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
PHIL INAGAKI DOESN’T like to call the Wove Band a smartwatch. The CEO and co-founder of flexible electronics company Polyera would rather call his team’s creation a “device” or a “digital canvas” than evoke the mental image of a wrist-worn timepiece. READ MORE: Hands-On With the World’s First Flexible Wearable | WIRED
Many of us increasingly experiencing technology overload from all the devices, gadgets, products and tools at our fingertips. For individuals with disabilities though, technological advancements are providing opportunities to improve quality of life through innovations in assistive technology. Implantable wearables are also improving quality of life through the ability to seamlessly interact with our environments using devices such as magnets and sensors embedded under the skin. Below is a collection of select stories from around the web about recent advancements in assistive technologies and implantable devices.
- How wearable technology is changing the lives of disabled people | Globe & Mail
- 3D-printed robotic prosthetic wins 2015 UK James Dyson Award | CNET
- Boy, nine, fitted with first prosthetic hand that can change grip with gestures | The Guardian
- Watch A Girl Named Isabella Unpack A New 3-D Printed Arm | TechCrunch
- A Lego-Friendly Prosthetic Arm Lets #Kids Build Their Own Attachments | Gizmodo #Lego #disabilities
- A bionic hand in five days: how tech innovation is changing lives | The Guardian
- Amplifying the Power of the Elderly with 3D Printed Assistive Technologies | 3DPrint
- This device transforms any bicycle into a smartphone-powered smart vehicle | Mashable
- I’m a legally blind photographer. Here’s how modern technology makes that possible. | Vox
- Digital pens help spot early signs of brain conditions | Engadget
- Being colorblind is tougher than you think. This tech colors my world | CNET
- The Coming Wave of Bionic Hearing Gadgets | MIT Technology Review
- Can technology make a hearing-centric world more accessible? | The Verge
- Blind Americans can now ‘see’ with a device that uses their tongues | Mashable
- Tongue-controlled wheelchairs could be boon for quadriplegics | Tech Times
- Color-changing helmets could warn you about head injuries | Engadget
- Hacking for those with disabilities | MIT News
- New Stretchy Electronics Will Help Us Stay Healthy And Safe | TechCrunch
- ‘Brain-to-Text’ system converts speech brainwave patterns to text | KurzweilAI
- Disabled people remotely pilot robot in another country with their thoughts | KurzweilAI
- The #Software Stephen Hawking Uses to Talk to the World is now #Free | Engadget #communication #disabilities #tech
- BBC Experiment Lets You Control iPlayer With Your Mind | Engadget #gadgets #disabilities #tech
- #AugmentedReality #AR Goggles Aim to Help Legally Blind See | MIT Technology Review #tech #gadgets #disabilities @TechReview
- New Tablet Case Recognizes Sign Language and Translates It Into Text | WIRED
- 10 Ingenious Inventions for People With Disabilities | Mashable
- This Woman Doesn’t Wear Wearables. She Implants Them | WIRED
- From The Designers Of Fitbit, A Digital Tattoo Implanted Under Your Skin | FastCompany
- Injectable Implants Could Help Crack the Brain’s Codes | MIT Technology Review
- Woman Puts Deus Ex On Computer Chip In Her Hand | Kotaku
- Top 10 Implantable Wearables Soon To Be In Your Body | WT Vox
- Top Five Implantable Wearables | Technowize
- Implantable Microchips are the Ultimate Wearable | CE.org
- 3 lessons from developers who have embraced assistive technology | Mashable
- Be My Eyes Lets You Help A Visually-Impaired Person See Via Their Phone’s Video Camera | TechCrunch
- Google’s new handwriting app wants you to scribble on-screen | CNET
Beyond Wearables: New Frontiers in Interactive Tech | WIRED
IN THE FINAL months of 2014, wearable technology sparked significant media and consumer attention – not least thanks to the announcement of the Apple Watch. But as wearables move from the margins into the mainstream, it’s time to consider the next wave of interactive technology.
Programmable Clothes Are Going Commercial | Co.Design
Clothes speak volumes about us, conveying messages about wealth, taste, and personal beliefs. So in this age of ubiquitous screens and social sharing, it’s no surprise that textiles have become another platform for electronic communication. But two new efforts are commercializing the technology, creating consumer fashions that allow the wearer to project any electronic text or image she desires.
Somehow Teen Girls Get the Coolest Wearable Out There | WIRED
JEWELBOTS ARE BRACELETS with programmable plastic flowers made for middle-school girls. They’re also the most interesting wearable I’ve seen this year. Their creators describe them as “friendships bracelets that teach girls to code.”
This Jacket Is a Dream Come True and I Need It Now | Jezebel
The BauBax jacket—which CNN quite accurately refers to as “the Swiss Army knife of
travel wear”—which debuted on Kickstarter last week with a goal of raising $20,000. They have since raised over $600,000 because it is a stunningly good idea. The jacket contains 15 pockets and a slew of built-in doodads.
These Strange Clothes Came Out of a Regular Old 3-D Printer | WIRED
Paired with new cellular structures being devised by 3-D printing re
searchers, the material allowed Peleg to create “lace-like textiles” that she could work with
“just like cloth.” She printed them using a Witbox—a $1,800 machine. [Image: Danit Peleg]
These Mathematical Scarves Are Designed By a Computer Algorithm | Gizmodo
It’s still summer, but these mathematical merino scarves designed with a computer algorithm are getting us in the mood for colder temps. They’re called KnitYak: black-and-white merino scarves that each have a snowflake-unique design that’s generated by a computer algorithm.
A Paper-Thin Solar Panel Can Charge Your Phone on the Go | Lifehacker
Solar panels keep getting lighter and tinier—good news for rugged on-the-go types who can charge their devices on the trail with sun-fueled chargers. And this particular solar charger on Kickstarter is so thin, you can slip it in your Lonely Planet while it feeds your phone battery.
Disney’s $1 Billion Bet on a Magical Wristband | WIRED
The MagicBands look like simple, stylish rubber wristbands offered in cheery shades of grey, blue, green, pink, yellow, orange and red. Inside each is an RFID chip and a radio like those in a 2.4-GHz cordless phone. The wristband has enough battery to last two years. It may look unpretentious, but the band connects you to a vast and powerful system of sensors within the park.
New Process Can Print Stretchy Electronics Onto Your Clothes | TechCrunch
Researchers at the University of Tokyo have created a single-step process to print conductive material on cloth, allowing manufacturers to build stretchable wearables that can test vital signs like heart rate and muscle contraction.
Google’s Project Jacquard Aims To Make “Activewear” A Reality | ReadWriteWeb
What’s really fascinating about Project Jacquard…the clothing itself ought to be an interactive thing. It ought to provide us an opportunity to interact with devices around us. That’s the breakthrough that Project Jacquard is really talking about—now, instead of just passive data collection, your clothing is an opportunity for you to interact with devices.
Sensory Fiction | Felix | VIMEO
Sensory fiction is about new ways of experiencing and creating stories. Traditionally, fiction creates and induces emotions and empathy through words and images. By using a combination of networked sensors and actuators, the Sensory Fiction author is provided with new means of conveying plot, mood, and emotion while still allowing space for the reader’s imagination.
How to Print a Super-Thin Touchscreen Display on Just About Anything | Gizmodo
[T]his award-winning paper is perhaps the coolest we’ve seen: It lays out a new technique for printing cheap, simple touchscreen displays with conventional printers. It’s called PrintScreen, and it’s a system that allows the user to print on nearly a
From The Designers Of Fitbit, A Digital Tattoo Implanted Under Your Skin | Co.Design
We asked NewDealDesign, the design consultancy behind projects like the Fitbit line of activity trackers, and Google’s modular Project Ara smartphone, what things might look like when technology and fashion reach beyond the wrist. In response, they created Project Underskin. It’s a concept for a smart digital tattoo which would be implanted in your hand and interact with everything you touch. It can unlock your front door, trade data with a handshake, or even tell you if you have low blood sugar.
How Can You Prevent Sexual Assault? Web Comic ‘Game’ Has Advice | CNET. With this choose-your-own-adventure online comic [interactive graphic novel], students discover how their decisions can ignite or diffuse uncomfortable sexual situations.
Can Wearable Tech Prevent Sexual Assault? | FastCompany Roar is a startup that’s building a wearable device designed to deter attackers and notify loved ones.
We got rid of lanthanides and noble gasses and replaced them with the 118 essential elements of enterprise wearable tech.
Our updated periodic table groups and defines the main capabilities that businesses are using today to build and harness a connected workforce. Individually they are powerful, but when you combine them together they create solutions that are impossible to deliver in any other way. Just about every large business will need all of these capabilities at some point.
The fashion world wants to get functional. Smart, wearable technology has always had a bit of an image problem. Google Glass, Fitbit and other popular tech companies have found it difficult to add a sartorial touch to smart gear. Jamming an ugly smartwatch onto a chic outfit has always been the curse of those who sit at the crossroad between taste and technology. But the designer world is here to help. Thanks to a number of collaborations with fashion mavens such as Diane von Furstenberg and Tory Burch, stylish wristbands, smartwatches and even Google Glass are getting gorgeous upgrades. Here are nine gadgets that are actually smart and chic.
A winner of the coveted red dot awards for design concept in 2013, Sign Language Ring is a device that detects sign language motion and “translates” that to voice by emitting audio through a speaker.
Comprising a bracelet and set of detachable rings worn on select fingers, Sign Language Ring was inspired by Buddhist prayer beads, according to its six designers from Asia University. The wearable device can also translate voice to text, transcribing spoken language picked up by a microphone into text that’s displayed on the bracelet’s screen.
A few years ago, “wearable technology” meant little more than a clunky 1980s calculator watch or a Bluetooth headset. Now, people are accessorizing with color-coordinated fitness trackers and super-spy-like smartwatches.
According to ShotTracker, wearable tech is “the next megatrend” — changing the way we live, work, and play.
Education & Technology
Startup Gives Free Stuff to Student Influencers | Mashable
Sumpto, a startup that identifies top social-media influencers at colleges across the country, sends students free gifts from brands in hopes that they will tweet, post and share photos of the free swag on their social-media accounts.
Twitter strives to explain itself to the public | CNET
A new “About Twitter” page attempts to describe the social network and explain how and why people tweet.
Bill Gates Believes Human Health Is More Important Than Tech | Mashable
In a wide-ranging interview with the Financial Times, which focused primarily on his work to bring health aid to the world’s impoverished regions, Gates offers a glimpse into how much his views have changed regarding the importance of technology in our lives.
E Ink Looks Beyond E-Readers | MIT Technology Review
Facing a declining market for e-readers, E Ink’s new R&D facility is trying out some different ideas.
Lenovo pursued BlackBerry bid, but Ottawa rejected idea | Globe & Mail
[T]he Canadian government told the smartphone company it would not accept a Chinese takeover because of national security concerns.
Apple: “Our Business Does Not Depend on Collecting Personal Data” | AllThingsD
Apple published a formal report on federal government data requests and in so doing became the first tech company to disclose such inquiries by both account and device.
- Wearable Computing: Is It Ready for Prime Time? | LifeHacker
- 3D-printing encryption program disguises blueprints for controversial objects | Engadget
- Facebook’s Mobile Tipping Point: 48% Of Daily Users Are Now Mobile-Only (But No Mention Of BlackBerry) | TechCrunch
Museum of Science Fiction might be coming to DC | CNET
Trekkies and wanna-be Mars colonists might soon have a permanent brick-and-mortar site for sharing their love of all things science fiction
Illinois Library Comes Under Fire | American Libraries Magazine
“Sometimes libraries that are doing ‘all the right things’ pay a price for their excellence through uncivil attacks and attempts to dismantle their work,” Barbara Jones, director of ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF), told American Libraries. She is referring to Orland Park (Ill.) Public Library (OPPL) in south suburban Chicago, which has endured several intellectual-freedom challenges over the past few months.
The Library Vending Machine | BookRiot
Changing demographics and difficulty securing new funds for new libraries, The Pioneer Library System in Norman, Oklahoma decided to to use technology to meet its patrons needs. So last week, it opened the first 24-hour library vending machine in the United States. Built by EnvisionWare, this fully automated machine will be able to to dispense more than 400 pieces of media (books/DVDs/audiobooks) and store more than 1000 returned items.