In the episode ‘Hated in the Nation’ from British television anthology Black Mirror, a private tech company unleashes a group of robotic honeybees in response to the extinction of real honeybees. It wouldn’t been glorifying in any way, if the show hadn’t turned to a darker side of these drone insects: besides from transferring pollen between flowers and plants to restore ecological imbalance, these robobees set out to kill people. Fact is, this story has nothing to do with robotic killerbees. But what if we told you that a biomedical solutions company is developing a system for insects to wear, allowing engineers to steer them remotely?
The experience of sleep is a personal and intimate one. Although your body is at rest, your mind might take you on a trip to Mount Everest, a dive into a pool of liquid chocolate or a meat and great with your favourite artist. However, your destination might as well be a never ending maze, a pool of critters or a meet and greet with your worst nightmare. Dreams are unpredictable, but since you’re the leading actor, why not be the director too?
Rain radars help us plan our everyday life and foresee natural disasters. In a world were the line between the technosphere and the biosphere becomes blurrier everyday, not even our meteorology instruments can tell the difference, like a local technician spotted in New Zealand’s official weather forecasts site. Apparently there is a WiFi network illegally configured that interferes with the rain radar creating a ray of “clouds” that won’t bring any water, but it surely became our peculiar image of the week.
Source: Met Service
In 2003, broadcaster and author Mark Ovenden designed the World Metro Map to present a global transportation system that connects cities through underground railways. His vision could end up becoming reality after all, now that LA-based company Hyperloop One has selected 35 teams as finalists in its global challenge to design the future of the vacuum-sealed train system.
Sometimes everyone feels the need to take a break from the rest of the world. Not leaving the room for a day can be a welcome alternative to our daily social routine. In Japan they took this trend too far that it became a condition: hikikomori (literally being confined) are people who withdraw from social life, not just for a weekend time out. Ironically, studies proved that alternative realities can help Japanese socially frightened to find their way back into society.
During the 30th anniversary of Transmediale Festival in Berlin, NNN director Koert van Mensvoort, our fellow Floris Kaayk and technology philosopher Peter-Paul Verbeek will gather at Haus der Kulturen der Welt to discuss the origin of androids on behalf of Impakt. On Saturday February 4 at 16:30, Kaayk and Van Mensvoort will present their views on the changing definitions of what is natural and human using provocative cross-media projects, such as the Modular Body. What’s our future in post-natural environments where technology and the human body have become inseparable? Find more at Impakt and Transmediale.
Image: Getty Images