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How to Keep Your Kids From Getting Addicted to Gadgets

Gadgets can help us improve our communication. However, keep in mind that it can also be addictive especially to kids. You want to make...

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Low-cost sensors

Homes will change how it is operated. In fact, with the emergence of low-cost sensors, it is possible to rack up savings in the...

Technologies that Made an Impact This 2017

The rapid growth of technology has changed the way we do activities and live our lives. In fact, we’ve seen new inventions left and...

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Building Empathy With VR Games

Educational video games are nothing new, but they have begun tackling more nuanced topics over the past few years. Games like “Depression Quest,” “That Dragon, Cancer” and “Actual Sunlight” put gamers in the role of protagonists suffering from real-world problems for the purpose of building empathy in the player. The field of virtual reality has created new potential for such empathy building games, and now there’s even data to back up their effectiveness.

A new VR project called “Across the Line” simulates what many women see when they first arrive at an abortion clinic: a mob of protesters. Developed by Planned Parenthood, the immersive cinematic experience uses a combination of real audio and scripted scenes.

The terms “game” and “player” are used loosely as there is little user interaction; players just helplessly watch what many real women face from a first-person perspective.

“Across the Line” isn’t the first game to tackle access to abortion. A flash game called “Choice: Texas,” a role-playing game that guides players through the lives of several women seeking care, came out just a couple of years ago. However, what distinguishes “Across the Line” is that the developers actually studied how their game impacts player’s opinions.

According to executive producer Molly Eagan, the goal of the project was to increase empathy for women who have abortions, reduce tolerance for bullying and encourage people to be more supportive of reproductive rights. To determine if they met their goals, Planned Parenthood commissioned researchers to conduct an experiment on two groups of viewers attending last year’s Sundance Film Festival.

Both groups were given surveys about their views on protests outside of abortion clinics; however, one group took the survey before watching the simulation, and the other took it after watching the simulation. The people who watched the simulation first tended to be significantly more disapproving of demonstrations outside of abortion clinics.

Because most of the film festival’s attendees were economically privledged liberals, Planned Parenthood decided to repeat the study while targeting women with moderate political beliefs in Kansas City and Atlanta. Instead of surveys, they conducted long-form interviews with each participant, and they found that women who watched “Across the Line” were more empathetic toward women who seek abortions. Many expressed willingness to talk about the subject with their friends, and a few even offered to volunteer to escort women through crowds of protesters.

Executive producer Molly Eagan has told reporters that many people, regardless of their political beliefs, are unaware of the level of harassment that can take place outside of Planned Parenthood clinics. Many viewers in the studies found the simulation overwhelming and wanted to stop before it was over, especially those who knew women who have had abortions because “they didn’t realize the level of harassment their loved ones may have endured,” according to Eagan.

Due to the stigma surrounding the procedure, many women who have had abortions don’t share their experiences, so their friends and family don’t know what it’s really like. However, based on the study results, Eagan is optimistic about VR’s capacity to help players figuratively see through the eyes of others.

“Across the Line” is being distributed at colleges across the nation along with discussion guides created by Planned Parenthood. The non-profit is also making an effort to show the film to policymakers and police officers. Anyone with a Google Cardboard VR set can experience “Across the Line” by visiting www.acrossthelinevr.com. Whether or not it has a large scale impact is yet to be seen, but the project has laid great groundwork for testing how VR experiences can influence people’s worldviews.

Sources:

http://mashable.com/2017/05/19/virtual-reality-empathy-abortion-planned-parenthood/#s0S1y6Ro2Eqz

http://www.acrossthelinevr.com/#accessing-abortion-in-america

https://www.plannedparenthood.org/uploads/filer_public/4a/5c/4a5c911e-44a5-4937-b8d9-f7b1cb821112/atlexecsummary.pdf

https://www.polygon.com/2013/8/29/4661712/choice-texas-brings-abortion-issues-to-gaming

How Networking Can Improve Car Safety

Automobiles have become safer because of technological advances introduced with the past few decades. Life-saving innovations include the automatic seat belt, anti-lock brakes and stability control as well as front, rear and side curtain airbags. In addition to camera-based or radar-assisted backup systems, many vehicles are equipped with hands-free parking and blind-spot warning systems. With the advent of the cloud, auto safety experts believe that network technology may be the next major innovation in automotive safety.

Car manufacturers, federal regulators and technology companies have collaborated to design an effective vehicle-to-vehicle or car-to-car communication system for almost two decades. These systems enable vehicles to broadcast their location, speed, braking status and steering wheel position to other cars, trucks or buses within a few hundred meters. Relaying this information and potentially alerting each connected vehicle to issues ahead could provide safer driving beyond the ability of even the most alert and capable driver.

According to government statistics, more than 5.68 million police-reported accidents in 2013 caused over 32,000 fatalities and 2.3 million injuries. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that up to 80 percent of these accidents could have been averted with vehicle-to-vehicle networking. To ensure privacy, the systems will not transmit vehicle identification numbers or any other personal information.

In February 2016, Google’s autonomous car sideswiped a bus. The computer on board the self-driving car identified an obstacle in its path and changed lanes to avoid it. The car’s onboard systems recognized the bus in the adjacent lane but anticipated that it would slow down and allow the car to merge. The accident occurred because the bus maintained its speed. The bus driver did not know that there was an obstacle in the other lane. Vehicle-to-vehicle networking may have prevented the accident. If both vehicles were connected to the same network, the bus’ computer would have received a signal that the car was changing lanes. The transit bus’ software would have slowed the vehicle facilitating a safe merger.

System designers envision a network of connected vehicles that communicate with each other 10 times per second to transmit and receive data, such as speed, braking and GPS position. Onboard computers would process this information, calculate potential risks and alert the drivers. In a self-driving car, the required braking, speed or position changes would be accomplished automatically. The technology could also be integrated into a vehicle-to-infrastructure system that enables autonomous vehicles to anticipate that traffic lights are about to change. The network could communicate with navigation systems so that the car can automatically calculate a more efficient route around an accident scene or congested traffic. While autonomous vehicle software is still affected by weather, complex city driving and poor road conditions, car-to-car networking is on the horizon.

The federal government continues to fund research and field-testing. Along with the NHTSA, major players include General Motors and the University of Michigan as well as Apple, BMW and Qualcomm. German engineering and automotive supply company, Bosch is developing motorcycle-to-vehicle technology. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has already set aside bandwidth for this groundbreaking technology. A vehicle-to-vehicle communication system is a standard feature on the 2017 Cadillac CTS, the first production automobile to incorporate this safety technology. The automaker has also successfully demonstrated a vehicle-to-infrastructure prototype. Joining states like Ohio and Nevada in the development of smart city infrastructure, Michigan has begun adding vehicle-to-infrastructure upgrades along portions of Interstate 75.

While the infrastructure of tomorrow is only available in a few locations, considerable resources are being invested to determine the best communication system for the future. The demand for this system is higher in the U.S., but the market is expected to grow in Europe, Asia and Africa as the number of vehicles increases along with the implementation and acceptance of these innovative technological developments.

Tech Innovations You Should Have In Your Home

There are a lot of technologies that are now becoming in demand. If you are going to pick which ones to include in your home, you want to go for things that can add safety and efficiency on your property. Having CCTV cameras, for instance, is a great way to increase the level of protection in your home. These cameras can be hooked on your mobile device allowing you to see everything even if you are not around. It is also a good idea that you install lights that have sensors in order to save energy. And for some bulbs, there are even those that you can control via your mobile device.

How to Keep Your Kids From Getting Addicted to Gadgets

Gadgets can help us improve our communication. However, keep in mind that it can also be addictive especially to kids. You want to make sure that you are controlling the use of mobile phones, tablets, and other electronic devices at home with your kids. You can start by controlling the number of hours that they can use the device throughout the day. It is a good idea that they can only use the device for an hour every day. This way, they don’t rely on these things.

Things To Expect From Smartphones in The Coming Years

We’ve seen a lot of phones in the market in recent years. What can we expect from smartphones in the coming years? For one, we are seeing the emergence of larger screens. This allows users to enjoy videos. Also, a common problem that is being addressed today by many manufacturers is their phone’s battery life. This is especially handy now that people use the internet so much. In addition to this, there are also water resistant models that are becoming popular. This allows users to enjoy their phones more.

CCTV Tech in Business And Home

CCTV tech comes in handy in your home or in your business. According to research, CCTV can be considered as a crime deterrent. This can prevent robbers from going to your business or your home because they know that they are being recorded. In addition to this, you also feel safer because you can access the CCTV footages even on your mobile device. This allows you to report to the police immediately if you find anything unusual on your property. For a lot of business owners, these cameras can help increase the productivity in the workplace since employees know that they are being recorded.

Technologies that Made an Impact This 2017

The rapid growth of technology has changed the way we do activities and live our lives. In fact, we’ve seen new inventions left and right. Sometimes, it is often times hard to keep up.

But there are technologies that are far more than just for consumer use. There are technologies that have changed the way we interact or perform daily tasks. Here are some of the most notable technologies that made an impact this 2017.

Improved search algorithm

Google has changed the way we live and how we access information. Over the years, Google’s algorithm has continuously improved in order to bring the most relevant results to its users. Google has developed an algorithm that is location sensitive specifically for mobile users. This allows the search engine to provide better results that are relevant especially when the location is taken into consideration.

Innovative Construction Materials

Modernization is something that a lot of us have to deal with. And alongside modernization is the rapid destruction of nature. For a lot of innovators in the construction industry, they’ve come up with modern construction materials that can help attenuate the effects of cities on our lives.

For instance, there is the cement that captures carbon dioxide hoping to keep the environment cool. There are also bricks that have been developed from bacteria. With these developments in the construction industry, not only is it possible to attract environmentally conscious clients, it can also make a huge impact in the cities.

Plants that can simulate the meat like experience

Greenhouse gasses and cruelty-free consumption are just some of the things that are gaining attention. Plant-based proteins are now being developed in order to help lessen the consumption of meat. These plant-based proteins are being developed to have the same meat-like experience.

There are also technologies being used today to produce eggs, meat, and dairy products solely in laboratories and not in farms.

VR in lieu of live concerts?

VR technology is fast developing. In fact, it is expected that VR technology will soon replace live events. This means that you can enjoy an engaging experience using VR technology. It is possible in the near future that organizers are going to sell VR tickets instead.

Low-cost sensors

Homes will change how it is operated. In fact, with the emergence of low-cost sensors, it is possible to rack up savings in the long run. We will have access to our homes remotely, not to mention have smart sensors that will only turn on when someone is around.

Drone technology

Drones are no longer just used as Christmas gifts. Instead, drones are going to be used for different purposes. Drones can be used to deliver medicine to far-flung areas that are commonly inaccessible to by land and planes. Amazon is also testing drones that can deliver products to customers with reduced cost and time.

Technology can help improve the way we live our lives. It has the ability to deliver the best results that can even help reduce the impact to nature. With these technologies, it has allowed us to live our lives a bit differently and a bit more comfortably.

Low-cost sensors

Homes will change how it is operated. In fact, with the emergence of low-cost sensors, it is possible to rack up savings in the long run. We will have access to our homes remotely, not to mention have smart sensors that will only turn on when someone is around.

Drone technology

Technology can help improve the way we live our lives. It has the ability to deliver the best results that can even help reduce the impact to nature. With these technologies, it has allowed us to live our lives a bit differently and a bit more comfortably.

Innovative Construction Materials

There is the cement that captures carbon dioxide hoping to keep the environment cool. There are also bricks that have been developed from bacteria. With these developments in the construction industry, not only is it possible to attract environmentally conscious clients, it can also make a huge impact in the cities.

EDITOR'S PICK

How Networking Can Improve Car Safety

Automobiles have become safer because of technological advances introduced with the past few decades. Life-saving innovations include the automatic seat belt, anti-lock brakes and...