Manufactured Landscapes

Sandra Rey wins ECO Coin Award

In 2015 we handed out our first ECO Coin award to Yoyo Yogasamana for his digitalization of sustainable knowledge to preserve more than 130 existing rice varieties without any use of insecticides. In 2016 the award was given to Dave Hakkens for his ambitious open source precious plastics recycling machine. This year we have had entries from around the world and have interviewed our top three candidates: Shubendhu Sharma for his Tiny Forrests initiative, Ritsert Mans and Peter Mooij for their algae powered bike and Sandra Rey for her work in the field of bioluminescence. It has been difficult to choose but we are delighted to announce that Sandra Rey is our 2017 ECO Coin Award winner.

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Smartphone statue
Society of Simulations

19th Century Sculpture Seems to Be Holding a Smartphone

Today’s peculiar image comes from New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. Take a second look. No, the woman depicted in the sculpture isn’t holding a smartphone. If at first glance you thought she was, you wouldn’t be alone. The sculpture, Erastus Dow Palmer’s “The Indian Girl” (1856), actually depicts a Native American woman holding a crucifix. But in the last few years, visitors have had a quite different impression of the piece. In our smartphone-saturated world, it’s hard to see a figure looking intently at an object in its hand without instantly assuming it’s a phone. Looking at the past through the eyes of the present can have uncanny results!

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e-skin
Augmented Bodies

E-Skin Makes You Control Objects Without Touching Them

Scientists are developing a new skin. No ordinary, human flesh, but electronic skin with many more functionalities. Presented in a recent research, the e-skin provides the wearer with new possibilities for interaction by using magnetic fields. For example, when a magnetic field sensor is placed in the hand, the position of that hand with respect to the field can be tracked down. This information may be especially valuable for VR.

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cybercrime detective
Wild Systems

HUBOT: Meet the Cybercrime Detective

No computer criminal is safe with you around! As a cybercrime detective, you search – along with a network of tracking algorithms – for suspicious patterns that indicate crime in the digital domain. Sometimes these are unscrupulous criminals, sometimes innocent civilians with a virus-infected computer. You are able to process large amounts of data, you can easily track the situation and interrogate the suspect when needed.

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Anthropocene

Counteracting Climate Change with Geoengineering

We know that the world’s climate is changing, in large part thanks to us. If we can impact the world in this way quite by accident, it makes sense to think that we can also produce these kinds of effects conscientiously. This is the insight that guides researchers like David Grinspoon, who argues that a radical new process called geoengineering might be the only way to save us from climate change.

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Intimate Technology

Proposing with a Phone Case

We like to share our achievements and happiness with the world. For many couples, the engagement moment is especially worth sharing. The Internet is crawling with proposal videos, and probably many more will come. The purpose and context of the marriage proposal seem to be shifting from a private moment to a public spectacle to catch on camera.

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smart ring
Intimate Technology

Smart Ring Turns Thumb Gestures into Words and Numbers

The relationship between humans and smart wearable devices has had its ups and downs. Although it is going in the right direction, it has not become a stable one quite yet. This could be partially due to the social awkwardness of wearing this type of technology in everyday situations. What’s more, users have already noticed some of its major drawbacks, such as typing messages on the tiny screen of a smartwatch.

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