The Rapael Smart Glove looks a lot like the Nintendo Power Glove, but it’s not exactly a video game controller. It’s a smart rehabilitation glove for recovering stroke patients. Gaming was definitely a huge part of it, however. The glove, created by Korean health tech company Neofect, incorporates motion-based games to help stroke patients relearn how to use their arm and hand.
Neofect founder Ban Ho Young told Tech In Asia that everything they have now was made with collaboration between rehabilitation experts and game designers.
With Rapael, users can play games depending on which movements they want to work on. Want to improve your forearm supination and pronation (facing your palm upward and downward)? Strap on the glove and virtually pretend to pour yourself a glass of wine. Want to improve your finger flexion and extension? Bend and unbend your fingers to decorate cupcakes with icing. READ MORE: This gaming-inspired glove helps stroke patients relearn vital skills | Mashable
DON COOLIDGE AND JP Benini are bringing cognitive smarts to the world of children’s toys. Coolidge and Benini just launched a Kickstarter for a toy dinosaur toy driven by IBM Watson, the machine learning service based on the company’s Jeopardy-playing cognitive system.
Developed under the aegis of a company called Elemental Path and a project called CogniToys, this tiny plastic dinosaur uses speech recognition techniques to carry on conversations with kids, and according to Coolidge and Benini, it even develops a kind of smart personality based on likes and dislikes listed by each child.
The toy is another example of online machine learning pushing even further into our everyday lives. This is made possible not only by an improvement in AI techniques, but also by the ability to readily deliver these techniques across the net. READ MORE: A Toy Dinosaur Powered by IBM’s Watson Supercomputer | WIRED.
There is much research that suggests that emotional intelligence develops from social interactions, yet children are increasingly spending their days in front of computers, tablets, and smartphones. Today, children under the age of eight spend on average two full hours a day in front of screens. El Kaliouby is deeply concerned about what happens when children grow up around technology that does not express emotion and cannot read our emotion. Does that cause us, in turn, to stop expressing emotion?
The answer, according to recent research, is yes. A University of California-Los Angeles study last year found that children who had regular access to phones, televisions, and computers were significantly worse at reading human emotions than those who went five days without exposure to technology.
But El Kaliouby does not believe the solution lies in ridding the world of technology. Instead, she believes we should be working to make computers more emotionally intelligent.
SOCIAL NETWORKS ASPIRE to connect people, which is a noble but naive goal. When we uncritically accept connection as a good thing, we overlook difficult, important questions: Are some forms of virtual communication more nourishing than others? Might some in fact be harmful? Is it possible that Facebook, for instance, leaves some people feeling more lonely? No one knows for sure. We tend to build things first and worry about the effects they have on us later.
Like other social networks, Panoply will take up that noble goal of connection, but in a more specific, structured way. As software goes, it’s something of a novelty—a product that aims to enrich lives through precise, clinically-proven means, rather than merely assuming enrichment as a byproduct of its existence. READ MORE: A Social Network Designed to Combat Depression | WIRED