This Sweater Is Also a Physical Therapist

iStock.com/hipokrat
iStock.com/hipokrat

Image Credit: Vigour

Dutch fashion designer Pauline van Dongen’s latest creation is better suited to a doctor’s office than a runway. Vigour, her collaboration with smart textile designer Martijn ten Bhömer, is kind of a wearable physical therapist. The sweater, woven with sensors and conductive fibers, is aimed at older adults, especially those with dementia. 

The sensors, located in the lower back and under the arms, record motion data while the wearer completes exercises, providing the physical therapist with active feedback on the patient’s progress through an iPad. It also makes sounds, providing aural feedback to help dementia patients better remember whether they’re doing the exercises right. 

Vigour from STS CRISP on Vimeo.

The knitted cardigan is designed to look and feel much like a regular item of clothing, so that older adults don’t balk at the stigma of wearing a medical device. Thus, it’s also comfortable enough to be worn all day, which like other fitness trackers, may encourage the wearer to stay active. Physical activity has been shown to reduce cognitive impairment, and may slow the onset of dementia. 

The sweater debuted at Dutch Design Week in the fall. Since then, the creators have improved the sweater’s software and sound controls. It comes in six colors right now, though it’s not yet available on the commercial market. Regardless, we eagerly await the day when a cozy sweater can be considered a health and fitness product. 

[h/t: Co.Design]

Google Creates First AI Doodle for Bach’s Birthday

Google
Google

Although there’s some debate about Johann Sebastian Bach’s exact birth date, today is roughly the 334th anniversary of the famous composer’s birth. In celebration of Bach’s contributions to a genre that would later be called classical music, Google created a Doodle that lets users create a song in Bach’s signature style.

Google has created musical Doodles before, but what sets this one apart is that it’s the first-ever Doodle powered by artificial intelligence, according to Newsweek. In this case, users create a simple melody by choosing their preferred notes on a musical staff, then increasing or decreasing the pace (measured in beats per minute, or BPM) or changing the key, if desired. Once satisfied, all they have to do is hit the “harmonize” button and let AI create a more sophisticated tune.

Fortunately for Google, there was a lot of material to draw from. Bach was a busy man, creating more than 1100 compositions in his lifetime (while also finding time to father 20 children). However, for this Doodle, a machine-learning model called Coconet was fed a portion of his oeuvre—306 harmonies in total. In addition to being trained to recognize the musical patterns in Bach's work, the model is also capable of creating harmonies, smooth transitions, and compositions from scratch.

“So when you create a melody of your own on the model in the Doodle, it harmonizes that melody in Bach's specific style,” Google explained in a statement. And just for fun, there’s a feature that lets you hear what the harmony would sound like in a modern rock style.

For a behind-the-scenes look of how the Bach Doodle was made, from both an artistic and technical perspective, check out Google’s video below.

[h/t Newsweek]

IKEA's Kåma Sutra Wants to Help You Master the Art of Loving Your Bedroom

iStock.com/KatarzynaBialasiewicz
iStock.com/KatarzynaBialasiewicz

Plenty of guides can show you how to add spice to your bedroom, but few do it like this new book from IKEA. The IKEA Kåma Sutra includes fully illustrated positions (of furniture, that is) designed to help you get more satisfaction from your living space.

"Are you satisfied with your bedroom? Have you grown bored or tired with the same old bedroom positions? Do you yearn for more?" the book's description reads. "The IKEA Kåma Sutra can help you master the art of loving your bedroom. We've designed multiple bedroom furniture positions that will satisfy your every need."

The online manual features bedroom layouts furnished with popular items from IKEA, including couches, bed frames, and dressers. "The Seated Desire" comes with a leather LANDSKRONA sofa, and "The Doggy Style" has a LURVIG pet cushion. Each design includes a full-color picture, so you know exactly what you're getting into before you try the position at home.

You can browse the IKEA Kåma Sutra online, or download it to read it at your leisure.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER