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Health and Wellbeing

UltraCane uses ultrasonic echoes to offer spatial awareness to the vision-impaired

March 9, 2005 The Ultracane is a new electronic mobility aid that might look like the old white cane for visually-impaired people but adds a remarkable array of technology to enable the person to see objects around them. It works exactly the same way that bats "see" using ultrasonic echoes to provide users with the ability to "feel" objects in their environment through the cane's vibrations. The UKP399 Ultracane is getting rave reviews from all those who try it.  Read More

Displays for user interaction can be integrated into every-day appliances like a bathroom ...

February 28, 2005 At the TEDMED conference late last year, Philips showcased MyHeart, a European project led by Philips with a budget of EUR 33 million and 33 project partners, among them Nokia, Vodafone, Medtronic and the Mayo Clinic. MyHeart is a research consortium that is studying options for smart electronic solutions and associated services that empower people to play an active role in maintaining their health. The project aims to make a significant contribution to the emerging market in products for consumer health and wellness.  Read More

AWOL releases single user machine

February 26, 2005 Alcohol WithOut Liquid (AWOL) has launched a small portable, home version of the controversial commercial AWOL machines launched last year into pubs, clubs and bars. The personal AWOL machine will be named AWOL 1 and will be priced at US$299, a significant reduction from the commercial two and four person AWOL machines, priced at US$2595 and US$2895 respectively. The price reduction has been enabled by substituting the oxygen generator used in AWOL 2 and 4 for an air compressor used in AWOL 1. Both methods deliver alcohol into the bloodstream in the same way - a method that has caused controversy on both sides of the Atlantic, though some US states seem intent on taking silliness to new extremes.  Read More

'Last Resort' Parachute for High Rise Structures

February 26, 2005 It's a scenario made even more frightening by graphic television footage in recent times - trapped at the top of a burning building with exits cut-off facing the gruesome choice between jumping or perishing in flames. Developed as a "last resort" in such an emergency, Evacuchute is specifically designed and engineered for building evacuations - the static line parachute is automatically deployed in less than 1.5 seconds and moves the individual away from the building to ensure a safe, low-impact deployment and a controlled descent at low altitude.  Read More

Intelligent mirror shows what you will look like in 5, 10, 20 years

February 14, 2005 Accenture Laboritories is working on an intelligent mirror that analyses your behavioural patterns and can show you what you'll look like in five years time. The mirror is designed as a health-aid to assist people in visualising the long term outcomes of their behaviour and modify their behaviour accordingly. In actual fact, the mirror is a computer-driven LCD screen that captures your image with a digital camera and then based on what the entire system is monitoring of your lifestyle and behavioural patterns - the complex mix of diet, exercise, calorific input, activity levels and the amount of social drugs such as alcohol, tobacco et al imbibed and so on.  Read More

Toothbrush Sanitizer by Philippe Starck

January 2, 2005 A report by the U.S. Surgeon General in September 2000 directly linked oral hygiene to general health. The findings concluded that a single toothbrush can harbour millions of microorganisms that translate into bacteria - bacteria which thrive in the warm, moist environment of the average bathroom. The VIOlight Toothbrush Sanitizer & Storage System was created to address these problems. Most people simply rinse their toothbrush after each use and put it in a cup or holder, believing that they have removed these bacterial threats. This is not the case. As the Centers for Disease Control stated in their January 2002 report, "Even after being rinsed visibly clean, toothbrushes can remain contaminated with potentially pathogenic organisms." In addition, brushes kept in a common holder may cross-contaminate one another, spreading colds and flu among family members. The VIOlight Toothbrush Sanitizer & Storage System is a consumer product that utilises a Germicidal UltraViolet (UV) bulb - the same technology used in hospitals and dental offices - to eliminate germs and bacteria.  Read More

'BrainGate'  Brain-Machine-Interface takes shape

December 7, 2004 An implantable, brain-computer interface the size of an aspirin has been clinically tested on humans by American company Cyberkinetics. The 'BrainGate' device can provide paralysed or motor-impaired patients a mode of communication through the translation of thought into direct computer control. The technology driving this Brain-Machine-Interface breakthrough has a myriad of potential applications, including the development of human augmentation for military and commercial purposes.  Read More

Power napping becomes a legitimate business

November 29, 2004 The accelerated pace of working life is increasingly shaping social dynamics and forcing global culture to multi-task functions that were once constrained to the home. First there were tanning salons, then oxygen bars, and now, entrepreneurs in New York City have made a business of power napping, offering workers 20-minute naps in customised, futuristic-looking pods from a suite in the Empire State Building in a trend that could quickly spread worldwide.  Read More

Harm-reduction gadget helps smokers quit

November 27, 2004 Smoking is a filthy habit as even users will concede, but despite a myriad of quit smoking products like nicotine patches and chewing gum, smoking is still one of the hardest habits to shake. Another weapon is now available to would-be quitters in the form of the "Cigarette Counter" - a small, US $5 electronic counter designed help smokers keep their habit under control and reduce the number of cigarettes they smoke. The Cigarette Counter clips to the top side of the cigarette pack. It has four buttons - Reset/ Add/ Subtract/ On-Off - and has a display that shows the numbers.  Read More

Fitness cards break the monotony of exercise

November 20, 2004 FitDeck, a new cardgame developed by a former Navy SEAL, enables the creation of your own random fitness workout by simply shuffling the deck and performing up to 50 exercises pictured and described on the card faces. The novel approach to fitness introduces the element of fun and breaks up the monotony of standard exercise regimens.  Read More

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