Archive for the ‘mind matters’ Category
From Peter Diamonds’ Tech Blog, 11/29/15:
This might be a controversial blog.
My Thanksgiving was one filled with texting, Snapchat, Skyping, Facetime, Beam robots and ringing phones.
Some people HATE the way technology impacts their family at gatherings – people on digital devices rather than having conversations – ‘making us more alone, even when we’re together.’ But is that really true?
This blog is about perspective on the impact of digital devices, and the bigger picture on what’s going on: an accelerating trend where our connection with people is independent of our physical location.
We’ve ALWAYS said that new technology isolates us
“Back in my day, we didn’t have all these distractions”
– Millions of disgruntled grandparents around the world.
“Yeah, in your day, life was pretty boring and disconnected.”
– Millions of millennials today.
We’ve always preferred to get what we want, when we want. Every new communication technology has moved us closer to “immediate,” “faster,” “cheaper,” “higher quality” and “instant” communications with whomever we want, whenever we want.
And that trend is accelerating.
The fact is we tend to romanticize the past. And we like to complain about the present. And we are resistant to change. Check out the two photos below that clearly tell that story.
The Upside of Technology
This Thanksgiving I was in constant contact with relatives scattered around the world: one niece in London by Facetime, another niece in Hungary by BEAM robot, and friends around the world by Skype, Facetime and Beam.
100 Years Ago… holiday contact with distant relatives either didn’t happen, happened through infrequent snail mail, or rarely through a long trek by horse and buggy. Ultimately you were stuck with (more…)
Excerpted from Peter Diamonds’ Tech Blog, Oct. 11, 2015:
I consider Ray Kurzweil a very close friend and a very smart person.
Ray is a brilliant technologist, futurist, and director of engineering at Google focused on AI and language processing.
He has also made more correct (and documented) technology predictions about the future than anyone:
As reported, “of the 147 predictions that Kurzweil has made since the 1990’s, fully 115 of them have turned out to be correct, and another 12 have turned out to be “essentially correct” (off by a year or two), giving his predictions a stunning 86% accuracy rate.”
Two weeks ago, Ray and I held an hour-long webinar with my Abundance 360 CEOs about predicting the future.
During our session, there was one of Ray’s specific prediction that really blew my mind.
“In the 2030s,” said Ray, “we are going to send nano-robots into the brain (via capillaries) that will provide full immersion virtual reality from within the nervous system and will connect our neocortex to the cloud. Just like how we can wirelessly expand the power of our smartphones 10,000-fold in the cloud today, we’ll be able to expand our neocortex in the cloud.”
Let’s digest that for a moment.
2030 is only 15 years away…
Directly plugging your brain into the internet? (more…)
Device helps blind read print. The FingerReader is audio reading gadget for index finger
We’ve covered lots of new wearable tech over the last several months, some of which was fairly cool and some of which was fairly useless.
Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab have developed something that will truly lift the category to new heights.
Take a gander at the FingerReader, a ring that slips on the index finger and enables people with visual disabilities to read text printed on paper or electronic devices. A mood sweater this is most certainly not.
The prototype the MIT team is showing off was created using a 3D printer and fit very snugly on the user’s index finger. A small camera positioned on the top of the ring actually scans the text. As the user moves their finger across the text, a synthesized voice reads the words aloud, quickly translating the text from any printed material including books, newspapers and restaurant menus.
The developers created a software program that tracks the finger’s movements, identifies each word and then processes that information for the synthesized voice to read aloud. Should the users stray from the correct order of the text on the page, vibration motors are activated alerting the reader that their finger has gone off course.
“The FingerReader is like reading with the tip of your finger and it’s a lot more flexible, a lot more immediate than any solution that they have right now,” explained Pattie Maes, an MIT professor who founded and leads the Fluid Interfaces research group developing the prototype.
While the MIT team that developed the device feels it will be able to affordably bring the device to market, there’s no guess at a final price.
The National Federation for the Blind estimates that 20.6 million adult Americans (or nearly 10% of all adult Americans) have reported they either “have trouble” seeing, even when wearing glasses or contact lenses, or that they are blind or unable to see at all.
The developers of the FingerReader might be interested to know that the National Federation for the Blind further reports that the number of legally blind children (through age 21) enrolled in elementary and high school in the U.S. eligible to receive free reading matter in Braille, large print, or audio format stands at over 59,000.
And the organization adds that the number of noninstitutionalized males or females under 20 years of age in the United States, including all races and at all education levels, who reported a visual disability as of the beginning of 2012 stood at 656,100.