Your Planet Sustainable?Your Tribe Harmonious?Your Life Vibrant?
Future Proof Ideas since 2005, by Erwin van Lun

Trend observations, analysis and future predictions since 2005

Day of the Androids at Hanson Robotics

Steven Rainwater got to spend some time at Hanson Robotics and his photos will give you an idea what a typical day working at Hanson Robotics is like. The day he was there, everyone was preparing androids and other robots for an upcoming TED conference. In the photo above Bill Hicks is integrating an eye assembly into the head of Hanson's newest android, known as Bina. Lots more photos of crazy, creepy, android stuff on

Self control in our brain?

Researchers at the California Institute of Technology have pinpointed the two brain regions responsible for managing self control. In people with poor self-control, a single brain region, the ventral medial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) seems to decide based solely on the short term appeal of a choice, such as picking the tastier of two foods. In people with better self control the vmPFC interacts with another brain region, the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), which appears to add balance by incorporating long term considerations, such as the health consequences of the two foods.

Petman to move like a real person

Petman is the name of a new bipedal humanoid robot by Boston Dynamics. The Protection Ensemble Test MANnequin will be "the first anthropomorphic robot that moves dynamically like a real person.” PETMAN is designed to test the suits used by soldiers to protect themselves against chemical warfare agents. It has to be capable of moving just like a soldier -- walking, running, bending, reaching, army crawling -- to test the suit's durability in a full range of motion. To really simulate humans as accurately as possible, PETMAN will even be able to "sweat". Additionally, PETMAN must be the same size and weight as an average human man,

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TED introduces smart commenting system

TED, the knowledge platform famous for its public talks, launched a new commenting system. Here are the main enhancements:

  • it will be possible to reply to individual comments, thereby creating threaded conversations.
  • commenters who have uploaded pictures will have these displayed
  • it will be possible to vote on comments
  • people whose comments receive up-votes will earn "TEDCred" points.

Anyone who gets 100+ points will be awarded a special "TEDCred" label by their name.

Future vision by Erwin van Lun

Brands constantly find new ways to engage consumers. In the old days via PR, magazines and newspaper. Since the late nineties through the web. Since a few years it’s possible to react on postings. Now they’ve started to sophisticate
reaction mechanisms. And soon people awarded with a TEDCred label will be invited to give a talk themselves. That’s an algoritm that find talent, to explore opportunities with your audiences, within consumers, within members. It’s a typical examply of the brand coming out.

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Apple patents Fingerprint identification

Apple has filed a patent for biometric authentication (checking after identification) including installation of a hidden sensor behind the screen that would recognize the user's fingerprint when touched, and / or a front-facing camera for retinal recognition. The filing also suggests further possibilities, such as the device being capable of recognizing the user's voice, or collecting DNA samples for recognition via genetic code.

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Amusement Magazine uses RFID

The French magazine Amusement n°4 is equipped with an RFID tag connecting it to the web and access additional exclusive content online. How does it work? An RFID tag is fixed in the middle of page 2 of the magazine. As soon as the reader touches the magazine's tag to the RFID Mir:ror scanner (see video), which trigger certain actions or have certain digital applications appear.

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Breakthrough in computer speed

Researchers from Edinburgh and Manchester University have created a molecular machine that could be used to develop quantum computers for making "intricate calculations" far more quickly than current supercomputers. Essentially, the reseachers relied on molecular scale technology instead of silicon chips; more specifically, they achieved the so-called breakthrough by "combining tiny magnets with molecular machines that can shuttle between two locations without the use of external force." Not surprisingly, there's still more work to be done, with Professor David Leigh of Edinburgh University noting that "the major challenges we face now are to bring many of these qubits together to build a device that could perform calculations, and to discover how to communicate between them."

Vibrating jacket

Researchers from Philips Electronics plan to describe a jacket they have lined with vibration motors to study the effects of touch on a movie viewer's emotional response to what the characters are experiencing. The jacket contains 64 independently controlled actuators distributed across the arms and torso. The actuators are arrayed in 16 groups of four and linked along a serial bus; each group shares a microprocessor. The actuators draw so little current that the jacket could operate for an hour on its two AA batteries even if the system was continuously driving 20 of the motors simultaneously."

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Scale sends details to watch

Tanita's BC-1000 Body Composition Monitor is a sophisticated scale, collecting measurements on muscle mass, overall physique, daily caloric intake, metabolic age, bone mass and visceral fat. From there, the unit can either send those details wireless to your watch, or it can beam them to any PC. The device will be shipped for $279.99 with a USB stick or $399.99 with an FR60 watch.