An Inaccurate Census Could Have Big Consequences

It was recently revealed that the Department of Justice is pressing to add a question about citizenship in the 2020 census. This question, one that has not been included in the census since the 50s, is believed to be meant to deter immigrant communities from participating, typically Democratic communities, and therefore depressing final population count and the distribution if house representatives, which is tied to population, not citizenry. John Thompson, who served as director of the Census Bureau until he resigned last year said:

The risk that really troubles me is that there’s a big undercount and then there’s a big lack of representation.

So what are the repursussions of a lower response rate other than less house seats for Democrats? It will be harder for the Center for Disease control to predict outbreaks if they think certain places have lower population (and therefore falsely higher instances of reported disease.

It’s also bad for brand strategists!

Why it’s hot?

Brand strategist need to know the true population of certain areas almost all of our research contain some sort of data from the US Census. Inconsistencies in census data one of the true long term high dats resources is a real loss for industry across the board.



Tin Man had a Tin Baby?

A tin-foil baby sounds like something out of a black mirror episode, but here we are. Professors from Purdue University designed a baby made out of tin-foil, for science. The purpose of the baby tin man was to study how babies are exposed to harmful particles as they’re so close to the ground during infancy. Dangerous particles are found in higher concentration as you get closer to the ground, exposing babies to some seriously sickening stuff. Another issue is due to the fact that babies primarily breathe through their mouths, causing a lot of the filth to be deposited in the lower airways and just causes some bad effects in the long run.

Why it’s hot:
Oh, baby. It’s an interesting one for sure, but surprisingly not a lot of people care about where their babies crawl around and just let them play when they want to. This could help guide better and more cognizant parenting.

Source: Mirror

Apple Pay transit card integration goes live in Beijing and Shanghai

Apple rolled out transit card integration in China today. The latest update to iPhone and Apple Watch offers users tap-to-ride public transportation access in Beijing and Shanghai. People can refill their transportation cards using the Wallet app on iPhone. Balance of an existing physical card can be transferred to Apple Pay through the recharge mechanism in Wallet.

Why it’s hot: Mobile payment and transaction just became more advanced and is making people’s daily life more convenient.


Open Bionics’ Hero Arm is very cool

Open Bionics recently announced the upcoming launch of Hero Arm in 2018. The company has been working since 2014 to bring a new generation of bionic assistive devices that are affordable, comfortable, powerful, and stylish. Hero Arm is the result of that work; the world’s first medically certified, 3D printed bionic hand that will be available for upper limb amputees over the age of eight. The technology is fully open source, and they even have a robotic hand available for researchers to purchase and use for R&D.

Hero Arm responds to the muscle movements of the wearer’s upper arm, articulating individual fingers to perform the desired action. It features removable and customizable covers, meaning that wearers can create covers with colors and styles that suit their personality.

This technology is launching this Spring in the UK, and is slated to arrive internationally later this year.

Why it’s hot

Technological advancements are often intended for the already-elite, so companies developing solutions for disadvantaged users is always refreshing and good. Hero Arm does a great job at destigmatizing prosthetics by turning them into super powers. They’ve even partnered with Disney to create Marvel, Star Wars, and Frozen themed covers, bringing bionics fully into the mainstream.

Warby Parker and Arby’s Team Up for April Fool’s

Eyewear purveyor Warby Parker is teaming up with the meat lovers at Arby’s for an April Fool’s launch–WArby’s

“Arby’s has an eye for meat. Warby Parker has meat for eyes. The result? A new partnership sandwiched somewhere between vision and at least eight different kinds of meat,” the companies say in a joint statement.

Beginning Friday, WArby’s will be piloting several locations in New York City—at Warby Parker’s 121 Greene Street store, and at the Arby’s at 32 E. 23rd Street. Those locations will offer the WArby’s Onion Ring Monocle, which is described as “a crispy yet corrective product that’s positioned at the intersection of food and fashion, encompassing the ideals of WArby’s in a single offering.”

There is also a set of limited-edition WArby’s-branded apparel (of course there is), featuring shirts, hats, sandwich-inspired lens cloths, tote bags and even a pair of “beef-hued glasses.” As part of the project, Warby Parker will make a donation to VisionSpring, whose mission is to ensure affordable eyeglasses are available to every individual to live a productive life. Arby’s will donate to No Kid Hungry, a national campaign aimed at ending child hunger.

Have you heard of ГДÇЭБФФЖ ?

The latest season of the series “Silicon Valley” aired this Sunday, March 23rd.
As a parody of the actual Silicon Valley, and the startup world, they are always making fun of everything related to the startup world.

The latest one was on this Sunday when they aired the first episode of the 5th season.
Taking advantage of the recent scandal involving Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, they added an easter egg to the series opening credits.

it’s very subtle. The Facebook logo is quickly replaced by  ГДÇЭБФФЖ, a name composed by letters from the Russian alphabet. The fun thing about it is that  ГДÇЭБФФЖ doesn’t mean Facebook in Russian. They just wrote it that way because of it kind of looks like Facebook and make it even easier for people to get the joke.

Why it’s hot:
Considering the tonality of the show and how they are constantly making fun of the silicon world, this joke was too good and too big for them to miss.

Concertgoers’ brain waves sync up at shows

When humans listen to music together, their brain waves sync up and they report greater satisfaction with the experience, according to new findings discussed this week at the Cognitive Neuroscience Society.

This isn’t surprising, since music and gathering are core components of many cultures throughout history. The links between music, ritual, dance, and social connection have been around since long before any scientists have measured it. But, science is fun so here’s how they researched it!

Study participants were split into three groups. One group watched a live concert with a large audience, one group watched a recording of the concert with a large audience, and one group watched the recording with only a few other people. The results were clear – the delta brain waves of the people watching the live show in the large group were far more synchronized than the other two groups. Delta brain waves are in the frequency that is matched with the beat of the music, suggesting that the beat is what drove that synchronicity. Further, the more synchronized an individual audience member, the more they reported feelings of connection and enjoyment.

Why It’s Hot:
1. Scientists are taking a closer look at rhythm and beat interventions in movement disorders (like Parkinson’s disease) and language disorders (like dyslexia), but in order to do that, we need a deeper understanding of the neural bases of rhythm and beat perception. This study is a fascinating addition to that knowledge base.
2. Real live shared experiences are still important to us on a neurological level – we can’t replicate everything behind screens, we still need to gather together as humans and connect.

Learn More: Science News

Proposed Accessibility Emojis

Apple recently requested 13 new inclusive emojis to be added to Unicode, the organization that reviews requests for new emojis. Some of these emojis include wheelchair users, visually impaired people using support canes, a guide dog with harness, a deaf sign, an ear with hearing aid, a prosthetic arm, a prosthetic leg, etc.

Here is the link to Apple’s Proposal to Unicode and a quote from it:

“For this proposal, we have selected a set of emoji that are most inclusive to a large number of people in four main categories: Blind and Low Vision, Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Physical Motor, and Hidden Disabilities. Developed in collaboration with internationally respected community organizations such as American Council of the Blind, the Cerebral Palsy Foundation and the National Association of the Deaf, we believe this proposal is a significant step forward in representing more diverse individuals, and we hope it will spark a global dialogue around better representation for people with disabilities.”

Why It’s Hot:This is part of a larger ongoing movement to make users to feel represented by the emojis that are available to them.

As part of Apple’s proposal they make a good case supported by data, specifically search data for certain inclusive phrases and images.


I’m so ready for the next extreme weather event

These days, innovation means taking a traditional product and making it “smart” by connecting it to the internet or collecting tons of data on the user. Sometimes you just want a better version of the product that doesn’t fall apart after 2 uses.

A New Zealand company called Blunt makes an apparently indestructible umbrella that even Mary Poppins would be impressed with. The umbrellas “can withstand winds of up to 72 mph” according to the manufacturer, though reviews on Amazon are mixed (4 out of 5 stars, but some complaints about the cheapness of the plastic parts). It retails for around $60; you’ll pay $80 if you want it in green camo.

Why It’s Hot

Sometimes improving an old design is better than re-imagining it.

A tale of two feeds

Pinterest is the latest social media site to shift its news feed algorithm from predominantly prioritizing brands/publisher content, to the activity of our friends (in Pinterest’s case, our Followers). This update comes a few months after Facebook introduced a similar approach that splits the news feed apart from brand/publisher content, and keeps friends’ posts more chronological for the most part. For Pinterest this means less algorithmically curated content in your main feed, unless that’s what you’re looking for– in which case you click over to the “Explore” section.


It’s clear that the push towards algorithmically recommending “relevant” content is so 3 years ago. Social platforms are thinking about ways to make their content more “meaningful” (in the words of Zuckerberg) and transparent. Seeing Pinterest, Snapchat, and Facebook choosing bifurcation of feeds does threaten the engagement of advertisers/publishers, but may ultimately lead to more valuable experiences for users (think: less mindless scrolling, more stuff you actually want to see). As a Pinterest user, I find the user experience simple and personally, I enjoy this divide– we’ll see if the rest of their users agree.


Shop for Leggings… While Hiking?

During SXSW, Outdoor Voices rolled out a new AR app, which encouraged festival-goers to break away from the craziness of the convention center and explore the hiking trails around Austin… and, use their app. The app is directed users to a park where they could then scan the ground and be rewarded with location-specific deals on apparel; the items were viewable in AR and users could see them in nature, explore them in detail, and even order using Apple Pay.

Why it’s hot: While some brands have started experimenting with AR games and scavenger hunts, Outdoor Voices takes an in interesting attempt to combine with commerce. Why it kind of defeats the purpose of ‘getting outdoors’ and ‘unplugging’, what better way to buy outdoor hiking clothes – while you’re doing that exact thing?

Source: PSFK

#DeleteFacebook. But can you?

The growth of a movement to “delete Facebook” is leaving consumers in a pickle. As Vox reports, “the emphasis has largely been on users making up their minds about how to deal with the company on an individual level.However, this emphasis fails to take into account both Facebook’s position in modern society and the stakes involved for anyone who chooses to leave a network that has spent more than a decade trying to make leaving it impossible.”

In short, “delete Facebook” is just not that easy.

Again from Vox:

1) Facebook is technologically embedded within a vast web of interconnected third-party apps and social media platforms

2) For many people, using Facebook regularly is a required part of their job or education

3) Facebook is, for better and worse, a tangible tie holding many people to their communities



Why it’s hot: While the media and some in the ad industry may be quick to oversimplify and describe the current scandal as a death knell for the platform, there’s more at stake and more to consider than what’s on the surface. This could be particularly vital to keep in mind for healthcare communications, noting the above tweet referencing disease-specific diaspora.

Lets talk about Cambridge Analytica

Last week the U.K.’s Channel 4 News exposed data mining company Cambridge Analytica in a series of hidden camera videos. The videos show Cambridge Analytica employees admitting to stealing Facebook data as well as offering to send prostitutes to the opposition to obtain blackmail material.

Cambridge Analytica obtained the Facebook data by getting it from an academic claiming to be producing a study. 250k users were paid to take a personality quiz and allow access to their data, however the company scraped data from all of their friends, leaving 50M exposed to the breach.
This firm is funded by Trump ally, hedge fund billionaire, Robert Mercer, and was the brain child of Steve Bannon. That the Trump Campaign was possibly using illegally obtained data is now a big topic of discussion.
Turns out Facebook new about this breach since 2015. Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg were notably quiet in the first few days of this news cycle and Facebook’s stock lost $59 billion in value in the first few days. Zuckerberg came forward with an apology. 

I want to share an update on the Cambridge Analytica situation — including the steps we've already taken and our next…

Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday, March 21, 2018


Why it’s hot?
We continue to talk about how our unregulated internet is booth a boon and a detriment to humanity. Facebook seems in this case to be asking itself to be regulated (literally “I’m not sure we shouldn’t be regulated”). We should be thinking about how we should put some limits on what can be done by these social behemoths.

AI Births The First White Collar Criminal

The Brazilian edition of business magazine Forbes has created a provocative strategy to spotlight the issue of corruption, which is flourishing while the nation continues to struggle economically.

Working with Ogilvy Brazil, Forbes has personified the issue by creating a fictional character to represent the estimated $61bn that corruption costs the nation annually. The result is Ric Brasil, an AI-generated avatar whose aggregated ‘earnings’ from white collar crime would place him at number 8 in the upcoming Forbes 2018 billionaire list.

The features and persona of Ric Brasil have been developed by technology companies Nexo and Notan drawing on existing data and images held on convicted corporate criminals. Over the last eight months this material has been analysed along with information sourced from media reports, witness statements, interviews and books covering two of Brazil’s most infamous corruption cases.

According to the magazine’s CEO, Antonio Camarotti, ‘Forbes wants to take a stand against corruption. We thought of this campaign as a way not only to raise public awareness to the extent of the issue, but also to value honest business people—those who comply with their duties, pay taxes, and shun taxpayer’s money as a way to make a fortune. Someone who won’t let himself be lured into corruption practices.’

Members of the press will be able to interview Ric Brasil in the run up to the launch of the billionaires list on April 16.

Source: Contagious

Why It’s Hot:

Part of the problem with corporate crime is that while it has a cost, it’s often hard to find a way to channel public anger against what can feel like a victimless crime. By literally putting a face on an intangible, distributed crime – vividly ‘bringing the problem to life’ – Forbes has a better chance of getting people to connect with the issue.

“And the Grammy goes to… Lo-Fi Hip Hop Anime Chill Beats To Study and Relax To”

“Lo-fi Chill Beats Study Mix refers to a series of playlists featuring ambient trip-hop and hip-hop beats, often created for the purpose of studying or relaxing. They often feature noted producers such as Nujabes and J Dilla.”

You can find these mixes on Soundcloud, Spotify, and most popularly, YouTube, where they’ve become associated with anime and video game visuals, prompting a stream of memes and parody versions.

One of the most popular instances of this trend is ChilledCow’s live stream (above), which features different artists’ music. Users tune in and out as they like, and the comment stream is always full of appreciative fans from around the world.

Why it’s hot

Often times our goal with experiences is to engage and immerse the user, but this trend speaks to the other role of online experiences, which is to interact more passively with the user and even calm or relax them. Chillwave, ASMR, slow TV, and other trends speak to our need to slow down, chill out, and maybe relax or study.

Goodbye Casual Encounters and Hello SESTA/FOSTA

Both houses of Congress have passed Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA, H.R. 1865) and in response, Craigslist has removed the Casual Encounters section of their website.


Before we talk about SESTA/FOSTA, we need to talk about Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996. The Communications Decency Act of 1996 was, according to Wikipedia, “the first notable attempt by the United States Congress to regulate pornographic material on the Internet.” I’ve left the hyperlinks in, just in case you need Internet defined.

The Communications Decency Act make it a crime for anyone who “knowingly (A) uses an interactive computer service to send to a specific person or persons under 18 years of age, or (B) uses any interactive computer service to display in a manner available to a person under 18 years of age, any comment, request, suggestion, proposal, image, or other communication that, in context, depicts or describes, in terms patently offensive as measured by contemporary community standards, sexual or excretory activities or organs.”

This was eventually struck down by the Supreme Court on 1st amendment grounds.

However, there was a section of the bill that survived and has been significant: Section 230. Section 230 says “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider”. Basically, this allowed sites to avoid liability for publishing content created by others. As the EFF points out, this directly led to Yelp, Amazon, Facebook, Vimeo, YouTube and a huge host of other websites. 

So, now we’re at today and SESTA/FOSTA. What will SESTA/FOSTA do?

It’s hard to put it more succinctly than the EFF did:

SESTA/FOSTA upends that balance, opening platforms to new criminal and civil liability at the state and federal levels for their users’ sex trafficking activities. The platform liability created by new Section 230 carve outs applies retroactively—meaning the increased liability applies to trafficking that took place before the law passed. The Department of Justice has raised concerns [.pdf] about this violating the Constitution’s Ex Post Facto Clause, at least for the criminal provisions.


The bill also expands existing federal criminal law to target online platforms where sex trafficking content appears. The bill is worded so broadly that it could even be used against platform owners that don’t know that their sites are being used for trafficking.


Finally, SESTA/FOSTA expands federal prostitution law to cover those who use the Internet to “promote or facilitate prostitution.”

Why it’s hot

Getting back to Craigslist, we can immediately see what kind of effect this may have on the Internet: forcing platforms to shut down rather than host speech that potentially infringes SESTA/FOSTA. Given that a huge amount of the Internet is conversation platforms, this could significantly effect our lives online.

PS and totally unrelated: this is a good Twitter thread that takes aim at many of tech’s favorite buzzwords and concepts:

Influencers on LinkedIn are out for clicks…by being mean

While arguments are often common on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn has not been one of the battle fields in the past. But lately, they’ve also joined the club.

This could be an adjustment that LinkedIn influencers are making to address the platform’s resign last year, which cuts off a post after the first 2-3 lines with a “see more” link.

To entice clicks, posts are becoming more aggressive and controversial to challenge the audiences. Because stating the obvious no longer get you clicks.

Why it’s hot: one truth about human is that we’ll want to see how people back an outlandish statement up.


“Repicturing Homeless” from Getty Images

Getty Images created a project to help demystify the negative perception that many people have towards homeless people.

The name of the project is “Repicturing Homeless” and it was made in partnership with  FiftyFifty, a magazine that is sold by homeless people in…

The idea is simple. They made photoshoots with homeless people, putting them in the most searched scenarios like a business person or creative executive. The money they make with this pictures is going straight to the fifty-fifty magazine that supports the local homeless.

To drive attention to the project the pictures are in their gallery, mixed with their portfolio, but they a label that explains the project. They aim to make people look to people who live on streets differently, not with pity, but with humanity.

Why it’s hot:
Using your business to do good is always hot.

Source: Ads of the world 

Swab & Swipe

A Houston Texas-based dating startup called Pheramor says you can find the perfect match through your DNA (for $19.99 plus a $10/month subscription). The app, which is described as a hybrid between Tinder and 23andMe, is based around the concept that human attraction can be decoded through pheromones, similar to animals. In addition to the 11 “attraction genes” Pheramor uses to suss out biological compatibility, the company also encourages users to connect its app with all their social media profiles, to be data-mined for personality traits and mutual interests.

Pheramor will ship you a kit to swab your cheeks, which you then send back for sequencing. The company will combine that information with personality traits and interests gleaned from your profile to populate your app with a carousel of genetically and socially optimized potential mates in your area. To discourage mindless swiping, each match shows up as a blurred photo with a score of your compatibility, between 0 and 100.

The question is: do human pheromones actually exist? Dr. Richard Doty, the director of the Smell and Taste Center at the University of Pennsylvania medical center, “The reality is that there’s no scientific evidence for something called a pheromone.”

In a few months the company will roll out a new feature called Second Date, which will track users locations and know if they meet up with one of their matches. The app will then push out a survey to see how the date went. If both parties answer positively, it will suggest that you go out again. The feature will also let Pheramor know if you liked that sort of person, so it can serve you more profiles of similar folks.

Why It’s Hot:

  • Although the DNA feature comes across as the most intriguing quality of the app, the stand out is really the technology will autopopulate your profile based on all your likes, posts and hashtags on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. It will even help you choose the most statistically successful kinds of selfies.
  • The privacy policy may be a concern for some, but the actual usage of the Second Date feature is extremely useful and allows the app to continue to improve. Additionally, they are selling data to a large cancer registry. Those same immune genes purportedly responsible for attraction also determine whether or not someone can be a blood stem cell donor for people suffering from disorders like leukemia, lymphoma, and sickle cell disease. Users can consent to be a part of the registry and fight cancer while finding love!


gesture control comes to amazon drones…

Amazon has been testing drones for 30 minute or less deliveries for a couple of years now. We’ve seen their patents for other drone-related ideas, but the latest is one describing drones that would respond to both gestures and commands. In effect, they’re trying to make the drones more than sentient technological vessels, and more human-friendly, so if the drone is headed toward the wrong spot you could wave your hands to indicate its error, or tell it where to set your item down for final delivery. As described in the source article:

Depending on a person’s gestures — a welcoming thumbs-up, shouting or frantic arm waving — the drone can adjust its behavior, according to the patent. As described in the patent, the machine could release the package it’s carrying, change its flight path to avoid crashing, ask humans a question or abort the delivery.

Among several illustrations in the design, a person is shown outside a home, flapping his arms in what Amazon describes as an “unwelcoming manner,” to showcase an example of someone shooing away a drone flying overhead. A voice bubble comes out of the man’s mouth, depicting possible voice commands to the incoming machine.

“The human recipient and/or the other humans can communicate with the vehicle using human gestures to aid the vehicle along its path to the delivery location,” Amazon’s patent states.”

Why it’s hot:

This adds a new layer to the basic idea of small aerial robots dropping items you order out of the air. The more they can humanize the robots, the more they mimic actually deliverymen. And given the feedback we have seen on social about Amazon’s own human delivery service, this could be a major improvement.



Using bee venom in therapies aren’t a new thing, it goes back to the ancient Greeks, Egyptians, and Chinese. This therapy, however, has been creating more buzz as of late as a patient who was a frequent visitor, had a severe allergic reaction to the treatment resulting in death. Apitherapy, the use of acupuncture and bee stings, actually doesn’t have sustainable scientific proof to its benefits but is still quite popular in Asia, Eastern Europe, and South America. It’s commonly used to treat some types of cancer, immune-related diseases, rheumatism, arthritis and other conditions that affect the musculoskeletal system.

Why it’s hot:
Fascinatingly, the patient had been participating in this therapy for the past two years, having gone every four weeks. Unfortunately, it seemed as though over the course of treatments, she accumulated a sensitivity to the honeybee venom and her body retaliated. To make the sting even worse, the clinic could’ve potentially saved her from anaphylaxis if they administered epinephrine that would ease the symptoms, but they didn’t have any at all. After emergency services arrived, it was too late.

I don’t know wasp they were thinking not having precautionary measures on hand.

Source: Live Science

Face of white collar crime

The Brazilian edition of business magazine Forbes has created a provocative strategy to spotlight the issue of corruption, which is flourishing while the nation continues to struggle economically. Forbes has personified the issue by creating a fictional character to represent the estimated $61bn that corruption costs the nation annually. The result is Ric Brasil, an AI-generated avatar whose aggregated ‘earnings’ from white collar crime would place him at number 8 in the upcoming Forbes 2018 billionaire list.

The features and persona of Ric Brasil have been developed by drawing on existing data and images held on convicted corporate criminals. Over the last eight months this material has been analyzed along with information sourced from media reports, witness statements, interviews and books covering two of Brazil’s most infamous corruption cases.

Members of the press will be able to interview Ric Brasil in the run up to the launch of the billionaires list on April 16.

Why its hot?
Making the intangible tangible. Part of the problem with corporate crime is that while it has a cost, it’s often hard to find a way to channel public anger against what can feel like a victimless crime. By literally putting a face on an intangible, distributed crime – vividly ‘bringing the problem to life’ – there is a better chance that people will connect with the issue.

A Drone That Understands You

Amazon is filing for new patents. Not for a therapy drone, but a delivery drone that responds when you call or wave at it. The concept drone is designed to recognize human gestures, and then respond accordingly. Gestures the drone would recognize include, for example, waving arms, pointing, the flashing of lights, and speech.


“The human recipient and/or the other humans can communicate with the vehicle using human gestures to aid the vehicle along its path to the delivery location,” the patent states. The patent gives an example of a “shooing” motion, which the drone would recognize and stop moving closer. The drone would also then adjust its speed and the direction it’s moving in. If a person waves their arms in a welcoming manner, the drone can interpret the gesture as an instruction to deliver the package.

There’s no word on when or even whether the gesture-recognition system might debut. Amazon declined to comment.

Why it’s hot:

  • It’s the evolution of drone delivery. Human-machine interaction is changing as devices need to cater to individual needs.

AI is helping hospitals in China cope with a doctor shortage

AI is quickly becoming a promising technology for healthcare around the world, but China is gearing up to become THE global leader in AI in healthcare in the coming decades.

Why China, and why now? Three reasons:

  1. China has a low doctor-to-patient ratio – 1.5 doctors for every 1,000 people in China, compared with 2.5 for every thousand in the US, so the need is pronounced
  2. The Chinese government announced last summer that they are pursuing global dominance in AI by 2030 through heavy investments in the industry
  3. The restrictions on AI tools and data in healthcare are fairly relaxed, allowing for quick approval and implementation

This market is also being targeted by China’s big tech companies. Both Alibaba and Tencent have research units for developing AI diagnostic tools, and a Beijing-based consultancy reported 131 companies currently working on applying AI to China’s healthcare industry. Per IDC, the AI healthcare market in China will reach nearly a billion dollars (USD) by 2022.

Though there are many different types of AI tools being developed, image processing is the biggest category now. The tools, which rely on image classification, play to the strength of the latest deep-learning algorithms. And, it’s one of the things doctors need the most help with from a volume POV. For example, next month, a hospital in Beijing that treats a jaw-dropping 10,000 outpatients every day will start running all its lung scans through an algorithm that expedites the screening process. The algorithm, developed by a Beijing-based startup called PereDoc, can quickly spot nodules and other early signs of lung diseases. It allows doctors who are overwhelmed by patient volume process these scans in an accurate and expedited way.

Why It’s Hot: The general consensus around AI, in the US at least, is that it’s COMING FOR OUR JOBS! But this is a wonderful example of how emerging technologies can actually fill urgent gaps in critical industries, allowing for faster and more effective treatment and a better patient experience.

Learn More: Engadget | Technology Review

Ikea AR Manual

In the wake of Ikea’s Place App (where you can see what a piece of furniture would look like in your space) a designer named Adam Pickard designed another application of how Ikea can use AR in tandem with their products. This app would allow users to see the instruction manual step by step in place.

Why It’s Hot: This is a proactive investigation about other ways in which Ikea can use AR to alleviate pain points. The majority of this app is just a digitalized step by step instruction manual, however the moments where it animates how to screw parts in could be extremely helpful. This concept would be even more helpful if it could identify the real pieces in your space and highlight which pieces you need, what screws, etc.


Every bite you take – I’ll be watching you!

Researchers at Tufts University have engineered a tooth-mounted sensor that tracks your every bite (and what it contains).

Tooth Sensor

The device is two square millimeters in size and sticks to the surface of a tooth. The sensor is ingeniously simple — when its central layer changes encounters different chemicals (salt, ethanol), its electrical properties shift, transmitting a different spectrum of radio waves. Currently, the patch is set up to wirelessly transmit information about glucose, salt, and alcohol to a mobile device; its creators think it could be adapted to monitor even more metrics, including “a wide range of nutrients, chemicals and physiological states,” according to a press release.

But a tracker like this one could also have some negative side effects. Indeed, one 2017 study found that fitness tracking devices in general were associated with eating disorder symptoms among college students (though, strangely, the same didn’t hold true for calorie counting apps).

Source: Futurism

Why It’s Hot
For better and/or worse, wearable tech gets one step closer.

PUBG Hits #1 on iOS and is Full of Bots

For anyone that doesn’t know, PUBG (PlayerUnknown’s BattleGrounds), is a Steam game in which 100 players get dropped onto a map that slowly gets smaller and smaller as they kill each other until there’s only one of them left. It’s more of a thriller game than an action/shooter. There are 99 other players out there, and any one of them may have you in their crosshair. Players are extremely vulnerable the whole time so most hide until the map edge starts approaching them and they’re forced to get closer to other players. 20 minutes could go by with not much happening but the player is always on the edge of their sit because of the tension in the air. At any moment they could lose. The game is huge in eSports right now (well fortnite is slowly taking over . Tournaments with large cash prizes keep an audience engaged for most of the game. There’s just a couple of issues that need to be worked out.

PUBG Mobile is the Most Downloaded iOS App in 48 Countries

Anyways, on March 19 the game launched in multiple regions globally on iOS and Android platforms. PUBG Mobile might be the top downloaded app in 48 countries! Amazing feat for a game that had almost no marketing put into it. So I started to look into what made it work so well on mobile that helped it climb to the top.

Turns out, the mobile version of the game is full of bots.

Many new users played their first game on a touch screen device instead of on a computer and ended up winning their first game. Desktop players know that winning your first game is almost impossible, winning any game is impressive, so what’s going on here? The mobile version of the game has a difficulty curve built into the design so it pairs new players against bots that are easier to beat than other players. Over time, the ratio of players to bots is widened until the user is always playing against other players.

Why It’s Hot:

  • PUBG design is great overall. The way they dealt with balancing the mobile version is innovative solves a big game design challenge.
    • It shows how the different audiences need different UX Design to keep them engaged in the game. The Steam audience would probably deem the game too easy if they were paired against bots while the mobile audience pushed the game to the top of the stores.
  • The game sky rocketing to number one on the charts may help ease concerns for other eSports games that were wary of releasing on mobile.
    • There is no revenue for PUBG Mobile just yet, but Fortnite, which also recently was released on mobile, has passed $2 million so far putting it near the top of the grossing charts.—but-will-be-one-day

MIT goes into the deep end with a fake fish

MIT researchers created a robotic fish in order to study sea life. It was modeled after a real fish in order to blend in with the sea life.

“We view SoFi as a first step toward developing almost an underwater observatory of sorts,” says Rus. “It has the potential to be a new type of tool for ocean exploration and to open up new avenues for uncovering the mysteries of marine life.”

Story on Popular Mechanics

Why It’s Hot

Hopefully the next gen SoFi’s will be able to go deeper into the ocean and explore things out of the reach of humans.

Bringing Stolen Art Pieces Back to Their Frames

Cuseum, a company focussed on implementing augmented reality to improve museum experiences, is working with the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. In March 1990, thieves broke into the museum and stole 13 pieces of art worth an estimated $500 million. Today, the works have still not been recovered.

This year, on the 28th anniversary of the heist, Cuseum decided to use augmented reality powered by Apple’s ARKit to digitally put the stolen paintings back into their frames. Visitors are now able to see the pieces exactly where they originally were in the museum.

The museum is also offering a $10 million reward for any information that aids in the return of the stolen works.

Why it’s hot: This is a simple way to combine digtial and traditional ways to experience a museum, and leveraging AR to (somewhat) bring these paintings “home”.

Source: PSFK