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Swedish Funeral Agency Wants to Use Artificial Intelligence to Allow People to Chat with the Dead

A funeral agency in Sweden is currently seeking volunteers for a project that it hopes will offer people comfort by allowing them to speak to their deceased loved-ones.

First of all, if you’ve already read something about this on sites like Mail Online or Sputnik News, you should know that most of the information they present is truly ‘fake news’. No, Swedish scientists are not trying to create robots or androids that are “fully conscious copies of dead relatives”, in fact, I’m not even sure any Swedish scientists are involved at all. This is actually about a Swedish funeral agency called Fenix wanting to create bots (computer programs, not actual robots) powered by artificial intelligence that can offer comfort to living relatives of the deceased.

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‘Human Uber’ Lets Users Attend Events Using Another Person’s Body

If you’ve been looking for something to help you leave the house even less than you currently do, you’re probably going to love “Human Uber” a tech concept that allows people to be present anywhere using another person’s body.

Japanese researcher Jun Rekimoto presented his idea, called ChameleonMask, at MIT Tech Review’s EmTech in Singapore this week. Although he described it as “human uber,” his intriguing concept is more accurately described as mobile FaceTime, although even that is too much of a simplification considering that the technology aims to allow someone else to live your life for you.

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Electronics Company Develops Smart Device That Cancels Embarrassing Toilet Noises

Japan is known as the most polite nation on Earth, and that extreme politeness extends to all aspects of life, including bathroom etiquette. Many public toilets feature a wall-mounted device that, when pressed, creates a sound that masks that of urination. However, electronics company Roland has come up with an improved version that drowns out embarrassing bathroom noises completely.

Before the technology boom of the 1980s, toilet users would either flush the toilet or turn on a sink to mask the sounds they made when relieving themselves. However, as this was a needless waste of water, a more eco-friendly solution was sought, and thus the concept of the toilet sound generator was born. The most famous of the resulting devices, developed and manufactured by toilet brand Toto, is the Otohime (literal translation – “sound princess”). These devices resolved the water waste issue but only partially efficient in making people comfortable in the toilet, because the sound they generated didn’t do a perfect job of masking the embarassing noises. Luckily, a better solution is now available to them.

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Japanese Inn Teams Up with Car Maker Nissan to Create Self-Driving Slippers for Its Guests

Japan has long been known for both its strong traditions and being on the cutting edge of technology, and  this new inn combining the classic Japanese surroundings with high-tech, self-driving slippers and furniture is a perfect reflection of this.

Nissan Motor Co. developed a system in which slippers park themselves at the entrance of the traditional inn, called ‘ProPilot Park Ryokan,’ waiting for guests to use them upon arrival. When guests have finished using them, the slippers will drive themselves back to their original position. Each slipper features two tiny wheels, a motor, and sensors to drive it across the lobby’s wooden floor using a simplified form of Nissan’s ProPilot Park technology.

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Die With Me – A Smartphone Chat App That Can Only Be Used When You Have Less Than 5% Battery Left

From Whatsapp to WeChat or Skype,the world has plenty of choices when it comes to messaging apps that connect friends and strangers on the internet. The market is so crowded this days that for a new competitor to even get noticed, they’d have to come up with something completely new. Enter “Die With Me,” a fresh chat app that can only be used when your smartphone has 5% or less battery remaining.

Die With Me allows total strangers with low battery to log into an online chatroom and converse as they wait for their handhelds to shut off completely. Or, as the developers so poetically put it, to “die together in a chatroom on your way to offline peace.” Using Die With Me requires nothing more than choosing a username and allowing the app to read your battery status. The idea behind the strangely poignant app was to turn the frustrating experience of dealing with low phone battery into a positive one.

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This Gadgets Lets Parents Share Their Babies Bowel Movements Online with the Touch of a Button

From the country that gave us the delightful classic children’s book ‘Everyone Poops,’ comes a new app that will let everyone know when you’re toddler goes potty. The Unko Button, made by 144Lab, is a small box with two buttons that, when pressed, instantly share the news that you’re little one has made a poo with a designated chat group on Line, popular messaging app in Asia.

“Unko” is the Japanese equivalent of the English word “poo,” hence the name of the gadget. The developers claim that the device is ideal for busy parents who need an easy way to record their infant’s digestive system but don’t have time to stop and write down each bowel movement. In addition to notifying the chat group, the Unko Button also records a series of details such as the exact date and time of the expulsion or whether the child pooped or peed. It even has options to record notes regarding color, consistency, and the baby’s mood. The connected app is also able to estimate the cost of diapers based on how often the child defecates or urinates.

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World’s Smallest Mobile Phone Is Smaller Than a USB Drive, Lighter Than a Coin

In an age when phablets and big screen smartphones are more popular than ever, one manufacturer is swimming against the tide by trying to make its mobile phones as tiny as possible. Their latest achievement, a phone that’s smaller than the average human thumb and lighter than a metal coin.

The Zanco tiny t1 is being advertised as the world’s smallest mobile phone. It can fit into the tiniest of pockets, can store up to 300 numbers in its phonebook and makes an adorable-yet-practical gift. And just in case you’re wondering, Zanco claims that it is indeed a fully-functional ‘talk and text mobile phone’, allowing users to make and receive calls, and exchange text messages.

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Double Bionic Hands Aim to Prove That Four Hands Are Better Than Two

Bionic limbs used to be restricted to the realm of fiction, but the technology, first released in 1993, has been making massive leaps in the past few years. Now, one Italian Robotics company called Youbionic has taken the next significant leap forward by releasing a 3D printed and customizable bionic appendage consisting of two robotic hands.

The 3D printed device, designed by Federico Ciccarese, is made from nylon dust and consists of an Arduino micro-controller, actuators, and three electrodes that are activated by nerve impulses in the same way that muscles move when neurons send signals from our brains.

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High-Tech Cocktail Glass Lets You Experience Plain Water as the Perfect Cocktail

If you’ve been having trouble finding the right cocktail to suite your taste, look no further than the Vockatil, a high-tech cocktail glass that relies on three layers of sensory stimulation to trick your senses into thinking that the plain water you’re sipping is the most amazing thing you’ve ever tasted.

The Vocktail – short for virtual cocktail – glass technically lets you turn water into wine, or pretty much any other drink imaginable. It accomplishes this messianic miracle through multisensory stimulation, essentially tricking your eyes, nose and taste buds that you’re consuming something completely different. The revolutionary glass comes equipped with LED lights that allow you to change the color of the drink, sliver electrodes on the rim of the glass which stimulate the tongue so that it tastes the liquid as salty, sweet or sour, and three micro air pumps equipped with flavor cartridges, which are activated when a person sips from the glass, fooling their nose into detecting a far greater variety of subtle flavors.

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Designer Creates High-Tech Mirror That Only Works When You Smile

A new high tech mirror, designed specifically for cancer patients, will only become reflective when a user smiles into it.

The plug-in device, which closely resembles a tablet, comes equipped with a mirror, a built-in camera, and an opaque smart material triggered by propriety software. Facial recognition technology captures the face and prompts the surface of the mirror to change when a smile is detected. It can hang on a wall or sit on a table, much like a conventional mirror. Unlike a regular mirror, however, the price is currently standing at a staggering $2000-$3000 (USD).

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Japanese Company Creates Smart Fork That Cancels Out Noodle-Slurping Noises

In an attempt to battle “noodle harassment”, a Japanese company created a smart fork that can cancel out a user’s noodle-slurping noises.

Any ramen connoisseur will tell you that proper Japanese ramen etiquette entails slurping your noodles while you eat them, as doing so allows for aeration and full flavor development. This practice, however, can be
disturbing for Westerners and is officially referred to as “noodle harassment”, or “noo-hara” in Japan. The Japanese, however, have no intention of giving up this much loved cultural practice, and so an impasse has been reached. Enter Nissin, the 69-year-old Japanese company that invented instant noodles, and their revolutionary, albeit cumbersome, slurp canceling gadget the Otohiko fork.

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You Can Now Replace Your Pet with a Tail-Wagging Robot Pillow

If you sometimes feel the need to stroke a pet, but don’t actually want the responsibilities that come with owning a pet, this tail-wagging robot pillow is probably just what you’ve been waiting for.

Developed by Japanese company Yukai Engineering Co, Qoobo is a two-pound robotic pillow that sits on your lap and wags its fluffy tail when you pet it. That’s all it does, but then again, that’s all the interaction some people want. Whether they are allergic to cats and dogs, live in an apartment that doesn’t allow real pets, or just hate things like meowing, barking and having their furniture scratched, some people just want to stroke their pet and see them wagging their tail. And that’s where Qoobo comes in.

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Panasonic Creates Device That Counts the Calories on Your Plate

If you’re planning to go on a diet, or if you suffer from serious conditions like diabetes, knowing exactly what and how much you’re eating is essential. In this day and age, we have calorie and nutritional calculators even on our smartphones, but they act only as guides, whereas Panasonic’s revolutionary new device, CaloRieco, actually analyzes the food on your plate and provides accurate information about in just a few seconds.

You’ve probably used calorie calculators before, and you know that they only offer general information. For example, a calculator will tell you the average number of calories in a burger, but it can’t tell you exactly how many calories are in the burger at your favorite fast food joint. The same goes for nutrients like protein, carbohydrates or fats. And this is what makes the new Panasonic CaloRieco so special, it can actually give you accurate information on exactly what is on your plate.

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LG Launches World’s First Mosquito-Repelling Smartphone

Feel free to add mosquito-repellent to the already huge list of useful of smartphone features. South-Korean manufacturer LG has recently released the world’s first mosquito repellent smartphone, which uses ultrasonic sound waves to keep the pesky bloodsuckers at bay.

Called the LG K7i, the innovative handheld was unveiled at the  India Mobile Congress last week, and judging by early feedback, it’s set to become a best-seller in mosquito-infested countries. While advertised as a budget smartphone with relatively unimpressive technical specs, the K7i has a very unique advantage – it features LG’s “Mosquito Away” technology which can allegedly repel mosquitoes with the help of ultrasonic sound waves.

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Indian Student Invents “ElectroShoe” That Lets Women Electrocute Attackers

Sexual assault against women is a really big problem in India, as hardly a day goes by without a case being reported in the media. Until authorities decide to take it seriously and adopt a proactive approach, a 18-year-old teenage boy is trying to help women fight back against aggressors by literally giving them the shock of their life.  

After witnessing multiple instances of disturbing and life-changing acts of violence against women, as well as attending many protests with his mother demanding change, Siddharth Mandala, a student from Telengana, India decided he needed to do something himself. He spent years working on the “ElectroShoe”, a unique type of anti-sexual assault footwear that electrocutes attackers by inflicting 0.1 Ampere of electricity while also alerting police and family members that the wearer is in danger. All the wearer has to do is kick the perpetrator.

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