Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Kinect aids in improving mobility and rehabilitating stroke patients

via img.skitch.com

Kinect's finding its way into more and more areas of research as a comparatively cheap way to create 3D images. The camera's particularly gaining ground amongst health practitioners, and now we've heard of Kinect being used for gait analysis and rehab.

The uses in gait analysis — the study of how people walk — are being developed separately by both Missouri University and by students from Oak Ridge High School, Tennessee. Equipment to monitor people's walking exists already, but is expensive and usually requires use in a specialized testing environment. Missouri's working in collaboration with Americare's Tiger Place senior housing, where the cameras are being installed into residents' apartments to collect data and analyse their...

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Monday, December 19, 2011

Ekso Bionics' exoskeleton used to let paraplegics walk (video)

It's not just nuclear-powered super soldiers who will use exoskeletons -- it can also be used to help those with physical disabilities. The Kessler Foundation grabbed one of Ekso Bionics' Ekso units and gave six people with severe spinal injuries, including a tetraplegic, the chance to walk. It's part of a trial study to examine the effects of walking for wheelchair-users, to see if it's better for their overall health or if it could contribute to their rehabilitation. A wider study will begin early next year with the hope of expanding use of the gear to domestic situations in the future. After the break we've got video of the people walking for the first time since their injuries and it's hard not to find yourself feeling a little emotional at the sight of it.

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Ekso Bionics' exoskeleton used to let paraplegics walk (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 19 Dec 2011 13:31:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

YouTube launches education-only option for teachers worldwide

Even though there’s a ton of nonsense on YouTube that can admittedly be distracting to anyone at any age, there is a vast wealth of informative videos that could serve well in the classroom.

YouTube project manager Brian Truong explained on the official YouTube blog that “teachers that they want to use the vast array of educational videos on YouTube in their classrooms, but are concerned that students will be distracted by the latest music video or a video of a cute cat, or a video that might not be appropriate for students.”

Thus, the video sharing site’s developers have added a network setting that enables school administrators with access only to educational content from YouTube EDU.

YouTube has already put considerable effort into the project, which includes digital content from more than 600 partners, including the Smithsonian and TED. Furthermore, YouTube has worked with teachers to curate over 300 playlists categorized by subject (i.e. math, social studies, science, etc.) and by grade level. Teachers can also suggest their own playlists to YouTube.

For a closer look at the YouTube for Schools “global classroom” initiative, check out the promo video below:

Microsoft introduces OneNote for iPad, updates iPhone version

Microsoft introduces OneNote for iPad, updates iPhone version: Microsoft OneNote for iPad

Microsoft pushed out a native iPad version of the company's OneNote productivity app today along with enhancements to its existing iPhone counterpart. The popular note-taking utility allows users to create and edit documents on Apple's tablet, syncing them across devices via the cloud by way of Microsoft's SkyDrive. OneNote goes beyond simple text entry by offering checkboxes and bulleted items for easy composition of to-do lists, and photos can also be imported from the iOS camera roll to further personalize your work. A Windows Live ID is required to use the free-to-download app, though you'll only be able to create a total of 500 notes at no cost. An in-app purchase is required beyond that point, and is priced considerably higher on...

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Friday, December 2, 2011

Trouble hearing? Advanced Bionics' waterproof implant is paddling your way

If you're one of the 200,000 deaf people who've received cochlear implants, then here's an upgrade worth considering: the Neptune from Advanced Bionics claims to be "the world's first and only swimmable, waterproof sound processor," and it's just received certification for the US and Canada. Read on for more details in the full press release and soon you could be bantering while you bathe.

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Braille-It Labeler brings low-cost printing, 'sightless construction' to the blind -- Engadget

It's certainly not the first Braille label printer we've seen, but Ted Moallem's Braille-It Labeler does bring notably unique element to the table -- namely, "sightless construction." Presented at this year's A Better World by Design conference, this compact device allows blind or visually impaired users to print out adhesive labels in Braille, thanks to a simple six-button design that's compatible with any Braille alphabet. Made out of relatively common materials like aluminum and steel wire, the Braille-It can also be constructed by the blind themselves -- a potentially groundbreaking development for a demographic that's too often ignored by the retail sector. Moallem, a former MIT grad student, explains:
Blind people cannot depend on mainstream commercial forces to advance the cause of Braille literacy. Nearly two centuries after the invention of Braille by a blind adolescent boy, the most widely used Braille-writing tools, the slate and stylus, are quite similar to the tools used by Louis Braille himself. In the hands of the sighted, the low-cost Braille industry has stagnated.
The inventor tested his label maker at a workshop last year in Katpadi, India, where blind trainees successfully taught other visually impaired users how to create their very own Braille-It. Moallem is now looking to set up similar workshops across other locations, including Senegal, Liberia and Lebanon. The ultimate goal is to empower blind consumers to create their own low-cost and potentially life-saving tools -- particularly in developing countries, which account for an estimated 90 percent of the world's blind population. If successful, Moallem's invention and ensuing campaign could provide a remarkably simple solution for a large, yet often neglected population. We certainly wish him the best of luck. Find out more at the source link below, or check out Inhabitat's extensive coverage for more images and insight.

Link: Inhabitat.com