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Augmented Environments: Smart Places and Objects for Health

Staying healthy can be a lot of work, whether it means remembering to take your meds, keeping track of how much pie you're eating or figuring out how to squeeze a jog in between work and dinner. Last year's Map on the Future of Science, Technology, and Well-being 2020 Forecast, explored how some of the discipline and planning required to get those things done can be off-loaded onto our environment.

Anticipating Emergencies

I'm surprised that BabyBeat an algorithmic- and sensor-driven system for detecting and preventing sudden infant death hasn't gained more attention. The prototype system, developed by Tomer Apel and Anava Finesilver of Ben Gurion University, aims to detect subtle shifts in a baby's biometrics and sleeping position that hint at the potential for sudden death.

What Are The Health Benefits of That Sedan?

A few months ago, the automaker Nissan announced announced that its cars will soon spray out vitamin C at drivers to ward off skin damage, and that its seats will be specially designed to increase the blood flow of the driver. Your car, in other words, will be designed to improve your health.

GreenGoose: Live Up To Your Best Intentions

Want to live up to be your best intentions?  Wish you hydrated yourself better?  Or that you were more consistent in taking your vitamins everyday?  Or that you made greener choices in terms of biking to work instead of driving? 

The Canary in the Coal Mine

One of my favorite new products of the past couple of years is something called Glow Caps. In effect, they're very smart pill bottles. They light up to remind someone to take a pill; if the person misses the ambient reminder of the light, the pill bottle will start making noise to drive home the point: Take your pills.

Jan 12 SF event, The Power of Play: Innovations in Getting Active

In just under a week, on January 12, leaders in the areas of fitness, science, health care, game design, video games, and education will converge to talk about the Power of Play, especially active gaming. 

The Danger of Measuring Emotions

An easy way to identify a future dilemma is to spot two polar, but entirely sensible, reactions to an emerging practice or technology.

Crowd-Tracking Noise and Air Pollution

A new noise/ozone sensor watch being tested in Europe.

Life as a Persuasive Role Playing Game

Here's a video of an energetic and provocative talk by Jesse Schell, Carnegie Mellon Professor, and former Disney Imagineer, on how we will be persuaded by ubiquitous interactive games.

"What do these have in common? A variety of psychological tricks," explains Schell, who then goes on to examine how these various gaming successes take advantage of humans instincts, and how we hunger "to get to anything real." He goes on to examine how gaming has extended to grading a class, driving a car, shopping and socializing, ending at a future where everything is a kind of game."

Persuasive Objects Help Users Develop Healthy Habits

The UBICOMP lab at the National Taiwan University is investigating, designing and creating working systems that demonstrate how future computing technologies can seamlessly blend into our everyday activities: digital technology that can engage and excite people into active participation of desirable physical and mental activities at home that are considered healthy, creative, productive, educational, and playful.

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