tech e blog

Google Selfish Ledger

In 2016, Google created a slightly unsettling video, titled "The Selfish Ledger," that imagines a future where an evolving record of our online data could be used to direct human behavior. It was created by Nick Foster, Google's head of design at their research-and-development division, X, and says this could be used so it not only tracks our behavior, but offers direction towards a desired result. "We understand if this is disturbing - it is designed to be. This is a thought-experiment by the Design team from years ago that uses a technique known as 'speculative design' to explore uncomfortable ideas and concepts in order to provoke discussion and debate. It's not related to any current or future products," said a company representative. Click here for the first image in today's viral picture gallery. Continue reading for the five most popular viral videos today, including one showing how high-speed movement can forge metals, which is also known as friction welding.

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Circling Reindeer

A video of several reindeer herds on Russia's Kola Peninsula, in the Arctic Circle, moving in circular patterns managed to go viral on social media. To be more specific, the video above shows large herds of arctic reindeer walking in circular patterns, and so far, no researchers have been able to pinpoint the reason why. As you can imagine, internet users have come up with several theories, including alien-like crop circles and hidden energy patterns. Continue reading for more strange, yet real, phenomenon.

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Augmented Reality Intelligent

The problem with augmented reality is that most applications, especially games, require heavy user interaction. Disney Research has figured out how to make these virtual characters intelligently interact with real-life objects. For example, a character can walk around un-even stairs / slopes, or be pushed away by collisions with real-world objects like a ball. These algorithms can automatically "animate a new character, and imbue its motion with adaption to environments and reactions to perturbations from the real world." Click here for the first image in today's viral picture gallery. Continue reading for the five most popular viral videos today, including one of molten salt versus clear ice.

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Auto-Inflatable Structures

MIT researchers reveal their latest project, "auto-inflatables," which explores the design space of self-inflating structures. How do they work? Well, by using chemical reactions as a source of carbon dioxide on-demand, the team was able to induce a wide range of interaction-triggered transformations in their designs, including changes of shape, volume, texture, temperature, color, and movement. With these techniques, self-contained actuation can be achieved without the need for external hardware to activate material changes, making them great in safety devices (helmets, vests, etc.). Click here for the first image in today's viral picture gallery. Continue reading for the five most popular viral videos today, including one about the possibility of life on Venus.

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3D-Printed Airless Tires

BigRep has revealed the world's first 3D-printed airless bicycle tire, using their very own PRO FLEX Filament, a TPU-based industrial-grade filament. What does this mean? The material is flexible enough to bend, while still easily being able to fit on a regular tire hub, and durable enough to handle roads. Its honeycomb-style construction provides shock protection, shape-memory, and "high-temperature resistance, low-temperature impact resistance," according to the company. Continue reading for more pictures and information.

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Glass Beach Japan

You've probably seen other glass beaches, but this one in Japan has become an internet sensation recently. It's located in the Nagasaki Prefecture, and just a few years ago this destination was an uninviting rocky outcropping that would always become covered in algae during the summer season, so local authorities decided to cover the sand with recycled glass in order to prevent it from growing. Continue reading for more pictures and information.

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Force Jacket

Immersive experiences seek to engage the full sensory system in ways that words, pictures, or touch alone cannot, like VR headsets. Disney Research's Force Jacket boasts a novel array of pneumatically-actuated airbags and force sensors that provide precisely directed force and high frequency vibrations to the upper body. It also uses pneumatic hardware and force control algorithms to verify perception of airbag location and pressure magnitude moving across the body. Click here for the first image in today's viral picture gallery. Continue reading for the five most popular viral videos today, including one of seven ice cream gadgets being put to the test.

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Wall Plus Touchpad

Sure, giant touchpads already exist, but what if you can transform a normal wall into an interactive installation? Meet "Wall++", a low-cost sensing approach that enable walls to become a smart infrastructure. Instead of just dividing rooms, these walls can now enhance rooms with sensing and interactivity. The hardware tracks users' touch and gestures, as well as estimate body pose if they are close. By capturing airborne electromagnetic noise, it can also detect what appliances are active and where they are located. Click here for the first image in today's viral picture gallery. Continue reading for the five most popular viral videos today, including a bad lip reading of "interrogating Zuckerberg".

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Artificial Intelligence Galaga

Skynet, a neural net-based conscious group mind and artificial general intelligence, brought upon a war in which very few humans survived in the Terminator movies, but if this same technology was used for good, or more specifically, gaming, what would happen? This video shows us juat that as the Learnfun and Playfun Artificial Intelligence, built by Tom Murphy VII, becomes a master at Galaga in no time. Click here for the first image in today's viral picture gallery. Continue reading for the five most popular viral videos today, including one of ten corn gadgets put to the test.

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PaperID Wireless Interfaces Paper

Disney Research engineers have developed PaperID, a technology consisting of ultra-thin, battery-free Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags that can be turned into simple paper input devices. It uses sensing and signal processing techniques to determine how a tag is being manipulated by the user via an RFID reader and show how tags may be enhanced with a simple set of conductive traces that can be printed on paper, stencil-traced, or even hand-drawn. These traces change the behavior of contiguous tags to serve as input devices. These capabilities allow new interactive possibilities for pop-up books and other paper craft objects. Click here for the first image in today's viral picture gallery. Continue reading for the five most popular viral videos today, including one showing exactly how rubber bands are made.

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