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Digital Family

It isn’t easy to check up on one’s elderly parents from afar, but perhaps technology can offer a partial solution. Researchers at Georgia Tech have developed an Internet-based “digital family portrait” designed for families to hang on the wall and receive daily information on their parents’ well-being. Sensors at the parents’ home record how much they climb stairs or move around. A computer compiles the information and sends it over the Internet to the digital portrait-a flat-panel display mounted on a wooden frame. Icons arrayed around the photo change in size to indicate how active the parent is on a given day. The folks who are monitored can choose the information they want transmitted. “We’re not building a granny-cam,” says project leader Elizabeth Mynatt. “Nobody really wants that.” While commercialization is possible within a year, Mynatt’s next project is to make frames for monitoring health and socialization.

Deep Dive

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Five poems about the mind

DREAM VENDING MACHINE I feed it coins and watch the spring coil back,the clunk of a vacuum-packed, foil-wrappeddream dropping into the tray. It dispenses all kinds of dreams—bad dreams, good dreams,short nightmares to stave off worse ones, recurring dreams with a teacake marshmallow center.Hardboiled caramel dreams to tuck in your cheek,a bag of orange dreams…

Work reinvented: Tech will drive the office evolution

As organizations navigate a new world of hybrid work, tech innovation will be crucial for employee connection and collaboration.

lucid dreaming concept
lucid dreaming concept

I taught myself to lucid dream. You can too.

We still don’t know much about the experience of being aware that you’re dreaming—but a few researchers think it could help us find out more about how the brain works.

panpsychism concept
panpsychism concept

Is everything in the world a little bit conscious?

The idea that consciousness is widespread is attractive to many for intellectual and, perhaps, also emotional
reasons. But can it be tested? Surprisingly, perhaps it can.

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Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

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