SocietySociety in an age of robots
How Society is Changing in the Second Machine Age
Technology is shaping society, as it has always done so, but at a rate never experienced before in the history of mankind. This department is tracking the impact technology has on the fabric of our societies and humanity in general.
The playroom is about to acquire a virtual dimension thanks to a new app. Researchers at ETH Zurich’s Game Technology Center want to use the app to inspire children’s imaginations and encourage creativity. It is now available in app stores to coincide with today’s Digitaltag.
A study examining how the brain decodes pitch could inform further development of cochlear implants. Picture yourself with a friend in a crowded restaurant. The din of other diners, the clattering of dishes, the muffled notes of background music, the voice of your friend, not to mention your own – all compete for your brain’s attention.
Using virtual reality therapy to improve arm and hand movement after a stroke is equally as effective as regular therapy, according to a study published in the November 15, 2017, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
Study finds that virtual reality is effective in reducing pain during certain medical procedures. Virtual reality has emerged into popular culture with an ever-widening array of applications including clinical use in a pediatric healthcare center.
A transfer technique based on thin sacrificial layers of boron nitride could allow high-performance gallium nitride gas sensors to be grown on sapphire substrates and then transferred to metallic or flexible polymer support materials. The technique could facilitate the production of low-cost wearable, mobile and disposable sensing devices for a wide range of environmental applications.
A new type of smart fabric developed at the University of Washington could pave the way for jackets that store invisible passcodes and open the door to your apartment or office. The UW computer scientists have created fabrics and fashion accessories that can store data — from security codes to identification tags — without needing any on-board electronics or sensors.
Researchers have successfully incorporated washable, stretchable and breathable electronic circuits into fabric, opening up new possibilities for smart textiles and wearable electronics. The circuits were made with cheap, safe and environmentally friendly inks, and printed using conventional inkjet printing techniques.
Virtual reality reduces phantom body pain in paraplegics and creates the illusion that they can feel their paralyzed legs being touched again. The results could one day translate into therapies to reduce chronic pain in paraplegics.
A new type of soft and stretchable sensor could find uses in applications ranging from athletics and health monitoring to prosthetics and virtual reality. The technology, called iSoft, is capable of sensing in real-time, or without delay, and can perform “multimodal” sensing, or sensing a variety of stimuli such as continuous contact and stretching in all directions.
Wearable sensors are revolutionizing the tech-world, capable of tracking processes in the body, such as heart rates. They’re even becoming fashionable, with many of them sporting sleek, stylish designs. But wearable sensors also can have applications in detecting threats that are external to the body.
Matthew is Editor-in-Chief of The Neuropsychotherapist, a psychotherapist with a keen interest in neuroscience and technology.