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Sentio Solutions Inc.

This New Wristband Tracks Your Emotions

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Sentio Solutions Inc.

Wearable tech can help us improve everything from our professional life to our activity levels, and now there’s a wearable out there designed to boost your emotional well-being.

A prototype of the “Feel” wristband was presented in Las Vegas at last week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) by the startup Sentio Solutions Inc. The sleek and simple design is reminiscent of the popular fitness tracker Fitbit, and shares similarities in its concept, too. Instead of helping you keep track of your physical activity, however, Feel monitors your emotions throughout the day and sends feedback to a companion app on your phone.

Four integrated sensors in the band are constantly working to measure your body’s skin temperature, blood volume pressure, and galvanic skin response. Based on the data it gathers, the app graphs a visualization of your emotion levels throughout the day and offers personalized suggestions for stress reduction and self-improvement. Users can review how their moods were affected by where they were, who they were with, and what they were doing at any point in the day. 

Other special features available in the app include guided breathing and meditation exercises, an option to set and track emotional wellness goals, and an alert that causes the wristband to vibrate in stressful situations (in case you needed one more thing to stress about). Whether a high tech wristband can actually help to improve your mood is up for debate, but it looks a lot more stylish than a '70s-era mood ring. 

[h/t: Nerdist]

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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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iStock
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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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