Snapchat is ‘Here For You’ with New Mental Health Feature

As technology and social media broaden and expands among people, it is no exception for teenagers. The social media and the activities that they do it on there are the things that they mostly care about and consider important. As much as they use social media, some of the teenagers use this medium for cyberbullying. According to the statistics from i-SAFE foundation, over half of the teenagers reported that they’re bullied online. However, they reported that they don’t tell this to their parents. In order to prevent this situation, one of the representatives of teenage social media, Snapchat is taking a step to help these teenagers with an anti-bullying campaign called ‘Here For You’. This Snapchat’s new tool ’Here For You’ connects users with mental health experts when users search for sensitive topics such as anxiety, depression, suicide and bullying, self-help information. Collaborating with the experts, they will help them to get through what they’re going through as well as providing an advice from local experts if necessary. This would help those who struggle with mental health issues.

I think the idea of the anti-bullying campaign has a very good purpose. Because we are living in a society where social media and technologies are everywhere, it is inevitable for us not to use these media; it’s even getting difficult for teenagers. I also think the attempt to prevent cyberbullying among teenagers is very necessary. I think it is better to try something than not trying anything. I hope this technology works out well that teenagers who are facing these problems would get help if needed.


How Robots are redefining the future of farming?

In our current society, the agriculture field is facing some difficulties. Today, the average farmer’s age is between 50 and 58; there are only a few or no young generations who want to work in the field. The aging of farmers, lacking workers, rising labor costs, and unpredictable climate changes are causing some problems. As a solution, the robots and machines came along, playing an effective role in this field of farming. According to this article, there are some robots and machines that are introduced: exoskeletons, weed pullers, fruit pickers, and LiDAR. Basically, the article is stating these technologies are and will make the agriculture field much easier and effective.

The exoskeletons will help the old farmers who have difficulties in lifting things or using too many muscles. This technology is designed to support the farmers’ movements without having much pressure on their back, arms, knees, and even helping them when lifting heavyweights. Since it is impossible for the farmers to pull out every single weed by themselves and the using too much herbicide would harm other crops, engineers developed weed puller that could recognize the weed with regular crops and remove the matured weeds for the farmers. Also, with the usage of a 3D-printed hand and special vision system, engineers developed a fruit picker to detect the fruits for it to pick out. Lastly, to save the farmers’ trouble, they developed a technology where it could collect the overall data about the land and field where it detects plants’ diseases, health, physiology, and stress response.

Overall, I think this technology would definitely make a better life for the old farmer. I have heard of various machines that are already used in the field of agriculture but I think this development in technology would really save time and help the farmers. However, I think too much development in these robots would replace the human labor force and cause unemployment issues and so on. Therefore, I think finding the right amount of development and substitution is necessary.


What If Your Sweat Could Instantly Tell You How Healthy You Are?

Just like other wearables, the researchers at North Carolina State University developed a new kind of wearables that relies on your sweat. This device could detect your sweat and measure your metabolites and provide you with your overall health. This device can be utilized in various ways; it could detect your dehydration, athletic recovery, and military or competitive sports training. However, since this device’s primary purpose is to detect people’s health and condition, this device can get very complicated. For instance, measuring metabolites requires the device to have chemical sensors that could detect small molecules in your body. This sensor has to somewhat get a connection with your sweat as well as with the hardware in order to project the results to show up on the devices, such as smartphones, smartwatch, and so on. In other words, this device would require a bunch of analytical equipment, like electrodes, into the device. Also, what researchers want to measure is very small that it is even trickier with a smaller device like this one. Overall, assistant professor of chemistry at the University at Albany Halámek claimed that although this design is promising, it would be very tough and require further research.

I personally, this is kind of wearable would be very helpful for the elders. As you age, you are more likely to get insensible of your current health. But by using these, they’ll be able to check their health condition regularly. Although this device may be inaccurate and cannot be fully trusted, by having this device, you’ll be able to be more careful and be aware of your condition more. If this technology is developed, I think it would be very helpful but I think it would take more time and research to develop this product.



VR could train the next generation of firefighters

Due to the rapid climate change and frequent natural disasters, firefighters are trying to combine technology with their training. Australia and the United States fire departments have decided to use virtual reality  (VR) for firefighters training. By wearing a headset, trainees are able to experience real-life scenarios. The whole purpose of using this technology, VR, is to put trainees in all different types of possible scenarios, let them make decisions, and let them make mistakes. Fortunately, VR technology is well developed that it could provide the trainees with realistic smoke, fire, water, and fire-extinguishing foam. Trainees are provided with a heat suit that could replicate and render the hot temperature in the fire; the heat proximity and orientation are controlled and designed by the software. The advantages of having this technology are that the VR allows the firefighters to have the first-hand experience. VR allows them to have different kinds of the situation of fire and flames that they will eventually encounter during their firefighting career. Another advantage that they have is environmental-friendly. Back when they did traditional training, they released smoke and pollutants into the atmosphere to demonstrate the real-life scenarios. Also, it required a lot of water which wasted the water as well. However, by using VR technology, it is clear that VR allows the firefighter not to pollute the air and not to waste the water as well.

I think the idea of using virtual reality to do training for firefighters is awesome. I love the features that they have with their suits and headsets where they could actually feel the heat and see the devastating situation. I think by doing so, they could prepare themselves and train themselves for any kind of situation that may occur. Also, by using these, we could protect the environment and resource itself. I think this kind of training should be conducted throughout the world as soon as possible.



Smart Shopping Cart uses AI to skip checkout lines

With the help of developed technology, our grocery shopping is getting more convenient and speedier. A lot of companies are in a process of making AI-powered shopping carts which would eventually remove the checkout lines. This smart shopping cart is built with scanning hardware as well as the payment system where you could solve both things at once: lets you scan your item as you shop and pay before you leave. In addition to these features, the smart shopping cart also has a touchscreen in which you could see the map of the store and other relevant promotions or deals. According to the article, many companies are trying to build a weight sensor and image recognition cameras on the shopping cart. By doing so, customers could pay by the pound for an item. The advantage of this smart shopping cart would be the store will need fewer cashiers as well as workers since payments and guidance would be solved.

However, the disadvantages that they face were the fact that they’re expensive to operate and implement in any store around us. Since the store has to have hundreds of cameras in the ceiling to track and identify which items you’ve taken out and are removed, it would cost fairly amount of money. Also, other questions that are raised are about the customers’ privacy and the impact on jobs, unemployment.

Thinking about this technology, I personally think it is a very smart idea. I think this technology would be very helpful during the holidays such as Thanksgiving or Christmas because, in those days, it takes forever to wait in line. But by having a smart shopping cart, customers would be able to purchase things on the spot which will reduce the checkout lines. However, thinking of self-checkout technology that we have today, and how it gets easily stuck and needs worker’s help, I think the smart shopping cart could also face difficulties and problems to deal with.



Kwikset Kevo Bluetooth Deadbolt

A collaboration between Kwikset and Unikey developed one of the smart locks, Kevo: a Bluetooth-enabled deadbolt. Basically, what Kevo does is it let you unlock your front door without taking out or using your key. Paring with your phone, Kevo allows you to unlock the door with just a tap of your finger as well as it detects your presence. In addition to the Bluetooth function, Kevo is designed in a way that it could stand any sorts of brute-force attacks.

I personally thought that the idea of the Bluetooth door lock was very innovative and creative. Even for me, I sometimes forget to bring my student ID with me that I sometimes face trouble getting into my dorm. If we have the Bluetooth door, we would not have to worry much about carrying our keys or IDs with you, but you would only need your smartphone with you. Also, the fact that we do not have to even take out our smartphone really makes our lives easier. With the touch of our fingertip, it would automatically unlock our door.

However, on the negative side, I found it very difficult and complicated to actually install it to my door. According to an article, there were all kinds of different things for us to consider before installing the deadbolt including the house door’s design, the structure of your doorknob, and so on. Perceiving it as a customer point of view, these steps seemed redundant, time-consuming, and too detailed to follow along.

Overall, I think the idea of Bluetooth door lock really has fascinated me. Although it is a small step, I think this idea would make a big difference in the future. It will be interesting to see how this technology would develop and be utilized in the future.