Tag Archives: innovation

Samsung’s NEON digital avatars shouted as artificial humans

The fact that Samsung will appear with its new project at CES 2020 has been loud for a long time. Everyone was wondering what artificial humans could be. And one thing is certain. After all the media noise around the project, everyone expected something completely different. Especially after prematurely disclosed material, which can be watched below.

 

What exactly is this project about?

NEON is the idea of Samsung researcher Pranav Mistry. The project emerged out of STAR Labs – Samsung Technology and Advanced Research Labs – and is funded by Samsung, but it’s not actually a Samsung company.

The NEON project is realistic human avatars that are computationally generated and can interact with people in real-time. At this point, each NEON is created from footage of an actual person that is fed into a machine-learning model. A Neon is meant to mimic real human appearance and emotions with its own personality and aptitude to behave like humans. Avatars can also remember and learn.

According to Pranav Mistry, NEON isn’t meant to replace Samsung’s digital assistant Bixby. What is more, it won’t be implemented in Samsung products and NEON operates independently.

 

Examples of the NEON’s application

Each NEON avatar can be customized for different tasks and is able to respond to queries with the latency of less than a few milliseconds. They’re not intended to be just visual skins for AI assistants but put to more varying uses instead. If we are to believe STAR Labs CEO Pranav Mistry, in the near future everyone will be able to license or subscribe to a NEON. The roles can be different: a service representative, a financial advisor, a healthcare provider, or a concierge. The founder also assures that NEONs will work as TV anchors, spokespeople, or movie actors. They can simply be companions and friends if people only would want it.

The first wave of Neons are modeled after real people.
Source: https://www.neon.life/

 

NEONs will work as TV anchors, spokespeople, or movie actors.
Source: https://www.neon.life/

 

What technology is behind it?

There are two main technologies on which NEON is based. The first is Core R3, which stands for reality, real-time and responsiveness. Core R3 is a kind of the graphics engine that powers avatars natural movements, expressions and speech. The second technology is Spectra, which is responsible for implementing artificial intelligence solutions. By this, the creator means intelligence, learning, emotions, and memory. Spectra is not ready for launch yet, but the company says it will present the technology later this year. At the moment it is still being developed.

Neon’s Core R3 graphics engine demonstrated at CES 2020.
Source: https://www.cnet.com/news/samsung-neon-artificial-humans-are-confusing-everyone-we-set-record-straight/

 

What about the uncanny valley?

When NEON avatars can become real comrades in everyday life, one should ask oneself whether the fact that they are so realistic is not a problem. This is specifically about the phenomenon of the uncanny valley, the scientific hypothesis telling that a robot that looks or functions like a human being causes the observers to feel unpleasant or even disgusting. When some people are wondering how STAR Labs has worked out every detail, others feel at least uncomfortable.

 

Why is everyone disappointed?

NEON is like a new kind of life, There are millions of species on our planet and we hope to add one more – this is what we heard from STAR Labs CEO Pranav Mistry before the CES 2020 presentation. It is no wonder that nobody got into awe when it turned out that NEON is just a highly detailed digital avatar. In addition, the demo presented at the show was fully controlled by people from STAR Labs. All the media hype made everyone wait impatiently for the show to finally find out that NEON still has a lot of work to do on its business.

It remains to not believe the haters because NEON avatars look really good and the potential of the project is certainly there. Thus, the final version of the STAR Labs venture has not come and we shouldn’t believe all the media reports. It will soon be clear whether a company can combine two ambitious technologies – the avatars and the AI – together.

 

Do you see a practical application of Samsung’s NEON in the near future? Would you feel comfortable if your teacher wasn’t a real person but Samsung’s NEON?

 

References:

[1] https://www.theverge.com/2020/1/7/21051390/samsung-artificial-human-neon-digital-avatar-project-star-labs

[2] https://www.theverge.com/2020/1/8/21056424/neon-ceo-artificial-humans-samsung-ai-ces-2020

[3] https://www.engadget.com/2020/01/05/samsung-neon-artificial-human-teaser/

[4] https://www.cnbc.com/2020/01/06/samsung-neon-artificial-human-announced-at-ces-2020.html

[5] https://www.cnet.com/news/samsung-neon-project-finally-unveiled-humanoid-ai-chatbot-artificial-humans/

[6] https://www.cnet.com/news/samsung-neon-heres-when-well-get-details-on-the-mysterious-ai/

[7] https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/magazines/panache/meet-neon-samsungs-new-ai-powered-robot-which-can-converse-sympathise/articleshow/73135240.cms

[8] https://www.livemint.com/companies/people/we-ll-live-in-a-world-where-machines-become-humane-pranav-mistry-11577124133419.html

[9] https://mashable.com/article/samsung-star-labs-neon-ces/?europe=true

[10] https://www.wired.co.uk/article/samsung-neon-digital-avatars

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Be a polyglot speaker within 30 seconds.

MUAMA – Instant voice translator.

Our world is constantly developing. Everything is in an enormous rush. And I’m talking not only about technology development but also about people. It can be noticed that, nowadays, people are almost running on the streets. Most of them have a lot of work that needs to be done by a certain deadline. They do not talk with strangers at all. Maybe, they are really busy and have a lot of stuff to do or maybe they are foreigners and they have some problems with a local language.

Considering it from the student’s point of view, who is also a foreigner, I can confirm that it is quite a job to manage your time because every student has a lot of stuff to be done. Sometimes, you cannot even find the time for yourself, for your hobbies, yet not talking about learning a new language, which is spoken in the country you are living in. Moreover, if a student manages to learn it, he may face some other issues. For example, lack of vocabulary, lack of practice or language barrier. Due to all these, a student cannot talk fluently and might be embarrassed about the way he speaks a local language.

Hopefully, the Japanese invented a device, which can solve such language-oriented-problems of millions of students and adults all over the world.

 

 

This device, called MUAMA Enence, is a Japanese state of the art, that allows its users to communicate instantly in more than 40 languages. This device translates the language automatically. The only thing the user needs to do is connect the device to the smartphone and to press the button before speaking. This device is simple in use and now it is available for everyone.

 

Developers say that It can make traveling, shopping, conducting international business conferences easier for many people.

When considering business meetings, it can save your money, because you do not need to hire an instant translator. However, the device cannot be so flexible as a real person. Moreover, while conducting a business meeting it is highly important to choose the right words and explain in the right way, because everyone is unique, and It is necessary to find an appropriate approach to each of business partners.

I think, this device can be useful for some people, however, there are so many mobile apps-alternatives. For example, Google and Yandex provide dictionaries with instant translate function for free. The quality of translation is not enough professional for using it during a business conference, and it is still improving, however, these services are suitable for daily life using.

 

Do we really need such extra devices like MUAMA, and will they be used in the future?

 

Sources:

https://enence.com/translator/index

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Tight on space? Try a shelf reinvented by Tylko

Poland ranks 6th in terms of furniture production worldwide. No other of our industries have such a strong position. Despite such a well-developed market, it turned out that there is still room for innovation and development.

The founders of Tylko have created an application for designing shelves themselves. They are boldly invading the global furniture market, which is only just discovering the possibilities of new technologies and sales via the Internet.

Interior design with a Tylko shelf
Source: https://tylko.com/

 

How does it work?

You aim your smartphone at the place where you want to place the rack. You can view and configure a piece of furniture using the app: you can adjust the shape, height, and width of the furniture by sliding the slider and analyze the changing price. The application translates your design into production files and sends them to one of the factories that produce the parts that make up your shelf. It will come to you two or three weeks later as a flat-pack, a self-folding piece of furniture – sequentially packed, with personalized instructions and no tools required.

The Tylko shelf arrangement
Source: https://tylko.com/

Tylko shelf integrated into the interior
Source: https://tylko.com/

 

What distinguishes Tylko from other companies?

Surely the easiest thing to identify is customization. Tylko is not the first company that does it, but it does things completely differently, in a form that is very simple and accessible to everyone. Furniture is supposed to be functional in terms of ergonomics. It is meant to be beautiful, stable, possible to produce and to serve the customer for a long time. All this is written in a complex algorithm, which is very simple to use with a series of sliders to let users quickly tweak and apply dimensions, styles, and finishes. This is the advantage.

 

Why is Tylko a technology company?

Tylko is not e-commerce. The product is sold over the Internet, but calling this startup an e-commerce site is too simplistic. It is a technology company that has its products and creates them. Tylko is an inventor when it comes to a physical product.

The startup has very complex algorithms that make the furniture the way we want it to be, i.e. it meets all values and conditions. Drawing furniture for production has been completely eliminated. Instead of that, Tylko writes programs that draw furniture for production. Automating the creation of production files is a very strong thing at this startup.

In addition, the elements that make up the furniture are of different sizes. Each time they have to be packed in a different way which is also facilitated due to technology. The startup also created an algorithm that packs these things, and by the way, it creates a manual for the factory staff on how to hide these items inside. This process is completely chronological. We open package no. 1, take out the manual, there is an element no. 1, element no. 2, element no. 3. Thanks to this, especially in a small apartment, we don’t have to put everything down on the floor first and look for these things, but they are arranged in turn.

The main markets for the company are Germany, Great Britain, France, Switzerland, Austria, but sales are made all over Europe. Many American investors have tried to convince their founders to bring their business to the United States. However, the owners did not want to do this as the place where they want to develop their product is Poland.

Does the company have a chance to become a global brand that will be recognized? Is there still room for startups in the furniture industry?

 

References:

[1] https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/tight-on-space-think-modular-furniture-600zqdcfp

[2] https://www.forbes.pl/biznes/tylko-meblowi-rewolucjonisci/xcy5mp5

[3] https://techcrunch.com/2017/03/07/tylko-bags-3-1m-to-size-up-a-bespoke-furniture-business/

[4] https://mamstartup.pl/13-polskich-startupow-ktore-moga-podbic-swiat

[5] https://plndesign.pl/tylko-albo-az/

[6] https://gregalbrecht.io/pl/podcast/mikolaj-molenda-tylko/

[7] https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/tylko-2

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Connectivity of tomorrow

5G NETWORK

 

Well, the curiosity is over, 5G technology is expected to hit the market in 2020. In this blog, we will read about how 5G will bring advancement in the internet of things devices and what exactly does this new technology offers us.

5G is a multi-service network, that is able to adapt a whole host of devices: smartphones of course, but also enhanced 360° content and augmented reality, connected objects, fridges, driverless cars. 5G technology will change the way we live, work, and play-for good. It promises to greatly enhance the speed, Verizon’s network showed speeds surging past 1 gigabit per second.

But why everybody is talking of its great influence on modern people lives? One of the benefits is something called low latency. You’ll hear this term a lot. Latency is time between clicking on link or start streaming a video, which sending the request up to network, and delivering you the site or playing your video, when the network responds. With current network this time is about 20 milliseconds, but with 5G it reduces to 1 milliseconds. Also, the literally incredible think about new generation network is that it is designed to connect a far greater number of devices than a traditional cellular network does. 5G can multiple devices around you, whether it’s a dog collar or a refrigerator; it is also specifically built to handle equipment  used by business, such as farm equipment or ATMs.

One of advantages of new network are, as i believe, that 5G can make a big profit for rural and suburban areas that have not enjoyed the same access to wireless as cities; in health industry: hospitals will not only be able to remotely diagnose a patient’s complaints, but they will also have the ability to remotely perform surgeries and other hands-on procedures using digital avatars; environment: connected devices will transform data on weather conditions, plant health, crop health, moisture, mineral and chemical levels, pest presence and more, affecting labor allocation, cost management, waste reduction and yield; smart cities: IoT sensors will monitor and collect data on everything from air quality, to energy use, to traffic patterns. 5G will be able to use artificial intelligence to analyze the massive amounts of data being collected to automate processes that are currently done manually.

Can’t I just pick up 5G with my existing smartphone?

Sorry, no. 5G technology requires a specific set of antennas to tap into specific bands. For instance, Sprint’s LG V50 is specifically tuned for its 5G network. Likewise, the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G is tuned for Verizon’s network and its millimeter wave spectrum. You can expect more 5G phones to launch later this year, with phones able to ride on different networks coming out in mass in 2020.

Samsung Galaxy S10 5G

How broadly will 5G be available in 2019?

Here’s the other concern: 5G might still be only a theoretical possibility for a lot of people.

T-mobile says it’s launching in 30 cities this year, AT&T will have 22 cities. But it’s unclear how wide the coverage will be. Globally, China, Japan and South Korea are racing to build out their 5G networks, with Europe turning on its own 5G network now. So don’t feel like you need to rush out to buy that first 5G smartphone. Chances are, service won’t be widely available until 2020 or beyond.

So, how do you feel about inevitable changes in our generation and world? Do you agree, that 5G will change it?

Links: https://deloitte.wsj.com/cio/2019/05/14/network-advances-herald-the-connectivity-of-tomorrow/; http://masterokblog.ru/?p=41063; https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2019/11/27/lights-camera-5g-transforming-the-entertainment-industry-with-5g/#18e24261467e;

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Have companies already packed your Christmas presents?

If you do not know what to wrap your Christmas presents in, do not worry. You still have time. However, companies that have already had to think about gift madness in July, must say something different. The packaging is one of these elements that companies should plan well in advance. In the end, Christmas is the ultimate challenge for all eCommerce owners, retailers, and marketers alike. That is why you should know what Packhelp is.

 

Find the problem and solve it

A Polish company that specializes in low-cost, one-off printed boxes was founded in 2015. The founders, Wojciech Sadowski, Maciej Zając, Konrad Kwiatkowski, Maciej Woźniczko, Patryk Kabaj, and Arek Wasilonek, have all worked in advertising and IT. One of their clients asked them to order custom boxes for his product. After some research, it turned out that it is almost impossible to place an order for a small number of boxes. Why? Because normal printing houses require high minimum orders (>500 pieces) and a lot of technical knowledge, they offer a very long turn around (30-45 days) and very high personalization costs with poor quality. Not to mention even worse customer service. Packhelp founders decided to change that.

 

A unique business model

Packhelp developers have found a unique business model. They used modern technologies to enable everyone to order personalized packaging that was previously reserved only for large companies. Through its online marketplace and intuitive web app, anyone can design and order their own packaging in just a few clicks. Thanks to cutting-edge technologies personalized packaging is accessible for everyone, rather than just medium and big business. It is the technology, unique sales process, superior customer service and constant expansion of their range that helps them conquer new markets. This year the startup has just raised €8.8 million in one of the largest Series A rounds in the CEE region. Packhelp is on track to become one of the major players in the global packaging market.

 

How is this working?

The Packhelp mobile application currently uses modern ARKit. You can choose any flat surface in your surroundings. When you turn on the application, the virtual box model will appear at your fingertips. Users can slide their products into the virtual box model and see if they fit in. The online application is to be even more automated thanks to the use of technologies based on artificial intelligence.

Packhelp mobile application
Source: https://zapakuj.to/aplikacja-mobilna/

 

Sustainable packaging

McDonald’s announced its packaging will be 100% renewable and recycled by 2025. Millennials are pushing brands to be more socially and environmentally responsible. Packhelp has a responsibility to care for the environment and help their customers do the same. That is why every single cardboard product in its range is made from a minimum of 80% recycled cardboard. This means that when you order custom packaging from Packhelp, you are getting a material that was a school book, cereal box or a bank statement in another life. Even when you’re all about eco-friendliness, you can still make that thrilling unboxing moment last longer.

If you are interested in what environmentally friendly products Packhelp offers, watch the video.

 

Perhaps your presents will be packed in boxes designed thanks to Packhelp. In any case, opening gifts is always a nice experience, and it is less than a month when you will do it. It also remains to be hoped that the producers have decided on the most ecological solutions. And more importantly, they thought about ordering packages early enough.

 

References:

[1] https://techcrunch.com/2018/06/05/packhelp-raises-a-seed-round-to-spread-the-love-of-beautiful-boxes/

[2] https://www.eu-startups.com/2019/03/warsaw-based-packhelp-secures-e8-8-million-series-a-for-its-custom-designed-packaging-for-businesses/

[3] https://packhelp.com/18-ideas-for-designing-christmas-packaging/

[4] https://www.forbes.pl/biznes/packhelp-pozyskal-10-mln-dolarow-polskie-pudelka-rozpychaja-sie-w-europie/1j6jg8g

[5] https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/packhelp#section-overview

[6] https://zapakuj.to/aplikacja-mobilna/

[7] https://www.pb.pl/packhelp-dostal-paczke-pieniedzy-956112

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To disrupt the way health is monitored

After battling it out on Centre Stage, the audience cast their final votes. A moment of waiting and… we have it! Congratulations to Nutrix, who were crowned on Centre Stage at Web Summit 2019 tech conference this week, for their innovative solution to measuring glucose in the blood without needles.

Maria Hahn, CEO & Founder of Nutrix, receiving the main prize at Web Summit 2019
Source: https://portugalinews.eu/web-summit-announces-nutrix-as-pitch-winner/

 

Diabetes prevalence

Firstly, we will look at the data. It is estimated that 415 million people are living with diabetes in the world, which is estimated to be 1 in 11 of the world’s adult population. 46% of people with diabetes are undiagnosed. The forecast is as follows: the figure is expected to rise to 642 million people living with diabetes worldwide by 2040.

 

Nutrix’s vision

This year’s winner of Web Summit PITCH, powered by Siemens is going to disrupt the way health is monitored. Today it is only when you are unwell that you get the information from your doctor. Nutrix wants to give the people a chance to monitor this before.

Nutrix
Source: https://nutrix.tech/

 

Future of glucose monitoring

Currently, Nutrix is developing a high tech nanosensor that is placed on the tooth which detects glucose level in the saliva and transfers information to an external app. Nutrix is invisible, non-invasive, and patient-friendly. Additionally, it will track food intake and provide valuable information for the patient and artificial pancreas algorithms.

Nutrix’s nanosensor technology
Source: https://nutrix.tech/

 

Progress and development

Nutrix is being incubated at University Children’s Hospital Basel and developed at CSEM lab a private, non-profit Swiss research and technology organization.

 

Advantages

It is not the mere fact of monitoring blood glucose that arouses the greatest enthusiasm. It turns out that you can control the level of other chemicals in the same way. The technology proposed by the startup becomes useful not only for people who are sick and their lives depend on the level of specific substances in the blood. It is also an effective way to control the compounds consumed every day.

Correct blood sugar is important not just for diabetics. Fluctuations in blood sugar levels can contribute to weight gain and fat deposits all over the body. Therefore, it is a mistake to think that glucose levels should be controlled only by those who have diabetes.

So we get to the point where we can confidently say that the use of Nutrix is ​​an effective way to prevent civilization diseases.

Finally, Nutrix has a long-term vision that goes further than just glucose. This is their current focus, but ultimately the company wants to go into how to monitor the reaction of the immune system.

 

Diabetes and the environment

There are more advantages. Blood glucose test strips are the basic equipment of every diabetic. The strips are used for self-monitoring of blood glucose. They are used once and then discarded.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, lancets are medical wastes called sharps. Sharps can be dangerous to that handling garbage if they are thrown in the regular trash. What is more, many people do not pay attention to the safe disposal of their medical waste. The use of a nanosensor eliminates the need for strips and reduces harmful effects on the environment.

 

Cost-effectiveness

An additional advantage of eliminating the need to use measuring instruments is not only the reduction of harmful effects on the environment. The less intrusive (read needleless) device will be sold at half the price of existing devices.

Invisible, non-invasive, patient-friendly. Good for the Earth and still less costly. There is nothing else to do but observe how Nutrix revolutionizes medicine. Soon, checking how many chemicals you ate during the day will be a matter of opening the app.

Can you imagine all of that data on your mobile device’s screen without the need of doing blood tests?

 

References:

[1] https://portugalinews.eu/web-summit-announces-nutrix-as-pitch-winner/

[2] https://www.diabetes.co.uk/diabetes-prevalence.html

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diabetes

[4] https://nutrix.tech/

[5] https://www.eu-startups.com/2019/11/nutrix-glycose-level-measurement-device-wins-pitch-competition-at-web-summit-2019/

[6] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glucose_meter

[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK115277/

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Lightning fast MIT Robot

MIT is worldwide known for its robotics research. In the past, they managed to create a robot breaking the world record in solving a Rubik’s Cube in only 0.38 seconds, the first four-legged robot to do a backflip, etc.
Sounds impressive, but with their newest development, they can’t just look cool, but it can be used in many ways and bring the robots on to the next level of productivity.
Picking up objects and flipping them around is easy for people. We do it every day, e.g., when we are trying to take notes at University, work, or at home. We pick up the pen and bring it into the right position and start writing. The same scenario is when we are eating a sandwich: We move it a little bit to bite from the other corner.
For our robot friends, however, it is tough to pick up things without either dropping them or destroying them and then to add the factor of turning the object they just mastered to hold? It sounds like a difficult task.
Therefore it took robots a long time to plan and calculate all the factors like geometry, friction, all the possibilities of how the object can be turned, etc. This whole process took tens of minutes previously, which sounds still impressive, bearing in mind that if we measured and calculate these numbers, we would sit there for hours and probably still fail.
MIT mastered to bring down the planning time of the robot to less than a second.
How is that possible? The robot is pushing the object against a stationary surface and slides its claw down the object until it has it in the right position.

For the future, this can mean that instead of a specialized tool like a screwdriver, machines would have more something like a hand, giving them the ability to pick up different kinds of tools and do various tasks.
This improvement would most likely save the companies space and also money since, for multiple steps, they would need one robot.

This is another case were thinking out of the box, by simply using the surroundings, has a huge effect.

References:

https://bigthink.com/technology-innovation/rubiks-cube

http://news.mit.edu/2019/mit-mini-cheetah-first-four-legged-robot-to-backflip-0304

https://techcrunch.com/2019/10/17/mit-develops-a-way-for-robots-to-grasp-and-manipulate-objects-much-faster/

http://news.mit.edu/2019/robotic-faster-grip-adjust-1017

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Smart pills to help diabetics?

Scientists from MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Novo Nordisk collaborate on creating a new kind of drug which aim is to make diabetics’ lives easier and less painful.

Nowadays people suffering from diabetes have to inject insulin multiple times per day to maintain a proper blood glucose level. For the last 100 years scientists tried to find a way to make insulin possible to be taken orally, which is quite a challenge, because many pharmaceutical compounds can’t survive the stomach’s harsh, acidic environment.

The new device created by previously mentioned scientists is about to finally allow diabetics to put injections off and make the whole process a lot easier. The smart pill works by attaching itself to the inside of the stomach and then injecting a payload through the gastric wall. Once the sugar glass that surrounds it is dissolved by acid in the stomach a tiny needle is released and a patient gets a proper dose of insulin.

The current injection is not the most comfortable process because of the pain related to inserting the needle into veins, right? Taking this smart pill orally means the injection will be done inside your stomach, which exactly means that you will not feel any pain. Why? According to Robert Langer, coauthor of the whole project, there are no pain receptors within the gastrointestinal tract.

Leopard Tortoise (Geochelone pardalis), Kruger National Park, South Africa

Moreover, the shape of the pill is inspired by the shape of a leopard tortoise’s shell, which automatically self-rights no matter how it lands – that kind of structure ensures that the device will attach to the gastric wall every time. It’s worth noting that the whole project is still at the proof-of-concept stage and has only been tested in animals, so the device won’t be available in the nearest future.

So, what are your thoughts on this topic? Do you think that in the futue smart pills will be a common thing? Let me know down below!

 

Sources:

https://www.technologyreview.com/the-download/612917/smart-pills-filled-with-tiny-needles-could-inject-medicine-directly-into-your/

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/02/pills-armed-tiny-needles-could-inject-insulin-other-important-meds-directly-stomach?r3f_986=https://www.google.com/

 

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The future of gaming – Teslasuit

Probably most of you are familiar with VR. Not that long ago, we could see it only in movies, but nowadays thanks to Oculus Rift, it started becoming a more mainstream option of entertainment. Well, now imagine that there’s a device that enables you to not only see everything as if you were there, but also to feel it. That’s what Tesla’s new invention is all about.

Teslasuit was presented at CES 2019, where influencers and journalists could even try out the prototype version. It is a new generation of smart clothing. Moreover, it is a full body suit, made from waterproof neoprene, filled with multiple censors, which right now add up to 68. Since it’s waterproof, it is fully washable. Just put it into your washing machine and enjoy the fresh smell. Additionaly, Tesla’s spokesperson stated that by the time that they will hit the market, number of censors will be even higher. Although all of this information may not seem as impressive for you at this moment, let me explain briefly what can it do.

This clothing with the use of haptic feedback can simulate the feeling of touch, bumping into a wall and even getting kicked or punched. It seems pretty futuristic, doesn’t it? Of course everything is done with safety measures, so that it doesn’t hurt you. You can even adjust the power of the sensations, if it’s too much for you, but that’s not all. Let’s ignore for a second the ‘less important’ fact that it measures your biometric data like heart rate and how do you feel overall. It actually can make you feel different temperatures.

Now imagine, that you play Call of Duty or some other FPS game and you have a mission located somewhere in Siberia with -30°C, there are plenty of enemies nearby trying to kill you and you can feel it all! The temperature, bullets hitting you, touching the ground, your weapon, simply everything. Of course it won’t be as real as the real pain or temperature, but it definitely will be different and much better than sitting in front of a computer or a TV on your couch.  I don’t know how do you feel about it, but to me it seems amazing. 

 

It provides the sensations, anything from stroke to hard impact … but the hard impact we’ve specifically limited to the own wearer’s strength, not to damage any tissue or anything, to keep it safe.” (Digital Trends).

 

Imagine the possibilities that this equipment creates. In my opinion, it can even help with obesity to some extent. All of the gamers in order to keep playing, will have to burn all of this calories by moving inside of their houses constantly. That’s definitely not something that you can do, while being overweight. Your actual physical abilities will determine, how good you are at certain games.

Although I’m really enthusiastic about this kind of gaming, let’s talk about some other aspects of this technology, since playing games just isn’t for everyone. In future, it may enable us to for example go explore different countries or watch a NBA game, from the comfort of our own house, just for few bucks.  It can even be some form of communication between friend’s and family. Imagine that you are in a long-distance relationship. This technology will enable you to not only talk face-to-face, but feel the presence of your partner. This just blows my mind.

Here you can see a quick video of how people reacted to Teslasuit at CES 2019

It all sounds amazing, but nothing there’s always a catch. Well, the device itself isn’t so cheap. It may cost several thousand of dollars and it’s only wholesaled. The price will probably go down as the interest of the product will go up in future, but it definitely isn’t a product for everyone, as for now. Still, in my opinion it’s totally worth it, if you can lands your hands on it.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments. 

 

Reference list:

1. Miranda, F. (2019, January 13). The Teslasuit could turn Black Mirror’s terrifying ‘Playtest’ into a reality. https://www.digitaltrends.com/gaming/teslasuit-experience-ces-2019/

2. null. (2018, December 31).The TeslaSuit, VR, and Gaming Potential. https://www.gamedesigning.org/gaming/teslasuit/

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Is DNA phenotyping the future of solving crime cases?

Imagine a perfect crime – without any witnesses, circumstantial evidence or suspects. The only thing that remains after the offence is a single drop of blood or tiny piece of epidermis. Such a case seems impossible to be solved, doesn’t it? It turns out, however, that thanks to cutting-edge technology, from now on police is able to identify the perpetrators’ appearance just by obtaining a small amount of their DNA.

 

DNA phenotyping has already helped to solve many old cases, which on the face of it, seemed completely hopeless and started to fall into oblivion. But what exactly is this DNA phenotyping? This pioneering technology extracts from a sample of our DNA certain genes that are responsible for how we look and enables to create a possible outline of the offender’s appearance. Although it seems almost idyllic, it is a sketch with possible features, which if incorrectly interpreted, may lead to accusations of innocent people.

Dr. Moses Schanfield, a forensic scientist and DNA expert says:

“You’re not going to get a precise answer. It’s not like a DNA profile that the likelihood of a coincidental match is 10-to-the-negative-15th. You’re going to get a generic picture.”

 

A company that offers the above-mentioned DNA technology, Parabon Nanolabs, has been working with law enforcement since 2015. They have developed a sophisticated software capable of unlocking information contained in DNA left at a crime scene, called “Snapshot”. Records show that since 2011, the Department of Defense has poured more than $1 million into Parabon to develop Snapshot. Generating a sketch of a potential offender costs almost $3,000 per composite image and the service  has already assisted in over 40 cases. What makes it innovative and exceptional is that there is no need for a previously created list of suspects or any database. The only crucial thing is a piece of DNA.

Nevertheless, there are many opponents of such technological development. Many claim that this can lead to reinforcing racial bias or establishing probable cause against innocent people, ensnaring them in criminal investigations. What is more, as this is a new technology, it is not known what accuracy the system is getting, how well it can assess. Exposing the algorithm that is not thoroughly tested to a widespread use can lead to many harm and misleading decisions. I personally think that until the system’s infallibility is proven, appearance sketches can be used as an aid and guidance to the police, but not the main source of proof. Moreover, as far as I am concerned this technology should be covered by legal regulations and strictly enforced so as not to lead to its abuse and usage  for improper and immoral purposes.

 

Another question however, is whether society is ready for this kind of progress? Is obtaining DNA from blood found outside of someone’s home isn’t that different from getting DNA from a discarded cigarette butt or coffee cup? This DNA development undoubtedly is going to grow faster and faster now, are we ready to enter the future?

 

References:

https://www.circa.com/story/2018/11/29/nation/dna-technology-can-create-unbelievable-suspect-sketches-heres-why-that-should-scare-you

https://edition.cnn.com/2018/11/30/tech/dna-cold-cases-technology/index.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ln-1-WysCbw

https://anthropology.columbian.gwu.edu/moses-schanfield

 

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