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Around The Home

Amazon's new Echo Dot and Tap make Alexa more portable ... sort of

Amazon wants to make it easier to add its voice-controlled assistant, Alexa, to any room in the home by offering a pair of new, smaller versions of Amazon Echo, the original tabletop Bluetooth speaker inhabited by Alexa. Echo Dot and Amazon Tap are both smaller than the original Echo and Tap is even portable, but was too much sacrificed in the design to keep them from being the next go-to digital assistant?Read More

Medical

Functional vocal cord tissue grown in the lab for first time

For the first time, scientists have successfully grown vocal cords in the lab, with tests showing the engineered tissue to be functional, with the ability to transmit sound. While the research is just the first step on a long path towards clinical use, the results are very promising, providing a solid basis for future study.Read More

Drive Efficient tells you how to stay appy with fuel consumption

We're all familiar with cars telling us how to get somewhere, but what about telling us how to do so efficiently? That's the idea behind the Drive Efficient app, which triumphed in Ford's SYNC AppLink Developer Challenge Dublin. The software provides visual and audio advice to drivers for frugal fuel use.Read More

Wearables

Rhema tech coaches public speakers via Google Glass

Many people absolutely hate public speaking, in part because they think that they simply aren't good enough at doing it. Well, that's why Rhema was created. Developed at the University of Rochester and named after the Greek word for "utterance," it delivers real-time performance feedback to the speaker via their Google Glass headset.Read More

Health & Wellbeing

Bipolar disorder app predicts mood swings by eavesdropping on phone conversations

People afflicted with bipolar disorder must live with the fact that at any moment, they could launch into a major depressive or manic mental state. These mood swings can be so severe that dangerous, erratic behavior including suicide attempts can result. Researchers at the University of Michigan, however, are developing something that could prove to be very helpful. It's an Android app that listens to a patient's phone conversations, and detects the signs of oncoming mood swings in their voice. Read More

3D Printing

Artist creates 3D-printed voice sculpture of Obama's speech

It seems there's little that you can't create with 3D printing; we've recently seen lingerie, guns, rocket engines, musical instruments and even rooms. French artist Gilles Azzaro, however, uses the technology to capture something much more abstract. His 3D-printed sculptures of voice recordings resemble alien landscapes, with high and low tones represented as peaks and troughs. Instead of only hearing the rich tones of Barack Obama's State of the Union speech, you can see them too, in Azzaro's latest sculpture entitled "Next Industrial Revolution." Read More

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