Google files patent for computerized eye lenses

Google has patented a new technology that could replace smart glasses with smart lenses that are directly injected int your eyeballs.

The company released Google Glass in 2013 for select “explorers” and publicly in 2014. Though what followed wasn’t what was imagined. There were very critical and negative views about the product and even leading to legislative actions for privacy concerns, with many organizations banning users from wearing the product in their establishment. Even with all the negative reactions Google came out with an updated product in 2015 and now have taken a step further.

Google has stated in its patent application, it would remove the lens of your eye, replace that empty space with a fluid, and then place an electronic lens in the fluid. It might seem very painful and obstructing though with this enhancement you wouldn’t need to wear glasses or worry about loss of vision.

The company has said these new lenses could be used to cure age-related conditions such as presbyopia, which stiffens people’s eyes and overtime their ability to focus decreases or is even lost.

As with Google Glass and its massive privacy issues, the company has stated that there could be privacy concerns with the lenses. The lenses transmit data, which could be used by outside sources such as hackers or authorities to track your whereabouts, but not only that if the lenses take in data of what you are seeing then potentially that private data could get into the wrong hands. Google has stated that it could make the lenses take out personal information.

Though this seems like a logical or a next step for Google Glass, the company has not stated that it is working on a public product. Therefore, we might not even see technology like this for a very long time or at all. This is, however, the next step in bridging the gap between nature and technology. In an essence this technology might be more prominent and could replace handheld technology all together in the future. We are in an era of discovery and that’s the best part we get to be a part of emerging technology and Google is a company that is always pushing the limits and boundaries.

SuitX is creating affordable exoskeletons to help the disabled walk again

Exoskeletons might seem like an invention from the future but would it interest you to know that exoskeletons have been used for years in most cases in military or industrial applications.

SuitX, created by Dr. Homayoon Kazerooni the Berkeley Robotics and Human Engineering Laboratory Director, makes exoskeletons. In many cases exoskeletons are used to help people with motor or muscular disabilities and paraplegia regain their mobility. Their suit is called the Phoenix.

The Phoenix weighs 27lbs and consists of modules for two knees, feet, and the hip, 5 total. Depending on which modules are needed, users able to pick depending on their disability or use. It also comes with an app that can be used to set movement parameters. Batteries can last 8 hours if used sparingly or 4 hours of continuous use.

The only downside is the price, which puts it at $40 thousand, though the company is working on created affordable exoskeletons for the general population, shifting its focus from just military and industrial use.

While the suit might be costly as of now it might jump own in price considerably, enough to at least marginally afford one. These suits can be life changing and can be used in many different applications, which makes exoskeletons a very interesting technology of the future.

Star Wars VR coming to HTC Vive

Lucasfilm and Industrial Light and Magic have worked together to bring a part of Star Wars into virtual reality technology.

Trials on Tatooine, the latest project, uses the HTC Vive headset as its medium for virtual reality. In December ILMxLab released Jakku Spy for Google Cardboard, which was mostly a viewing experience. Trials on Tatooine will allow for a more immersive experience and the potential use of light sabers with the full motion tracking handheld controllers.

There’s no word when exactly Trials on Tatooine will be available to the public. ILMxLab is currently doing private demos at the Game Developers Conference (GDC).

In the meantime you can try out Googles Lightsaber Escape, a web game collaboration between Google, Disney, Lucasfilm, and Industrial Light and Magic. Lightsaber Escape can be played through the games website. All you have to do is download an app for your phone, connect it to the laptop or PC browser game, and start swinging away your phone which will also move the lightsaber. It might take some time and patience to get a hang of the game but its worth a try.

Deep Optics has made Omnifocal glasses that can adjust focus real time

Deep Optics, an Israeli company, has created a new type of high-tech glasses lens called “omnifocals” that can change the optical power to allow the wearer to see if they lose their natural focusing ability, if you need multifocal vision correction your one of them.

Deep Optics lenses add a layer of transparent liquid crystal which is then manipulated using an electric current. This liquid crystal changes the prescription of the glasses based on the relative distance of what the wearer is focusing on using sensors that track the pupils. It does this by  adjusting the refractive index of the lens, which changes how the lens bends light passing through it. A processing unit tracks changes in the distance of pupils and between the centers of both pupils, which indicate the depth of what the viewer is focusing on and can calculate the distance of the object(s).

The company recently raised US$4 Million in a Series A funding with investments from Essilor, French eyeglasses company, Atomic 14 Ventures, based in Taiwan, and several others. In 2015 Deep Optics was named the most promising start up at the sixth annual Israel Machine Vision Conference and Exhibition (IMVC).

Deep Optics is also looking into other applications of this technology including Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality.

The promise of natural and seamless vision is enticing though this technology won’t be available for some time, though we do know now that its possible.

IBM is making a massive multiplayer VR game

Virtual Reality technology is coming in full force from companies like Samsung, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft. It is one of the most important emerging technologies in our time.

We’ve seen demonstrations from Facebook’s Oculus Rift, which uses your smartphone as the source device to emulate VR. We have also have Microsoft’s HoloLens, which focuses on augmented reality and holograms to enhance the environment around you. So we know there’s a focus on enhancing everyday life but what about fully functional virtual realms? We’ve been a part of “virtual” realities since the beginning of console games, though they lacked the necessary technology to make you feel like you were actually in that world. Now with VR technology that wall is coming down and IBM is taking a monstrous leap into this new frontier.

IBM is using its Watson Cognitive Computing technology and SoftLayer cloud computing to create a massive multiplayer VR game called Sword Art Online: The Beginning.

If you don’t remember Watson is IBM’s supercomputer built in a cognitive system that uses natural language processing and machine learning. It was developed by IBM’s DeepQA project, led by David Ferrucci, and named after Thomas J. Watson, the first CEO of IBM. As of now Watson has been a question and answer machine but now its taking a giant leap.

The game will allow players to use a 3D scanner to create an avatar, which is then used in the game. It will also be supported on the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, with alpha testing starting next month with an estimated 208 testers.

Though the full game won’t be available until 2022, it’s still a massive undertaking to create a bridge between our reality and virtual reality. On a positive note players don’t have to worry about getting trapped in this new reality.

 

Soon OLED displays will replace LED displays for your smartphones.

OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) display has more superior quality than traditional Liquid Crystal Displays because it’s not created only from glass substrates but also on bendable plastic materials, which makes it also useful for the other applications. One of the more interesting uses is that these new displays can be folded or rolled, without the display being damaged. They are also lighter and thinner than LCD displays offering better quality.

Japan Display, in a joint venture among Sony, Toshiba and Hitachi, is all set to begin mass production of OLED displays for the next two years.

There is also a rumor that in future Apple will launch an iPhone with OLED displays made by Samsung, which already makes AMOLED (active-matrix organic light-emitting diode).

But the main constraint for the OLED display is that it’s more expensive so the likely hood of having cheap displays for smart phones in the next few years doesn’t seem high. Though when smart phones do come with OLED screens they’ll definitely be of better quality. 

 

Immersit makes tech to create the most on screen immersive experience

A company is taking a brave step towards building an immersive environment, one where you can take part of the on screen action. Immersit, based in Paris, is turning furniture into simulators that move along with whatever you are playing on your screen.

The company adds four pneumatic “feet” to your couch or chair and with combination to air enables it to move and jump according to what you’re watching or playing. It can make your couch or chair move back and forth, side to side, heave up and down, and can vibrate.

Currently there aren’t other companies selling this type of product. Except unless you go to an adventure park where in some cases there are theaters that have these types of seats. Immersit is the first company to try to bring this technology to the public.

The technology can handle 1,100 pounds (500 Kilograms), around the weight of 4 people. A central control module receives motion code form a laptop or computer, then using wi-fi it operates the feet and syncs with what’s on the screen. For some 4DX systems such as roller coaster rides and other games the users must pre-program their blue ray player in order for it to work. Currently the cost hasn’t been set.

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