This Swallowable Balloon Pill Is a Less Invasive Alternative to a Gastric Bypass

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Thanks to ‘Elipse’, a swallowable gastric balloon pill, people with obesity can now avoid painful gastric bypass surgeries to curb their appetite. The balloon can be swallowed in the form of a pill that inflates once it enters the stomach filling a portion of it and creating the sensation of fullness that helps you eat less. A few months later, it self-destructs and passes as waste.

Developed by Allurion Technologies, a Massachusetts-based company, Elipse is being touted as a “safe and effective weight loss tool” that “empowers overweight and obese individuals to reclaim their health.” Currently, gastric balloons are used by doctors across the globe to help treat severe obesity through a highly invasive procedure. The balloons are placed in the stomach endoscopically, left in there for several months, and then removed endoscopically as well.

But according to the company’s website, Elipse – the world’s first procedureless gastric balloon – does not require endoscopy and is designed to self-empty and pass through the gastrointestinal tract. The balloon is packaged into a capsule and attached to a thin, swallowable delivery catheter long enough to reach the patient’ stomach. Once the capsule enters the stomach, it disintegrates, releasing the Elipse.

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Company Creates Self-Drying Jacket Inspired by ‘Back to the Future’

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In a weird ‘art-inspires-life’ type scenario, the self-drying jacket that Marty McFly wore in 2015 in the movie Back to the Future II has actually become a reality this year. A prototype has already been created and a Kickstarter campaign is underway to raise funds for mass production. 

The jackets – named SDJ-01 – are classified as wearable tech, because of the internal air circulation system that expedites the drying process from the inside out. “The self-drying jacket is real,” the campaign page states. “They actually do dry. Under normal circumstances, you can expect the jacket to dry in about 1-2 minutes after being exposed to rain or a spilled drink. If you jump into a pond to escape some maniac on a hoverboard, that will probably take longer.”

“Think of how quickly your clothes dry when you turn a standard fan on them. Now imagine how quickly breathable, water resistant material dries when exposed to concentrated, high-pressure air. In lab tests, our jacket consistently experienced noticeable drying effects after just 30 seconds, with the average time of about a minute to achieve 90% drying effect.”

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Birdly – A Unique Virtual Simulator That Lets You Fly Like a Bird

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If you’ve always dreamed of soaring the skies like a bird, here’s your chance. You can’t fly for real, of course, but you can experience what it feels like thanks to a futuristic virtual simulator called Birdly.

According to the inventor, Swiss artist and software developer Max Rheiner, Birdly stimulates all the user’s senses to give the user a sense of flying, based on human dreams. “People who have dreams about flying, they can just fly without training and they have great feelings,” he said. “We tried to model this experience like those dreams.”

To use the machine, users are required to lie flat on their stomachs with their hands sprawled out. They also strap on special VR goggles that are programmed with real skylines and landscapes of American cities. Tilting the body up and down produces the effect of ascending or diving. The machine even blows wind with the appropriate force and recreates smells that relate to the landscape below. So users experience a salt-air aroma as they fly over the sea, and and industrial odors while gliding over cities.

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Russian Scientists Develop Quadcopter That Can Be Controlled By Thoughts

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Thanks to the hard work of a few Russian scientists, everyone might soon be able to use the power of telekinesis. They’ve created a special quadcopter that doesn’t need external controls as it can be operated with the power of thought. The user needs to put on a special helmet that can read human thoughts and translate them into machine-readable instructions, telling the copter how high and far to fly.

The project was financed by Russia’s Foundation for Advanced Research, an organisation that supports research programs in the interest of national defense. Neurobotics, a Zelenograd-based company, worked on the copter’s design for many years before developing a successful prototype. “Commands, or ‘conditions’ as we call them, are generated by the sensors on the head of an operator,” Neurobotics director Vladimir Konyshev explained. “The person thinks about certain actions at right moments which the system then recognises and identifies.”

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Japanese Company Launches World’s First Washable Mobile Phone

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It may look all shiny and new, but your smartphone is probably one of the filthiest things you own. The amount of bacteria and germs it carries is disgustingly huge, which is probably why a Japanese company is targeting germaphobes with the world’s first washable phone.

The Snapdragon 410 processor, 5-inch android phone, called Digno Rafre, is all set to be released in Japan by tech company Kyocera Telecom this week. It’s USP is that it’s waterproof and soap resistant, so it can be thoroughly washed under running water. There’s no risk of water entering the device because it’s entirely sealed to keep water and bubbles from getting in. It doesn’t even have a speaker, relying instead on a Smart Sonic receiver that transmits sound through vibrations on the phone’s screen. The built-in 13MP camera is also waterproof.

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These “Chameleon” Sneakers Can Change Appearance Thanks to Flexible E-Reader Screens

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If you’re a sneaker hoarder, these new shoes from New York designer David Coelho are just the thing you need. They can actually change patterns at the touch of a button, eliminating the need to buy multiple sneakers to suit every mood!

Aptly named ‘ShiftWear’, the sneakers are perfect for the fashion conscious who love coordinating their accessories and clothes. They’re also great for people who love a bit of flair, and for those who are indecisive about their outfits. According to Coelho, these are “the most adaptable shoes you’ll ever own, customized straight from your smartphone.”

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This Startup Wants to Bring People Back from the Dead Using Artificial Intelligence

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Longevity is a topic of great interest to scientists and businessmen alike, many of them being focused on finding ways to prolong human lifespan by a few dozen years. But Los Angeles-based company Humai wants to take the idea to the next level – they’re trying to use artificial intelligence (AI) to bring people back from the dead and keep them alive forever! Many experts, however, smell a rat.

The concept of resurrecting people using AI seems taken from a sci-fi movie, but ‘Humai’ founder Josh Bocanegra has assured the media that he is quite serious about the business of resurrection. He even believes that it could become a reality within the next three decades. And his company’s mission statement is as straightforward as it gets: “We want to bring you back to life after you die.”

According to the Humai website, AI and nanotechnology can be used to “store data of conversational styles, behavioural patterns, thought processes and information about how a person’s body functions from the inside-out.” This data can be coded into multiple sensor technologies built into an artificial body that is powered by the brain of a real, deceased human. And as the brain ‘matures’, the company will restore it using cloning nanotechnology so it can always be brought back to life. Technically, a person could live forever this way.

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Filipino Entrepreneur Creates Revolutionary Lamp That Runs on Saltwater

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Meet Aisa Mijeno, a Filipino architect and scientist who invented a revolutionary lamp that runs on a glass of saltwater instead of batteries. Her vision in creating the SALt (Sustainable Alternative Lighting) lamp was to “light up the rest of the Philippines sustainably,” by finding an environment-friendly alternative light source suitable for people in coastal areas. She came up with the idea after spending time with the locals of the Butbut tribe in the Kalinga Province of Philippines, who had no access to electricity.  

The lamp can apparently run for eight hours on just two tablespoons of salt and a glass of water. “It is made of tediously experimented and improved chemical compounds, catalysts, and metal alloys that when submerged in electrolytes will generate electricity,” Mijeno explained. The idea behind it is the chemical conversion of energy, but while it works on the scientific principle of the galvanic cell, it makes use of a harmless, non-toxic saline solution instead of hazardous electrolytes. 

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15-Year-Old Becomes Youngest Person to Create Functional Life-Size Humanoid Robot

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Inspired by the 2011 sci-fi film Real Steel starring Hugh Jackman, Greek teenager Dimitris Hatzis has become the youngest person in the world to build a 3D printed life-size functional robot. 

15-year-old Dimitris’s feat was a part of ‘InMoov’, an open source project run by French sculptor and designer Gael Langevin. The project provides a design that is “replicable on any home 3D printer with a 12x12x12cm area.” Using these instructions, Dimitris spent over 1,400 hours planning, experimenting, printing, and assembling the robot. Over the course of a year, he made 475 printed parts using about a kilometer of ABS plastic and painstakingly put them together to form the droid that he now calls ‘Troopy’.

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11-Year-Old Entrepreneur Sells Secure Account Passwords for $2 Each

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11-year-old Mira Modi is cashing in on her knowledge of strong, easy-to-memorize passwords. She started her own online business earlier this month, selling hand-generated cryptographic passwords for $2 each!

“I’m a sixth-grade student in New York City,” Mira writes on her website. “This is my first business (other than occasional lemonade stands!). But I’m very excited about it and will be very responsible.” She also explains how Diceware, a decades-old password generating system, works: “You roll a die 5 times and write down each number. Then you look up the resulting five-digit number in the Diceware dictionary, which contains a numbered list of short words.”

The result, apparently, is a combination of five to eight words in a non-sensical string that is so random that it’s extremely difficult to crack. While a five-word string is breakable with “a thousand or so PCs equipped with high-end graphics processors,” an eight-word string “should be completely secure through 2050.”

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Design Studio Creates Installation That Lets You Experience Nature Through the Eyes of Various Animals

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Here’s a chance for nature-lovers to experience the world from completely new and different perspectives. ‘In the Eyes of an Animal’ is an art installation in Grizedale Forest, UK, that lets people the woods through the eyes of its various animal inhabitants!

The futuristic project is the brainchild of a London-based design studio called Marshmallow Laser Feast (MLF). Commissioned by the AND Festival, it is a virtual reality experience combining nature and technology. Visitors are asked to wear large, moss-faced black headsets as they journey through a LIDAR-scanned woodland, while coming into contact with various creatures.

First, the forest is scanned using a Lidar scanner, a type of remote sensing technology. The points collected are then “decimated into real-time and combined with further data collected with CT scanning and photogrammetry techniques.” The rendered scenes harmoniously blend the elements collected through Lidar with CT scans of insects and animals, thereby interpreting their world. Audio effects are then added to complete and enhance the overall experience. Bass vibrations help recreate the sensations of a breathing, flying animal.

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This Environment-Friendly Bathing Suit Cleans Polluted Water as You Swim

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Thanks to this cool new two-piece bathing suit, cleaning up the world’s oceans might actually become the ‘in’ thing to do during the hot summer months!

The 3D-printed Sponge Suit bikini is made of flexible, carbon-based filler materials that function like a sponge, absorbing all sorts of pollutants from water. So you put it on, wade into the water, and end up cleaning the seas “one stroke at a time”. It’s supposed to be absolutely safe for the wearer. 

The sponge filler was invented by a group of engineers led by electrical engineering professor Mihri Ozkan. But instead of just dumping it into water, they wanted to find a fun way of getting people involved in the cleaning process and add an eco-friendly element to the leisure activity of swimming. So they enlisted the help of design firm Eray Carbajo to convert the material into a functional, wearable swimsuit that’s economically sustainable and environmentally friendly. 

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Innovative Razor Now Lets You Shave with a Laser

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Thanks to a couple of Swedish entrepreneurs, it might soon be possible to get a clean shave without the little nicks and cuts. They’ve done away with blades in their new invention ‘Skarp’, a futuristic razor that magically makes hair fall away when waved over skin!

Well, it’s not exactly magic. Skarp uses laser beams to assist in hair removal. The concept isn’t new, lasers have been used to eliminate body hair cosmetically and medically since 1989, when Morgan Gustavsson invented the IPL (Intense Pulse Light). He also wanted to bring lasers into everyday hair removal, but he couldn’t really do it before because the wavelengths could only cut through dark hair, not light or grey hair.

But now, Morgan and his partner Paul Binun claim to have discovered a part of hair molecules called chromophore shared by all humans irrespective of hair color. Chromophores can be cut easily with a particular wavelength of light. So they used the discovery to develop a commercial laser razor that can be used on any part of the body, by men and women.

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Straight Christian Pretends to Be Gay for a Year in Unique Social Experiment

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Although he grew up believing that homosexuality was a sin, in 2010 Timothy Kurek, of Nashville, Tennessee, spent the entire year pretending to be gay in an attempt to truly understand and empathize with what homosexual people go through.

Kurek’s social experiment is extraordinary, given the kind of upbringing he had as a conservative Christian deep in America’s Bible belt. “You learned to be very afraid of God,” he said. “The loving thing to do is to tell my friend who is gay, ‘Hey, listen, you are an abomination and you need to repent to go to heaven.’ I absolutely believed in that lock, stock, and barrel.”

In fact, Kurek was so devout as a teenager that his parents’ friends would routinely ask him to set their kids straight for misbehaving. “I would be on the phone until four in the morning, asking them to repent for their sins,” he said.

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The WalkCar, a Japanese Gadget Designed to Make Walking Obsolete

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Thanks to Japanese engineer Kuniako Saito’s new invention, walking could soon become a thing of the past. He’s created a portable transportation device called ‘WalkCar’, which he describes as the world’s first ‘car in a bag’.

The WalkCar is about the size of a laptop, and is somewhat similar to a skateboard in terms of functionality. According to Saito, the gadget is very easy to use – just stand on it and it starts, step off it and it stops. To change directions, users simply have to shift their weight towards the left or right. Uphill or downhill travel can be achieved by applying pressure forwards or backwards.

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