“It’s already pretty crazy what they’re able to do now. But I wouldn’t go so far as to say we’re living in the future. I know just by looking at history that it’s only going to get better.”—Ian Burkhart, the first paralyzed man to move his own hand with his thoughts (and a virtual spinal cord).
Using just the camera on your iPhone, the Cardiio app can accurately measure your heart rate. Here’s how it works:
Every time your heart beats, more blood is pumped into your face. This slight increase in blood volume causes more light to be absorbed, and hence less light is reflected from your face. Using sophisticated software, your iPhone’s front camera can track these tiny changes in reflected light that are not visible to the human eye and calculate your heart beat!
This video shows this process in action (with a short explanatory intro of the mathematical technique):
IF YOU think the art of mind-reading is a conjuring trick, think again. Over the past few years, the ability to connect first monkeys and then men to machines in ways that allow brain signals to tell those machines what to do has improved by leaps and bounds. In the latest demonstration of this, just published in the Public Library of Science, Bin He and his colleagues at the University of Minnesota report that their volunteers can successfully fly a helicopter (admittedly a virtual one, on a computer screen) through a three-dimensional digital sky, merely by thinking about it. Signals from electrodes taped to the scalp of such pilots provide enough information for a computer to work out exactly what the pilot wants to do.
Charlie Brooker of the Guardian writes about Naulitus, a Uinversity of Illinois supercomputer that reads the news and predicts the outcomes of what it’s reading… except it’s keepers have been finding out it’s been right about the Arab Spring and Bin Laden’s location only retrospectively.
Maybe they should stop analyzing Nautilus output, and hook him up to Tumblr, and we could just follow his stream?
Attach a lens to the back of a Windows 7 phone, take a drop of blood from the patient and you have instant results and huge improvement over the “current ‘state-of-the-art’ malaria detection method used in these areas [which] involves a cotton swap test that results in only 40% accuracy.”