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nikola tesla (getty images) / istock (wifi)

There's a Nikola Tesla Statue That Provides Free Wi-Fi

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nikola tesla (getty images) / istock (wifi)

Nikola Tesla, one of the most influential inventors of the 20th century, spent his life working with electricity and dreamed of the possibility of wireless communication. Although he died about 30 years before the first call was made on a wireless cell phone, his work is invaluable to the technology available today. What could be a more fitting tribute to this man than a statue in his likeness that is equipped with free Wi-Fi? 

Entrepreneur Dorrian Porter was inspired to create the life-size statue after learning that he had a lot in common with Tesla– both men were immigrants who found professional success after moving to America. One of Porter’s companies, Northern Imagination, organized a Kickstarter in May of 2013 that raised over $127,000 to erect the statue. 

Standing at Tesla’s actual height of 6'2", the bronze tribute sculpted by Terry Guyer features Tesla holding a giant wireless light bulb. In addition to providing complimentary Wi-Fi to those visiting its new home in Silicon Valley, the statue also houses a time capsule to be opened on January 7, 2043—the 100th anniversary of Tesla’s death.

Porter also used this project to comment on the need to balance innovation with the economics of venture capital. His short tongue-in-cheek video imaging what Tesla’s pitch to modern investors would look like reached over 230,000 views, greatly pleasing Porter. “This unique project … is also intended to inspire the entrepreneurs who come to the Silicon Valley to think big and selflessly—as Tesla did,” says Porter. “The free exchange of information and affordable access to sustainable energy have the potential to solve the critical issues of poverty and education, and inspire peace.”

Tesla continues to be a big part of tech today—even tweeting and taking selfies:

[via: Reddit’s Today I Learned]

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Mario Tama, Getty Images
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People With Limited Mobility Can Now Use Amazon Alexa to Control Exoskeletons
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Mario Tama, Getty Images

One of the challenges that comes with engineering exoskeletons that compensate for limited mobility is giving control to the people who wear them. Some systems use hand controls, while others can detect faint signals in the wearer’s muscles and respond accordingly. Now one exoskeleton startup is taking advantage of a technology that’s become mainstream in recent years: voice recognition.

As Engadget reports, Bionik Laboratories has integrated Amazon’s Alexa into its ARKE lower-body exoskeleton. The apparatus is designed for people with spinal chord damage or a history of stroke or traumatic brain injury that has hindered their movement below the waist. After strapping into the suit, wearers will now be able to use it just as they would a television set or stereo enabled with Alexa. Saying “Alexa, I’m ready to stand,” brings the joints to an upright position, and the command “Alexa, I’m ready to walk” prompts the legs to move forward. An Amazon Echo device must be within hearing range for the voice control to work, so in its current state the exoskeleton is only good for making short trips within the home.

Compatibility with Alexa isn’t the only modern feature Bionik worked into the design. The company also claims that ARKE is the first exoskeleton with integrated tablet control. That means if users wish to adjust their suit manually, they can do so by typing commands into a wireless touchpad. The tablet also records information that physical therapists can use to make more informed decisions when treating the patient.

Before the ARKE suit can be made available to consumers, it must first undergo clinical trials and receive approval from the FDA. If the tests go as planned Bionik hopes to have a commercial version of the product ready by 2019.

[h/t Engadget]

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The Most Popular Emojis Around the World
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iStock

Emojis may be the closest thing we currently have to a universal language. But even between English-speaking countries, emoji-texting habits can vary greatly.

HighSpeedInternet.com recently conducted an international survey on emoji usage and used the data to make the map below.

Of the nine English-speaking countries they studied, all nine chose the basic smiley emoji as their favorite pictograph. The second-place symbols are where interesting trends start to appear: For example, respondents in Jamaica, Trinidad, the UK, and the U.S. are all partial to the teary-eyed laughing emoji. Love is also a popular theme. Texters in Canada like sending one heart, while in New Zealand they prefer two. But not every country is so wholesome: In Ireland, the most popular emoji message behind a smiley face is a double poop.

They also determined that different countries have different interpretations of the same images; while everyone seems to greet that the kissing heart face means "love you," where some countries see an innocuous food image like an eggplant or a peach for exactly what it is, other countries have a less PG-rated view of them. (Learn more about their findings here.)

HighSpeedInternet.com

It should come as no surprise that emojis are loved in the U.S., where residents report including them in over half of all text messages. Besides Trinidad, all other countries included in the survey reported using emojis in less than 25 percent of texts. For a more localized look at visual texting trends, check out this map of the most prevalent emojis in each state.

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