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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Suburban Utopia

ReTuna: the Shopping Mall Selling Nothing but Recycled Products

When coming up with good examples of sustainable action, a big shopping mall isn’t usually the first setting that springs to mind. But one shopping center in Sweden is bucking the trend of mindless consumption. Pay a visit to the ReTuna Återbruksgalleria, and instead of mass-produced products, you’ll find pretty much everything sourced from recycled materials.

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street knitter
Augmented Bodies

HUBOT: Meet the Street Knitter

Bricklayer, a physically heavy occupation, becomes a lot more bearable with the street-knitting robot. Gone are the days when you struck your knee joints and worn out your back, making you incapacitated at the age of forty. Robotization empowers bricklayers to continue their job for a longer period of time. Feed the street-knitting robot with bricks, choose the pattern you want and the robot will be on its way.

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