MIT develops a vibrating wearable to help people with visual impairments navigate | TechCrunch #disabilities #tech #wearables #navigation


For such a simple tool, the white cane has been incredibly enduring. With all of the technological advances that have been made over the past century, we haven’t come up with much better than a stick with a metal tip for helping the visually impaired get around. Though researchers at MIT have been working on a wearable solution designed to augment and, hopefully, one day replace the cane. The system features a 3D camera with an on-board computer hung around the neck at chest level. The camera senses the location of objects, converting the signals into pulsing haptic vibrations that alert the wearer to the location of an object. The on-board motors vibrate with a variety of patterns and frequencies to signify different things, like the distance of an object. READ MORE: MIT develops a vibrating wearable to help people with visual impairments navigate | TechCrunch

Your next trip to the library could include an Oculus Rift | engadget #VR #libraries #gadgets #tech


Oculus, the Facebook-owned virtual reality company, is taking it upon themselves to enhance public libraries with its own educational initiative that will place 100 VR head-mounted displays in 90 California libraries. READ MORE: Your next trip to the library could include an Oculus Rift | engadget

Google’s AI Invents Sounds Humans Have Never Heard Before | WIRED #music #audio #innovation #tech #AI #artists


Engel and Resnick are part of Google Magenta—a small team of AI researchers inside the internet giant building computer systems that can make their own art—and this is their latest project. It’s called NSynth, and the team will publicly demonstrate the technology later this week at Moogfest, the annual art, music, and technology festival, held this year in Durham, North Carolina.

The idea is that NSynth, which Google first discussed in a blog post last month, will provide musicians with an entirely new range of tools for making music. READ MORE: Google’s AI Invents Sounds Humans Have Never Heard Before | WIRED

This experimental e-book gets edited every time it changes hands | engadget #ebooks #editors #sharing #tech


A Universe Explodes is an unusual e-book in a variety of ways. Best viewed on a mobile device, it’s about 20 pages long and has 128 words per page. Only 100 people “own” the original version, though the book itself is free and can be read by anyone at any time. Each copy can be shared with up to 100 others, but first each owner must personalize it by removing two words and adding one to every page. Since each copy is subtly different, they are all considered “limited editions.” Owners are required to share the book with a friend once they’re done editing it — and each time the e-book is passed on, more and more words disappear until there’s only one left per page. READ MORE: This experimental e-book gets edited every time it changes hands | engadget

Samsung develops emoji-based chat app for people with language disorders | Ars Technica #emoji #language #disabilities #apps #tech #communication


You may know someone who sends messages with more emojis than words, but chances are they don’t need those symbols to communicate. For some with language disorders such as aphasia, a disorder that can make it difficult to read, talk, or write, emojis can be an ideal way for those with the disorder to communicate with others around them. Samsung Electronics Italia, the company’s Italian subsidiary, just came out with a new app called Wemogee that helps those with language disorders talk to others by using emoji-based messages. READ MORE: Samsung develops emoji-based chat app for people with language disorders | Ars Technica

We Need More Alternatives to Facebook | MIT Tech Review #socialmedia #news #business #intellectualfreedom #communication #community #privacy #society


Chastened by the negative effects of social media, Mark Zuckerberg says he will tweak his service and upgrade society in the process. Should any company be that powerful? READ MORE: We Need More Alternatives to Facebook – MIT Technology Review

Neon is an experimental web browser that’s filled with glorious content bubbles | Mashable #webbrowsers #content #search #discovery


Image Source: Mashable/Opera

Opera, which released its first browser in 1995, has quietly been innovating its products over the last two decades with features like built in ad-blocking and VPN. Now, the company has launched Neon, a new concept browser.  REDA MORE: Neon is an experimental web browser that’s filled with glorious content bubbles

Library Extension Finds Books At Your Local Library While You Shop On Amazon | Lifehacker #books #libraries #tech #discovery #webbrowsers


Image Source: Lifehacker

Amazon may be convenient, but nothing beats free. So, when you’re shopping for books on the site, [Google Chrome] Library Extension will find those same books at your local library. You can even drive to pick them up faster than Amazon can ship them. READ MORE: Library Extension Finds Books At Your Local Library While You Shop On Amazon | Lifehacker

Pairing Wine and Cheese with Data Science | Center for Data Innovation #dataviz #data #datascience #databases #visualization


University of Toronto computational biology professor Gary Bader has created an interactive data visualization that allows users to identify complementary wine and cheese pairings based on different factors, including a wine’s country of origin and a cheese’s moisture level. The visualization uses software called Cytoscape that Bader and other researchers initially developed for complex genetic and molecular analysis, such as mapping the relationship between different genes and autism or cancer. Users can search for approximately 1,000 ideal pairings between 100 different red and white wines and 270 cheeses. READ: Pairing Wine and Cheese with Data Sciencw | Center for Data Innovation

A Detroit art museum is leveraging Google Tango for an AR history lesson | TechCrunch #AR #museums #interactive #tech


For all the hype around augmented reality, Google’s Tango technology hasn’t exactly set the world on fire. In fact, the second handset to support the tech – the ASUS ZenFone AR — was only announced last week at CES.But there’s certainly a chance for Tango to have life beyond the consumer space. The Detroit Institute of Arts is looking to the tech as a way to engage museum-goers, following in the footsteps of last year’s MWC-tied play by Barcelona’s Museum Nacional d’Art de Catalunya. READ MORE: A Detroit art museum is leveraging Google Tango for an AR history lesson | TechCrunch