Posts Tagged ‘Innovation’

I saw an amazing article in the paper a few days back about a new innovation in technology to improve sight for the blind.

A device called a BrainPort has been devised to provide sight to the blind, somehow using the tongue. I’m no science guy, but seemingly a camera is mounted on top of a pair of glasses which is then connected to to a sensor placed on the patient’s tongue. The camera collects visual data about the surrounding area which is then transmitted as electric signals to the base unit placed on the tongue. The base unit then translates these signals into a stimulation pattern which creates the visual image for the participant.

According to the official website, “the tactile image is created by presenting white pixels from the camera as strong stimulation, black pixels as no stimulation, and gray levels as medium levels of stimulation, with the ability to invert contrast when appropriate.  Users often report the sensation as pictures that are painted on the tongue with Champagne bubbles.”

How incredible does that sound? Still, I really have no depth of understanding about the technical performance of the device, but as a layman it sounds absolutely miraculous. For there to be any solution to blindness, not matter how vague, is an amazing innovation! Although, I would have called it ‘The Stevie Tongue-der’.

See more below:

The device is being trialed on PC David Rathband, who lost his sight after being shot in the face by gunman Raoul Moat. I can’t think of a more deserving candidate. Still only in its prototype stage the BrainPort is not yet available to purchase, but if the trial is a success it is sure to be a global phenomenon. Watch this space… (sorry if that sounds a little insensitive.)


Gears of Waz.

Posted: November 28, 2011 in Gaming
Tags: , , , , , ,

It has been announced that a bar in Balham will be the first UK venue to trial the latest innovation in gaming technology: Urine controlled playabilty!

Insert your own wii joke here –

Today the metro revealed that creative company Captive Media are introducing gaming installations into men’s urinals. Because it really is a tedious task having to piss right? Each game is ‘hands free’ (thank God, with the state of men’s loos!), controlled instead by nature’s greatest resource, our own urine. Games include a skiing simulator whereby guiding your pee stream left and right controls the direction on screen and a quiz where answers are chosen in the same manner. Jokes aside, this is actually a really interesting idea with huge marketing potential. I’m sure that most men would be up for playing a game while they empty their bladder and so a few well placed ads could make the world of difference. In fact, there was apparently a 47 per cent surge in sales of Corona after they were installed!

Although it is certainly an engaging idea, I cannot help but recognise some potential issues:

i) It powerfully promotes drinking large quantities in a short space of time. We all know how competitive games are. You can’t ever just have a single go at something, especially when it’s so short-lived (55 seconds according to the promotional video). Guys are going to be desperate for another chance, and without the option to simply retry they are forced to smash another pint to fill up with ‘ammo’. I refuse to make a joke about using their ‘pistols’ though.

Or perhaps you could just bring a super soaker with you… bloody hackers!

ii) With games being such a traditional platform for competitive rivalry, guys are inevitably going to compete. But what will this ‘multiplayer’ involve? They will have to go to the toilets together, stand next to each other, countdown to the dual unzipping of flies, commence a tandem urination whilst fervently eyeing their opponents progress. Luckily, gent’s toilets aren’t in the least uncomfortable, with guys regularly having lingering chats and freely giving eye contact (I really hope that sarcasm came across there….). The two are obviously completely incongruous! Men’s loos are socially awkard, that’s a simple fact. No, it’s not because I have any kind of complex. No one spends any more time than they need to in there, unless the particular toilet in question is a cottage. Therefore, the idea of casually having a laugh with your mates, whilst you both have your penises out is pretty unlikely.

Don’t think they will be crossing swords any time soon.

iii) The smell. Nuff said. There is a reason we are only in there for a minute…

iv) Hygiene and spillage. Sorry, but it had to be said.  Let’s be honest, men are not known for their accuracy, especially if they’ve been boozing. God, I must sound like Germaine Greer. With games demanding that the trajectory of piss sprays must constantly change there is going to be an inevitable backlash, I mean splash back. Toilet floors are going to be soaked in urine – more than usual – as bladder ammo is cast asunder. Talk about spray and pray. Never mind, no use crying over spilt, erm, well you know.

And how come women don’t get an equivalent? God knows, they spend so much bloody time in the toilet! Am I right guys? Yeah? Yeah? Take that Germaine! In all honesty, I really dread to think what the equivalent could be. They’re sitting down so just give them a bloody 3DS as they enter.

Despite these problems I welcome the innovation. Urine gaming, coming to a piss station near you!