May 26, 2017

The future of eyeglasses

While the big tech companies are perfecting Virtual Reality glasses, I have been keeping my eye on what’s happening in everyday vision ware.

Omnifocal Glasses by an Israeli company called Deep Optics promises to allow us to see whatever distance we focus on with the use of a layer of transparent liquid crystal and electrical current. The glasses will ultimately change your prescription instantaneously with the help of sensors that track your pupils and determine what distance they are looking at. The company has not succeeded in packing all of this technology into simple glasses yet, but liquid crystal lenses are literally around the corner. http://www.deepoptics.com/do_site/

You can now pre-order the amazing Shima glasses by Laforge for $590. Imagine glasses that can give you directions, tell you how far you’ve walked and play your favorite music through an app on your smart phone. And these glasses have stylish frames, not the futuristic and bulky VR glasses that Google and other companies are designing.

https://www.laforgeoptical.com

Don’t laugh but many people ascribe to the idea that looking through lenses of specific colors have the ability to improve one’s function and mood. Blue may promote relaxation and calmness; orange is supposed increase social confidence and cheerfulness along with cancelling out the blue light of electronic devices; yellow encourages concentration and mental clarity and may additionally help with night time driving.

After a brief internet search, I find no glasses that can electronically give you a rainbow of color options. Yes, there are glasses that go from clear to shaded sunglasses, but for other colors, one must buy a regular pair with only one color of lens. Here is a site that will sell you those single color glasses and explains more about color therapy.
If you know of an electronic pair that allows the wearer to change the color of lens, please let me know!

http://www.colorglasses.com/

I might wait until I can purchase a pair of electronic glasses that have all of the above features, but there will undoubtedly be a company that can implant a sophisticated electronic device directly into my eyes.
And soon.
Who is with me in entering this brave and slightly terrifying new world?

The Do Not Snap Badge

do-not-snap-badgeHas someone ever posted a candid photo of you without your permission and you look like death warmed over? The Do Not Snap badge will automatically pair up with software that will blur out the face of the person wearing it, on any social media platform. Definitely something I want to wear when there is no make-up artist and hair stylist in the vicinity! do-not-snap-wearer

Apple TV Generation 4

I finally bought a flat screen Samsung Smart television after quelling family resistance to installing something new.  Yet, nostalgia has kept us from wheeling the old tube tv to the dumpster.

I must admit that television is now a much more vivid and engaging experience which is a bit of good thing, but with its dark side, too. Binge-watching is a little too easy. Especially with Siri.

Did I mention that I also bought the Generation 4 version of Apple TV?  The system is now voice-activated with Siri being all too happy to find your selected program, especially if it means buying it from itunes. She is quite the sales clerk.

The only real set-up needed is to download free and paid apps for anything you may want to watch. For example, PBS and CNN apps were free; the MHZ Choice, Netflix and HBO Now apps simply connected to my existing paid-monthly accounts.

The remote-control allows you to swipe to make selections, hold down a button to summon Siri or punch Menu which takes you back to your previous page view.

A nice feature is your iCloud photo gallery can be run as a slideshow on your tv screen. I’m still discovering ways to use Apple TV, but Siri alone has revolutionized how I watch television.  Imagine being able to talk to all of your appliances?

Apple, please come up with an equivalent to Amazon’s Echo so I can tell Siri to turn my lights on, lower my heat, switch off my oven or set my alarm clock. And then put Siri into a robot that can do my laundry while I watch my Apple TV.

Nike’s HyperAdapt 1.0 smart sneakers

Remember when tying your shoes was a rite of passage for your children, your students or you? Well, Nike will be selling sneakers in November that make that simple action obsolete.

Their self-lacing  sneakers are reminiscent of the pair worn by Marty McFly in the iconic movie, Back To the Future. The shoes electronically sense whether the laces need to be tightened or loosened providing an “Adaptive Fit.”

The sole of the HyperAdapt 1.0 shoes feature a lit sole that indicates if you are “powered up.” Does this mean that we will charge our sneakers next to our phones? Nike, can you give us some jet propulsion next?

For more information:
http://news.nike.com/news/hyperadapt-adaptive-lacing

Micro Wind Turbine for off-grid power

Imagine packing a contraption called the Micro Wind Turbine that is no bigger than an umbrella and can catch enough wind to power your electronic devices when you are “off grid.”

The inventor, Lausanne design student Nils Ferber, is looking for partners for his 2-pound invention that can capture wind at night and on overcast days when sunlight is not an option. The Turbine can power up electronics directly or charge the device’s battery pack.

Campers and survivalists, take note.

http://www.treehugger.com/wind-technology/portable-micro-wind-turbine-prototype-weighs-2-lbs-and-packs-down-size-umbrella.html

Chicago’s Merchandise Mart gets a facelift

My husband wanted me to see the $40 million in-progress transformation of Chicago’s Merchandise Mart last weekend. As you’d expect in a business operation catering to interior designers and their well-heeled clients, the Mart wanted to freshen its look by opening space both inside and looking out.

At 4.2 million gross square feet in its two city block and 25-story structure, the Merchandise Mart has bragging rights for being the second largest office building in the world (the Pentagon is in first place.)

The food court where CTA el users exit is one of the biggest transformations. Large windows now feature views of River North and the elevated train station. Comfortable seating, modern lighting and a mirrored ceiling go along nicely with food from Billy Goat Tavern or Mezza Mediterranean Grill.

Also stunning is the 50-foot wide marble staircase rising from the lobby. Red leather seat cushions make the steps another innovative place for people to congregate with a retractable 25-foot wide projection screen above the “Grand Stair.”

The second level features a lounge overlooking the Chicago River replete with a bar, couch seating, pillows and coffee tables with board games.

Another new area to the Mart is River Drive Park with umbrellas and seating arrangements overlooking the Chicago River. The project designers even included an area for food trucks to park during warm weather months.

Whether you work in the Mart or near it, this is now a destination to check out, at least once.

http://themart.com/

Energetic Healing – Part 2

This is Part 2 of the topic of Energetic Healing with a brief list of treatment options in the alternative field of medicine and wellness. These thumb-nail citations are by no means comprehensive.

I am including Homeopathy in the alternative category since many medical professionals discount it. However, Europe and parts of Asia embrace this form of medicine that is, in my opinion, cost-efficient and effective for many ailments.

Homeopathy is the other side of the coin to allopathy which is the basis of much of our Western medical system. Allopathy uses opposites to address symptoms and illness. Look at a drug store shelf and you will see anti-histamines, anti-inflammatories, anti-bacterials, anti-fungals, etc. You get the picture.

Homeopathy finds substances that cause similar symptoms and then dilutes them to infinitesimal amounts. “Like cures like” was coined by homeopathy’s founder, Samuel Hahnemann.

One’s own immune system is nudged to correct the problem energetically.  I myself have used Homeopathic pellets with great success for a couple of decades. It’s possible that mental suggestion is at play, but if something seems to work, I will still keep it in my arsenal of treatment options.

Several therapies address our five senses to prime the body for healing.

Reiki, using the “laying of hands” increases the “life force energy” and moves “Ki” through blockages in the body. Massage, chiropractic, acupuncture, yoga and tai chi all operate on the concept of keeping energy flowing through blood vessels, the skeletal system, the nervous system and through both the physical and energetic body of the patient.

Sound therapy has been around for centuries. Chanting can be a form of meditation that calms the nervous system and focuses one’s attention. The use of Tibetan healing bowls have entered the lexicon of alternative treatments in the U. S.  I found this lovely 3 hour recording of Tibetan bowl music with running water on youtube. Listening for just five minutes promotes relaxation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9M_mp7Mmt34

Art, dance and music therapy get the patient involved in creation thereby stimulating a sense of well-being that may aid in healing.

Color therapy may include wearing eyeglasses in a particular color or bathing in a tub of therapeutic colored water. Green or blue will reduce stress. Yellow and orange stimulate appetite and encourage productivity.

http://www.arttherapyblog.com/online/color-psychology-psychologica-effects-of-colors/#.V78UzYVCOuE

Essential oils such as lavender, bergamot or ylang yang all have specific properties that affect the body through smell. My sister gave me a Family Physician Kit by doTerra filled with essential oils including Oregano for Immune Support and mixtures for Muscle and Joint Support and First Aid for skin.  At the very least, the scents improve one’s environment.

The energetic quality of what you put in your mouth is another gigantic topic. When making your food choices, ask yourself, will this  dish or beverage increase or decrease my energy and sense of well-being? It may not deter you from choosing the breaded fried chicken over the green juice drink, but it should encourage more enlightened food for thought.

Energetic Medicine – Part One

This will be part one of a brief overview of some of the cutting edge energetic therapies currently in use or in trials.

A friend is about to undergo a six week treatment protocol using NeuroStar TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation) Therapy for depression. The patient sits in a chair similar to a dentist’s and has magnetic waves beamed into the areas of their brain that are under active. Stimulation of these areas may result in decreased depression. Many oral medications for depression have side effects so this non-invasive energy treatment holds great promise for the over 16 million people in the U. S. who suffer from this debility.

https://neurostar.com

Cold laser therapy is used to reduce inflammation and heal specific areas on the body or to target acupuncture trigger points that may improve functions of the body. Chiropractors, acupuncturists and physical therapists were some of the first to adopt this treatment. The actual laser beam looks like simple focused light which is painless, non-invasive and has no side effects. The only caution is not to look directly into the laser light which can cause eye damage.

The therapy may increase cell growth, increase vascular activity, reduce scar tissue formation and reduce pain. I look forward to seeing more medical practices adopt this cost-effective, painless and effective treatment.

I myself have used cold laser therapy for bruises, sprains, strains and foot problems thereby avoiding surgery.

http://www.healthline.com/health/cold-laser-therapy

More speculative are “electroceuticals,” tiny implanted devices that will monitor our nervous system and fire into action if a counter-pulse is needed. This treatment sounds like science fiction, but Alphabet Life Sciences (formerly Google Life Sciences) predicts that these nerve-zapping implants will be ready for use in seven years. Implantable devices are already being used for heart regulation, sleep apnea and weight loss.  This may be a revolutionary treatment for Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, auto-immune disease and a host of other illnesses that are due to faulty electrical signals in the human body.

http://singularityhub.com/2016/08/07/no-more-pills-tiny-nerve-zapping-implants-to-fight-disease/

The Hadrian, a robotic brick layer in Australia

Named for the Roman Emperor who built a wall in Great Britain, the Hadrian is a one-armed robotic invention that can lay bricks four times faster than a human. Invented by an Australian engineer, the machine boasts being able to work 24 hours non-stop, lays the bricks with an accuracy within one hundredth of inch and secures them with mortar.

The Hadrian could ostensibly build 150 houses per year. It could also make one of the world’s oldest jobs go the way of the dinosaurs. Is this another step towards the demise of human manual labor?

Drone-ovic, your tennis buddy

For tennis devotees, check out this high tech invention that is being tested for production.
Using drone technology, the machine drops a tennis ball at an optimal angle so you can practice your serves. The flying gizmo also has a camera so you can record your swing and analyze your form in playback.

http://mashable.com/2016/07/01/drone-improves-tennis-training/#jc0xfR1RSmq1