Death, depression and… Social media.

02/04/2013

Death in comicLately I happened to come across a number of sources that discuss what happens to our social media an generally digital accounts when we die.

The most recent article I’ve seen was on Mashable a few days ago. It brought back discussions of the matter with friends. Really what happens to our digital footprints when we die.  Well… the article explains quite good how different social media are handling such cases and in most cases there are options for relatives to either “shut down” the account and delete all data or put it in a specific state where it cannot be updated but can be used to post messages in memory of the lost person.

A few months ago I also read another quite interesting but spooky story about a new (back then) Facebook app called  “If I Die”. To be honest, after searching and reading a bit about the app I found the idea quite cool. What the app is doing is that lets you assign 3 persons responsible for verifying your death. When this happens they are then given a “key” to open your digital will. It could be a video, a document, a collection of photos… whatever you wish to say to them when you… you know… die! Read the rest of this entry »

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I’m not sick… I just want to enjoy the view from my window!

11/26/2012
Elderly woman looking from a window

Elderly woman looking from a window

Today, I’m going to briefly discuss the potential benefits from exploring affective computing technologies in smart homes and smart environments in general especially when it comes to providing health and social services. Smart home technologies today are mostly accompanied with some potential problems annoying residents of smart homes with false alarms and unwanted reactions. When an elderly or person with disability lives in a smart home one would expect it to be that smart home to recognise what situation is really a potential danger or threat to them and act accordingly. Sensor technologies have advanced a lot in the direction of detecting potential dangers and threats but there is one thing they still cannot control. Human behaviour. Read the rest of this entry »


Make AT not war!

10/22/2012

The title might seem a bit strange but this post has to do with… war. Maybe not war itself but military in general.

It’s been years now that the military all over the world tries to make the most out of soldiers supporting them with exoskeletons. In the US for example the Berkley Lower Extremity Exoskeleton (BLEEX) developed by UC Berkley Robotics and Human Engineering Laboratory Homayoon Kazerooni aims to “create an exoskeleton that combines a human control system with robotic muscle”. The project was funded by DARPA and in 2004 and at that time it was the most advanced exoskeleton. UC Berkley is also behind of another newer military exoskeletons as well titled Human Universal Load Carrier (HULC). HULC incorporates features from two other models of Berkley Robotics the ExoHiker and ExoClimber which were designed for carrying heavy loads during long missions and climbing stairs and steep slopes rapidly. Another DARPA funded project was the Sarcos exoskeleton which recently was improved by Raytheon to a newer stronger faster and better model titled XOS2. This exoskeleton, much like the Berkeley suit, works much like a human nervous system. A complex set of sensors act as nerves and hydraulics act as muscles.

The same lab has recently presented a new exoskeleton system called eLEGS aiming to help paraplegics and those with mobility disorder to stand and walk. eLEGS was selected as number 2 of the 10 Most significant Gadgets of 2010 by WIRED magazine. Read the rest of this entry »


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