Welcome to the BYTE, where we serve up the latest home and tech news from the last week for you to sink your teeth into.
This week, we’re taking a BYTE out of paying for groceries with your hand, treating anxiety and depression with a plant, robotics implemented into real estate, a robot snake that can aid stroke victims, and the light phone 2. Dig in!
Pay for Groceries Using Only Your Hand
That’s right! Amazon is testing using only your hand to pay for your Whole Foods groceries. No more worrying about forgetting about your wallet.
Quicker Checkout Process
Amazon is trying to make the whole check out process easier for their customers. Instead of taking longer to search for your wallet and then pay, you can just wave your hand to pay. The shoppers won’t have to touch anything as the biometric technology uses computer vision along with depth perception to analyze and collect data. Then, the program will merge the data it gathered with your account to allow you to check out quickly. How would you feel about paying for groceries with your hand? Do you think people would be less scared of scanning their hand versus their face?
Robotic Snake Used to Aid Stroke Victims
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) created a robotic device, referred to as a robotic snake, to treat stroke victims. The robotic device is controlled by magnets and is only about the size of a thread. They created this robotic snake to sliver through the blood vessels and clear out the blood clots formed in the brain of a stroke victim. Surgeons usually use a tool called a catheter that is threaded by a surgeon using only his hands. There is only a limited time to finish this procedure before the patient’s survival rate decreases. This device could reduce the time it takes to clear out these blood clots and therefore, makes a difference whether or not a stroke victim survives.
Light Phone 2
Are we too addicted to our smartphones? Well, Light Phone 2 might just solve that. The light phone was created by a company, called Light, to give relief to those who need a break from their apps and notifications. The only functions on this phone are making calls, sending texts and setting alarms. They plan to add more necessary features that don’t distract you, like a GPS, but they are not available yet. The light phone also has an E Ink screen display that adds to the remoteness of the phone. This is the perfect phone to get you off the grid. If you think you’ve been consumed by your phone and want to engage with the real world, this is the phone for you.
Real Estate Goes Robotic
What started out as an MIT project, became a company called Ori. Imagine walking into your living room and then your kitchen and bed slide out. This company created robotic furnishing to make the most of your little space especially if you live in the city. One of their biggest problems is that they can’t install these robotic furnishing if the building wasn’t created to house it. Currently, they deliver this robotic furnishing but are partnering with major investors to implement their design into the architecture of the buildings. What does this mean? We might see this drop-in furniture in the future of real estate.
Your Prescription for Anxiety and Depression is a Plant
A clinic in Manchester, England, is prescribing patients with anxiety and depression with houseplants. This clinic, called Cornbrook Medical Practice, bases its idea that being around the greenery can help your health, and there is data that implies being alone makes your health outcome worse – they suggest you go out and help at the hospital garden to further your treatment. This doesn’t just benefit the patient but also benefits the hospital to have fresh vegetables to use in the cafeteria.
T-Rexes Had a Built-in A/C Inside Their Heads
Recent research shows that holes inside of Tyrannosaurus rex’s head they originally thought were filled with muscles, were actually filled with blood vessels. They used these blood vessels to keep themselves warmer or cooler. T-rexes also had their own internal A/C unit inside their head. It’s no wonder they survived in that hot humid environment. They discovered this by researching the closest reptile to a dinosaur, the alligator, who also has similar holes in their heads. Wouldn’t it be nice if humans could warm or cool themselves when they felt like it?