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A device that lets you control your dreams

Future Tech: Featuring virtual reality hugs & a robot that drills precise holes for surgery.

A new invention designed to influence semi-lucid sleep state


From Fast Company:

Beethoven, Poe and Tesla all claimed to use a bizarre creative technique to come up with some of their ideas — a method that involved accessing their dreams to hunt down brilliant concepts and bring them into the conscious world. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are trying to build on the fabled process with an interface for dreams. They call it Dormio.

Led by MIT Media Lab Fluid Interfaces Group’s Adam Haar Horowitz, Dormio is a device designed to influence and extend the semi-lucid sleep state called hypnagogia. We all pass through this cognitive wonderland just before falling completely asleep. It’s a mental dimension that often features a distorted perception of space and time — you may lose your very sense of self, and you’ll often experience lucid dreams or come up with ideas that are free of the logical constraints and cognitive filters of the conscious brain.

Even though we all experience hypnagogia, the wild visions and ideas that come with this phase of sleep are usually forever lost after a night of sleep. Geniuses like Edison and Dalí had a clever trick for recalling their ideas, though. They would take naps while holding a steel ball in their hands, which would fall as soon as they left their hypnagogia phase, instantly waking them up with a fresh memory of their lucid dreams.

Dormio is a much more advanced version of that steel ball trick, and aims to lengthen, influence, and record the “microdreams” we all experience in this state.

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Disney’s Force Jacket lets you feel in VR

THE VR Force Jacket designed by Disney

From Engadget:

We’re only starting to take advantage of all that AR and VR can offer. Now the challenge is to make the experience immersive, engaging your entire body in whatever your brain is perceiving. That’s just what Disney is working on with the Force Jacket.

Up until this point, any feedback your body receives during AR and VR is in the form of vibrations from touching a handheld device. The Force Jacket allows for an array of airbags and sensors to provide sensation over the entire upper body though applications of force and high-frequency vibrations. Users can feel touching, squeezing, punching, hugging and even the sensation of a snake moving across the body thanks to this jacket.

This type of jacket could really revolutionize the way people interact with VR. Imagine if you could feel every punch or every bullet in a first-person shooter. It has interesting and fantastic implications for the future of the technology and the immersive reality it can provide.

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This robot was designed to drill a hole in a human skull

Would you let a robot surgeon drill a hole in your skull?

From Popular Mechanics:

Would you let a robot surgeon drill a hole in your skull? Researchers from the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands created a robot arm that can take on skull surgeries, drilling with sub-millimeter precision. The robot, called RoBoSculpt, could perform its first surgery within five years.

Surgeons drill out holes in the base of a skull for over 100,000 patients a year worldwide to treat infections and cancers, a painstaking, slow process that requires exacting precision for hours at a time. Delicate structures in the skull, like facial nerves, taste nerves, inner ear and balance organs can be affected, while bone filings and blood can blurry a microscope during surgery.

The robot, which is really an advanced robot arm with a surgical drilling tool, can work faster and potentially with greater precision. Surgeons would point out the pieces of bone to remove on CT images of a patient’s skull, fix the robot arm head in place and direct it to safely drill.

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The Editors

The Editorial Team develops articles, company profiles and resources for the Business Hub to bring IT, tech and innovation stories to the Manitoba business community.

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