Future Tech: Plus… bandages that track how you heal & glasses that help the blind to see.
Feel walls and doors in virtual reality
From Fast Company:
There are all sorts of devices designed to make virtual worlds feel more real by mimicking physical sensations: full-body suits, gloves, robotic hands, and exoskeletons. These products mimic sensations, but they don’t create the realistic impression of spaces or structures, like walls or doors. As adoption of AR and VR becomes more pervasive, being able to walk through walls won’t seem like a neat trick–it’ll be a significant limit to user experience, jarring you out of a world that may otherwise seem realistic.
But how do you create a virtual wall, a physical obstacle that you can touch and push against, without using unwieldy mechanical hardware?
For human-computer interaction researcher Pedro Lopes, the answer lies beneath the skin. Lopes, along with Patrick Baudisch, Sijing You, Lung-Pan Cheng, and Sebastian Marwecki at the Hasso Plattner Institute in Potsdam, Germany, created a simple wearable that uses electrical muscle stimulation–small electric shocks–to directly deliver sensation to the user’s muscles. It’s similar to the type of stimulation used in physical therapy.
Smart bandages that track the healing process
Bandages are usually very mysterious – it’s hard to know how well you're healing until you unwrap them, and that usually means a trip to the doctor. If Welsh researchers succeed, however, you'll never have to wonder what's going on underneath all that cloth.
Swansea University is planning trials (due within 12 months) of smart, 3D-printed bandages that will use 5G wireless data and nano-sized sensors to constantly relay details about your health.
It would help physicians customize treatment based on the progress of your wound, your location and your activity. If you're healing well and are staying active, for example, you may get a different solution than someone who's recovering slowly and needs to stay home.
These glasses help a blind teen see
From CBC News:
An Ontario teen who is legally blind not only got to hang out with a couple of Harlem Globetrotters recently — he was able to actually see them, thanks to technology from a Toronto startup.
Ethan LaCroix, 13, has been nearly 75 per cent blind his whole life because of a rare disease called Leber congenital amaurosis. But when he wears eSight eyewear, the Brantford, Ont. teen has nearly normal vision.
"I could see writing on a piece of paper from across the room," LaCroix said, describing the first time he put the glasses on. "I looked out the window and could see the street signs and all the signs on the buildings."