Google Pledges $20 Million To Support Disability Technologies

Technology is a great thing, it can be used to help people all over achieve and complete tasks that they previously considered difficult or even impossible. Science and technology have enabled those who couldn’t walk to walk again, those who would lose their eyesight to keep it and even those who might die to survive. In their latest support, Google.org has pledged $20 to support disability technologies.

Spread over 29 programs, each receiving $750,000, with six grant winners getting more than $1m each. The programs that the money will support can be contained within five categories, hearing, mobility, cognitive, vision and communication. The projects include My Human Kit, a provision to provide people low-cost 3D printed prosthetics and The Center for Discover which looks to turn everyday manual wheelchairs into powered chairs.

Perkins School for the Blind looks to enable the creation of GPS instructions to help those with visual impairments navigate around the world while the Dan Marino Foundation looks to provide a tool for people with autism to train for job interviews.

As part of their Impact Challenge, Google.org (Google’s philanthropic division) looks to help the millions of people who live with disabilities, and if technology can do anything to help people’s lives I’m all up for supporting it.

New Diet Scanner Gadget Could Be Fitted To Smartphones

The advancement of technology and gadgets have paved the way for some unique and interesting innovations; this is no different and could revolutionize the way we interact with the real world. The gadget in question is a tiny molecular scanner that could be fitted onto a regular smartphone with the potential capability to “pinpoint properties such as the sugar content in an individual piece of fruit, the percentage of fat in a particular cheese, or identify whether a drug is a counterfeit or an illegal substance”.

This new device has been developed by consumer Physics, an Israeli start-up company that aims to offer a route to easily accessible knowledge for every consumer. The SCIO scanner works by utilizing the “near-infrared spectrum to analyse light reflected from objects and decipher their unique molecular fingerprints”. That fingerprint is then used to deliver a range of information concerning the properties of a particular object to the user via the user’s smartphone.

Below is a video which provides a further expansion on the potential features of this device. This device has been helped along by a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2014 as well as many demonstrations at tech events around the world; this helped to garner huge interest among consumers and experts alike.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pEu-go5nlg

This device certainly has potential and hopefully it will live up to expectation if indeed the possibilities are “endless”.

Bitcoin Supporters Hope to See EU Provide Regulatory Guidance of Cryptocurrencies

European Union countries need to make adjustments to outline regulatory guidance on bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies, according to bitcoin supporters.

The European Commission recently noted that it plans to create virtual cryptocurrency rules as quickly as possible – there is a higher level of regulatory scrutiny of bitcoins, while governments are still unsure what to make of bitcoins.

Here is what Jeremy Allaire, head bitcoin consumer finance company Circle, recently said in an interview with Reuters:

“One of the challenges is that without clear guidance from the EU, from the UK, it will limit industry development.  Unless they have a clear view of where does this (bitcoin) fit, how do we know what the rules are?”

The United States, EU, and select Asian countries have struggled to try to deal with the rise of bitcoins, especially considering potential fraud problems.  If regulators become involved and create overly restrictive laws, however, it could curb bitcoin growth across the world, supporters worry.

Bitcoin value currently hovers around $630 (£367), though remains rather volatile as more consumers and businesses dabble with cryptocurrencies.  However, the European Banking Authority (EBA) could scare customers away by devising rules to clamp down on money laundering and criminal abuse.

Thank you to Reuters for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Huffington Post