Looking for “sleek solutions.”
The unexpectedness of this technology is not so much the place as it is the sleekness of the solution. And there’s a medical synergy to each of these. More or less.
So come inspect a medical mule in Rwanda, FB enabling the blind to see and artificial skin that sweats. Not just technology in unexpected places, but solutions that are more than just cool. They are sleek: aerodynamically, ophthalmologically and artificially. Technically speaking.
1. A drone in Rwanda replaces the medical mule.
When you think of jungles you don’t imagine four-lane freeways. Ok. So maybe you do for your commute. But in undeveloped areas like Rwanda, it is difficult to get to people with the medical help they need. Especially when the need is urgent. The faithful medical mule could get you there, but with great investment of time. Not to mention exposure to snakes and other wild animals.
Zipline is a startup company which has developed a sleek solution: a fixed wing drone which can carry medicine, blood plasma or other medical supplies in a 75 mile radius in minutes. Because there’s less air traffic, Rwanda makes the Beta venture a good place to test the concept. Currently being tested in San Francisco.
Check out the launch sling-shot style. And the pin-point landing of the package. Very impressive! [At this Youtube video]
2. Facebook seeks to help the blind.
FB helps blind to see with an AI image reader designed especially for those who cannot see. For Facebook this has got to rank as very sleek!
Digital Trends reports that Facebook is helping blind people see images through artificial intelligence. AI generates descriptions called automatic alternate text. The descriptions work with existing screen reader apps used by blind and visually impaired people. The descriptions from the AI resource currently identify objects and scenes, but with no facial recognition. That’s an obvious next step.
So you if you share a birthday picture with a visually impaired friend, while it won’t tell him who is actually in the picture and what they’re wearing, it will read: “Image contains three people, smiling, birthday cake.” And that creates an image. In the mind.
According to Facebook, more than “246 million people around the world have severe visual impairments and 39 million are blind.” More than 2 billion photos are shared daily on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp. Automatic alternate text can help social media be more inclusive.
3. Finally, artificial skin that can sweat. And grow hair.
Japan’s RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology published their findings in the journal of Science Advances. The scientists there successfully created a batch of lab-grown skin capable of not only growing hair but also sweating. Talk about sleek!
Researchers implanted the tissue grown onto living mice for testing and found that there was a remarkable bonding to the test animals’ muscle fiber and nerves. This is good news for those burn victims facing extensive skin transplants or those with various skin diseases. With this strong positive result researchers have a good start in future developments.