Teledildonics or (cyberdildonics), the holy grail of the \”just reach out and touch someone\” aspect of the Internet. Well, now you can live out your wildest fantasy online… you can reach out and hug a real live hen over the Internet, just give it a squeeze! See this article in the Guardian on research at Singapore\’s Nanyang Technological University who have developed a wireless \”hug suit\” for chickens. The wireless jacket is equipped with sensors that transmit the hen\’s every movement to a 3D model on your computer screen. With the click of your mouse, you can use the computer interface to pat or hug the chicken with the computer transmitting corresponding vibrations back to the hen\’s suit. How long to the human version?
There is an article in today’s Globe and Mail about a GPS enabled technology being tested by the Canadian government. They are testing a device that can be installed in automobiles using GPS and traffic maps to determine if a car is speeding. If the car is speeding the device makes it difficult for the driver to press down on the accelerator. The Canadian government is looking at this as a safety device, and as a method to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (the slower you go the less emissions). It does not sound like the Canadian government is considering requiring these devices in all cars, but possibly allowing insurance companies to offer discounts to those who do have them. The article includes discussion of a similar device that does not forcefully prevent the driver from accelerating further, but gives a visual and audible warning. The Otto Driving Companion is already commercially available for drivers in Winnipeg and Ottawa with plans to expand to other Canadian cities in the near future. For more information on Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA) visit the Department of Technology and Society at Lund University.
Following up on a post I made two years ago on how mobile phones are changing the way teenagers organize house parties, see this article from CBC Calgary (my home town). My original post was about changes in the ability of local police to surveil and control suburban teens. Reduced surveillance, or an inability to control the rapid diffusion of information through new media may have negative consequences for teens as well. It is unclear just how big a roll cell phones played in this tragedy, but this may be an example of how mobile phones played a role in an unplanned house party growing quickly, and beyond expectations resulting in the death of a young man.