Anime!

*Blood warning*

Anime is an animated art style that originates from Japan. It is very popular in it’s home country but has a very large following in the western part of the world. The show’s them selves have a very wide range of genres, anywhere from Romance to Horror. The oldests Japanese Animation dates back to 1917, Mogura no Abanchūru (Mole’s Adventure). I have watched it and can say that the animation is extremely basic (which is a given concidering the time) but it is quite impressive of what they were capable of that long ago. The iconic style it has today however, did not surface until 1960(although it’s become more realistic in more recent years).

I myself enjoy the genre very much, and being an artist, the animation style peeks my interest too. Each show has it’s own unique style, much depending on the genre itself. The show Attack On Titan features harsher lines and less detailed design, where as some like God Eater feature a 3dimensional, game-like appearance.

    

Anime began like most animated shows, hand-drawn. The process is long and painstaking as each movement much be drawn seperatly. Now most anime are animated digitally, cutting the work time and increasing the quality. It is incredibly detailed and I genuinely admire the talent the animators have.

Most anime begin as manga (Japanese comics) and are then later picked up to be animate, much like how books are turned into films. For many, the animation style changes from the manga, becoming more detailed and expressive (like Haikyuu!!) but some of them have managed to keep the animation style almost eactly like the manga (Tokyo Ghoul). The skill to be able to animate a still photo and keep it the same, I think is very impressive.

    

Overall I think the Anime industry is only improving and in as little as a decade, I can only begin to imagine the types of animation styles and types of animators that will surface and if it will even become more photorealistic. But until then, I am quite content with styles and abilities that are around right now.

The First VISOR?

For any of you who have a love of Star Trek, I’m assuming you’ve seen, or at least know of Star Trek: The Next Generation. One of the main characters is man named Geordie La Forge, a Starfleet engineer who was born blind. Now, this isn’t a problem as this takes place in the 2300’s and the technology is far superior to ours. Mr. La Forge (before getting ocular implants) wore what is called a VISOR (Visual Instrument and Sensory Organ Replacement) that allowed him to see by detecting electromagnetic signals across the EM spectrum (between 1 Hz and 100,000 THz) and used them to send signals to the brain through implants. This seems a little excessive, even for this day in age, but the technology isn’t far off.

Black eSight3

This is the eSight 3, A device that, although doesn’t “fix” blindness, allows people who are legally blind to see clearly. It works for about 4/5 people and works best for those who suffer from Macular Degeneration, but it works on a number of other conditions as well.

eSight CEO Dr. Brian Mech wanted to take advantage of the current improvements and successes of VR to help people. The eSight 3 uses high-speed, high-definition cameras to capture what the user is looking at, and displays it on 2 OLED screens in front of the user’s eyes. Using a remote that is connected to the headset, the user is able to zoom in or brighten/darken so that she is given the best sight possible. The headset can also take photos, capturing what the user is seeing. This not only gives people their sight back, but also gives them freedom. They can safely walk around in public without aid so that they don’t have to rely on a guide dog or white cane. It also helps them read so that they won’t need to use braille.

A couple of the drawbacks are that it isn’t waterproof, nor are users able to drive while wearing it, but the stages it’s at now are remarkable.

eSight 3

Sitting at $10,000 a piece, it is most definitely not the most affordable thing out there, but for many of the users, what the eSight 3 does for them is priceless.

We may not be at the point of curing blindness, but this step forward is truly incredible and who can even imagine where we will be in 10 years. And who knows? Maybe we will reaching VISOR technology sooner than 2300.

 

HUDWAY Glass

HUDWAY Glass

Welcome to the next level of navigation systems. HUDWAY Glass is a navigation system that doesn’t hinder your view of the road. “How is that possible?” you might ask. Well, this navigation system is a simple piece of glass. Really, that’s it. By placing your phone on the base below the glass, and using an HUD (heads-up display) app, you have a glass display of your navigation, speedometer or speed camera.

Now, I’m sure you’re thinking that this seems pointless. “Why not just use my old GPS?”. Well with a see-through display, you can see the road straight through the HUDWAY Glass. There is no obstruction. This help’s a little with distracted driving. IN Canada, distracted driving is now the number one cause for all vehicle accidents. 8 in 10 accidents are caused by this. Also, if you’re like myself, and are always fiddling with your GPS for what seems like forever, the simple to use apps allow you to enter your destination and go.

HUBWAY Glass side view

This may eliminate the use for google maps, but in my opinion this would be much safer. Instead of having to just listen to my phone’s navigation and hope that it doesn’t miss my turn, you can see your route easily and undistracted. The display is also visible in all weather, so even if it’s pouring or there’s a blizzard outside, you can see the display clearly.

The price is less than you than you might think. It’s only $49.95, which, if you’re willing to spend $150 to $300 on a GPS, you can easily dig out the money for the Glass. The price overall I think is very appealing, especially for those who have a low income or are on a tight budget.

Would I buy and/or use this product? Most definitely. It’s innovative, smart and I think could really help with distracted driving. I, myself, admit to using my phone while driving, (primarily for messing around with google maps) and this would take that away completely. I also think it would prevent cell phone use in general, as you need your phone for the navigation/speedometer. This will make you have to wait to answer that text from Becky.

I deem this product a must-have technology and you can get your hands on one here.

Samsung Gear S3 Frontier

Samsung Gear S3 Frontier

Who ever thought we’d get to the day where we needed smartphones built into watches? Well, it is that day. Fitbit, Apple, Samsung; all companies who thrive from this technology. If you tell me you’ve never heard of a smartwatch, I’d say you’re lying because I know you’ve heard of the iWatch. It’s impossible not to hear about anything involving Apple. But is the iWatch the way to go? Are they really worth it?

Enter the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier is next level of smart watch. It’s sleek design makes it look more like an actual watch than its counterparts. Even in comparison to Samsung’s older models, it’s a major improvement. It has a rotating bezel that allows users to swipe through pages and apps, rather than touching them (which works as well as it has a touch screen). It’s also waterproof, so if you are like me and hate having to take off your watch all the time, this is really useful. The face is scratch proof as well but it’s 46mm in diameter which doesn’t make it the most appealing to women, but there is no rule saying a woman couldn’t rock the large watch perfectly. Samsung gives you some option for customizing, but if the variety bands that you can choose to go with the watch aren’t to your liking, you can use any other band that is 22m wide.

Now, enough about the cosmetics. The real importance is the functionality, as a smartwatch isn’t what it is without being able to use it like a phone. It can make and answer calls, set reminders, and call an uber. You can even pair your Bluetooth headphones with it and listen to your favourite music on the go.

From what I’ve read, the apps available for it aren’t the most useful, as in you can really go without downloading them. Also many of the applications for the Gear S3 are paid at the moment so it’ll cost you a bit. However, if you don’t mind paying the $469.99 for the watch, I can’t see why app price would be a concern.

Overall the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier has received great reviews and if I wasn’t a broke student, I’d most definitely purchase one. My favourite aspect of the watch is probably the fact that it looks like a watch, and not one of those cheap toy watches you would get in a cereal box as a kid (sorry Apple). It’s one of the most innovative watches on the market today, so props to Samsung for staying on top of the game.

Neuroprosthetic Arm

The Next Terminator?

I think we can all agree that it’s tragic when someone loses a limb (or multiple) and the rehabilitation that these people go though, only to have minimal use of their prosthetic, is really frustrating. But it won’t be long till that is a thing of the past.

Enter neuroprosthetics, the prosthetic you control with your mind.

Neuroprosthetics are a fairly new study and has only truly just begun. They are a prosthetic that, through surgery, can be controlled using your mind. It’s a truly remarkable advance in technology and we can only imagine how it will stem from there.

By performing 2 types of surgeries, doctors can enable mobility and feeling into an amputee’s prosthetic. Targeted muscle reinnervation allows an amputee to control their prostheses with their mind by moving residual arm nerves to different areas of muscle. Targeted sensory reinnervation allows them to feel it by moving nerves that were one connected to the fingers to the skin. A woman named Melissa Loomis is the world’s first bionic woman, having mobility and feeling of her prosthetic arm. Although she is the first person to have targeted sensory reinnervation performed on her, the results were incredible. Through wires connected to her fingers nerves, she is able to moves her elbow, wrist and fingers, as well has feel when something has touched her fingers. She described the feeling as a tingling in her fingers.

Now, the big controversy of this technology is people are worried about it getting so advanced that were going to be living in the Terminator universe. This (at the moment) isn’t going to happen anytime soon. The arm itself can only carry 45 lbs and, it’s only an arm. There is talk of a leg being built by an independent engineer, but I can’t figure out how true it is. If anything people should be more worried about the exoskeletons that are being built… but that story is for another day.

Overall, I think this is a remarkable advance in technology and that it will really help a lot of people. The prosthetics cost sits around $10,000 so until they can find a cheaper way to build them, I don’t think we will see them out in public for the next foreseeable future. But, for now I think they should just keep working hard and improving it in anyway they can.

Webcomics

Webcomics are becoming increasingly popular in today’s media. Whether you read them daily on apps like Tapastic or websites like Smack Jeeves, or you just come across them on your social media, webcomics can appeal to almost everyone.

There is such a huge variety of genres to view that they can cater to anyone. One of the more popular would be a-slice-of-life comics that use reality and comedy to create funny shorts. Owlturd Comix is a good example. I’ve seen the comics used by Buzzfeed on their Snapchat many times and the comics appear in my social media from time to time too.

One thing I favour about them is the accessibility. For those who use their mobile more often-than-not, Tapas is a simple way to view webcomics. It allows you to subscribe to the comics you enjoy and lets you know when the artist has updated. It also supports the artist, using ad revenue and a tipping system. All of this you can have access to for free as well. There are features than are paid, but I’ve gotten by perfectly fine without spending a cent.

Those on the web have a few more options. Sites like Smack Jeeves and Webtoon allow you to view comics on the internet. They have a similar format to Tapas where you can view and subscribe to comics.

Personally, I really enjoy reading them. Not only are they a great source of entertainment, but they are an easy way to discover artists. A majority of webcomics found online are drawn and written by amateurs, many of which are students.

For someone who wants to be an illustrator and designer, such as myself, webcomics are an easy way to get yourself out there. The internet is a big chain, each piece linking to the next. As soon as someone shares something it starts moving out and if your work gets shared then you begin to be noticed. I, myself, have not had this happen, but for those who have, they become popular and grow a following. With that comes demand for product and it becomes a way to support yourself financially. There are quite a few webcomic artists that work full time this and for someone like me, this is a goal and it pushes you to work harder.

Webcomics are the new e-books and I think are only going to evolve from there.

 

*The GaMERCaT comic retrieved from thegamercat.com Jan. 11, 2017

*Owlturd Comix comic retrieved from wanna-joke.com Jan. 11, 2017