...10...1819202122...304050...


See the 3D Images Produced by the First Full-Body Medical Scanner

Researchers from UC David have released the first images produced by EXPLORER, a medical scanner that images the whole body in 3D.

Seeing Daylight

Thirteen years ago, UC Davis scientists Simon Cherry and Ramsey Badawi had an idea for a machine that could scan the entire human body at once, producing a 3D image that could help medical specialists with everything from diagnosing conditions to developing new drug treatments.

Now, that once-hypothetical scanner is very real. And the first images it produced are even more impressive than its creators expected.

Superior Scan

The EXPLORER scanner uses a combination of two well-known imaging techniques — positron emission tomography (PET) and x-ray computed tomography (CT) — to scan the entire human body at once.

But eliminating the need to take separate scans of separate body parts is just one of EXPLORER’s advantages over existing scanning tech. It’s also fast, producing its whole body scan in just 20 to 30 seconds — roughly 40 times faster than a PET scan. It’s safer, too, requiring a far smaller radiation dose than what’s needed for a PET scan.

EXPLORER can even produce movies, giving researchers the ability to track drugs as they make their way through the human body.

Exceeding Expectations

Ultimately, both Cherry and Badawi were highly impressed by the first scan produced by EXPLORER.

“While I had imagined what the images would look like for years, nothing prepared me for the incredible detail we could see on that first scan,” Cherry said in a press release.

“There is no other device that can obtain data like this in humans, so this is truly novel,” Badawi added.

Cherry said he doesn’t think it’ll be long before multiple EXPLORER systems are in use around the world, so take a look at the above video of the machine’s first scan if you want a glimpse at the future of medical imaging.

READ MORE: Human Images From the World’s First Total-Body Medical Scanner Unveiled [UC Davis]

More on medical scanners: These Mind-Blowing Images of the Human Body Were Made by a New Kind of Scanner

The post See the 3D Images Produced by the First Full-Body Medical Scanner appeared first on Futurism.

Read the rest here:
See the 3D Images Produced by the First Full-Body Medical Scanner

It’s No Ancient Secret, a High-Tech Headband Can Help Train Your Brain to Meditate

Many people try to use meditation to do something to their brain. They want to quiet it, focus it, energize it, or zap some ideas into it. What some of those people don’t realize is that, while the end results of meditation can certainly do all those things to their brain, the first step in establishing a beneficial and long-term meditation practice is to start with an understanding of what is going on in that brain in the first place.

In the past, that wasn’t easy to do. To get a glimpse inside the brain, doctors have to use electroencephalography, also known as EEG technology, to get a graph of the different waves traveling through there at any given time. Most people either didn’t have the access, funds, or time to get hooked up to EEG sensors to see what’s happening inside their head. Alternatively, they might lack a medical reason to do so at all. Now, though, with new affordable wearable technology like the Muse headband, people are able to get a glimpse of their brainwaves – and also personalized, data-driven feedback that will guide them in training their brain.

Brain training is a more critical part of meditation than most people realize. As the billions of neurons in the human brain travel throughout the organ’s complex networks, they communicate with each other via small electrical currents that produce a synchronized movement known as a brainwave. Neuroscientists learned that by placing electrodes on a person’s scalp, in the process known as EEG, they can track and visualize those waves.

They’ve detected five main types of brainwaves, all occurring in different moments of consciousness. The slowest brain waves, delta waves, happen while you sleep – and are crucial for the rest and relaxation that your brain needs after working hard all day. At the other end of the spectrum are Gamma brainwaves, the fastest ones recorded by EEG. They are the waves considered the peak of physical or mental performance, the kind that occur when you feel like you’re “in the zone” at work, or have a sudden burst of inspiration.

While similarities exist between all human brains, scientists have recently begun to realize that the brainwaves of highly experienced meditation practitioners, such as Buddhist monks, are different than those of non-meditators. For most non-meditators, Gamma brainwaves happen infrequently, and often don’t last very long. But in experienced meditators, neuroscientists have observed that Gamma brainwaves are stronger and more regularly observed. Plus, they have more control over the ease at which they switch between waves. While non-meditators have to wait around for their “aha” moment to strike, it’s easier for long-term meditators to switch their brain into focus mode.

Many of those experienced and enlightened meditators got there through hours of brain study, practice, and guidance. That’s a great path for some, but one that most people don’t have the funds, time, or access to pursue. For those people, there is Muse. The sleek, portable headband uses seven small sensors to detect the brain’s electrical activity. Some wearable technology stops there – they simply clock how many steps you’ve taken that day, or how many hours of restful sleep you got. But Muse takes it one step further. In addition to clocking your brain’s activity, it uses a highly complex algorithm to deliver you real-time audio feedback during sessions and usable data metrics post-session to help you improve.

That real time feedback is the roadmap to establishing a meditation practice that can help minimize stress, focus the brain, and improve overall well being. The result is data-driven learning and real time feedback that doesn’t just give you the immediate benefits of a meditative session, but also the tools you need to train your brain to be more focused, rejuvenated, and mindful going forward.

Neuroscientists have already taken the highly portable product into to the field. Researchers from MIT and Harvard have used Muse to learn more about how the brain classifies pain, and researchers from British Columbia took Muse to Nepal to better understand the minds of Buddhist monks.

But the beauty of the product is that it’s not just for neuroscientists. As long as you have a smart device, a few moments, and a brain, you can use it anywhere at any time. And now, you can use it more affordably. As part of a Black Friday deal, you can get a Muse for just $159. It’s a deal so great that if it didn’t have everything to do with bettering your brain, it’d be called a no-brainer.

Futurism fans: To create this content, a non-editorial team worked with Muse, who sponsored this post. This post does not reflect the views or the endorsement of the Futurism.com editorial staff.

The post It’s No Ancient Secret, a High-Tech Headband Can Help Train Your Brain to Meditate appeared first on Futurism.

Visit link:
It’s No Ancient Secret, a High-Tech Headband Can Help Train Your Brain to Meditate

NASA Announces Date for First SpaceX Crew Dragon Test Flight

The Final Countdown(s)

Not counting the time Elon Musk jettisoned a dummy in a Tesla toward Mars, SpaceX hasn’t flown a crewed mission. Ever. In fact, the United States hasn’t flown a crewed mission since the July 2011 Atlantis flight. Luckily, we’ve had Russia to rely on. 

That could change next year. On January 7, the first flight of a SpaceX Dragon craft designed to carry a crew is set to take off from Kennedy Space Center, according to NASA. Now, to be clear, this Dragon capsule is meant for a crew, but this particular flight will not be a crewed mission – yet.

Think of it as a test for NASA’s future Commercial Crew Program. Called Demo-1, the flight – and others like it over the next few months – will culminate in a crewed launch in June 2019 (Demo-2).

Testing…123

In addition to SpaceX, Boeing – which also has a commercial crew contract with NASA – also has many test flights planned over the next year, and a crewed mission in August 2019 using the CST-100 Starliner capsule. Boeing’s first test flight won’t be as early as SpaceX though – it’s slated for March 2019.

Between these flight tests, both companies will also need to complete “abort tests” – proving that the astronauts can safely escape unscathed in the possibility of an emergency. After each test, NASA will look over all the data, reviewing performance, safety, and looking for opportunities to resolve issues – until all systems are certified.

So the big question: Will both companies stay on schedule? If all goes well. But delays also aren’t entirely avoidable. “Flying safety has always taken precedence over schedule,” says NASA spokeswoman Marie Lewis to Reuters. SpaceX has seen delays before. And it’s not just Elon Musk. Space is full of delays.

But, patience is key. As the old saying goes: Test twice and launch once, right?

READ MORE: SpaceX’s crew rocket set for January test flight [Reuters]

More on SpaceX: SpaceX Just Launched a Rocket With a Critical Reused Part

The post NASA Announces Date for First SpaceX Crew Dragon Test Flight appeared first on Futurism.

Excerpt from:
NASA Announces Date for First SpaceX Crew Dragon Test Flight

This Is the Biggest Thanksgiving Ever for Fake Meat

This Thanksgiving, families across the country will be roasting Torfurkys, Field Roasts and other fake meat in addition to genuine turkeys.

Fake Meat

This Thanksgiving, families across the country will oven-roast Tofurkys, Field Roasts, and other fake meats in addition to — or instead of — genuine turkeys.

That’s according to MarketWatch, which reports that there will be more plant-based meat substitutes at holiday feasts this holiday season than any previous year. It cites a Nielsen report that found that meat substitute sales grew 6.1 percent this year, to $555 million — yet another sign that Americans’ diets are shifting toward meat alternatives.

Pro-Earth Protein

A Fortune profile of Tofurky’s growing meatless empire breaks down the factors that are driving buyers towards meatless goods. There are ethical concerns about the treatment of animals, naturally, but the profile also identified concerns about health and the impact of farming on the environment as factors that are pushing American shoppers toward plant-based meat substitutes.

“That’s not a fad,” Walmart’s Chase Worthen, who helps the company decide what vegetarian goods to stock in its stores, told the business magazine. “It’s a trend that’s here to stay.”

Future Outlook

In addition to these clever simulacrums made out of soy and other plant-based proteins, there’s a specter on the horizon that could further upend Americans’ relationship with protein: meat substitutes that are grown from animal cells in a lab.

MarketWatch pointed to a report by food consultancy Baum and Whiteman that predicted lab-grown meats, like those made by Memphis Meats and Future Meat Technologies, will be a key food trend in 2019.

If that report is right, Thanksgiving might never be the same again.

The post This Is the Biggest Thanksgiving Ever for Fake Meat appeared first on Futurism.

Read more here:
This Is the Biggest Thanksgiving Ever for Fake Meat

NASA Isn’t Happy About SpaceX’s “Frat House” Culture

NASA's plans to conducts a

Not Amused

Elon Musk is the rockstar of the tech world. The man plays almost as hard as he works. He dates musicians and actresses, tweets from the hip, and *gasp* even dares to smoke legal marijuana on camera.

This lifestyle may have earned the billionaire legions of fans, but now it’s also jeopardizing the future of one of his companies — and maybe humanity’s future in the process.

Safety First

On Tuesday, The Washington Post reported that NASA would conduct an extensive safety review of Musk’s SpaceX and Boeing, the two private companies contracted to fly NASA astronauts to the International Space Station.

This review will begin in 2019 and examine “everything and anything that could impact safety,” NASA’s associate administrator for human exploration William Gerstenmaier told WaPo.

Old Timers

Seems straightforward enough — NASA simply wants to ensure that safety is a top priority for both of companies that could soon be responsible for the lives of astronauts, right?

Not quite. Three officials with knowledge of the probe told WaPo that the review is the direct result of Musk’s recent behavior, specifically his decision to smoke marijuana and drink whiskey on Joe Rogan’s video podcast.

As a source familiar with NASA’s motivations behind the review told Ars Technica, “SpaceX is the frat house, and NASA is the old white guy across the street yelling at them to ‘Get off my lawn.’”

A Team Deferred

NASA has yet to directly confirm those reports, but in a statement to press, NASA spokesman Bob Jacobs did say the review would “ensure the companies are meeting NASA’s requirements for workplace safety, including the adherence to a drug-free environment.”

If NASA believes this review is needed to ensure the safety of astronauts, then it’s clearly warranted. However, if this is simply a case of the old guard attempting to impose its cultural values on the new — as that “frat house” comment seems to imply — NASA really might want to reconsider its priorities.

After all, any time that SpaceX employees spend answering questions as part of this review is time they could be spending help advance the future of human spaceflight.

READ MORE: NASA to Launch Safety Review of SpaceX and Boeing After Video of Elon Musk Smoking Pot Rankled Agency Leaders [The Washington Post]

More on Elon Musk: The Most Far-out Statements From Elon Musk’s Wide-Ranging Interview With Joe Rogan

The post NASA Isn’t Happy About SpaceX’s “Frat House” Culture appeared first on Futurism.

The rest is here:
NASA Isn’t Happy About SpaceX’s “Frat House” Culture

See How AI Can Turn Almost Any Surface Into a User Interface

Startup HyperSurfaces demonstrates how its AI-powered technology can make a car door, glass wall, or clothes rack

Midas Touch

A startup called HyperSurfaces wants to completely change how you interact with the physical world — and based on some recently released demo videos, it might just meet that lofty goal.

The London-based startup recently unveiled a new technology that can transform any object into a user interface. Essentially, this tech lets you communicate with a computing system using virtually anything you like as a conduit — a glass wall, a car door, even a metal clothes rack — and it has the potential to end our reliance on keyboards, buttons, and touch screens forever.

Cutting Edge

The HyperSurfaces system comprises two parts: sensors that detect the vibrations that form when a user touches an object and a system-on-a-chip that uses AI to process that sensory information. Because all the processing takes place on the chip — and not, for instance, in the cloud — the feedback in nearly instantaneous.

This wouldn’t have been possible just a few years ago, according to HyperSurfaces CEO Bruno Zamborlin.

“The HyperSurfaces algorithms belong to the current state of the art in deep learning research,” he told TechCrunch. “On top of this, the computational power of microchips literally exploded over the last years allowing for machine learning algorithms to run locally in real-time whilst achieving a bill of material of just a few dollars. These applications are possible now and were not possible 3 or 5 years ago.”

Scratch the Surface

In the demos, HyperSurfaces’s system-on-a-chip connects to a laptop that declares the action taking place (“knock wall” or “bounce ball on wall,” for example). However, it’s not hard to imagine how we could calibrate the system to be much more useful. Want to turn on your home audio system? Just tap your wall. Think the music is too quiet? Drag a finger down it to decrease the volume.

HyperSurfaces appears completely aware of its tech’s extraordinary potential, too. The company’s website predicts that “[c]onsumer electronics, IoT, retail, transportation, augmented reality,” and more will “potentially be changed forever.” 

READ MORE: HyperSurfaces Turns Any Surface Into a User Interface Using Vibration Sensors and AI [TechCrunch]

More on smart homes: 17 Smart Home Products That Don’t Need Access to Your Wi-Fi

The post See How AI Can Turn Almost Any Surface Into a User Interface appeared first on Futurism.

View post:
See How AI Can Turn Almost Any Surface Into a User Interface

Scientists Are 3D Printing Fake Moon Dust Into Useful Objects

3D Printing on the Moon

Replacing parts on a lunar base could pose a major challenge, since resupplying missions will likely be massively expensive and time consuming.

That’s why a group of scientists led by the European Space Agency are exploring ways to 3D print anything from screws to coins using artificial lunar regolith — a simulation, essentially, of moon dust.

Easy Space Oven

The scientists partnered with Austrian company Lithoz to develop a 3D printing technology that first mixes the regolith with a special kind of glue that hardens when exposed to light. Then they 3D print it into a particular shape and bake it inside an oven — similarly to how ceramics are hardened inside a kiln.

“If one needs to print tools or machinery parts to replace broken parts on a lunar base, precision in the dimensions and shape of the printed items will be vital,” says Advenit Makya, an ESA engineer working on the project in an ESA blog post.

Fix-it-Yourself

It’s a work in progress, and the project has yet to find out if the 3D printed parts will actually be able to hold up to the stresses of lunar base life, according to Live Science.

But if we do find a way to 3D print objects using locally sourced materials, the possibilities are endless. The tech could make living on the Moon a whole lot easier — and maybe a tiny bit less reliant on the Earth.

READ MORE: European Researchers Baked Fake Moon Dust into Money and Screws [Live Science]

More on 3D printing on the moon: Here Are The Finalists For NASA’s Mars Habitat Design Competition

The post Scientists Are 3D Printing Fake Moon Dust Into Useful Objects appeared first on Futurism.

See the original post:
Scientists Are 3D Printing Fake Moon Dust Into Useful Objects

Vector by Anki: Your New Robot Sidekick

Anki’s Vector isn’t exactly a robotic pet, and he isn’t exactly another home assistant either. He’s somewhere in between, blurring the line between utility and play in a way that only Anki can nail. Unlike other home assistants, Vector is a robot sidekick you’ll actually want to hang out with. He can recognize his owners, express joy (or sadness) depending on his mood, and is generally just fun to have around your home. “Hey Vector” triggers his built-in utilities and voice commands and evokes a much more emotive response than any other home assistant we’ve seen. Vector is like a lovable puppy, his mood lights up when he sees someone he recognizes. With a variety of fun features (blackjack, anyone?), and an upcoming option to add Amazon Alexa, he’s as much functional as he is fun. And after spending a day with him, we’d much rather interact with Vector over the other “brick-based” home assistants. If only all AI were this friendly. Get yours today

Want more gift ideas? Check out the full 2018 Futurism Gift Guide here!

Futurism fans: To create this content, a non-editorial team worked with Anki, who sponsored this post. They help us keep the lights on. This post does not reflect the views or the endorsement of the Futurism.com editorial staff.

The post Vector by Anki: Your New Robot Sidekick appeared first on Futurism.

See the original post:
Vector by Anki: Your New Robot Sidekick

Eight Sleep Mattress: Your Personal Sleep Coach

If you know someone who is in desperate need of a mattress upgrade, a smart mattress from Eight Sleep will make the perfect gift. With a gift from Eight, they’ll get more than just a mattress. They’ll get a free personal sleep coach that will help them get the best possible night’s rest. For example, the company’s Jupiter+ model uses proprietary sensors embedded in the mattress cover to monitor sleep patterns and biosignals. What exactly does that mean? It means each morning they’ll receive a detailed report of the previous night’s activity, including a breakdown of total sleep time, REM sleep, and time spent tossing and turning.

The mattress also features dual zone temperature controls, a smart alarm, and a risk-free 100-day trial. And best of all, it also comes with smart home integration, which means it will work with all of the other cool smart home gifts they get during the holidays. And a mattress that automatically turns off lights when you fall asleep, or starts a coffee pot when you wake up, is a gift that keeps on giving the whole year. Invest in better sleep today

Want more gift ideas? Check out the full 2018 Futurism Gift Guide here!

Futurism fans: To create this content, a non-editorial team worked with Eight Sleep, who sponsored this post. They help us keep the lights on. This post does not reflect the views or the endorsement of the Futurism.com editorial staff.

The post Eight Sleep Mattress: Your Personal Sleep Coach appeared first on Futurism.

Continued here:
Eight Sleep Mattress: Your Personal Sleep Coach

Gravity Blanket: The Key to Better Sleep and Less Stress

When you give the Gravity Blanket as a gift, it’s like giving the recipient a great big hug every night before they fall asleep. That’s because the Gravity Blanket is a premium, weighted blanket engineered to be around 10-percent of your total body weight. This extra weight relaxes the nervous system by simulating the feeling of a hug, and promotes a more resultful, deeper sleep. The Gravity Blanket’s gridded stitching keeps internal micro beads evenly distributed, which prevents the weight from shifting and clumping in one place. The blanket also features a soft, removable, microfiber duvet cover which is also available in Faux Fur. And when the Gravity Blanket is paired with the Gravity Weighted Sleep Mask and/or the Calm app, you’ll get an even better night’s rest. Check out all the Gravity products here

Want more gift ideas? Check out the full 2018 Futurism Gift Guide here!

Futurism fans: To create this content, a non-editorial team worked with Gravity, who sponsored this post. They help us keep the lights on. This post does not reflect the views or the endorsement of the Futurism.com editorial staff.

The post Gravity Blanket: The Key to Better Sleep and Less Stress appeared first on Futurism.

View post:
Gravity Blanket: The Key to Better Sleep and Less Stress

Muse Headband: The Personal Meditation Assistant

The holidays can be a very stressful time. So this year, why not give the gift of mental tranquility with the Muse Brain Sensing Headband. It’s designed to act as a “personal meditation assistant” that helps guide users to a calmer mind. The app-controlled device is said to sense the real-time state of a user’s brain. It then analyzes the data to select the best meditative sounds to play through the device’s headphones. As a result, users “experience all the benefits of meditation – such as relaxation, improved mood and reduced stress – with none of the uncertainty.” The product also offers “personalized tracking, motivational challenges, and rewards that encourage you to build a more regular and effective practice.” And it’s the only gift on the list that might eventually lead the user down a path to total consciousness. So it’s got that going for it, which is nice. Buy Muse here

Want more gift ideas? Check out the full 2018 Futurism Gift Guide here!

Futurism fans: To create this content, a non-editorial team worked with Muse, who sponsored this post. They help us keep the lights on. This post does not reflect the views or the endorsement of the Futurism.com editorial staff.

The post Muse Headband: The Personal Meditation Assistant appeared first on Futurism.

Link:
Muse Headband: The Personal Meditation Assistant

See How AI Can Turn Almost Any Surface Into a User Interface

Startup HyperSurfaces demonstrates how its AI-powered technology can make a car door, glass wall, or clothes rack

Midas Touch

A startup called HyperSurfaces wants to completely change how you interact with the physical world — and based on some recently released demo videos, it might just meet that lofty goal.

The London-based startup recently unveiled a new technology that can transform any object into a user interface. Essentially, this tech lets you communicate with a computing system using virtually anything you like as a conduit — a glass wall, a car door, even a metal clothes rack — and it has the potential to end our reliance on keyboards, buttons, and touch screens forever.

Cutting Edge

The HyperSurfaces system comprises two parts: sensors that detect the vibrations that form when a user touches an object and a system-on-a-chip that uses AI to process that sensory information. Because all the processing takes place on the chip — and not, for instance, in the cloud — the feedback in nearly instantaneous.

This wouldn’t have been possible just a few years ago, according to HyperSurfaces CEO Bruno Zamborlin.

“The HyperSurfaces algorithms belong to the current state of the art in deep learning research,” he told TechCrunch. “On top of this, the computational power of microchips literally exploded over the last years allowing for machine learning algorithms to run locally in real-time whilst achieving a bill of material of just a few dollars. These applications are possible now and were not possible 3 or 5 years ago.”

Scratch the Surface

In the demos, HyperSurfaces’s system-on-a-chip connects to a laptop that declares the action taking place (“knock wall” or “bounce ball on wall,” for example). However, it’s not hard to imagine how we could calibrate the system to be much more useful. Want to turn on your home audio system? Just tap your wall. Think the music is too quiet? Drag a finger down it to decrease the volume.

HyperSurfaces appears completely aware of its tech’s extraordinary potential, too. The company’s website predicts that “[c]onsumer electronics, IoT, retail, transportation, augmented reality,” and more will “potentially be changed forever.” 

READ MORE: HyperSurfaces Turns Any Surface Into a User Interface Using Vibration Sensors and AI [TechCrunch]

More on smart homes: 17 Smart Home Products That Don’t Need Access to Your Wi-Fi

The post See How AI Can Turn Almost Any Surface Into a User Interface appeared first on Futurism.

See the original post:
See How AI Can Turn Almost Any Surface Into a User Interface

Neil deGrasse Tyson: Elon Musk “Will Transform Civilization As We Know It”

In a recent interview with CNBC Make It, Neil deGrasse Tyson told reporters that Elon Musk

Future Man

It’s no secret that Neil deGrasse Tyson is an advocate for space exploration. So it should come to no surprise that he’s a big fan of one of spacetech’s most public figures.

In an interview with CNBC Make It, Tyson said he thought Elon Musk was going to have a bigger influence on society, in the long run, than other tech personalities like Jeff Bezos, Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerberg.

Civilization Transformer

Musk “is not simply giving us the next app that will be awesome on our smartphone,” like Steve Jobs or other tech CEOs, Tyson said. “No, he is thinking about society, culture, how we interact, what forces need to be in play to take civilization into the next century.”

He even went on to say that Musk “will transform civilization as we know it.”

Space Exploration

Tyson is far more concerned with how humanity will fare once it’s able to leave Earth than the consumer technology sector or social media, with a futurist’s eye toward humanity’s long-term outlook.

And as an astrophysicist himself, space exploration is close to his heart. Perhaps one day he’ll be able to explore it himself aboard a SpaceX capsule.

READ MORE: Neil deGrasse Tyson: Why Elon Musk is more important than Jeff Bezos, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg [CNBC]

More on Elon Musk’s space exploration efforts: Elon Musk Just Changed the BFR’s Name for a Fourth Time

The post Neil deGrasse Tyson: Elon Musk “Will Transform Civilization As We Know It” appeared first on Futurism.

See the original post:
Neil deGrasse Tyson: Elon Musk “Will Transform Civilization As We Know It”

Fisher Space Pen: What Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos Will Use to Write in Zero Gravity

You can’t use a pencil in space. That’s the first thing to know about the Fisher Space Pen, and the reason for its existence, its persistence, and canonization in the history of industrial design and art pieces.

Because you know how zero gravity works, you obviously know that if even the smallest sliver of lead or wood were to break off, that sliver could become lodged into a control panel or an instrument, causing a problem nobody wants to have. You also know that a regular ballpoint pen wouldn’t do the trick either, because the ink in the pen wouldn’t naturally pull out of the bottom, such is the effect of zero gravity on any substance. Thus, the Space Pen.

Dreamed up in 1948 by a guy named Paul Fisher, the Fisher Space Pen was patented with the advent of the Pressurized Ink Cartridge, which are sealed, pressurized with nitrogen, and now coated in the kind of metal used to make—according to Fisher—armor-piercing ammunitions. Paul Fisher, in the 60s, ended up selling the pen to NASA, even though he didn’t set out to make a pen for space. He just wanted something that wouldn’t leak everywhere. And he ended up inventing a pen that can not only write in zero-gravity, but underwater, upside-down, wet surfaces, and extreme temperatures (-30ºF to +250ºF).

Since then, the Space Pen’s become ubiquitous in culture—not just in spaceflight, where it’s been used since the Apollo 7 missions. It’s been in the Museum of Modern Art. It’s been referenced in countless films and TV shows. And it’s been used by a bunch of people to write things in places other than space. Thing is: More people will be going to space soon. NASA wants back on the Moon, and to Mars. Japan wants to build space elevators. Maybe you’ve heard of Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos? They’re big on sending people to space these days.

So, if you’re planning on going to space—or know anyone who is, or simply want to send someone a hint: buy them this pen. It writes in space. Also, underwater – if the hint you’re trying to send them is “go to the bottom of the ocean and never return.” Or just: “You’re loved!”

The Fisher Space Pen is $17.79 on Amazon, and worth every penny.

Want more gift ideas? Check out the full 2018 Futurism Gift Guide here!

Editor’s note: To create this content, the editorial team sought out products we love without any consideration of payment. That said, if you buy a product through this page Futurism may receive a small commission, which helps us save up for a fleet of jetpacks. 

The post Fisher Space Pen: What Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos Will Use to Write in Zero Gravity appeared first on Futurism.

See the rest here:
Fisher Space Pen: What Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos Will Use to Write in Zero Gravity

Refugees in Uganda Are Earning Money by Training AIs

A new app puts the task of training AIs in the hands of Ugandan refugees, who can earn the money they earn to rebuild their lives.

Win-Win

The worldwide number of people forcibly displaced from their homes by violence, war, and persecution is now 68.5 million — more than the population of the U.K., for context.

REFUNITE is a nonprofit dedicated to helping many of those refugees reconnect with their missing loved ones. Now, it thinks it’s found a way to help them get back on their feet financially, too — while simultaneously advancing the field of artificial intelligence.

AI Training Day

To train an AI, researchers must often feed the system troves of meticulously labelled data. Those datasets can be expensive to buy and time-consuming to create.

REFUNITE believes it’s found a solution to that problem — last week, the nonprofit announced the creation of LevelApp, an app that makes it easy for anyone with a smartphone to earn money labeling AI-training data.

The company is currently conducting a pilot project of the app with 5,000 refugees in Uganda, 200 of whom are labeling data for DeepBrain Chain, an AI-focused blockchain company.If that trial goes as hoped, it plans to scale up to 25,000 Ugandan refugees within two years.

Leveling Up

According to a World Economic Forum story, REFUNITE’s co-chief executive Chris Mikkelsen told attendees at a recent conference on human rights that a person could make up to $20 a day through LevelApp. And while that might not be enough to cover the cost of living for people in many places, it could be life-changing for a Ugandan refugee.

Currently, a refugee in Uganda is likely to earn just $1.25 a day doing the basic tasks or menial jobs available to them. That means LevelApp could increase their income 16-fold. The refugee could then use that extra money for everything from healthcare to education for their children.

In other words, this single app could help members of a vulnerable population rebuild their lives, all while helping shape the future of AI.

READ MORE: This Mobile App Is Paying Refugees to Train Artificial Intelligence [World Economic Forum]

More on training AI: This AI Dreams up Brain Tumor Scans to Train Other AIs

The post Refugees in Uganda Are Earning Money by Training AIs appeared first on Futurism.

Go here to read the rest:
Refugees in Uganda Are Earning Money by Training AIs

Chip Maker NVIDIA is Bringing Its AI Driving Chip to China

NVIDIA has signed deals with three Chinese autonomous car startups to use their self-driving car platform.

Autonomous Commute

Being able to take your eyes off the road to read a newspaper while your car drives itself seemed like a distant future just a couple years ago.

But thanks to U.S. graphics chip maker NVIDIA, that dream could become a reality as soon as the year 2020.

The Chinese electric car companies XPeng Motors, Singulato Motors and SF Motors have signed a deal with the chipmaker to useNVIDIA’s Xavier AI chip to bring Level 3 autonomous driving — meaning that you can take your eyes off the road but still have to be able to react — to upcoming EVs in China, as reported by Reuters.

In October, Swedish multinational car maker Volvo officially signed up to useNVIDIA’s self-driving car platform as well. Volkswagen and Uber have also signed similar deals.

Heavy Lifting

NVIDIA introduced the autonomous driving platform, including a Xavier developer kit, back in September. The NVIDIA DRIVE AGX Xavier car computer that comes with the kit is capable of taking care of a self-driving car’s heavy computational load — obstacle recognition, driver monitoring, and other aspects of autonomous driving.

These tasks are very hardware intensive, and according to NVIDIA’s press release, AI-powered self-driving cars “cars must rely on numerous deep neural networks running simultaneously.”

Hands Off the Wheel

The chip maker also released an autonomous driving safety report back in October, to prove to federal regulators that their platform is safe to use.

The race is on to bring a mainstream NVIDIA DRIVE self-driving car to the market — whether it’ll be in the U.S. or China.

READ MORE: U.S. chipmaker Nvidia to provide AI platform for Chinese EV start-ups [Reuters]

More on NVIDIA’s self-driving car platform: NVIDIA Has Designed a Compact AI Computer to Drive Fully Autonomous Vehicles

The post Chip Maker NVIDIA is Bringing Its AI Driving Chip to China appeared first on Futurism.

Read more here:
Chip Maker NVIDIA is Bringing Its AI Driving Chip to China

FinalStraw: The Last Straw You’ll Ever Need

Depending on who you ask, straws are either having the worst year ever, or a revolutionary one.

For whatever reason, be it Hashtag Activism, or their ticket just finally getting punched, in 2018, everyone’s starting to get hip, woke, whatever—they’re fully-realizing the danger of single-use plastics (like plastic straws).

For example, the EU voted to completely ban single-use plastics.

Seattle recently became the first major American city to ban plastic straws.

And, bottom-lining it, whether you like it or not, the simple fact is this: On a long-enough timeline, there’s never a good argument in favor of plastic straws.

Which is why everyone, all the cool kids, are getting themselves their own reusable straws. And not just any straw—a good one. Maybe one that, say, is easy to clean. Or one that you don’t have to schlep around all inconvenient-like. One that comes in a few decent colors would be nice, too? Alas, enter FinalStraw: The collapsable, cleanable, folding straw-on-a-keychain that took Kickstarter by storm, to the tune of a $1.8 million-dollar crowdfunding campaign. Why all the fuss over a folding straw?

Well: It’s simple to clean. It works with all to-go cups. It comes with its own case. It should last you, according to FinalStraw, about 3600 hundred cycles (or five years at twice-a-day use). It’s latex-free and BPA-free. It’s dishwasher safe. And the case comes in five colors.

But if none of those selling points are enough, how about this one: You’ll be saving the world, one sip at a time. Also, it’s a brilliantly easy, cheap stocking stuffer for anyone you know. Especially anyone intent on ruining the world with their plastic trash, or trash habits. Or people who can’t drink out of the lid of a cup correctly. Or anyone who you just want to smash, with a present, into a moral equivalence quagmire, where they will be forced to reckon with their own innate selfishness and the fact that they do not, in fact, want a better world for those who come after them, and that they are—let’s be perfectly clear—destined to repeat the cycles of damage, not just to our Earth, but the people on it. Because they just need to drink out of a plastic straw. That, you will argue with this person, is the reason they want their children to have a dying world.

This is a perfect gift for them.

And it only costs $25! Buy it here at FinalStraw.

Want more gift ideas? Check out the full 2018 Futurism Gift Guide here!

Editor’s note: To create this content, the editorial team sought out products we love without any consideration of payment. That said, if you buy a product through this page Futurism may receive a small commission, which helps us save up for a fleet of jetpacks. 

The post FinalStraw: The Last Straw You’ll Ever Need appeared first on Futurism.

See the rest here:
FinalStraw: The Last Straw You’ll Ever Need

NASA Isn’t Happy About SpaceX’s “Frat House” Culture

NASA's plans to conducts a

Not Amused

Elon Musk is the rockstar of the tech world. The man plays almost as hard as he works. He dates musicians and actresses, tweets from the hip, and *gasp* even dares to smoke legal marijuana on camera.

This lifestyle may have earned the billionaire legions of fans, but now it’s also jeopardizing the future of one of his companies — and maybe humanity’s future in the process.

Safety First

On Tuesday, The Washington Post reported that NASA would conduct an extensive safety review of Musk’s SpaceX and Boeing, the two private companies contracted to fly NASA astronauts to the International Space Station.

This review will begin in 2019 and examine “everything and anything that could impact safety,” NASA’s associate administrator for human exploration William Gerstenmaier told WaPo.

Old Timers

Seems straightforward enough — NASA simply wants to ensure that safety is a top priority for both of companies that could soon be responsible for the lives of astronauts, right?

Not quite. Three officials with knowledge of the probe told WaPo that the review is the direct result of Musk’s recent behavior, specifically his decision to smoke marijuana and drink whiskey on Joe Rogan’s video podcast.

As a source familiar with NASA’s motivations behind the review told Ars Technica, “SpaceX is the frat house, and NASA is the old white guy across the street yelling at them to ‘Get off my lawn.’”

A Team Deferred

NASA has yet to directly confirm those reports, but in a statement to press, NASA spokesman Bob Jacobs did say the review would “ensure the companies are meeting NASA’s requirements for workplace safety, including the adherence to a drug-free environment.”

If NASA believes this review is needed to ensure the safety of astronauts, then it’s clearly warranted. However, if this is simply a case of the old guard attempting to impose its cultural values on the new — as that “frat house” comment seems to imply — NASA really might want to reconsider its priorities.

After all, any time that SpaceX employees spend answering questions as part of this review is time they could be spending help advance the future of human spaceflight.

READ MORE: NASA to Launch Safety Review of SpaceX and Boeing After Video of Elon Musk Smoking Pot Rankled Agency Leaders [The Washington Post]

More on Elon Musk: The Most Far-out Statements From Elon Musk’s Wide-Ranging Interview With Joe Rogan

The post NASA Isn’t Happy About SpaceX’s “Frat House” Culture appeared first on Futurism.

Follow this link:
NASA Isn’t Happy About SpaceX’s “Frat House” Culture

See the 3D Images Produced by the First Full-Body Medical Scanner

Researchers from UC David have released the first images produced by EXPLORER, a medical scanner that images the whole body in 3D.

Seeing Daylight

Thirteen years ago, UC Davis scientists Simon Cherry and Ramsey Badawi had an idea for a machine that could scan the entire human body at once, producing a 3D image that could help medical specialists with everything from diagnosing conditions to developing new drug treatments.

Now, that once-hypothetical scanner is very real. And the first images it produced are even more impressive than its creators expected.

Superior Scan

The EXPLORER scanner uses a combination of two well-known imaging techniques — positron emission tomography (PET) and x-ray computed tomography (CT) — to scan the entire human body at once.

But eliminating the need to take separate scans of separate body parts is just one of EXPLORER’s advantages over existing scanning tech. It’s also fast, producing its whole body scan in just 20 to 30 seconds — roughly 40 times faster than a PET scan. It’s safer, too, requiring a far smaller radiation dose than what’s needed for a PET scan.

EXPLORER can even produce movies, giving researchers the ability to track drugs as they make their way through the human body.

Exceeding Expectations

Ultimately, both Cherry and Badawi were highly impressed by the first scan produced by EXPLORER.

“While I had imagined what the images would look like for years, nothing prepared me for the incredible detail we could see on that first scan,” Cherry said in a press release.

“There is no other device that can obtain data like this in humans, so this is truly novel,” Badawi added.

Cherry said he doesn’t think it’ll be long before multiple EXPLORER systems are in use around the world, so take a look at the above video of the machine’s first scan if you want a glimpse at the future of medical imaging.

READ MORE: Human Images From the World’s First Total-Body Medical Scanner Unveiled [UC Davis]

More on medical scanners: These Mind-Blowing Images of the Human Body Were Made by a New Kind of Scanner

The post See the 3D Images Produced by the First Full-Body Medical Scanner appeared first on Futurism.

See the rest here:
See the 3D Images Produced by the First Full-Body Medical Scanner

It’s No Ancient Secret, a High-Tech Headband Can Help Train Your Brain to Meditate

Many people try to use meditation to do something to their brain. They want to quiet it, focus it, energize it, or zap some ideas into it. What some of those people don’t realize is that, while the end results of meditation can certainly do all those things to their brain, the first step in establishing a beneficial and long-term meditation practice is to start with an understanding of what is going on in that brain in the first place.

In the past, that wasn’t easy to do. To get a glimpse inside the brain, doctors have to use electroencephalography, also known as EEG technology, to get a graph of the different waves traveling through there at any given time. Most people either didn’t have the access, funds, or time to get hooked up to EEG sensors to see what’s happening inside their head. Alternatively, they might lack a medical reason to do so at all. Now, though, with new affordable wearable technology like the Muse headband, people are able to get a glimpse of their brainwaves – and also personalized, data-driven feedback that will guide them in training their brain.

Brain training is a more critical part of meditation than most people realize. As the billions of neurons in the human brain travel throughout the organ’s complex networks, they communicate with each other via small electrical currents that produce a synchronized movement known as a brainwave. Neuroscientists learned that by placing electrodes on a person’s scalp, in the process known as EEG, they can track and visualize those waves.

They’ve detected five main types of brainwaves, all occurring in different moments of consciousness. The slowest brain waves, delta waves, happen while you sleep – and are crucial for the rest and relaxation that your brain needs after working hard all day. At the other end of the spectrum are Gamma brainwaves, the fastest ones recorded by EEG. They are the waves considered the peak of physical or mental performance, the kind that occur when you feel like you’re “in the zone” at work, or have a sudden burst of inspiration.

While similarities exist between all human brains, scientists have recently begun to realize that the brainwaves of highly experienced meditation practitioners, such as Buddhist monks, are different than those of non-meditators. For most non-meditators, Gamma brainwaves happen infrequently, and often don’t last very long. But in experienced meditators, neuroscientists have observed that Gamma brainwaves are stronger and more regularly observed. Plus, they have more control over the ease at which they switch between waves. While non-meditators have to wait around for their “aha” moment to strike, it’s easier for long-term meditators to switch their brain into focus mode.

Many of those experienced and enlightened meditators got there through hours of brain study, practice, and guidance. That’s a great path for some, but one that most people don’t have the funds, time, or access to pursue. For those people, there is Muse. The sleek, portable headband uses seven small sensors to detect the brain’s electrical activity. Some wearable technology stops there – they simply clock how many steps you’ve taken that day, or how many hours of restful sleep you got. But Muse takes it one step further. In addition to clocking your brain’s activity, it uses a highly complex algorithm to deliver you real-time audio feedback during sessions and usable data metrics post-session to help you improve.

That real time feedback is the roadmap to establishing a meditation practice that can help minimize stress, focus the brain, and improve overall well being. The result is data-driven learning and real time feedback that doesn’t just give you the immediate benefits of a meditative session, but also the tools you need to train your brain to be more focused, rejuvenated, and mindful going forward.

Neuroscientists have already taken the highly portable product into to the field. Researchers from MIT and Harvard have used Muse to learn more about how the brain classifies pain, and researchers from British Columbia took Muse to Nepal to better understand the minds of Buddhist monks.

But the beauty of the product is that it’s not just for neuroscientists. As long as you have a smart device, a few moments, and a brain, you can use it anywhere at any time. And now, you can use it more affordably. As part of a Black Friday deal, you can get a Muse for just $159. It’s a deal so great that if it didn’t have everything to do with bettering your brain, it’d be called a no-brainer.

Futurism fans: To create this content, a non-editorial team worked with Muse, who sponsored this post. This post does not reflect the views or the endorsement of the Futurism.com editorial staff.

The post It’s No Ancient Secret, a High-Tech Headband Can Help Train Your Brain to Meditate appeared first on Futurism.

View post:
It’s No Ancient Secret, a High-Tech Headband Can Help Train Your Brain to Meditate


...10...1819202122...304050...