Snap unveiled a new version of its Spectacles camera glasses on Thursday. The latest model is a bit slimmer, $20 more expensive, can take photos, offers prescription lenses for an additional fee, and is water resistant.
Snap, Snapchat’s parent company, launched a new version of its camera glasses, Spectacles, on Thursday. The new model is slightly slimmer, can take photos, and they’re water-resistant, Snap said in a release.
“Tap the button to record video with new and improved audio, and now, you can press and hold to take a photo! Snaps you capture will transfer to Snapchat up to four times faster, and always in HD,” according to the Snap release.
Imagine you’re a cat, and, every time you meowed, the loud voice of a snooty-sounding British gentleman kindly informed your human guardian of your every thought and feeling (well, the thoughts and feelings you had before you were terrified by the sound of the voice).
A new product called the Catterbox – the world’s first talking cat collar – purports to do just that, using Bluetooth technology, a microphone and a speaker to capture a cat’s meow and translate it into an English-speaking human voice.
It’s not a joke; nor is it the first time a company has tried to use technology to translate cat meows for humans. A few years ago, the Meowlingual promised to interpret feline vocalization and expressions, but it didn’t exactly fly off the shelves or revolutionize our relationships with cats.
Still, the fact that these devices exist speak to the obsession humans seem to have with figuring out what their cats are thinking and feeling. Cats have a reputation for being hard to read – their mind is a “black box” – and some animal scientists have suggested that cats are just too challenging to even study.
But while a talking cat collar isn’t likely to solve the mystery of the meow, scientists have already discovered a few helpful things about human-cat communication and cats’ environmental needs.
A 20,000-year head start
Domestication of both dogs and cats has likely had a huge influence on their behavior, especially the way they interact with humans.
Because cats have had a much shorter period of coevolution with humans than dogs, they’ve been subject to less selection for facial expressions that we translate in dogs as “easy to read” and “human-like.” For example, we see something as simple as “eyebrow raising” in dogs as a sign of sadness and vulnerability.
For this reason, many will either dismiss cats as inscrutable, or use venues such as LOLCats to imagine what cats’ thoughts might be (mostly disparaging toward humans, it appears).
Our pet cats have meows that are shorter and of a higher pitch than their wild cousins. Humans tended to rate domestic cat cries as more pleasant and less urgent, showing that humans can identify which meows are from domestic cats and which are from a closely related wild cat. Meanwhile, a 2009 study demonstrated that humans could discriminate an “urgent” purr (one made by a cat while soliciting food from its owner) from a nonurgent one.
Many cat owners already assign meaning to meows, depending on their context. When your cat woefully cries at 5 a.m., you might be certain he wants food. But what if it’s just petting? Or wants to go outside?
This is where the cat-human communication seems to break down. People know their cat wants something. But they don’t seem to know just what.
Nicastro did another study that found people were just so-so at being able to assign meaning to a meow. Experimenters recorded cats when hungry (owner preparing food), in distress (in a car), irritated (being overhandled), affiliative (when the cat wanted attention) or when facing an obstacle (a closed door). Participants could classify the meows at a rate greater than chance, but their performance wasn’t great (just 34 percent correct).
A similar study in 2015 by Dr. Sarah Ellis showed that even when the cat belonged to the participant, only four out of 10 humans could correctly identify the context of the different meows. And no one performed better than random chance when classifying meows of unfamiliar cats.
This suggests a few possibilities: meows might all sound the same to humans; perhaps some sort of learning occurs when we live with a cat that allows us to be slightly better at recognizing their meows over those of unfamiliar cats; or we might rely very heavily on context – not just the meow – to tell us what our cat might be thinking.
I have to admit, I’m not one of those people who finds cats difficult to understand. I accept that all cats have different needs than I do – and those needs include mental and physical stimulation (such as vertical space and play with interactive toys), appropriate outlets for normal feline behaviors (such as multiple litter boxes and scratching posts) and positive interactions with people (but as research has shown, in order to be positive, the interaction almost always needs to happen on the cat’s terms).
My bet? Those “urgent” 5 a.m. meows most often come from cats who either have learned that meowing is the only way to get attention or are not having their environmental and social needs met. But providing for those needs is going to be a lot more effective than trying to get your cat to talk to you through a novelty collar.
In its press release for the Catterbox, Temptation Labs claimed the device will “inject more fun” into a cat’s and human’s relationship. I can’t imagine it will be much fun for cats (who have much more sensitive hearing than humans do) to be subjected to a loud sound near their ears every time they meow.
At best, the Catterbox is a sorry attempt at a humorous ad campaign to sell cat treats. At worst, we have a product that does nothing to help us actually understand cats.
Instead we have a cat collar that promotes anthropomorphism and will probably simultaneously terrify the cats that are wearing it.
Carbyne, a new super-strong “wonder material,” had been developed by scientists in small amounts, but in an unstable form. However, a group of scientists and researchers from the University of Vienna have been able to recently produce Carbyne in bulk amounts.
Carbyne is a material formed from long chains of Carbon atoms that has enormous stiffness and malleable strength. When stretched, its electrical conductivity can alter an extent where it can be widely useful in electronic devices.
Scientists who were extremely keen on learning about Carbyne’s exceptional and unusual properties, first modelled it in a computer simulation. When they were successful in creating Carbyne in real life, they managed to create an extremely unstable 100-atom long string. Recently, the Austrian researchers were able to dramatically improve the process of Carbyne creation with some of the results being 6,400-atoms long strings. This large amount of Carbyne created was comparatively stable due to the innovative process of its construction.
The team of researchers used two rolled sheets of Graphene to create a tiny dual-walled tube. The gap between the Graphene sheets where the Carbyne was synthesized, kept the material protected and stable.
Although the team was successful in creation of stable and longer Carbyne strings, they are invisible to naked eye. The scientists are unsure about Carbyne maintaining its properties inside the Graphene tube and about how much more work will be required to make this remarkable material usable.
Yes, there’s someone out there who actually holds a patent on mind control technology. The question is who and to what end?
Patent no. US 6506148 B2 entitled “Nervous system manipulation by electromagnetic fields from monitors” claims to be able to control a human using electromagnetic pulses from TV screens and computer monitors. The abstract alone is enough to raise an eyebrow, let alone beg the question of who’s been using the technology since 2003.
Physiological effects have been observed in a human subject in response to stimulation of the skin with weak electromagnetic fields that are pulsed with certain frequencies near ½ Hz or 2.4 Hz, such as to excite a sensory resonance. Many computer monitors and TV tubes, when displaying pulsed images, emit pulsed electromagnetic fields of sufficient amplitudes to cause such excitation. It is therefore possible to manipulate the nervous system of a subject by pulsing images displayed on a nearby computer monitor or TV set. For the latter, the image pulsing may be imbedded in the program material, or it may be overlaid by modulating a video stream, either as an RF signal or as a video signal. The image displayed on a computer monitor may be pulsed effectively by a simple computer program. For certain monitors, pulsed electromagnetic fields capable of exciting sensory resonances in nearby subjects may be generated even as the displayed images are pulsed with subliminal intensity.
While conspiracy theorists such as Alex Jones have used the existence of this patent and others to make a case for mass mind control enslavement of the human race, the real question we should be asking is how this patent has actually been used. Unfortunately, the inventor, Hendricus G. Loos, is a shadowy scientific researcher with only his published works shedding any light on who he is and what his objectives are.
However, put in another light and Loos may actually be a key to revealing the types of scientific research American’s tax dollars are funding through the Department of Defense. For example, a book describing how to contain plasma, published by the U.S. Air Force in 1958, could have something to do with jet engines, though sci-fi geeks might view it as an indirect attempt at creating the technology to produce plasma rifles.
Public enema xenomorphic robot from the dimension Zrgauddon.
It seems that every year there are new technologies coming out that are even more amazing than what the previous year held. From self-driving cars to robots entering daily lives, the world is changing at an incredibly fast rate. Click the ‘Next’ button below to see 12 new technologies on the scene in 2016!
Chris Urmson, lobbyist for, and director of, Google’s Self-driving Car division, will soon be lobbying senators for federal help in getting driver-less cars to the public market. He is expected to pitch to the Senate Commerce Committee that the technology will improve safety, and cut costs for roads, trains and buses with the notion that robot cars will save us from ourselves. But will they?
The president seems to think so, as he offered $4 billion of tax-payer money to help fund the project, and the U.S. Transportation Department tends to agree, saying that automated vehicles would be able to drive closer together which would allow for more cars on the road and higher speeds without the risk of human error. Plus, congestion would be decreased due to the fact that each car can be GPS’d to a server to look for open parking spaces.
However, a few skeptics wonder if this new invention would make congestion better or worse. The fad of having a self-driving car may deter people from using public transportation and there may inevitably be more independent cars on the road.
While we’ve already seen plenty of drones used for taking aerial photos and delivering packages, this drone is the first to feature the possibility of holding a single passenger. The Ehang Passenger Drone isn’t currently showing test flights, but the idea of a personal electric helicopter definitely sets our minds soaring for what’s in store for later this year.
Virtually all of the popular hands-free motorized scooters on the market today actually have wheels and don’t actually hover. It’s almost false advertising, when you think about it. There are even some that use fans to create giant flying boxes, but are much more like drones than “hoverboards”. This board, however, actually does.
From manufacturer Hendo, this hoverboard uses magnetic levitation, much the same way that some trains do nowadays. What’s better about this system, however, is that it can be used freely in a designated area instead of only on a track. We are yet another step closer to Back To The Future 2 technology!
Hailed at CES 2016 as the “diet spoon”, this is one invention sure to help Americans lose their fast-food weight a lot quicker than guessing how much they ate today. By taking a picture, it identifies the food on your plate before you start eating. This information can then be compared to a database of pictures to figure out an estimate of how many calories you are eating. It also uses gesture recognition to tell you how many bites you’ve taken. It comes with interchangeable utensil head attachments, as well, such as forks and spoons. Once you have one of these, you officially have no excuse for overeating!