Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Perception

EPFL researchers succeeded in recreating the feeling of a 'ghostly presence' in the labora...

Mountain climbers facing extreme climatic conditions, patients affected by schizophrenia or neurological disorders and athletes facing severe exhaustion have all reported experiencing feeling an invisible and yet persistent "presence" that is often felt just outside their field of view. Researchers at EPFL have now recreated the same sensations in perfectly healthy subjects, inducing ghostly hallucinations in a matter of minutes.  Read More

The minimalist Durr watch

Time may be constant, but our perception of it is constantly changing. If you're happy and having fun, it tends to pass more quickly than if you're miserable and suffering. Time has also been shown to pass more quickly for older people than younger generations. Wearing a wristwatch doesn't necessarily help us become more aware of the passing of time, but wearing Durr may well do ... By stretching our preconceived ideas of what constitutes a timepiece.  Read More

The tongue interface and control system assembly (Photo: National University of Singapore)

Today is Thanksgiving Day in the United States, a holiday in which we celebrate the blessings granted by Life, the Universe, and Everything. A central part of Thanksgiving traditions involves a massive feast, often featuring turkey or ham, and a selection of delicious side dishes. It may soon be possible to virtually experience such a repast as enjoyed by a character in a movie or a video game, aided by a new method for digitally actuating the sense of taste through electrical and thermal stimulation of the tongue.  Read More

New research demonstrates that it could be easy to trick the mind and trigger an out-of-bo...

New research demonstrates that triggering an out-of-body experience (OBE) could be as simple as getting a person to watch a video of themselves with their heartbeat projected onto it. According to the study, it's easy to trick the mind into thinking it belongs to an external body and manipulate a person's self-consciousness by externalizing the body's internal rhythms. The findings could lead to new treatments for people with perceptual disorders such as anorexia and could also help dieters too.  Read More

Madeleine in the process of capturing the smell of a source object

The five traditional senses of perception – sound, sight, smell, touch, and taste – are all capable of triggering memories. However, we haven't yet figured out how to capture copies of all of these inputs. We can capture images on cameras and sounds on audio equipment, we can recreate tastes to a certain degree, and we can simulate touch with physical copies of other things. But what about smells? The ability to capture everyday odors in an immutable state has eluded us. Until now.  Read More

An experimental new dieting technology uses augmented reality to make food items appear la...

You might think that your feeling of satiation when eating is due simply to your stomach filling up. According to the Hirose Tanikawa Group at the University of Tokyo, however, the visual perception of food also has something to do with it – the greater the amount of food that a person sees that they’re eating, the sooner they feel full. With that in mind, the team has created a prototype dieting system that uses augmented reality to trick people into thinking their food items are larger than they actually are.  Read More

Disney's REVEL system applying virtual textures to  different areas of a teapot (Photo: Di...

Having long been successful with "talkies," Disney has developed technology that could allow the creation of "feelies." While designed more for touchscreens than the silver screen, the REVEL system developed at Disney Research uses reverse electrovibration to bring computerized control over the sense of touch, thereby allowing programmers to change the feel of real-world surfaces and objects without requiring users to wear special gloves or use force-feedback devices.  Read More

Scientists have developed technology that is able to reconstruct words heard by test subje...

Last September, scientists from the University of California, Berkeley announced that they had developed a method of visually reconstructing images from peoples' minds, by analyzing their brain activity. Much to the dismay of tinfoil hat-wearers everywhere, researchers from that same institution have now developed a somewhat similar system, that is able to reconstruct words that people have heard spoken to them. Instead of being used to violate our civil rights, however, the technology could instead allow the vocally-disabled to "speak."  Read More

Researchers have developed the world's first full High Dynamic Range video system, which a...

Anyone who regularly uses a video camera will know that the devices do not see the world the way we do. The human visual system can perceive a scene that contains both bright highlights and dark shadows, yet is able to process that information in such a way that it can simultaneously expose for both lighting extremes – up to a point, at least. Video cameras, however, have just one f-stop to work with at any one time, and so must make compromises. Now, however, researchers from the UK’s University of Warwick claim to have the solution to such problems, in the form of the world’s first full High Dynamic Range (HDR) video system.  Read More

Can Botox stunt your emotional expression?

A new study from the University of Wisconsin may have profound implications for the cosmetic-surgery industry. We all intuitively know there is an interaction between facial expression, thoughts and emotions and scientists have previously found that blocking the ability to move the body causes changes in cognition and emotion. In the latest UW tests, which involved the pinpoint administration of Botox to temporarily prevent frowning, it was found that facial expression also affects the ability to understand written language related to emotions. So using Botox …  Read More

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