Good Thinking

Smartglasses help the visually-impaired to use smartphones

Smartphone users with limited vision will often utilize the phone's zoom feature, making one section of the phone's display larger and thus easier to see. The problem is, it can be difficult to keep track of which part of the overall display they're zoomed-in on. That's why researchers from Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts Eye and Ear have developed a Google Glass-based alternative.Read More

Scott Sight mask gives firefighters hands-free thermal vision

A fire is no place to be blind, but firefighters face that prospect every time they enter a smoke-filled building. Thermal imagers can improve the odds, but they're too often handheld and bulky, so Scott Safety has come up with the Scott Sight, a lightweight imaging system integrated into a breathing mask to provide individual firefighters with real-time thermal images.Read More

Fighting the Zika virus with junked tires

Mosquitos like old tires. More specifically, female mosquitos like to lay their eggs in the cool, stagnant water that often accumulates within them. Now, in the fight against mosquito-borne diseases such as the Zika virus, the Government of Canada is using that fact against the insects. Researchers with the Grand Challenges Canada initiative have created a highly-effective mosquito trap, each one of which is made from a single discarded tire.Read More

Slack bot collaborates on taco orders

Launched in 2013, Slack took just two years to pass the million daily users mark and now boasts more than 2.3 million users, 675,000 of which pay for the privilege. That's a lot of users and a lot of mouths to feed. Taco Bell is looking to help do just that with a bot that will take orders via the cloud-based team collaboration tool.Read More

Computer creates high-tech Rembrandt counterfeit

In conversations about artificial intelligence and the time when machines will be able to functions as well as — or better than — human beings, it's often said that one thing computers will never be able to do is create art and music the way we do. Well, that argument just lost a bit of steam thanks to a project that's been carried out by Microsoft and ING. Working with a Dutch University and two museums in the Netherlands, the project, called "Next Rembrandt," used algorithms and a 3D printer to create a brand-new Rembrandt painting that looks like it could easily have been delivered by Dutch Master's own hand about 350 years ago.Read More

Floatti offers smooth-riding smart luggage

Having squeezed that last pair of socks into your suitcase, forced the zips shut and rushed out the door, there's nothing worse than having to wrangle uncooperative luggage over bumpy city streets on your way to the airport. A Californian team thinks it has the solution to this problem with Floatti, a smart suitcase with suspension, smartphone connectivity and an inbuilt scale.Read More

Solar-powered "Sterile Box" targets hospital infections in developing countries

One of the risks of undergoing a surgical procedure is getting an on-site infection, which leads to longer periods in hospital and even death, especially when bacteria is resistant to current drugs. In developing countries the problem is bigger as hospitals often lack staple sterilization instruments such as an autoclave. In order to tackle this issue, a team of Rice University students and their mentors are developing a solar-powered sterilization unit that could be a life-saver in regions with little or no access to this type of equipment.Read More


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