Assistive Technology Advancements Offer A New Wave of Possibility For Your Child With Special Needs

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Technology has a way of skidding from science fictions 'past into the present like Michael J Foxs' Delorean in "Back to the Future". Remember those sliding doors in Star Trek on the USS Enterprise? We take them for granted now. And every time I see someone flip open a cell phone and talk to someone, I expect to hear them say "Beam me up Scotty." The day of live streamed video mail is coming soon -very soon. Every science fiction movie I ever saw had someone talking to someone else from a TV screen and we all laughed, yet today I heard that our IT department is supplying built in web-cams standard on all newly issued laptop models.

I had a real wide-eyed moment today and I have to share it with you. I watched our doctor wave a Dr. McCoy-Star Trek-type "tricorder" over my sons chest. "What IS that?" I had asked. The doctor explained that it would "re-align the electrical impulses that were out of sync so his respiratory infection could heal."

"Seriously?" I thought to myself. This was real. My son thought it tickled and the doctor did the treatment until the levels on the front showed the body had re-calibrated. Just when you think you are getting a handle on things, something new pops up and surprises you.

I am a specialist in assistive technology. I see new things that come out on the market all the time. I have been following the research and development of mapping the neuro-network of the brain to pinpoint the combinations of impulses and electrical frequencies that make up hand, wrist and arm movements. There are studies right now on how to re-create these impulses in "bionic" arms that replace severed ones. The research will allow our human brain to …

Is Technology Changing Our Brain Formatting – Should We Change Our Educational System To Match?

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Not long ago, I was discussing with our think tank some of the challenges with all this new technology and all the information known to mankind literally in the palm of every student lucky enough to have a parent who bought them a smartphone. When holding all this knowledge in their hands – it's no wonder they feel it a wasteful effort to memorize anything – "why bother, I can just look it up!" Well, they are right, even if we know there are some things they do need to know (memorize) and think about to survive in this world. Let's talk.

Yes, the digitizing of the world, creates a different reality, one for which our brains and bodies were not necessarily evolved for, therefore human-centric technology is the key, and we need that before we go too much further further. On the plus side, and it is a big PLUS, we open our horizons when we become digitally connected in such abundance. And, it is not the technology that is the problem alone, it's how it's used. That is the real digital divide. One person may use the technology to send pictures of "cats" to friends on Facebook, another might use it to collaborate with Canine Researchers around the planet to save big cats from extinction. Now then, the latter is much better of course, but we must allow freedom to choose how one wishes to use the technology gift before them right?

I read an interesting article the other day; "We Were Promised Flying Cars, All We Got Was 140-Characters," meaning that Twitter is worth $ 10s of Billions and for about $ 500 million we could have successful perfected VTOL personal flying machines. Humans vote with their dollars, the average person wanted to be amused by distracting …

Why Is the Blockchain Technology Important?

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Let’s say that a new technology is developed that could allow many parties to transact a real estate deal. The parties get together and complete the details about timing, special circumstances and financing. How will these parties know they can trust each other? They would have to verify their agreement with third parties – banks, legal teams, government registration and so on. This brings them back to square one in terms of using the technology to save costs.

In the next stage, the third parties are now invited to join the real estate deal and provide their input while the transaction is being created in real time. This reduces the role of the middleman significantly. If the deal is this transparent, the middleman can even be eliminated in some cases. The lawyers are there to prevent miscommunication and lawsuits. If the terms are disclosed upfront, these risks are greatly reduced. If the financing arrangements are secured upfront, it will be known in advance that the deal will be paid for and the parties will honour their payments. This brings us to the last stage of the example. If the terms of the deal and the arrangements have been completed, how will the deal be paid for? The unit of measure would be a currency issued by a central bank, which means dealing with the banks once again. Should this happen, the banks would not allow these deals to be completed without some sort of due diligence on their end and this would imply costs and delays. Is the technology that useful in creating efficiency up to this point? It is not likely.

What is the solution? Create a digital currency that is not only just as transparent as the deal itself, but is in fact part of the terms of …

Wearable Technology

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At this year’s event a considerable number of stands were focused on smart watches. A decade ago the idea that a watch could do anything more than keep time would have seemed like science fiction, but advances in technology have opened up a whole new world of possibility.

Sports Watches

Some of the smart watches operate like personal trainers. They sit on your wrist whilst you take part in your sport or activity of choice and provide a wealth of data from your route and distance covered to your heart rate and calories burned. The show included the HTC Grip and the Leap+, both of which include GPS and sports tracking functionality.

Business Watches

The LG Watch Urbane, Pebble Time and Huawei watches are some of the watches on offer that put smart technology on your wrist. With WiFi access, GPS and voice activation technology, they have the potential to transform connectivity over the coming years. These watches can connect with phones, tablets and possibly other technology in order to provide a convenient way to access apps, check emails, take pictures and navigate to a destination.

The Future of Wearable Technology

Although the first smart watches were launched in 2013, it is early days for this technology, yet we are already seeing great developments to make them increasingly practical and useful. There is already research into how wearable technology could play a crucial role in the delivery of personalised healthcare, such as reminding elderly patients when they are due to take medication, to monitoring the blood sugar levels of diabetes patients. As developments continue the possibilities will evolve in many more directions.

Whilst at present it is likely to be early adopters and gadget fans who buy the smart watches that hit the market this year, we could all be …

T Is for Technology in Triathlon Training

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The original triathletes were amazing. Dave Scott and Mark Allen accomplished amazing feats in triathlon long before technology took over the sport. They didn’t have metrics like we have today and they certainly didn’t have all of the information gathering abilities we have. Yet, they set records and competed valiantly. In fact Mark Allen still holds the marathon record in Kona to this day. Technology is a great friend to triathletes but is does have a downside.

TECHNOLOGY ITEMS

So technology has taken over every part of triathlon. One of the most widely researched areas is the area of the triathlon watch. Each and every year there are new watches available for purchase that have ever increasing measurements for the triathlete. My personal favorite is the Garmin 910XT. This watch gives me heart rate, power (with a power meter), pacing (with optional foot pod), speed, cadence (with optional cadence sensor), mileage, yards in swimming, and much more. Each of these measurements aid me in measuring my success or failures in each and every training session and race.

Technology has been making huge strides in bicycles and wheel sets. The amount of research going into these two items within the world of triathlon is incredible. Each and every year there are new and exciting advances in aerodynamic speed in bicycles and wheel sets. Much of the time these technologies can take on two very different vantage points. This was most evident at the 2016 World Championships in Kona. Diamond Bikes unveiled their Andean bike which fills in all the space in between the front tire and the back tire with a solid piece to make the wind pass by this area for aerodynamics. Another bike debuted at Kona this year with the exact opposite idea. The Ventum bike eliminated the down …