visible technologies

Assistive technology does not cure disability

When I get into an airplane, I don’t turn into a bird.

All assistive technology is like that.

Airplanes are not wings, and wheelchairs are not legs.  Rolling is different from walking, and it’s ok that it’s different. Typing is not speaking, it’s typed communication. Reading braille isn’t seeing with fingers, it’s tactile reading. And so on. Assistive technology is important, and worth respecting.

Airplanes are amazing. I respect them without pretending that they are wings. Likewise, other people respect me as a competent human being without pretending that an airplane has turned me into a bird.

Assistive technology enables people with disabilities to do more things. It does not turn us into nondisabled people — and it doesn’t need to. We do many things differently, and that’s ok. Respecting us means respecting us as we really are, including acknowledging that our assistive technology exists and matters.


Google’s Project Ara smartphone will begin pilot testing in Puerto Rico in 2015

Remember that Phonebloks thing we were all pumped for in the fall of 2013?  The designer behind it worked with Motorola (later Google) to make that concept a reality: Google’s Project Ara.
Inside Planned Parenthood's Push For Gender-Neutral Language
In March, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America launched Spot On, a free period tracker and birth control planner developed by Planned Parenthood’s Digital Products Lab. Like many such apps, it allows users to track their physical symptoms, moods, and birth control use. But what makes Spot On unusual is that it’s aimed at anyone who menstruates — not just women.

The app discusses body symptoms and birth control, which may include “sore breasts” and reminders like “take your pill,” but doesn’t assume that the person with the breasts or the pills is a woman. Instead, it speaks directly to the user as “you.” There are no pink flowers and there is no gendered language. (There is, however, a dinosaur. On the moon.)

“Our patients and supporters don’t comprise any one identity, especially when it comes to periods, menstrual cycles, or sexual or reproductive health,” says Jenny Friedler, director of Planned Parenthood’s digital products lab.

And Spot On is only the latest and most visible development in Planned Parenthood’s efforts to use inclusive language across its programs.


US to require rear-view cameras on all new vehicles by 2018

USA TODAYThe National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it will require rear visibility technology in all new vehicles by May 2018.

The rule, which applies to all vehicles under 10,000 pounds, will impact 2019 model-year cars. 

Photo credit: Evan Sears /


Fun fact: Every time your heart beats, your skin flushes red with fresh blood just a tiny bit. Go ahead, take a look. If you’re reading this on a bus, stare intently at the person next to you and see if you can spot the subtle, rhythmic blush. If you don’t get immediately sprayed with Mace, then chances are you won’t ever see a thing, because the color change is so small that it’s pretty much invisible. But now, optics researchers at MIT have released an open-source program called Eulerian Video Magnification, which takes ordinary videos and magnifies those microscopic changes to show you what you’re missing. The results range from merely odd to downright terrifying.

But EVM works on more than colors; it picks up on subtle movements, too. As you can see in this video, even when you’re sitting still, the pumping action of your heart is enough to make your head jiggle like you’re sitting on an enormous speaker with the bass turned up

5 Secret Worlds Now Visible With Insane Technology

anonymous asked:

Is my nostalgia filter on too tight, or has gaming not really technologically progressed besides graphics? 10 years ago we had F.E.A.R, and nothing has been able to have AI like it since.13 years ago we had Red Faction, with an almost 100% destructible map. The closest to that since is Guerrilla (More limits), or Minecraft (Voxel-based, limited physics.) 23 years ago we had Ultima 7, and no RPG yet compares to that in terms of interactivity, and I could give more examples without 500 char limit.

I think your nostalgia filter is on too tight, mostly because players are bad at recognizing what tech advancement really looks like. Video game technology has steadily improved, both in and outside of graphics, and continues to do so to this day.

Do you seriously want to tell me that things like MMO technology hasn’t vastly improved so that we can have more than 1000 people in a world zone at once without crushing the server? Maybe you missed that we haven’t had massive improvements in online infrastructure that allows us to track and update things like achievements, friends lists, etc. from player to player. That totally existed 10 years ago, right? We haven’t built and improved huge gamer networks like XBox Live, PSN, Steam, and Origin that allow safe, easy, and timely avenues for monetary transactions and content distribution in that intervening time so that you can buy and download games and DLC you want, and then send a message to your friend to invite him or her to play with you. Valve has broken ground with technology that allows players to create and distribute mod content. Maybe you missed the whole motion control craze which has (so far) culminated in the Kinect, a peripheral device that can do motion capture in your very own home. Perhaps you don’t consider cross-platform play or the Skylanders/Disney Infinity/Amiibo technology compelling, but I assure you that a lot of people do.

But perhaps you were talking about more directly visible in-game technology on a per-game basis. Maybe you missed the part where we’ve improved data loading and streaming technology so that we can seamlessly move across games like Sleeping Dogs without ever having to go to a loading screen beyond the initial. You bring up the interactivity of Ultima 7, but don’t mention Second Life where players can literally craft everything? Red Faction’s world wasn’t actually 100% destructible either - each map had a skeleton that had destructible bits glued onto it. Have you seen the technology in development for Everquest Next? FEAR’s AI was not bad, but do you realize what sort of internal machinations are going on in the latest version of the Sims? Or how about using AI to direct an entire player’s experience, like in Left 4 Dead? Ten years ago, simulating an entire city’s worth of AI would have brought any machine to its knees, but now we have Cities: Skylines. We’ve seen great strides in procedurally generated content too, like the nemesis system in Shadow of Mordor. Diablo 2 did a pretty decent job of the procedural map generation, but Diablo 3 really took it to a new level with significant improvements. And pretty much every single online multiplayer game today has taken several pages from big improvements in matchmaking technology.

I think the main thing is that a good number of these technical improvements fly pretty low on the radar most of the time. Smartphones are so ubiquitous today, for example, that many people forget that the very first iPhone wasn’t released until 2007. Having an online network with a friends list and easy transactions is commonplace today, but didn’t exist back then. Data streaming technology, scalability, motion controls, and such things feel like they’ve been around for a long time, but they really haven’t. A lot of in-game technical improvements just make things smoother, run better, more immersive, but are hard for an untrained eye to pick up. Saying that nothing has really improved outside of graphics is uninformed at best, and ignorant at worst.


The Evolution Of Visible Air by Nike

We are very excited to showcase these deconstructed Air Max images, in an evolution of air technology from the gods of air; Nike.

In 1987 Nike Air hit a high when it became more than a feeling. Nike designer Tinker Hatfield set out to make the breakthrough technology visible so runners could better understand its cushioning benefits. He created the Nike Air Max with Visible Air, which gave birth to a franchise that forever altered the course of sneakers.

The story of visible air didn’t begin with Hatfield’s design. Rather, it started when David Forland, Nike’s Director of Cushioning Innovation, joined the team in 1985. In many respects, Forland is the world’s foremost expert in visible air. He’s been focused on pushing the technology into unexplored new territories for the past 30 years.

“I remember the first blow-molded Air-Sole unit. We worked so hard on that and had noidea if people would embrace it. I was at an airport right around the time the first Air Max sneaker launched. I was calling a tech in the lab when someone walked by wearing a pair. I stared at him from the phone booth and said, ʻSomebody bought them. I see the Air-Sole going up and down.ʼ It was a big risk, but bigger reward. For the Air Max family, it’s only up from here.” - David Forland.”

From the original heal sole unit to full length air sole units the growth in air technology has seen both sports and fashion industries on the edge of their seats throughout the years. This deconstruction celebrates and explains the depth of power the air revolution has had and is still having today.

Theology for Beginners, Chapter 18: On the Steps of the Palace

Heimdall’s Observatory. First day of the Harvest Festival. Early morning.

“Welcome to Asgard.”

Never before had those words awakened such state of nerves in a visitor. Perhaps it was because this particular visitor had arrived unannounced, unprepared… and by completely unorthodox means of transport. Heimdall let go of his longsword, thinking (with very good instinct) that that the heavy two-handed weapon would be a bit intimidating to the mortal that stood before him. With Frigga’s words still fresh in his mind, the last thing he wanted to do was scare the woman and make her jump from the Bridge, or start screaming, or any of those other things he had witnessed other Midgardians do when they got in an unexpected situation.

Leah, meanwhile, was trying very hard to unstick her tongue from the roof of her mouth, where it had stubbornly decided to remain. Trying to remember her Law School oratory lessons she took a deep breath, commanded her knees to stop shaking (with zero results, but that wasn’t important anyway because her long gown blocked the view all the way down to her feet), and she finally could manage something that sounded a bit squeaky, but quite close to the voice of an adult woman.

“Am I really? Welcome? I mean… I know this is going to sound strange, but I have a very good reason for showing up here like this. You see, I have to-”

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