Technology for good: butterfly happiness, empathy machine and ingestibles

Technology for good: butterfly happiness, empathy machine and ingestibles

This post talks about recent news in the area of technology for good. Because technology is for the weak, not for geeks.

The first concept that strikes me is the “butterfly happiness“.

It’s about affordable technology. For 10 $ anyone can buy a cardboard headset and download a free app that works with the smartphone. This way impaired people can explore virtual worlds from a wheelchair, bed or couch. And feel brand new sensations. Some can argue that television can provide the same experience. I bet that being at the center rather than a passive spectator is much better. I love that virtual reality is migrating from the laboratory to living rooms across the world.

Affordable Virtual Reality Opens New Worlds For People With Disabilities


The second illuminating concept is that virtual reality can be “the ultimate empathy machine“. Chris Milk tells us that a movie is still a sequence of 24 rectangles, but VR technology can change everything. For example viewers control where they look in a scene rather than filmmakers. But the filmmaker can “hide” something behind the shoulders of the viewer… and so on. The fact that the people are inside the scenes creates new type of feelings and emotions. VR is an experiential media not merely a new technology. The author put his idea into practice with short VR documentaries: one in a refugee camp in Jordan and one telling the tale of an Ebola survivor in Liberia. I’d love to watch them; in the meantime we can watch Chris at TED.


Technology for good: butterfly happiness, empathy machine and ingestiblesThe third idea is the buzz of the month: ingestibles. The idea is quite simple, ingest a small computer that can navigate into your body. It will provide information on your health from the inside. The pill is powered by your stomach acids… so can last for a lot of time. I agree that taste and technology may sound far extremes, but the reality is that ingestibles are the future of healthcare. For some simple reasons. The patient doesn’t have to go to hospital, but can continue his normal life. The monitoring will be ongoing. Hospitals will send people home in advance and continue to control them from remote. They will need less equipment and space. If this is not technology for good, it’s for sure technology for healthcare.

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The last mention goes to the UNICEF’s Wearables for Good challenge. I’ve been hit by the video below when they say “we must be the first generation that ends extreme poverty”. The Challenge fits into a UN fifteen year plan of Global Goals, going from ending hunger and poverty to achieving gender equality. The result is an impressive list of human creativity examples. The ten finalists are all in the same page and in less than a minute you can read about their technology. Even if my opinion does not count here, I put my vote on Droplet. It is a wearable water purification device in the form of a bracelet. Can you just imagine the impact? This is real technology for good. We contacted the inventor and hope to come back soon with exciting news about this product.


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