Monthly Archives: March 2013

Electronic Sensory Expansion

ShapingTomorrowBlog

By Dennis Draeger

Sensory substitution is a method of replacing the information flow of one sense with that of another sense. The research dates back to the 1960s and has been used in various ways to help people with physical impairments. Biohackers and other researchers have recently adopted these techniques to enhance and extend the sensory experiences of the non-impaired with potentially practical applications, some of which might even enter the mainstream market.

What’s changing?

Recently, scientists have taught mice to detect infrared light through their sense of touch. They hope to use the findings to help develop prosthetics that send the human brain tactile feedback using infrared light. However, such a sense may possibly, with much further research, be used by security personnel to detect thermal imaging without a video screen.

Other researchers have developed a full body suit with a very different purpose. Called the SpiderSense suit, it…

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Who Needs Paper?

My latest trend alert

ShapingTomorrowBlog

Our latest public trend alert was initially inspired by a post on this blog. The question really is: “who needs paper?” With all the technology in modern life increasingly capable of accomplishing the same functions as paper, paper has become more of a want than a need, but society still wants it as you will see in the trend alert. It appears, however, that a balance is drawing ever nearer between paper use and that of electronics and between tactile and virtual experiences. What do you think the implications are for the environment, society, and your home or office?

The paperless society has been touted for decades, but paper’s use has been growing for millennia. With the growing capabilities, convenience and mobility, of new technologies reaching maturity, are we finally seeing a tipping point toward a society of less paper?

What is changing?

It has taken several decades since the…

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