A wearable device that could help us read minds

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What if you could “see” directly into another person’s brain? The ability to read minds, referred to as telepathy, is a concept that’s abundant in science fiction. It may however be possible courtesy of a brain-computer interface (BCI) — a wearable device that works like a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine. https://futurism.com/this-wearable-mri-device-could-help-us-read-minds/

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Volvo to save the planet?

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Volvo has made the decision that all their cars will be fully electric, or at least hybrid, by 2019. Not one car solely powered by internal combustion engine will come off a Volvo production line by 2020. This will instantly change the charging infrastructure for electric cars. Currently you can fully charge an electric vehicle – one with a range of about 105 miles – in half an hour from a supercharger in a garage, however there aren’t enough superchargers. This move by Volvo will drive access to more high-speed charging points, as well as battery production and research and development into battery storage. http://www.inkl.com/newsletters/morning-edition/news/is-a-carmaker-about-to-save-the-planet?

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A selfie that estimates how long you will live

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Artificial intelligence is being trained to estimate your health status and how long you will live-all from a selfie. With Chronos technology, you can take a selfie and scan your driver’s licence photo, against which your selfie is compared, to assess your premium for life insurance. http://www.smh.com.au/money/super-and-funds/a-selfie-could-become-the-new-way-to-obtain-life-insurance-20170616-gwsl2m.html

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Wearable tech that can help detect diseases

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Engineers have invented a new kind of chip that’s a biosensor and can be fixed to wearables. It performs multiple functions that have traditionally required the use of a laboratory. It can analyze sweat or blood in order to detect multiple biomarkers linked to several diseases. The cells and the metallic layer of the chip work together to generate digital signals in the same way that cellular telephone networks keep track of each caller’s identity. This allows for the automatic detection of cancer cells, bacteria, and viruses. https://futurism.com/lab-on-a-chip-wearable-technology-could-help-detect-disease/

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The future of stitches?

The future of stitches?

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A solar powered machine that recycles waste into tiles

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This Trashpresso machine holds a complete mobile waste recycling plant capable of upcycling plastic and fabric waste into architectural tiles. A key element is the solar panels on its exterior, which means that it doesn’t require access to the grid or a generator to produce enough electricity for the waste upcycling processes. Another is its size that allows it to be moved nearly anywhere a tractor trailer can reach, including remote locations. https://www.treehugger.com/sustainable-product-design/solar-powered-trashpresso-converts-plastic-and-fabric-waste-floor-tiles.html

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Making political donations transparent

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A new platform from GIS People is operating in Queensland to show the public what donations have been made to political parties via an Electoral Commission of Queensland website. The system means citizens can now see donations within seven business days, rather than waiting six months. It has scope to be real-time in the future and other Australian states could follow. http://www.afr.com/technology/startup-gis-people-promises-to-lift-the-lid-on-political-donations-20170413-gvkebs#ixzz4fyUsz3tc

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A plane you can fly without a pilot’s license

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The first version of this “ultralight” aircraft somehow doesn’t require a pilot’s license and can avoid complex regulations. With current battery technology, it can fly about 15 miles before it needs to be recharged, though that range will increase as batteries continue to evolve. For now, it’s designed to be flown only above water, at a low height, to keep it as safe as possible. But other models that can fly over city streets are planned. https://www.fastcompany.com/40412335/imagine-a-world-with-empty-roads-but-with-skies-jammed-with-these-flying-vehicles?

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A digital game for kids that encourages outdoor play

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The Sydney-based startup Elanation has developed an Internet of Things platform for children 8-12 that integrates with the virtual world to encourage outdoor play. The first product Elanation marketed was the Eturbo Sports Wristband, a smart wearable that measures steps, distance, heart rate, and has a touchscreen. The “cool factor” is that it connects to a virtual world. Every step in the real world translates into a virtual game advancement-10,000 steps a day unlocks video content from sporting athletes across Australia, teaching the child new sporting tips and tricks. www.elanation.com

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Solutions to air pollution in cities

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Despite having a clear understanding of traffic pollution and its impact way back in the 1990s, air pollution in many urban areas and cities across the world continues to get worse. Some solutions are: create pedestrian only areas, especially where there are lots of people; implement low emission zones, areas for low, or zero, emission vehicles only; set up areas where diesel vehicles are not allowed -schedule deliveries outside of busy periods; modify diesel vehicles with technologies that improve their emissions; switch bus fleets from diesel to gas, alcohol, hydrogen or electric power; target the worst 10 percent of vehicles (which can cause up to half of all the pollution). On a recent trip to Delhi, for example) I noticed that trucks can’t enter the city during the day. http://www.innovationfuturespecialist.co.uk/gallery/traffic-pollution.html

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A rotating skyscraper

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The world’s first rotating skyscraper, capable of turning clockwise and anti clockwise, could be finished in Dubai in 2020 if all goes to plan. Each apartment in the building would be able to rotate independently and control its speed https://www.commercialrealestate.com.au/news/worlds-first-rotating-skyscraper-planned-for-dubai/?

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Diagnose skin cancer with your smart phone

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Worried about a strange mole on your body? Imagine being able to receive a diagnosis through your smartphone so you can decide whether to visit your doctor before your next scheduled visit. That’s the broad idea behind a recent project created by computer scientists at Stanford University, which applied the extraordinary machine vision powers of cutting-edge deep learning neural networks to the world of dermatology. www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/deep-learning-algorithm-cancer/#ixzz4X0xkOJ

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A smart vein finder

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VeinViewer is a vein finder device that uses direct projection vein illumination to identify the vein patterns on a patient’s skin, making getting a blood sample and intravenous therapy easier. It’s non-invasive and the image is projected right where the veins are, helping hospital staff find the vein faster and eliminating multiple sticks- particularly useful in treating children. www.christiemed.com

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School in a box

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Over half of the world’s forcibly displaced population are children. Tools like School in a Box help establish a sense of normalcy in camps by providing creative outlets for individual expression and safe spaces for learning. School in a Box contains materials to set up a makeshift school for 80 students. Seen as part of the UNICEF display at MoMA in NY.

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A way for blind people to see

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Description: In a world-first, surgeons have implanted a visual stimulator chip in the brain of a 30-year-old woman. The patient, who has been totally blind for seven years, saw coloured flashes, lines and spots when signals were sent to her brain from a computer. Her doctors are now planning to send footage from a tiny video camera to the brain, which could provide the world’s first bionic eye and restore sight to millions. The technology bypasses the eyes, meaning it has the potential to restore sight even to those who have lost an eye or become blinded by cancer. http://www.brecorder.com/arts-a-leisure/arts/325793-worlds-first-bionic-eye-to-give-blind-chance-of-seeing-again.html

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A recruiter who works for you, not the company

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Description: US startup Hired has launched its platform for tech job seekers in Australia. Starting with a focus on in-demand tech roles, it gives the power back to candidates, allowing you to be in control of the job hunting process. It does this by reversing the traditional job search process- instead of having candidates apply to a company, the company applies to the candidates. http://www.hired.com

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Ready to cook meal kits

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Description: PrepDelicious is a new startup that aims to make healthy eating easier. Targeting busy individuals, couples and families it provides a meal delivery subscription service that allows you to go from raw ingredients to meal in fifteen minutes or less. http://www.prepdelicious.com.au

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Online education with ruggedised tablets to reduce recidivism

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Description: A growing body of research demonstrates the correlation between educational and vocational training in correctional settings and successful re-entry post-incarceration, hence a reduction in recidivism. Edovo’s solution is a ruggedised tablet that links to a dedicated website (and only to that website). In return for completing online assignments, inmates are rewarded with entertainment, games, and music. Since launching three years ago, the Chicago startup has leased its devices to jails and prisons in many US states. https://edovo.com

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Making food traceable

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Description: Woolworth’s of Australia, and Driscoll’s, a fresh berry company, use HarvestMark to track their food. Driscoll’s packs berries in the field into the individual plastic clamshells that shoppers pick up in the grocery store. Five years ago, Driscoll’s hired HarvestMark to help it create a system to add their QR codes to each individual berry clamshell package they sell. Consumers could then use their smartphones to scan the code on the package they bought into the company’s website and tell Driscoll’s exactly what they thought about the berries they had just eaten. Using that QR code, the company could trace those berries back through the distribution trail, from the customer on their website to the field where they were picked. Overall berry quality has increased, which allows them to charge a premium price – they sell a billion clamshells of berries a year. http://www.harvestmark.com

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