Tag: Sentient Spaces

Touchscreen (2)

Use a Touchscreen Without Touching it

The development of touch technology has opened many possibilities of interaction with our electronic devices. Until now, you’ve had to physically touch the screen in order to interact with it. To solve this issue Tom Carter, PhD student at the University of Bristol’s Interaction and Graphics, designed UltraHaptics.

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Talking Window

The Talking Window: a New Audio Medium

The streets of marketing are endless, and sometimes intrusive. The latest space to be taken over by advertising is the train window. The broadcast company Sky is experimenting with this medium to advertise its products on German public transportation.

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Nongenetic Evolution

Colorado Town votes on License to Hunt Drones

Are Drones the mosquitoes of the 21st century? They are rapidly propagating, while getting smaller and smaller. Soon they will be everywhere: Buzzing around you, spying on you and potentially attacking you.

A small town of Deer Trail, Colorado is considering a bold move towards the wild robotics. The town board will be voting on an ordinance that would create drone hunting licenses and offer bounties for shooting down the unmanned aerial vehicles.

$25 drone hunting license for residents 21 year of age, valid for one year.
$25 drone hunting license for residents 21 year of age, valid for one year.

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The Interspecies Internet

Apes, dolphins and elephants are animals with remarkable communication skills. Could the internet be expanded to include sentient species like them?

Dolphin researcher Diana Reiss, musician Peter Gabriel, internet of things visionary Neil Gershenfeld and Vint Cerf, one of the fathers of the internet discussed this remarkable developing idea at TED.


What Ant Colony Networks Can Tell Us About What’s Next for Digital Networks

Ever notice how ant colonies so successfully explore and exploit resources in the world … to find food at 4th of July picnics, for example? You may find it annoying. But as an ecologist who studies ants and collective behavior, I think it’s intriguing — especially the fact that it’s all done without any central control.

What’s especially remarkable: the close parallels between ant colonies’ networks and human-engineered ones. One example is “Anternet”, where we, a group of researchers at Stanford, found that the algorithm desert ants use to regulate foraging is like the Traffic Control Protocol (TCP) used to regulate data traffic on the internet. Both ant and human networks use positive feedback: either from acknowledgements that trigger the transmission of the next data packet, or from food-laden returning foragers that trigger the exit of another outgoing forager.

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Google’s Shoes Talk to Runners

After Google Glasses, the electronic ring and the self-driving car, Google just presented this new surprising product in Austin, Texas, during the South by Southwest Interactive conference. The “talking” sneakers, designed by Google in collaboration with the artist Zach Lieberman and the collective YesYesNo, act like a training coach. Fitted with a whole package of electronic devices like a speed detector, pressure sensors in the soles, a gyroscope, a tiny screen and speakers, the shoes also contain a Bluetooth connection. Therefore, they can provide the runner with information and advice about their activity. Like a real coach, they can also motivate or reprehend you if necessary.

The information is then shown on the tiny screen, which is quite inconvenient for those who aren’t able to look only at their feet while running. But Google has thought about everything: the Bluetooth connection also sends the data to a smartphone app and automatically publishes messages on the user’s Google account, so that anybody can check if you’re taking a sneaky break during your jog. This might be worse than an actual coach!

From Future Sciences.


Empathy for the Device

At this year‘s re:publica in Berlin Kate Darling argued about our need to rethink ethics in regards to “thinking” machines. With an increase in quantity and quality of products capitalizing on anthropomorphic characteristics, people are developing clearer feelings and stronger ethical opinions towards robots.

Why do we treat certain animals like gods and slaughter others? Along the same line, why do we use certain machinery just to get things done, whereas other objects are treated and protected as iGods? Could new ethical policies for robots result in new perspectives on human-computer interrelations? Even though it still sounds futuristic, Kate Darling definitely tackles an impending problem. Especially as the boundaries between the artificial and the natural blur, society needs to update its ethical landscape.