~Invisible Interaction~

What will Instagram be like without validation?

The chief of Instagram has decided to hide ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ in the apps next update. They’re saying that the reason for this is to ease up on the pressure you feel of how many likes you get on a post versus how many likes someone else may have on a post. They started with testing it on Twitter first by hiding the likes on tweets and the retweets on tweets. By doing that experiment, they found that people engage less when they couldn’t see the numbers on the posts.

Link: https://techxplore.com/news/2019-11-instagram.html

This article is very short, but I chose it because it reminded me of some aspects in psychology that I thought were really cool. Online and on social media, people tend to jump on board with the hottest or most popular thing and that’s for a lot of aspects of our lives. The fact that people engaged less because they couldn’t see the numbers says a lot about the mind and cognitive processes. This reminded me of the “Bandwagon Effect”. The Bandwagon Effect is a psychological phenomenon where people do something only because others are doing it. With the likes and retweets and numbers up, people can see just how popular a post is and have a higher chance of liking or re-posting due to the high numbers. Maybe people tend to ignore posts that have lower numbers, too. If the numbers are gone, everybody engaging on social media can like whatever they like with their own unbiased and unwavering opinions.

Um…Who is Emma?

Emma is a realistic looking doll that is supposed to represent what office workers may end up looking like in 2040. She was created with the idea and logic behind an office environment. People who work in an office typically sit down for a majority of the day and work at a computer and the people who created Emma took that into consideration. The doll has red eyes from staring at a computer screen, a hunchback from sitting down for long periods of time, and varicose veins from lack of proper blood flow. The article is saying that overall that overtime, working at an office for so long could really have detrimental effects on the human body.

Quote from the article:

” If left unchecked, by 2040, workers’ will be left with permanently bent backs caused by sitting hunched over a desk with poor posture for prolonged periods of time. Workers will also have varicose veins from poor blood flow caused by sedentary working, red and dry eyes from long hours staring at a computer screen, swollen wrists from repetitive movement, hairy ears and nose from poor air quality and red, irritated skin from laptop heat and stress related eczema.”

This is Emma! (Who apparently looks like Nicolas Cage)

Link to Article: https://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/design/a29656801/future-office-worker-nicolas-cage-doll/

My opinion for this is that I’m glad someone decided to take a step back and look at an issue that isn’t a big issue yet. By doing this, it could be prevented for many people. At the end of the article they even recommended getting a standing desk, taking an occasional walk, or even just getting up to stretch every so often. This ironically reminds me of an episode of “The Office” when Dwight decided to raise his desk and do his work while standing and I never really looked into it because I just think of him as a funny and weird character, but I see now that he knows what he’s talking about!

3-D Metal Printing

The beginning of the article explains how 3-D printing has been around for decades and then proceeds to tell us how it has been an expensive and very slow process. What’s been updated about the metal printing is that it has become cheaper and a bit easier to manufacture the parts. The updated printers can make parts that are lighter in weight and stronger while at the same time making more complex shapes than a traditional metal printer. These updated printers can be used to make replacement car parts for maybe a door for example. The article talked about how they kept the design small and the reason was because they have to heat it up to high temperatures to melt the metal. To melt plastic in a regular 3-D printer is 392 degrees farenheit, so I could only imagine melting the metal. It would be incredibly hot and potentially dangerous, but they’ve made a machine that’s big enough to make human sized prints in under an hour.

I think 3-D metal printing can be very useful for anybody. It’s really beneficial because of the fact that it can print sheets of metal for car parts, but it can do so much more than that. I’ve read that they can even print things such as prototypes, jewelry, or kitchenware which is probably something that would save a few dollars in the long run. It’s ironic that I found this article on metal printing because in my class, I had just seen a presentation on 3-D printing with plastic instead of metal. I got a little insight and background on how that printer worked, so I would assume that this process is slightly similar except with metal.

Physical Therapy and Paper Can Go Hand in Hand

Japanese Kirigami

In the article, they explain how there was a man who broke his collar bone and had to go to physical therapy throughout the healing process. The only issue here is that the therapist used a flat protractor to measure the movements of the collar bone, but a collar bone is curved. Since the protractor is straight and a collar bone isn’t, that makes it hard to track the movements accurately. The man who got injured, his name is Max Shtein, decided to design a “sensor patch that can contour to the shape of the body” with a Ph.D student named Erin Evke. In designing this bendable patch, they got inspiration from Japanese Kirigami which is the art of cutting paper to create three-dimensional shapes. The first design they made was a series of concentric circles with two strain gauges built into the sensors that are within the model. The flexibility of the model makes it so that physical therapists can make sure the patient is performing the exercises correctly.

“Since you can tune the cut design to match the curvatures of all different parts of your body, you can generate a lot of data that can be used to track your form—for instance while lifting—as well as the amount of strain applied on your joints,” she said. “The user could be alerted of improper form in real-time and therefore prevent injuries.”
~Erin Evke~

I actually think that this is very cool. I understood the whole idea and why they wanted something that bends and forms to the body. I’ve been to physical therapy before and a small additional element like this could really be beneficial to the patients healing process and the therapists extra knowledge on whether or not the treatments are working as well as they should be.

Article Link: https://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/design/a29489461/kirigami-sensor-patches/

*X-Ray Walls!*

Here’s a visual of what the neural network is about/ how it’s meant to work and this was the photo example that the article used.

Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology are starting to use and experiment with neural networks to see through walls. They use radio waves to program neural networks to recognize activity patterns that can’t be sen in visible light. In the process of getting the neural network to see these patterns, they record the same videos in visible lights and then again in radio waves, After doing so, they sync them together so it can pick up human activity while in visible light and have it correspond to the same activity for radio waves. The article says that the only catch is that it takes time for the system to tell the difference between a person from its surroundings. Being as though this is still sort of in the testing phase, it’s low resolution so this system can’t identify faces.

I feel like this is a strange new thing to be developing, but I guess it would be useful for if someone was lost in some obscure place or maybe in darkness. I think it’s cool to make it so that you could still see people, but it’s slightly an invasion of privacy. The article says something along the lines of “don’t be concerned about privacy”, but in reality some type of privacy is being invaded. Regardless of whether or not its low resolution or that it can’t identify faces, it can see human activity and movement through an object as solid as a wall and that’s not particularly okay.

Here is a link to the article: https://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/infrastructure/a29417815/neural-networks-see-through-walls/

Reducing Our Carbon Footprint!

This is Algae under a microscope. Cool, right?

There is a new company that’s surfacing called “Hypergiant Industries” and they’re working on a prototype called and Eos Bioreactor that uses artificial intelligence to capture carbon from the atmosphere with the use of algae. The article talks about how we heavily rely on trees because they’re very useful in the process of turning Carbon Dioxide into Oxygen. They also go in depth with how they had to learn about algae and how fast it grows. They use the A.I. to control the environment that the algae grows in and the researchers believe that it can control the algae’s intake of carbon dioxide while, at the same time, slowing down the quick process of the plants growth.

The hypergiant is also meant to be very useful for a lot of other things. When algae biomass, dried algae, is created it can be ” harvested and processed to create fuel, oils, nutrient-rich high-protein food sources, fertilizers, plastics, cosmetics, and more” and I find that so cool and interesting because I’m and environmentally friendly person and I try to be to the best of my ability. So, hearing about other things that could benefit our planet is always amazing news and if this prototype works out, it’ll be an wonderful thing.

Link~ https://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/infrastructure/a29329352/machine-uses-algae-eat-carbon-dioxide/

Virtual Reality Treatment?

In this article, they discuss how they’ve been trying to use virtual reality headsets to treat people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and phobias. After testing this VR option with over 400 patients, the results of it were that it wasn’t only a more effective tool, but the results of the VR therapy lasted longer in contrast to traditional therapy. The process behind VR therapy is that it’s meant to scare and confuse the person using it. The brain works extremely fast and can quickly find things in the virtual reality world that indicate its not real. People preferred the VR experience because they knew it was all in a controlled environment and that it could easily be stopped whenever it got to be too much for the patient. At the end of the article, they also mention that they can track the persons anxiety levels during the session to make sure the patients anxiety doesn’t get worse throughout the process.

I feel like this way of therapy is MUCH better than texting on the phones for therapy sessions. I think its great in a lot of ways from the controlled environment to tracking the anxiety levels. I know it may seem like it’ll be too much for someone with a disorder, but if the doctor inches it along for them rather than pile it all on at once it could really benefit the patient.

Texting Your Therapist?

In this very short article I read, it talked about using your phone to text your therapist rather than having to make a physical appearance. This method is mostly used to reach out to teens because that’s how millennials typically communicate nowadays. The article also says that in therapeutic sessions, what the therapist says always plays an important role and being able to recollect the conversation really helps the patient. So, in making therapy sessions happen over the phone, it makes it easier for the patients to look back on the text history to remember what had been said while speaking to the therapist. Overall, this is meant to help change patients behaviors even more effectively because the session will always be at hands reach.

I feel like this is an amazing idea, but at the same time it may be more effective to just go to the therapists office. I understand for some people it’s easier to express themselves over the phone rather than in person, but talking through a screen won’t give off that same warmth and comforting effect that a human could give. It’s more of a support/ lack of support feeling. It’s incredibly useful for looking back at it and remembering the advice that’s been given and its very handy and convenient compared to traveling to an office, but it has its advantages and disadvantages.

“New EEG Technology Makes For Better Brain Reading”

“Brain Waves”

The EEG (Electroencephalogram) is a device used in Psychology that records brain activity by using electrodes attached to the scalp. When neurons in the brain fire, the EEG receives the sort of electrical pulses and that transfers to a graph that records the brain waves. Though the EEG was first developed in the 1920s, throughout all these years (excluding basic tests and examinations) it was typically used to diagnose epilepsy. The machine was also very useful for diagnoses on sleep disorders like sleep apnea and narcolepsy because those disorders are also things that have specific brain patterns that the EEG can pick up. As technology is advancing, scientists have realized that the device is rather cheap and effective which led them to making it a portable at home device! The EEG can also now detect brain health issues within patients that have PTSD, Alzheimers, mild traumatic brain injury, mild cognitive impairment, and more.

I love this idea of an at home Electroencephalogram and I’m glad that this is something that’s in progress. This idea/ plan is a huge step in the psychology field. I don’t guarantee that this at home device will top a doctor’s visit, but if it’s for a quick check anywhere you are, it’s truly something that’ll be useful to a lot of people!

Link: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/talking-about-trauma/201409/new-eeg-technology-makes-better-brain-reading