Tactile Excel sheets and graphics to boost job prospects for blind people 20 November 2018

Image credit - René Jaun's braille display by visualpun.ch is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Touchscreens and digital graphics are everywhere, but for people who are visually impaired, they can be a major hurdle to using modern technology. But this is set to change, thanks to tactile technology that automatically converts complex digital graphics into braille and stick-on smartphone buttons that make apps navigable by touch. There are 30 million blind or … Read more

The video games that improve kids’ social skills

Image credit - Pixabay/ StockSnap, licensed under CCO

Video games that are specifically designed to test and improve children’s social and emotional skills could enable parents and teachers to spot issues and help children improve their behaviour and performance at school as well as in later life. Imagine racing through a virtual labyrinth against an alien and losing. Given the chance to rerun … Read more

How do we feed the world? The internet of things can help

Image credit - Flickr/ Andrew Newill, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Connecting objects and devices through the Internet of Things (IoT) can help solve the greatest challenges of our time, from cutting emissions to feeding a growing population, believes Alicia Asín, CEO and co-founder of Spanish technology company Libelium which makes IoT hardware. Asín was the second-place winner of the 2018 EU Prize for Women Innovators. When it comes to … Read more

Facebook and Twitter need a redesign to fight junk news

Image credit - Flickr/Olivier Matthys, image is in the public domain

As the use of social media to spread misinformation soars, it’s time for companies such as Facebook and Twitter to redesign their platforms, says Professor Philip Howard, head of the Oxford Internet Institute, UK. According to a recent study by the institute, organised social media manipulation has risen from being active in 28 countries to 48 in … Read more

Models of dinosaur movement could help us build stronger robots and buildings

Researchers are using computer simulations to estimate how 11 different species of extinct archosaurs such as the batrachotomus might have moved.

From about 245 to 66 million years ago, dinosaurs roamed the Earth. Although well-preserved skeletons give us a good idea of what they looked like, the way their limbs worked remains a bigger mystery. But computer simulations may soon provide a realistic glimpse into how some species moved and inform work in fields such as … Read more

Memory-jogging robot to keep people sharp in ‘smart’ retirement homes

Sensors placed throughout a retirement home helped the ENRICHME robot to keep track of the movements and activities of residents taking part in the project’s trial.

A robot that reminds older people where they have put things and helps them exercise has been used by residents in three retirement homes in a trial to combat cognitive decline in later age. Almost a fifth of the European population are over 65 years old, but while quality of life for this age bracket is … Read more