This ‘artificial iris’ is like a pair of programmable shades in contact lens type

Wise speak to lenses have been the stuff of science fiction for a extended time, but as with jetpacks and faster-than-light travel, we’re nonetheless waiting on them. Research is ongoing, even though, and a project at the University of Ghent shows promise not just in advancing the technology but supplying some therapeutic worth as well.

Herbert De Smet’s group has been functioning for some time with EU grant funds on initial applications and executions of intelligent lenses, and some early results were presented at IEEE’s International Electron Devices Meeting this week. Their device embeds a tiny monochrome LCD in the lens that can be set to varying opacities and patterns.

Now, these patterns would be far too close to the eye for you to make them out, except probably as smudges or dark locations in your vision. They’re not intended to form photos, nonetheless, but rather to darken the entire field of view for men and women who cannot do it themselves.

Some people endure from situations that limit the capacity of their eye’s iris — that’s the colored circle — to contract and dilate the pupil and handle the amount of light admitted to attain the retina. If the pupil is stuck in the open state, vibrant scenarios — usually handled by minimizing the pupil to a pinhole — will overwhelm the iris and lead to pain or even severe harm.

A get in touch with lens that automatically changes its shade from completely transparent to as dark as a pair of sunglasses, as needed by the ambient light, would fill this function nicely. That’s specifically what De Smet’s group has designed head over to IEEE Spectrum for a video of the LCD in action.

The parts are in spot: the LCD-infused lens and the chip that controls it are solid, and the energy method, a set of tiny photovoltaic cells, captures enough energy — but the two have yet to be integrated. Once they are, the lenses will nonetheless, of course, need to have to be tested for security.

You can keep up with De Smet’s work at the Centre for Microsystems Technology’s webpage.


Harmony Space win top prize at MIT Hacking Arts for music learning app that feels like Pokémon GO

In Boston this weekend, computer software developers, hardware engineers, artists and entrepreneurs gathered for the Hacking Arts 2016 conference and hackathon at MIT.

Of twelve finalists, the following teams took leading honors.

  • Greatest All-Around Hack: Harmony Space
  • Greatest All-About Hack, 1st Runner-Up: Revive
  • Greatest All-About Hack, Second Runner-Up: möbel
  • Hackers’ Option: Inkfinity

A list of the winners, and descriptions of their projects offered by MIT follows at the end of this post.

Hackathons are typcially hosted by corporations or schools to promote certain technologies, drum up new product concepts, and identify prospective recruits. But the Hacking Arts occasion calls on participants to attempt one thing a bit a lot more grandiose.

Interdisciplinary teams are asked to “design and generate a prototype that enhances the arts, [or] improves access to the arts,” and could “change the world via technology and the arts,” according to the Hacking Arts 2016 site.

Hackathon organizer and Sloan MBA candidate Helen Smith mentioned this year, 250 individuals had been invited out of a pool of 700 applicants. In the end, 177 participated, 58% of them girls and 87% of them students, largely undergraduates. Most were from Boston and New York, but other folks flew in from universities around the country.

The projects they formed spanned from mobile apps and wearables to immersive entertainment experiences. A preponderance of hackers sought to use augmented reality, virtual reality and robotics to accomplish distinct goals, mentioned Smith. A typical theme this year was the thought of employing tech to inspire empathy, she noted.

The Artmatr painting robot was part of MIT Hacking Arts 2016 hackathon.

The Artmatr painting robot was component of MIT Hacking Arts 2016 hackathon.

Tech providers courting developers at the occasion and mentoring teams there included: Adobe, Autodesk, Shapeways, Jibo and Whoaboard. Participants flocked to demos and scrambled to find out how to use the Artmatr painting robot and JIBO personal companion robot in their projects, Smith stated.

Artsy CTO Daniel Doubrovkine, who participated on the judging panel for the Hacking Arts 2015 and 2016 Hackathons, said emphasis had shifted from virtual reality to augmented reality from 2015 to 2016 at the hackathon.

This years’ participants had been very music-focused, with about half of the finalist teams incorporating sound design into their projects in some way, he said. Surprisingly, in a year when the Echo became mainstream, no finalists utilized voice recognition or voice control in their projects.

The CTO said he was inspired by the prototypes built and demonstrated at the occasion, but would advise teams to be even far more experimental in their work at college and on these projects.

“People are always seeking for objective initial. But we find goal occasionally accidentally just by means of creating wild tips,” the CTO mentioned.

Hacking Arts is organized by MIT Sloan College of Management’s Entertainment, Media &amp Sports Club, in partnership with The MIT Center for Art, Science &amp Technology (CAST) and the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship.

The Hacking Arts 2016 Hackathon winners have been:


HARMONY SPACE: “This application is a musical pondering tool. It remaps our spatial sense to our auditory sense. We can now hear space and see harmony. Your position X (left,correct), Y (up, down) and Z (forward, back) become pitch-shifting controllers of 3 separate musical notes. This means that each location in space is a “possibly-harmonic” location. Like Pokemon floating in specific locations, this planet has orbs that show you the precise places of significant chords, minor chords and more, making use of the 3-D space tracking and augmented reality capabilities of Hololens.”

Designed by Max Harper, Matthew Seaton, and Evin Huggins

Very first RUNNER UP

REVIVE: “This system integrates virtual reality, tactile feedback, and music to teach Tai Chi. The technique provides visual cues by way of a virtual reality environment so that a user knows how to move, and gets feedback on no matter whether their move is right. The system serves to illustrate the abstract notion of ‘Chi,’ or flow of energy, via interaction-primarily based visual effects. It also provides tactile feedback to drive the user’s movements.”

Developed by Paul Reamey, Tim Gallati, Luna Yuan, Liabao Li, Qi Xiong, and Jingchen Gao


MÖBEL: “A ‘social furniture’ art project, möbel brings men and women together in public spaces. The furniture is intentionally annoying to construct and can not be built by a single particular person alone. When at least two individuals work on it, the furnishings lights up and activates. The möbel chair, as it is getting constructed and in use, requires two people to face every single other in a constrained space…forcing folks to literally break down barriers and develop something from them with each other.”

Produced by Kiran Wattamwar and Christina Sun


INKFINITY: “Using virtual reality, InkFinity takes users on a poetic journey inside of ink paintings.  Viewers enter the world depicted in artworks, explore the aesthetics in full detail, and expertise the cultural ethos in 3 dimensions.”

Designed by Sharon Yan, Yaqin Huang, Daisy Zhuo, and Lei Xia

Featured Image: MIT