Integrated technology.

Technology is being constantly being upgraded and introduced into our lives so much so that the devices that we rely on today will soon become much closer to us. This will happen through wearable technology and eventually even cybernetics, but what issues will this cause? The more technology becomes integrated into ourselves the easier it is to hide and use for corrupt purposes. When we reach the point that technology becomes so advanced that the devices are a part of either ourselves or our everyday clothing it will be much easier for us as a whole to use and maybe even abuse the tech in a multitude of ways, ranging from using a hidden camera to record things that should not be recorded all the way to hacking other peoples implant chips to cause physical problems to them and their lives.

Personally I believe that any technology that is physically integrating with humans should not have any way of being accessed other than for medical purposes. Wearable technology; I believe will be far easier for many to use without issues as it is not physically connected to the user and may be removed if a problem arises . Wearable technology may likely end any remnant of privacy that is available to us and will have other issues that many people will not like and will have to grow used to as the prevalence of such technology arises. One example of wearable tech are systems like google glasses which provide a cellphone like experience mounted onto a pair of glasses, another is biometric clothing  which measures the wearer’s functions for athletic or health purposes. Integrated versions of these devices could be more convenient and useful however they would be more dangerous too.

I believe that wearable devices in our everyday lives is an inevitable development and will be much safer than true integration into ourselves.

Are Roll-Up Displays Necessary?

In our industry of technology, there are a lot of advancements being made every day. Some that change the world for the better, some for the worse, and sometimes… we end up somewhere that, from my perspective, doesn’t do either. This is the case for LG Display (a company known for its high quality LCD displays for T.V.’s, laptops, and other devices) who have recently revealed their prototype for the world’s first roll-up display.

You may be wondering, “What’s a roll-up display?” A roll-up display is exactly what it sounds like; it is a screen capable of being rolled-up similar to a newspaper.

When I had seen this prototype for the first time, I was intrigued, to say the least; My mind was purely focused on the groundbreaking technology that this display must possess to make such flexibility possible.  However, with time, my perspective began to change. I chose to question the necessity of this feature in today’s world. Never once have I ever heard someone say, “This T.V. is so rad! If only I could roll it up like a piece of aluminum foil! That would be extra groovy!” 90’s slang aside, the point still stands. Do we really need this feature, or do the displays we have right now suffice?

LGflexibledisplay

The Roll-Up Display demonstrating its feature.

It’s very debatable that this product, if ever released, could be marketable at all. Technological products are often marketed for their convenience and ability to save us time in our busy schedules. While this product does provide convenience in terms of its portability, LG claims that this 18″ display feels just like newspaper. If you’ve ever held a newspaper, you know they’re very difficult to keep up without the use of two hands. That is where this display’s inconvenience lies. Why use both hands to hold this display while watching Netflix when a tablet could do just the same while on your lap, hands free?

As I stated above, this piece of technology is still in development, being a prototype and all, but I remain skeptic as to how this newspaper display could ever be marketable to consumers when there are more convenient products already available. I sincerely hope that LG Display eventually reveals what else this product can do, and why it’s better than what can be done right now. As for now, this Newspaper Display remains innovative technology without a purpose.

Gotta Catch ‘Em All

Foursquare meets Pokemon. Interested yet?

Locanimals is a mobile game in development by a team of five from Carnegie Mellon University (along with a couple advisers from the faculty) and the goal is to make real-world travel more interesting for an in-game reward. Rather than wandering around fictional realms based on Japanese districts to collect colourful digital pets, Locanimals requires you to get out the door and explore the world for real.

locanimal 3

The first step, of course, is to check-in at a location on your mobile device. Considering how many people do this via Facebook, Google+, or Foursquare on a daily basis, this obviously isn’t too taxing. For the initial concept run, the locations will be limited to places in Pittsburgh, but if the idea takes off it could well expand well into the rest of the world.

Once you’re checked in, you may as well be in a real world Pokemon area. You have the opportunity to try catching the Locanimals at your location, collect points to level up Locanimals you already own, or even battle other people checked in at the same location!

loacnimal 2

While at its core Locanimals is a light-hearted concept game that may never evolve beyond Pittsburgh, the idea behind it is much more interesting, and ties into a few other concepts that embody an upcoming philosophy in game design. Locanimals ties heavily into the real world, much beyond other half-hearted attempts like Nintendo’s Streetpass. To get a creature you really want, you might have to venture out to a coffee shop on the east side of town instead of grinding for it in your basement. Once there you may be pushed, through Locanimal battles, to meet someone you never otherwise would have, gleaning some insight into their daily life through their individual Locanimals. In playing this game you’re encouraged to explore the world around you and connect with people near you rather than roaming a digital world with the avatars of people you may never get to see in person.

Digital games are rapidly becoming a part of everyday life for nearly everyone living in developed countries, even if they don’t play them personally. Whether it’s through friends, family, or just popular media, exposure to games is a constant for nearly everyone. Now is certainly the time to start breaking down the preconceptions that video games are for shut-ins, that they aren’t social, that they don’t foster connections to other people. These ideas are all untrue, and few games have a concept that so thoroughly breaks them down as the quirky Locanimals.

Germs Be Gone

 

The common cold is one of many things that people hate to contract from usually; who knows where. Thankfully there is a new concept idea from Red Dot Design, a self-sterilizing door handle. Which I truly think could be put to really good use, the concept was created to help prevent the spread of viruses spread by touch.

The handle uses a UV lamp built into the handle to get rid of the germs in between touches. When someone grabs the handle it is pushed down and turns off the switch to shut off the UV. When not in use the handle return back to normal and is sterilizing until the next touch.

This concept could be used all around the world in so many places: hospitals, schools, shopping malls, bathrooms. The list goes on and it would be so much nicer to know that handle you are reaching for isn’t completely full of germs.

 

sanitizing

 

So why UV? Because UV lights can kill or inactivate microorganisms and is used in many other types of purification like food, water and air. UV radiation disrupts the cells Nucleic acid and DNA making it unable to affect people. Although UV is not good for humans since it gets shut off it won’t cause any harm to the person touching it. Metal and Aluminum are also not affected by UV radiations.

 

I love the idea of this and think it could actually be applied to many other things like keyboards, light switches, and so much more. Since I actually have a cold right now this appeals to me so much lets me know I wouldn’t get sicker and won’t make anyone else sick, at least not as easily. Personally I would have to say that this is a great idea and should be further developed. I don’t know how expensive it would be but I think that usually everyone thinks it is worth it to not get sick.

 

 

avegant glyph in video and audio mode

Avegant Glyph

The Avegant Glyph is a head-mounted virtual display that doubles as headphones. You wear them just like you would wear over-the-ear styled headphones, but the headband portion of it has the ability to rotate down in front of your eyes. This way you can watch movies, play games etc. Instead of using a conventional displays for it’s visual content, it uses a virtual retinal display. Basically this is a whole bunch of tiny mirrors that reflect images directly into the users eyes. This allows the image to be realistic and sharp without the screen door effect that pixels give you. The image speed is also very fast, and has motion sensitivity so they are suitable for virtual reality applications.

The original purpose for the Glyph was for military use, but then the company realized that the consumer market would benefit from the product as well. Any device you can hook a screen up to, the Avegant Glyph can be plugged into and with the click of a button, will quickly interface with it.

avegant glyph in video and audio mode

Avegant Glyph in Video and Audio Mode

It is really cool the amount this gadget can do and be so compact at the same time. In comparison to the Oculus Rift for example, it does not have the headphone function and is rather large, bulky and not as portable.

Currently there are only a few models made that were displayed at CES. They are collecting pledges on Kickstarter in order to get the Glyph on the market and down to a price point that is affordable for everyone.

To submit a pledge, vist: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/avegantglyph/a-mobile-personal-theater-with-built-in-premium-au