Unmanned cars, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, connected objects, or 3D printing: follow the latest technology news that are revolutionizing everyday life, the economy, and communication.
1. Smart glasses can monitor the brain, detect a fall, and play video games
One of the important technology news in the health field is the innovation of smart glasses.
Academics from South Korea are working on new glasses. Printed in 3D and connected wirelessly, those glasses are able to monitor brain activity, eyes, and automatically transform into sunglasses or serve as a controller in a game.
With the Covid-19 pandemic, connected watches and bracelets have been much talked about. Some manufacturers highlight the health-related functions, such as detecting atrial fibrillation problems or the rate of oxygen in the blood. In South Korean, they decided to go further by adding sensors on glasses.
Using a 3D printer, they created a classic spectacle frame. Then they put sensors, and that's where it gets really interesting.
1.1 Sensors to monitor brain activity
First, they incorporated adaptable electrodes near the ears and the eyes. The initial sensors act as an electroencephalogram for the brain's electrical activity, whereas the second follow the movements of the eye. The data collected is transmitted wirelessly from the glasses to an application. The first brain recordings have been conclusive, and they can be very useful in the health field.
Concerning the ocular data, it offers a range of applications. In the video game, above all, as the engineers succeeded to stack bricks in a Tetris type video game just by moving their eyes. The designers explain mainly that the sensors take in consideration the angles of the eye movements. This function allows to play without joysticks or even to replace a mouse on a computer. The objective is to go beyond the human-machine interface by using his eyes, which is also encouraging for assisting people suffering from a severe handicap such as quadriplegia.
1.2 A UV sensor to switch them into sunglasses
Among the other sensors placed on the branches, there is an accelerometer, similar to the one in smartphones or connected bracelets. Therefore, it makes it possible to count the number of steps during the day and even detect a fall. Besides, this could be useful for monitoring older people, especially with the wireless connection.
Finally, it is not new, even if it remains very rare, the glasses are able to darken automatically depending on the brightness. One of the branches incorporates a UV light sensor, capable of measuring the intensity of the incoming ultraviolet rays. When the sunlight is too intense, the sensor triggers an electrochromic ionic gel, which blocks UV inside the glasses to darken them. Result turns into sunglasses.
2. Masks that detect coronavirus
The latest technology news during the pandemic of COVID-19 is the innovation of a smart mask that will help to detect the virus.
Scientists and researchers from MIT and Harvard are currently working on masks capable of detecting the coronavirus. Other teams are trying to improve the masks' effectiveness for better protection, based on UV rays.
The protective mask, once being unknown to the general public, has become an everyday object. Many researchers are trying to improve this equipment. A team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard is currently working on masks that become luminous when exposed to the coronavirus.
The sensor is of genetic material, DNA, and RNA, which attaches to the virus. It is freeze-dried on textiles, which permits to remain stable at room temperature for several months. This material activates in the presence of saliva moisture, combined with a genetic sequence from the virus. The sensor will emit a luminous signal invisible to the naked eye. To check the masks, health workers use a fluorometer. According to the researchers, it is enough to wear a mask for one to three hours to obtain a diagnosis. This solution is much faster than current tests, which require 24 hours.
UV rays to sterilize the mask
One of MIT's experts, says that the research is still in its beginning, but the results are encouraging. He hopes to demonstrate the concept in the coming weeks, and then start testing. This technology is to create masks with the sensor integrated into the textile, or even modules that attach to masks for the general public.
Oracle Lighting, a specialist in Led lighting, is currently developing a system that uses ultraviolet rays to disinfect the air. Its radiation antimicrobial respirator (AIR Device) is worn at the mouth and under a standard protective mask. It releases UVC rays directed towards the mask to neutralize any particle passing through it and disinfects the mask at the same time.
Other technology news
3. Dolphin robot to replace real dolphins in parks
ANIMATRONIC. He can perfectly imitate the behavior of his living alter ego and can even interact with humans.
For several years, water parks have been criticized for the living conditions in which marine animals live. While some parks have made efforts on this. This is not the case for all. Animal welfare often comes second. Many animal protection associations wish to end the exploitation of animals. But for the company specializing in special effects Edge Innovations, the perfect solution would not be to remove water parks but replace marine animals with robots.
True than nature
The dolphin robot is breathtakingly realistic. Animatronics mimics the dolphin's behavior in the water. He moves and performs some acrobatics during aquatic shows and interacts with trainers, visitors, and swimmers. The illusion is possible by an operator who controls the movements of the dolphin robot remotely.
With a weight of 269 kg, the robotic sea animal has a 10-hour autonomy, which can vary depending on its use. According to inventors, it could "survive" 10 years in salt water.
The dolphin robot will soon get happy days in a Chinese aquarium. This animatronic is a boon for the country's water parks since the wildlife trade is banned in China for some time. It remains to see whether the public will follow or not. In all cases, the illusion is likely to work.