by  
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Google and Levi Strauss joined together to make a “smart” jacket that looks low-tech, but is literally woven full of technology . The interactive textile features conductive yarns and electronics that lets you use your smartphone without needing to pull it out of your pocket. Need a skip a song? Swipe your sleeve. Imagine how handy this kind of clothing could be while riding a bike or making your way through a crowd.

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Soar through the sea like a superhero with the ‘Iron Man’ Exosuit

March 17, 2016 by  
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While terrestrial engineers unlock the mobility possibilities of exosuits on land , the ocean-going equivalent of Tony Stark has been working on a project of his own. Inventor and underwater expert Phil Nuytten has unveiled the Exosuit, a 530-pound aluminum-alloy suit which shields its wearer from the harmful effects of decompression sickness and allows the user to soar through the seascape with 1.6 horsepower water jets. “It’s kind of like ‘Iron Man’ come to life,” says Nuytten. Read the rest of Soar through the sea like a superhero with the ‘Iron Man’ Exosuit

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Heavy truck crashes through ice road days after government raises weight limit

March 17, 2016 by  
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It sounds like the beginning of a really bad joke, but sometimes truth is indeed stranger than fiction. What happens when you quadruple the weight limit on an Arctic ice road in the midst of an unseasonably warm winter? The ‘punchline’ in this case is pretty much what you’d expect— a heavy tanker truck carrying fuel breaks through the ice and gets stuck. Read the rest of Heavy truck crashes through ice road days after government raises weight limit

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Open Bionics’ new 3D-printed prosthetics are modeled after Disney characters

October 14, 2015 by  
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The progress of prosthetic limb technology has taken a magical turn with soon-to-be-available prosthetic hands modeled after Frozen, Marvel, and Star Wars characters. Disney, parent company of these franchises, has granted royalty-free licenses and additional support to Open Bionics , a startup working to provide affordable, 3D printed prosthetic hands for amputees. Read the rest of Open Bionics’ new 3D-printed prosthetics are modeled after Disney characters

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Smog-containing jewelry supports the world’s largest air purifier

August 14, 2015 by  
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