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Features Archive

  • The Measured Life

    Do you know how much REM sleep you got last night? New types of devices that monitor activity, sleep, diet, and even mood could make us healthier and more productive.

    4 comments

  • The Patient of the Future

    Internet pioneer Larry Smarr’s quest to quantify everything about his health led him to a startling discovery, an unusual partnership with his doctor, and more control over his life.

    52 comments

  • The Difference Between Makers and Manufacturers

    Fans of 3-D printers and digital design tools argue that these technologies will transform the way we make goods. But can the “maker” movement really produce more than iPhone covers and jewelry?

    40 comments

  • So Far, Smart Watches Are Pretty Dumb

    Smart watches risk becoming just another irritating gadget unless their makers learn to use AI and sensors to take advantage of the fact that they’re worn all day.

    8 comments

  • Fire in the Library

    Once, we stored our photos and other mementos in shoeboxes in the attic; now we keep them online. That puts our stuff at the mercy of companies that could decide to throw it away—unless Jason Scott and the Archive Team can get there first.

    9 comments

  • An AI Pal That Is Better Than “Her”

    The charming automated assistant in Spike Jonze’s new movie isn’t realistic. But if they were designed thoughtfully, computerized interlocutors could make us better people.

    15 comments

  • A Practical Road to Lightweight Cars

    Sure, we could make the leap to a plastic “supercar” but who could afford to buy it? The auto industry can get just as far, and achieve lower costs, by taking one step at a time.

    1 comment

  • The Dementia Plague

    As the world’s population of older people rapidly grows in the coming years, Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia will become a health-care disaster.

    33 comments

  • Reading the Mind

    A 1961 essay speculated on where research into the physical basis of thinking and communication might eventually lead.

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