A Glove To Help Parkinson’s Patients Has Been Developed

Technology can do some amazing things. From being able to help people overcome paralysis to even helping doctors prepare for surgery on babies. Technology can be used for some amazing purposes, Faii Ong realised this when he was decided to create a glove to help people with Parkinson’s.

Ong was a 24-year old medical student in London when he was assigned to care for a 103-year-old who suffered from Parkinson’s. When he asked if there was anything to help them with the shakes that often come from Parkinson’s he was told that “there’s nothing”. This was an answer he did not accept and Ong looked everywhere to find a way to help patients with everyday movement.

The answer he found was actually in one of his childhood toys, a mechanical gyroscope. He explained that they work “like spinning tops; they always try to stay upright by conserving angular momentum”. Working together with Imperial College London students he worked in creating a prototype, now titled GyroGlove. The wearable is said to be like placing your hand in thick syrup, resulting in movement that was slowed but not impaired.

With a gyroscope attached to the back of the glove, the noise and size of the device are the first hurdles for what could otherwise be an amazing piece of technology. “GyroGlove will make everyday tasks such as using a computer, writing, cooking and driving possible for sufferers”, stated Helen Matthews of the cure Parkinsons Trust.

Ong doesn’t want to stop there with just the glove. He hopes that after the GyroGlove they can begin to address tremors in other areas of the body, such as the legs. He also see’s a future for the device in areas where you may need steady hands, such as when taking pictures or even during surgery.

Drones Are Now Able to Learn Flight Paths and Fly on Their Own

Researcher José Martínez Carranza from the National Institute of Astrophysics, Optics and Electronics in Mexico developed a new way for drones to operate on their own and use much cheaper tech to navigate, like accelerometers, gyroscopes and camcorders.

This was made possible with an algorithm that drops GPS support in favour of visual feedback. The drones can view the terrain similar to how we see it on Google Maps and orient themselves using the above mentioned technology. If you’ve played games that have unmanned aerial vehicles which you can send by clicking on a map, then you know how this drone can operate in real-life too.

Of course there are more factors to take into account other than the 2D spatial positioning. This is where the accelerometers and gyroscopes come in, helping the drone to properly position itself into the right direction and readjust in case of harsh wind conditions or other external factors that might affect the drone’s orientation. However, the project is still at its early stages, so don’t expect the drones to do loops or move like jet fighters.

Martínez said that he wants to add support for wearable devices for people to control the drones and aid in a variety of situations where drones are most suitable, such as surveillance, exploration of properties and other areas.

Thank you Phys.org for providing us with this information

Sony SmartEyeglass Developer’s Kit Released

Sony announced its entry into augmented reality eyeglasses with its SmartEyeglass last autumn. Now that it is ready to sell in 10 countries it has released the developer’s edition.

The developer edition of the SmartEyeglass hardware has a 3MP camera, gyroscope, accelerometer, electronic compass, and a brightness sensor.   The augmented reality glasses allow you to see text and images while viewing the world around you.

SmartEyeglass works in conjunction with a connected Android smartphone. It can work with apps on the smartphone just as Android Wear devices do. The eyeglasses themselves are a rather bulky looking set, with large frames attached to an external controller by a wire; the external controller contains a battery, speaker, touch sensor, microphone, and NFC.

I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing these, so let’s hope the final version is a little more stylish.

Source: Fudzilla

Your Phone Could Be Spying on You Using Its Gyroscope

Lately, it seems that there is a lot of surveillance paranoia about and people are being a bit more careful what apps they are allowing to use the microphone on their device. This new trick could make your phones gyroscope act as a crude microphone and there is currently no way to stop it.

In a presentation at the Usenix security conference, researchers from Stanford University and Rafael, Isreal’s defence research group are planning to present a technique they have found to eavesdrop on people using gyroscopes that are already in smartphone devices. Gyroscopes are tiny sensors that enable the device to find out its orientation and allows motion-based games, auto-rotate and even camera stabilisation. Now researchers have found that they are sensitive enough to turn into crude microphones because they can pick up soundwaves. For android users, unlike the microphones that are built into the phones, there is no way to deny an app or website access to the sensor or data, meaning there is no way to turn it off.

Due to the crude nature of the microphone it’s certainly not very practical, only certain sounds and words are clear enough to understand. However, Boneh says that more work on speech recognition algorithms could refine the quality and make the audio far clearer. He also has said that this should serve as a warning to google to change how easily Android apps could exploit the sensors and that its actually quite dangerous the amount of access they have to them. Iphones do have gyroscopes in them, but they are limited to how sensitive they are, this means that they are not susceptible to this trick, but also means that google could just tweak the software and make sure that Android devices are private.

Thanks to Wired for supplying us with this information.

Image courtesy of Rob Rogers

New Virtual Reality Gear Surfaces in Europe

For the virtual reality fans out there Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus are the most well-known VR projects considered and eagerly awaited, but there are a couple of flaws to be considered when looking into this. First is the price, where Oculus Rift development kit would cost around $350, as much as a decent graphics card on the market. And the second, as any graphics card, it will end up being obsolete at a certain point, where another version of it needs to be bought in order to keep up with games and features.

However, an alternative just surfaced in Europe, and it looks quite promising too. The VR gadget’s name is Virzzmo and it has been the idea of Future Reality Games’ CEO, Dariusz Żołna. The gadget is currently used with handsets having a screen size of 4.7-inches or larger, and compared to Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus, it will not become obsolete. By changing the handset, it automatically change the gadget’s specs as well.

The principle of this gadget works by separating the handset’s display into two distinct sections, one for the left eye and one for the right. Along with the specially designed lenses, the gadget works out the stereoscopic 3D image which you can see while looking at the screen through it. In addition to the latter, Virzzmo presents a gyroscope inside which tracks head movement, making it the best multimedia gadget for your handset of all times.

In terms of pricing, the gadget is said to be really cheap, having been said to cost no more than €50. However, development kits are said to be released somewhere in June, therefore a customer release date is not known at this point. Also, the main question to be asked here is whether or not developers will take an interest in this project.

Thank you TweakTown for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of TweakTown