Teen Develops New App That May Help Alzheimer's Patients Recognize Family

iStock
iStock

A progressively worsening form of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease is best known for the way it affects memory. As the condition interferes with nerve cells in the brain, it can become increasingly difficult for patients to recognize close friends and family.

Researchers are committed to finding a cure—more than 90 percent of what we know about Alzheimer’s was discovered in the past 20 years alone, according to the Alzheimer's Association—but those affected and their loved ones are hoping to find faster solutions in other venues. Fourteen-year-old Emma Yang put her programming skills to work creating an app that may one day help her grandmother, who was diagnosed with the disease, remember her loved ones.

According to Fast Company, Yang coded an app called Timeless, which uses facial recognition to inform users about who a person is and what their relationship is to the patient. If a user doesn’t recognize someone, he or she can snap a photo and Timeless will try to fetch details. With repetitive scrolling and browsing of photos, it’s possible patients will be better able to retain information about that individual.

Timeless also brings up appointment reminders and can notify users when they might be performing a task repetitively. If a user calls a friend after failing to remember the first call, for example, Timeless will put up a notification that it’s the second call made in a short period of time.

Yang is hoping that an Indiegogo campaign will be able to raise enough funds for further development and a formal study on the app’s efficacy.

[h/t Fast Company]

The Pope's Swiss Guards Are Now Outfitted in 3D-Printed Helmets

Franco Origlia/Getty Images
Franco Origlia/Getty Images

The Popemobile isn't the only innovative piece of gear used by the Pope and his posse. Though they still look traditional, the outfits worn by the Swiss Guard now include a high-tech piece of headwear designed by the 3D-printing design team at HP, Fast Company reports.

Members of the Swiss Guard, the Vatican's private army, wore the same helmet for more than 500 years. The steel hat is branded with the crest of Pope Julius II (the "mercenary pope" and the guard's founder) and embellished with a red feathered crest for special events.

Though it made for an iconic look, the original helmet had some practical issues. After baking in the Sun for hours, the metal would heat up and burn the guard's heads. Steel also isn't the most comfortable material to be wearing on your head all day, and because it rusts so easily, it doesn't make sense to wear it in the rain.

The updated helmets from HP solve these problems while maintaining the style of the old headgear. They're made from PVC plastic, which means they're lighter and resistant to UV rays. They're also water-resistant and don't need to be polished constantly to prevent rusting.

The hats are even more affordable than their more traditional predecessors. It costs $1000 and takes 14 hours to 3D-print each PVC helmet, while it took $2000 and 100 hours to forge a single steel one.

Interested in learning about more Papal upgrades? Here are some of the stylish rides the Pope used to get around in recent decades.

[h/t Fast Company]

This Smart Ink Poster Changes According to the Weather

Typified
Typified

With detailed weather data available at a glance on smartphones or on the Weather Channel 24 hours a day, checking the forecast has never been easier. But Typified, a Melbourne, Australia-based company, believes that some people would rather hang their weather forecast on the wall than look at their phone or television. Typified is currently enjoying a successful round of funding on Kickstarter for its Weather Poster, a mountable “screen” that depicts current weather conditions.

Look closely, though, and you’ll see it’s not really a screen at all. Instead, Typified is using paper and digital ink to create a dynamic display that can react to the changing weather with a Wi-Fi connection.

The silk-screen printed poster has a simple layout, with three weather icons—rain and snow, cloudy, or sunny—that correspond to four-hour intervals throughout the day. Using input from a tiny built-in computer, the ink in the icons changes color from blue to white to indicate current conditions and the forecast.

Typified is betting that people aren’t looking for another high-tech display for their home or office—the poster, which emits no light at all, is unobtrusive, and lightweight enough (3.4 pounds) to be hung on a wall with adhesive strips.

Buy one for yourself on Kickstarter, where a pledge of $135 earns supporters one Weather Poster and two years of free weather forecasts (subsequently $7.50 per year). The campaign runs through March 4, and the poster is set to be shipped to backers in July 2019.

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