Companion: Walk Your Friend Home Through Their Phone

It’s late, it’s already dark and you’ve still got a little while to walk home from the bus stop. Your mind’s imaging everything from the safe walk home to a full night Halloween special. With a flick of your finger suddenly your best friend’s next to you, walking you home and keeping you company every step of the way to your bedroom door. That’s the concept behind the popular App coming out from University of Michigan students titled Companion.

The concept is to solve a problem as old as parents have had children when your alone and scared you want to know that someone’s watching out for you. Companion aims to solve that by allowing you to send web links to several contacts, all or any of whom, can then view the web page with a map detailing the user’s current location and their destination and path they wish to take. Now say you have a fall from your path, or even have your headphones yanked out because they got caught on someone’s bag as they passed by, the app will detect these and ask the user if they are okay. If the user’s okay they press the button within 15 seconds, however if they can’t press it because they’ve fallen and is injured or had their phone stolen the phone will turn into a personal alarm. The alarm mode sets off a loud noise that aims to alert nearby people that something has/is happening and has a link to instantly call the emergency services, enabling you to quickly report when your injured or something has happened.

Originally designed to work with American Universities the app creators are hoping to bring in universities and countries around the world to the personal safety app. Available for both iOS and Android for free, Companion could soon see you and your friends enjoying those late night walks with a little more peace of mind.

Thank you International Buisness Times for the information and image.

Exoskeleton And Electricity Help Man Walk Again

Exoskeletons have long been a thing of fiction, with movies like Aliens showing us large mechs that could move crates and giant aliens with ease, but in recent years people have seen the technology become realistic and helpful, such as homemade exo’s making lifting weights easy or even the army developing exo’s to improve shooting. Now with a little help from electricity they could soon be developing something close to a miracle, letting people walk again.

Mark Pollok was paralyzed from the waist down in 2010, with no control of his lower body he began testing out Ekso Bionics Exoskeleton. While an exoskeleton could give people back control of their body they have displayed even greater results by using a process known as “transcutaneous spinal cord stimulation”. This means that by attaching electrodes to Mark’s skin they were able to send jolts of electric to his spine.
All communication in the body is electric charges and by using this process they were able to see results. During the experiment, Mark was able to regain some control over his legs, to the point where he could raise and flex his knees.

Combining these two processes they were able to give Mark some ability to walk again, he was even able to sweat (something that he has been unable to do since the accident in 2010).

Technology can do many things, but sometimes it’s giving people the chance to do what we call simple that makes it amazing.

Thank you Washington Post for the information.

Image courtesy of the Guardian and Mark Pollok.

Taking Your Dog For A Walk… With a Drone?

Drones are becoming more and more popular nowadays, from Amazon’s announcement of delivery drones to all sorts of drone inventions seen on the internet. Their usefulness in most cases is questionable, but people find all sort of ways to make them useful in the most creative way, such as this one apparently.

If you have a dog and cannot take him for a walk due to your daily activities, you normally hire someone to take him for a walk for you. However, if you don’t find anyone to do it, it’s not the end of the world. At least not for a videographer from New York it seems.

[vimeo width=”800″ height=”600″]http://vimeo.com/95078536[/vimeo]

Jeff Meyers apparently used an AR drone to take his golden retriever for daily walks. From what is seen in the video, the canine friend is not bothered at all and actually enjoys being outside. The drone uses cameras to track the dog’s movement and also check to see if he is ok. So far, there have been no problems and everyone is happy with this method of dog walking.

Some problems may arise along with this innovating move, such as the question of how will the drone pick up the dog’s business when he finishes. But before thinking of those things, people still need to get used to the idea of seeing a drone walking a dog first of all.

Thank you Mashable for providing us with this information

Image and video courtesy of Mashable