Real Clever Science

My name is Ari Einbinder. This is the journal of my travels into the realm of science and science education.
I've worked at science museums in NY (NYSCI and AMNH) and across Europe. Currently I'm studying "museology" (aka museum studies) at UW in Seattle, WA. I'm also one of Tumblr's Science Section editors.

I discuss anything that fascinates me, but popular topics include evolution, transhumanism (e.g BCI), futurism, psychology, quantum computing, climate change, sustainability, genetic engineering and occasionally politics - to name a few.



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Sun Apr 1

Build It & We’ll All Prosper: 007 Tech

I haven’t done a “build it” post in a while, so here’s some (half-baked) ideas.

1) Night Vision: There’s been a lot of buzz about augmented reality glasses/contacts coming out soon (e.g. here). Googles glasses are even said to have built-in cameras and a method of controlling the interface. Anyways, I’ve heard and read about people converting digital cameras & webcams into infrared cameras (e.g. here). Which makes sense since they’re both just forms of EM radiation and sit next to each-other on spectrum (infra-red is the “color” that comes after red; just like UV is what comes after violet at the other end). So, what I’m wondering: Could we hack some google glasses to record infra-red and display it, turning them into infra-red night-vision glasses? (And how awesome would that be!)

Hackers & Makers, get on this!

2) Parachutes, Air-Bags, and Scuba Tech-Tech: Much less serious, but an amusing thought: I was talking with a friend on the phone while standing on the University Bridge by UW and I found myself wondering what would happen if I dropped my phone into the lake below. Ugh. Everyone’s nightmare.

That got me wondering:
a) Firstly… With tech like NeverWet coming out, promising the possibility of hardware which can survive a brief trip underwater, could we possibly recover s/t like a phone after falling to the bottom of a lake? What if we could include s/t like an air-bag which, when inflated, could carry the phone to the surface of the water?

I mused that if the phone was still working, we could have two options for how this option might be triggered: One is having a sensor which detects if it’s in water. If it’s triggered longer than 30 seconds, it could offer a warning to stop this, and then trigger the reaction. Alternatively, perhaps it could be triggered remotely, say, by calling the phone and activating a code.

b) Of course, this led me to wonder about other options. For instance, could the phone survive the fall itself? What if we could include a more traditional-type air-bag which could detect a fall and protect the hardware. For instance, if the phone detected that it was falling, based on accelerometers etc, it could trigger this “air-bag” which would cushion its fall.

Of course, this would have to work fast, it would have to be specific to actual falls (low false-positive trigger rate), and perhaps be reusable. All obstacles, for sure, but consider how many phones, laptops, cameras, etc have been ruined from a simple fumble. In other words, I could see this having a lot of use. (And a parachute option also interests me… but mostly cause I just think it would be a lot of fun!)

So, there you go. Some half-baked amusing tech options that I’d love to see. Build it and we’ll all prosper.*

*If you do make millions, throw me a bone. At a minimum, a parachute for my phone!