Innovative Throat Patch Could Help People Speak Without Vocal Cords

Researchers at the University of California recently created a self-powered throat patch that uses machine learning to translate muscle movements into speech, helping people to speak without vocal cords.

Jun Chen, an assistant professor of bioengineering at the University of California, Los Angeles, came up with the idea for a non-invasive speech-enabling device after feeling his vocal cords get tired as a result of lecturing for several hours at a time. He began thinking of ways of helping a person speak without using their vocal cords, and with the help of his colleagues at the University of California, he designed an innovative patch that sticks to the user’s throat and uses AI technology to decode their muscle movements into speech. The lightweight device is resistant to skin sweat and also harnesses the user’s muscle movements to generate electricity, which means that it doesn’t require a battery to operate.

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‘Ideal Bike Saddle’ Moves Under Your But as You Pedal

VabsRider, the ‘world’s first virtual axis bicycle seat,’ is an innovative bicycle saddle featuring two sides that move independently as you pedal to distribute the load more evenly for a more comfortable ride.

Australian engineer Robin Macan had always wondered why no one had come up with a more comfortable bicycle seat. The flaw of the common saddle was obvious – “no amount of cushioning can compensate for the inherent pain points on the human body,” so he came up with a concept for an articulating bicycle seat that would dynamically distribute body weight as the rider pedaled. He took his prototype to the Inventors Association of Australia, a nonprofit offering support to inventors, and that was where he connected with industrial designer Philippe Guichard. The two set out to refine the design, and after two years of work, they combined forces with Whistle, an industrial design and engineering company, to develop a market-ready product. Now, the vabsRider split-seat bicycle saddle is ready to offer users the most comfortable bike ride of their lives.

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Scientists Create Smart Pill That Vibrates to Make You Feel Full

Researchers at MIT created a high-tech pill that starts to vibrate once it makes contact with gastric fluid in the user’s stomach in order to stimulate receptors in the stomach and create the sensation of fullness.

VIBES, short for Vibrating Ingestible BioElectronic Stimulator, was only recently unveiled in a study published in the Science Journal, but it is already being touted by the media as the future of weight loss. Although it has yet to be tested on humans, trials on pigs have yielded very promising results. After about 30 minutes of VIBES activity, pigs consumed on average almost 40 percent less food in the next half hour than they did without the smart pill. Apparently, the revolutionary device works by activating stretch receptors in the stomach, simulating the presence of food. This in turn signals the hypothalamus to increase the levels of hormones that make us feel full.

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World’s First Microwave Bag Lets You Heat Meals on the Go

The Willtex ‘Willcook’ microwave bag looks like a stylish laptop bag but is actually made out of conductive fabric that allows the user to heat the inside all the way up to 250 degrees Celsius.

Say what you will, but there’s nothing more comforting than a nice hot meal on a cold winter day, especially when you’re out and about. But what if you have no way of heating your lunch or ordering a hot meal? That’s where the world’s first microwave bag comes into place. Made out of an innovative fabric developed by Japanese company Sanki Consys Co. Ltd., the Willtex ‘Willcook’ bag looks like your average laptop bag, but it can heat up whatever you have stored inside to a temperature of 80 degrees Celsius in just 5 minutes. The bag itself weighs just 160 grams, while the rechargeable battery pack powering it weighs an extra 120 grams.

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Miracle Drink Promises to Cut Blood Alcohol Level in Half in Just 30 Minutes

Safety Shot, a new blood alcohol detox drink set to launch later this year, promises to reduce blood alcohol content in less than an hour after consumption and make hangovers a thing of the past.

The global market for hangover cures is growing faster than ever, with experts predicting that it will exceed $6 billion by 2030. A fast-growing market usually means cutthroat competition, and that is certainly the case here, with hundreds of startups fighting to establish themselves as major players. One of the most promising companies in the field is Safety Shot (formerly Jupiter Wellness), whose upcoming product, set to launch in Q4 of 2023, has been described as “the biggest disruption in the drink market” to date and “the epitome of beverage innovation”. Its patented formula is said to be able to slash a person’s blood alcohol content in half in just 30 minutes, giving them a general feeling of well-being and reducing the risk of alcohol poisoning and even hangovers.

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School Lunch Provider Creates ‘Manga Milk Bottles’ to Motivate Kids to Drink Milk

A Japanese producer of milk and dairy products came up with an ingenious way of motivating kids to finish their milk bottles at lunch – decorating the bottles with manga comics.

Seki Milk, a milk producer and processor in Japan’s Gifu Prefecture, has been providing its products to local schools, but in recent years the company had seen consumption of milk drop significantly. According to its own research, the majority of school students (around 65% of them) were not finishing their milk bottles at lunch, which caused unnecessary food waste and also deprived them of calcium and other valuable nutrients. However, if you’re a parent, you probably already know that getting kids to eat things that are good for them isn’t the easiest thing in the world. Luckily, Seki Milk came up with an original and fun way to motivate children to finish their milk – manga bottles.

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Chinese Scientists Develop Ultra-Slippery Toilet Bowl That Almost Nothing Sticks To

Chinese scientists at the Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan have developed a new, ultra-slippery toilet bowl that almost nothing sticks to.

Porcelain has been the most common toilet bowl manufacturing material for quite a while now, and while it may be a while before a new material upsets it, we already have our eye on an intriguing new material. One of the most important qualities of a good toilet bowl is slipperiness, and while porcelain is ok, it’s definitely not the best. Excrements and other types of waste usually disposed of in the toilet tend to stick to it and require scrubbing and cleaning, which results in wasted water. But what if the waste just slipped down into the bowl with no or very little water? Scientists in China have unveiled an innovative toilet bowl made of an ultra-slippery material that almost nothing sticks to.

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High-Tech Volkswagen Office Chair Has a Top Speed of 12MPH

A team of Volkswagen designers and engineers developed a high-tech office chair that you can drive at a top speed of 12mph (20km/h)

Most high-tech office chairs are either simply waterproof, or stainproof, or are designed at a higher standard in terms of ergonomics. But Volkswagen’s recent take on a high-tech office chair shows just how low the bar sits at the moment. The German car manufacturer designed and built an office chair with a built-in motor and controls, allowing the user to drive it at a respectable top speed of 12mph. And that’s just one of the crazy features built into this one-of-a-kind piece of office furniture.

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Company Spends Five Years Developing Champagne Bottle Fit For Space Celebrations

French champagne brand G.H. Mumm has poured a lot of time and resources into developing a futuristic champagne bottle that can be used in space.

The Mumm Cordon Rouge Stellar is the first champagne designed specifically for space travel. It comes in a half-glass bottle and features a specially-designed stainless steel opening-closing device that curves over the classic cork. The unique bottle apparently features a finger-controlled valve which, when engaged, releases a globule of champagne spheres. Astronauts or space tourists can then scoop the drink out of the air using special glasses that resemble tiny egg cups.

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Startup Turns Desert Sand Into Fertile Soil in Just Seven Hours

Norwegian startup Desert Control claims that it can fight desertification efficiently by spraying sand with Liquid NanoClay (LNC) and turning it into soil in a matter of hours.

In the past, we’ve featured many ‘green heroes‘ who have been fighting desertification for decades, using all sorts of techniques, from draught-resistant shrubbery to tree barriers, but now a startup claims to obtain much better results in the same harsh conditions in just seven hours. Invented in the early 2000s by Norwegian scientist Kristian Olesen, Liquid NanoClay is the secret behind Desert Control’s amazing achievements. When sprayed onto sand, this amazing invention trickles down and percolates the sand, turning it into water-retaining soil where plants can germinate and thrive.

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Bodyheat – A Dance Floor That Converts Dancer’s Body Heat Into Energy

An arts venue in Glasgow, Scotland features an innovative dance floor that creates renewable energy from the body heat of dancers.

SWG3 hosts some of Glasgow’s largest dance parties, with thousands of people getting together to dance the night away throughout the year. Starting this month, the dancers won’t just be burning energy by busting out moves but also help keep it warm or cool, depending on the season. That’s thanks to “Bodyheat” an aptly-named dance floor that harnesses the body heat of dancers and converts it into energy. The innovative system has been three years in the making and is a joint project of SWG3 and geothermal energy startup TownRock Energy.

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Speech2Face – An AI That Can Guess What Someone Looks Like Just by Their Voice

Speech2Face is an advanced neural network developed by MIT scientists and trained to recognize certain facial features and reconstruct people’s faces just by listening to the sound of their voices.

You’ve probably already heard about AI-powered cameras that can recognize people just by analyzing their facial features, but what if there was a way for artificial intelligence to figure out what you look like just by the sound of your voice and without comparing your voice to a database? That’s exactly what a team of scientists at MIT has been working on, and the results of their work are impressive, kind of. While their neural network, named Speech2Face, can’t yet figure out the exact facial features of a human just by their voice, it certainly gets plenty of details right.

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Air Protein – Startup Uses Space-Age Tech to Create Meat Out of Thin Air

Creating meat literally out of thin air sounds like technology you’d only expect to see in sci-fi movies, but according to Air Protein, it’s very real and viable.

Air Protein, the startup behind the air-based meat project, was co-founded by Dr. Lisa Dyson, an award-winning research physicist and strategy consultant, with the goal of producing meat alternatives. Such plant-based meat alternatives like Impossible Foods or Beyond Meat are all the rage these days and touted as the sustainable future of the meat industry, but Air Protein is taking sustainability to a whole new level with its air-sourced proteins. They are basically relying on a bunch of microbes capable of converting CO2 into amino-acids, with the final product being a protein-based flour that can be used to make a bunch of meatless products.

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Swedish Startup Trains Crow to Pick Up Litter in Exchange for Food

Corvid Cleaning, a Swedish startup specializing in training crows to pick up litter in exchange for food, claims that its program could save communities a fortune in cleaning costs.

According to the Keep Sweden Tidy Foundation, over a billion cigarette butts are left on Sweden’s streets every year which represents about 62 percent of all litter. Teaching humans not to throw cigarette butts on the street has so far proven impossible, but a Swedish startup claims it can teach crows to pick up after us and save local communities millions of krone in cleaning fees every year. Corvid Cleaning teaches wild crows to do our dirty work through a step-by-step learning process, that involves rewarding the birds with food for every cigarette butt they collect.

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Scientists Use Brain Implant to Cure Woman’s Severe Depression

A woman who had exhausted all other options of treating her depression claims her life has become infinitely better since having a matchbox-sized implanted into her skull.

Having holes drilled into your skull and electrical wires connected directly to your brain sounds like a daunting proposition for most people, but for Sarah, a 36-year-old woman who had been battling depression for years, it was a desperate attempt to get back to a normal life. For years, she had been battling severe depression, and all other treatments, including anti-depressants and electroconvulsive therapy, had failed. Anything was better than the darkness she had been experiencing, and getting a brain implant proved a winning bet, as she has now been depression-free for over a year.

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