Elise Thomas writes at Hopes & Fears:
"Right now, in a handful of computing labs scattered across the world, new software is being developed which has the potential to completely change our relationship with technology. Affective computing is about creating technology which recognizes and responds to your emotions. Using webcams, microphones or biometric sensors, the software uses a person's physical reactions to analyze their emotional state, generating data which can then be used to monitor, mimic or manipulate that person’s emotions."
"Corporations spend billions each year trying to build "authentic" emotional connections to their target audiences. Marketing research is one of the most prolific research fields around, conducting thousands of studies on how to more effectively manipulate consumers’ decision-making. Advertisers are extremely interested in affective computing and particularly in a branch known as emotion analytics, which offers unprecedented real-time access to consumers' emotional reactions and the ability to program alternative responses depending on how the content is being received.
For example, if two people watch an advertisement with a joke and only one person laughs, the software can be programmed to show more of the same kind of advertising to the person who laughs while trying different sorts of advertising on the person who did not laugh to see if it's more effective. In essence, affective computing could enable advertisers to create individually-tailored advertising en masse."
"Say 15 years from now a particular brand of weight loss supplements obtains a particular girl's information and locks on. When she scrolls through her Facebook, she sees pictures of rail-thin celebrities, carefully calibrated to capture her attention. When she turns on the TV, it automatically starts on an episode of "The Biggest Loser," tracking her facial expressions to find the optimal moment for a supplement commercial. When she sets her music on shuffle, it "randomly" plays through a selection of the songs which make her sad. This goes on for weeks.
Now let's add another layer. This girl is 14, and struggling with depression. She's being bullied in school. Having become the target of a deliberate and persistent campaign by her technology to undermine her body image and sense of self-worth, she's at risk of making some drastic choices."
"... a collaboration between Apple and Cochlear, a company that has been involved with implant technology since the treatment’s early days ... announced last week that the first product based on this approach, Cochlear’s Nucleus 7 sound processor, won FDA approval in June—the first time that the agency has approved such a link between cochlear implants and phones or tablets.
Those using the system can not only get phone calls directly routed inside their skulls, but also stream music, podcasts, audio books, movie soundtracks, and even Siri—all straight to the implant.
It connects with hearing aids whose manufacturers have adopted the free Apple protocols, earning them a “Made for iPhone” approval. Apple also has developed a feature called Live Listen that lets hearing aid users employ the iPhone as a microphone—which comes in handy at meetings and restaurants.
An iPhone or iPod Touch pairs with hearing aids—cochlear and conventional—the same way that it finds AirPods or nearby Bluetooth speakers.
[...] Merging medical technology like Apple’s is a clear benefit to those needing hearing help. But I’m intrigued by some observations that Dr. Biever, the audiologist who’s worked with hearing loss patients for two decades, shared with me. She says that with this system, patients have the ability to control their sound environment in a way that those with good hearing do not—so much so that she is sometimes envious. How cool would it be to listen to a song without anyone in the room hearing it? “When I’m in the noisiest of rooms and take a call on my iPhone, I can’t hold my phone to ear and do a call,” she says. “But my recipient can do this.”
This paradox reminds me of the approach I’m seeing in the early commercial efforts to develop a brain-machine interface: an initial focus on those with cognitive challenges with a long-term goal of supercharging everyone’s brain. We’re already sort of cyborgs, working in a partnership of dependency with those palm-size slabs of glass and silicon that we carry in our pockets and purses. The next few decades may well see them integrated subcutaneously."
Microchipping at work: US employees get voluntarily implanted at staff 'chip party'
Updated yesterday at 10:54am
Employees of a Wisconsin technology company who received a microchip implant in their hand said they felt only a brief sting during the procedure.
- Employees of a Wisconsin company have been voluntarily microchiped
- It is the first US appearance of technology that is already available in Europe
- The microchips will allow employees to log onto the company system, open doors and buy snacks
Three Square Market, also known as 32M, said 41 of its 85 employees agreed to be voluntarily microchipped during a "chip party" at company headquarters in River Falls yesterday.
The technology will allow employees to open doors, log onto computers or buy breakroom snacks by simply waving their hand.
"We came across this and saw it being used in other societies, we said why not us?" 32M chief operating officer Patrick McMullan said.
"Why not us, bring it and provide a solution that we can use for so many different things."
Melissa Timmins, vice-president of sales at 32M, said after learning more about the technology she decided to try out the chip.
"I'm excited to see what this can do," Ms Timmins said.
"I was a little apprehensive about more of the health part of it and actually implanting something into my body.
"But from day one I was excited about what we could do with the technology itself and where it could go for our company."
Ms Timmins said she hoped to eventually use it to get into her car or go shopping.
Noelle Chesley, associate professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin, said microchipping could give employers more power over their staff.
"Is it really voluntary when your employer is asking you if you would like to be microchipped?" Ms Chesley said.
"Will there come a day where people who prefer not to be microchipped won't get certain jobs?"
Ms Chesley said she thought implanting microchips into all people would be the wave of the future.
Company leaders said this was the first US appearance of technology already available in Europe.
Three Square Market paid for the $300 microchips.
"A ban on pedestrians looking at mobile phones or texting while crossing the street will take effect in Hawaii's largest city in late October, as Honolulu becomes the first major U.S. city to pass legislation aimed at reducing injuries and deaths from "distracted walking."
The ban comes as cities around the world grapple with how to protect phone-obsessed "smartphone zombies" from injuring themselves by stepping into traffic or running into stationary objects.
Starting Oct. 25, Honolulu pedestrians can be fined between $15 and $99, depending on the number of times police catch them looking at a phone or tablet device as they cross the street, Mayor Kirk Caldwell told reporters gathered near one of the city's busiest downtown intersections on Thursday... People making calls for emergency services are exempt from the ban... Opponents of the Honolulu law argued it infringes on personal freedom and amounts to government overreach."
In a related article:
"The city of London has tried putting pads on their lamp posts "to soften the blow for distracted walkers..."
"An ambitious project to blanket New York and London with ultrafast Wi-Fi via so-called "smart kiosks," which will replace obsolete public telephones, are the work of a Google-backed startup.
Each kiosk is around nine feet high and relatively flat. Each flat side houses a big-screen display that pays for the whole operation with advertising.
Each kiosk provides free, high-speed Wi-Fi for anyone in range. By selecting the Wi-Fi network at one kiosk, and authenticating with an email address, each user will be automatically connected to every other LinkNYC kiosk they get within range of. Eventually, anyone will be able to walk around most of the city without losing the connection to these hotspots.
Wide-angle cameras on each side of the kiosks point up and down the street and sidewalk, approximating a 360-degree view. If a city wants to use those cameras and sensors for surveillance, it can.
Over the next 15 years, the city will go through the other two phases, where sensor data will be processed by artificial intelligence to gain unprecedented insights about traffic, environment and human behavior and eventually use it to intelligently re-direct traffic and shape other city functions."
Wearable and ingestible sensors are revolutionising the health monitoring space as the demand for quality healthcare continues to rise. Emphasis on preventive health has led to the development of prognostic sensors for applications in the medical industry. This, in turn, has led to a shift in the healthcare business model from a diagnostic one to more prognostic and preventive health and wellness.
Sensor adoption is crucial to this evolution, facilitating advanced diagnostics, treatment and patient monitoring. Wearable and implantable biosensors will emerge as the key enablers for device innovation.
“The Internet of Medical Things will lead to sensors playing a greater role in offering connected healthcare infrastructure,” said Measurement and Instrumentation Industry Principal Dr. Rajender Thusu. “However, there are no clear policies or standardisations yet that companies can adhere to while implementing the connected health platform. The greatest challenge, therefore, lies in bringing together different applications under the same working platform, when individual solutions lack interoperability.”
medical body area network (MBAN)
Posted by: Margaret Rouse
An MBAN (pronounced M-ban) is a medical body area network (BAN) composed of low-power wearable or implanted wireless medical devices.
Wearable devices are typically low-cost, disposable sensors that stick to the body and free the patient from being being physically tethered to monitoring devices. Embedded devices may be sensors that are swallowed for short-term monitoring or placed in the body during surgery to monitor physical parameters during and after the healing process.
What kind of devices can you expect to see gaining momentum? Think Fitbits and Apple Watches that can read your heart rate, activity levels, and sleep cycles. Google is even developing contact lenses that can read your glucose levels. mc10 is coming out with a biometric stamp the size of a band-aid that can report a person’s vitals to connected devices and doctors. Developers at the University of Buffalo are creating a pendant that can analyze chewing and swallowing sounds to determine what wearers are eating and alert them when they’ve started to overeat or eat unhealthily.
While these devices may be helpful for those hoping to maintain good health, Ian Shakil notes that it’s important to realize that these devices are only able to provide so much assistance.
“The Internet of Medical Things will continue to evolve and deliver value by getting the complexities of technology out of the way and connecting- or better yet, reconnecting- doctors with patients,” said Shakil, CEO of Audmedix.
“Augmendix’s service is optimally designed to deliver the highest quality patient notes resulting in improved patient care and pay or reimbursement,” he explained.
Shakil’s company estimates that physicians spend at least 70 percent of their time reading documentation before they started sing their service. “This new ly reclaimed time that can be repurposed in-clinic for other administrative tasks or even to see more patients,” he explained.
"Or even less appealing, the state of this patient could be so severe, that they require full time skilled nursing care in the confines of a nursing home or assisted living facility.
“you could take a device and instead of the patient wearing it on his or her wrist or clothes, a physician implants that device in the chest”
Imagine much like a FitBit, you could take a device and instead of the patient wearing it on his or her wrist or clothes, a physician implants that device in the chest. That device then has wires that run underneath the skin to various nerves in the body and to the deep parts of the brain. That device can then send specific amounts of electricity to the nervous system at various times to disrupt the diseased pathway and restore the patient to normal health. "
"Google parent company Alphabet just unveiled an enterprise version of Google Glass, licensing the smart glasses technology for business-focused applications. This is the first time in years the company has publicly talked about its plans for Glass."
"In a blog post Tuesday, Glass project leader Jay Kothari said partners such as GE Aviation, AGCO, DHL, Dignity Health, NSF International, Sutter Health, Boeing and Volkswagen have been using Glass over the past several years, and make up just a sampling of 50 companies using the wearable.
Wired said several of these companies found the original Google Glass to be very useful in factories and other enterprise environments. Google discovered this and began work on a product built by a team dedicated to building a new version of Glass for the enterprise."
Tony Fadell, former Apple engineer on iPod and iPhone, founder of Nest (acquired by Google), and leader of Google Glass development until 2016, purportedly "mulls" technology's "unintended consequences."
"I wake up in cold sweats every so often thinking, what did we bring to the world?" Fadell said. "Did we really bring a nuclear bomb with information that can -- like we see with fake news -- blow up people's brains and reprogram them? Or did we bring light to people who never had information, who can now be empowered?"
The world Fadell describes is one in which screens are everywhere, distracting us and interrupting what’s important, while promoting a culture of self-aggrandizement. The problem? He says that addiction has been designed into our devices–and it’s harming the newest generation.
“And I know when I take [technology] away from my kids what happens,” Fadell says. “They literally feel like you’re tearing a piece of their person away from them—they get emotional about it, very emotional. They go through withdrawal for two to three days.”
Products like the iPhone, Fadell believes, are more attuned to the needs of the individual rather than what's best for the family and the larger community.
And pointing to YouTube owner Google, Fadell said, "It was like, [let] any kind of content happen on YouTube. Then a lot of the executives started having kids, [and saying], maybe this isn't such a good idea. They have YouTube Kids now."
“This self-absorbing culture is starting to blow,” he says. “Parents didn’t know what to do. They didn’t know this was a thing they needed to teach because we didn’t know for ourselves. We all kind of got absorbed in it.”