• Amelia W

The wonders of technology, healthcare ...and Pope Francis at it again with the prayer app

Ah October.. the leaves are turning orange and it's pissing down every other day. As we settle into the autumn depression that is upon us, let's have a look at what's happened in the world of the weird and wonderful.

The major breakthroughs in health and self care

Wimagine - The Future is Here

Researchers at Clinatec laboratory in Grenoble have created an exoskeleton which allows paralyzed users to move their arms and legs again. It was recently tested on a patient, marking a first for a prosthetic exoskeleton to successfully be used on a quadriplegic patient to help them move all four of their immobilized limbs. ⠀⠀ The major innovation behind it is not the exoskeleton itself, but an implant called the Wimagine, designed by microelectronics experts at the CEA research institute, which can record and wirelessly transmit the patient's brain activity. Two of these are surgically placed on the surface of the brain – one to the right of the sensorimotor area, and one to the left. ⠀⠀ The Wimagine, running on a remote power supply, digitizes recorded electrical activity in the brain that is tied to the wearer’s intent to move, and then transfers this information to a computer for decoding. Nexrt - a sophisticated machine-learning algorithm deduces the intended movements behind this raw data (arm or leg, left or right, up or down). The algorithm is continually adapted to improve the accuracy of these decisions, based on the steady stream of new input received from the Wimagine. ⠀⠀ For now, the exoskeleton can only be used in laboratory conditions, but hopefully it will be available in various healthcare systems soon.

Two Teenagers Are Making Door Handles Clean Again

Two genius teens from the University of Hong Kong have invented a door handle that uses light to constantly sterilize itself, which will help stop the spread of bacteria (is there a Nobel prize for this?). Sum Ming Wong (17) and Kin Pong Li (18) described their "self-sanitizing door handle" as a more effective alternative to current chemical-based cleaning processes. ⠀⠀ How does it work you wonder?

The door handle is coated with titanium dioxide, a mineral that kills bacteria and is found in paint and sunscreen. That takes care of preventing bacteria from growing on the surface of the handle, but because titanium dioxide is best at killing bacteria under ultraviolet (UV) light, that’s not the end of the super-cool design. Since door handles aren’t normally bathed in UV light, Wong and Li figured out a way for every bit of their bacteria-fighting handle to get some UV rays — they lit it from inside. ⠀⠀ They were particularly driven by the SARS outbreak of 2003, which infected more than 8,000 people worldwide and caused more than 700 deaths, the majority of them in China and Hong Kong. But does it work? Well, the handle’s germ-killing design destroyed around 99.8 per cent of microbes during lab tests. ⠀⠀

As someone who makes sure never to touch public restroom door handles, I cannot express my gratitude enough.

This Ring Will Get You Buzzing

One of our very first posts on Instagram were about the Cock Cam – a cock ring equipped with a camera (why anyone would think it's a good angle to film beats us). Now meet the new trend in fashion/wearable sex toys: the vibrator ring. ⠀⠀

Palma by Unbound Babes is a waterproof sex toy disguised as piece of jewellery that can twist, tilt and be tapped to produce 5 different vibrations: Low, Medium, High, Tilt, and Tap. The electroplated 18K gold (or silver, if you prefer) bar can be worn in two ways: with the bar positioned vertically, running down the length of your finger, or with the bar positioned horizontally, stretching across the length of three fingers. ⠀

⠀ The Palma is made from surgical grade stainless steel and it comes with a diamond-shaped ring stand that also works as a charger. The ring also has setting that allows you to tap the top of the ring to record a pattern of vibrations for it to repeat. If you’re hunting for Christmas gifts, or just want to treat yourself, the Palma is available on www.unboundbabes.com at $128 (£99). ⠀⠀ Our favourite thing about this isn’t just the visual design elements, but also the fact that the sex toys industry is finally responding to the increasing demand for sex toys that focus on pleasure for women, trans and non-binary people. One woman even used it as she was proposing to her girlfriend. Talk about multifunctional.

The evolutions of activewear and praying

CBD - Here, There, Everywear Yes, it’s true. You can now buy incredibly expensive and utterly ridiculous CBD-infused athleisure wear.

Last month, athleisure brand Acabada ProActiveWear began selling CBD-oil infused leggings, sports bras, tops, and other athleisure items. Prices start at $120 for a bra, which can be worn 40 times before the oil runs out.

*Finally* women can “perform their best” while the oil soothes overtired muscles and “promotes healing”. As a fairly new consumer product, CBD oil is very under-researched , although it has been proven to help rats struggling with arthritis pain. Still, it beats us why women would want to wear a pre-oiled sports bra, with a faintly herbaceous smell. Especially as there doesn’t seem to have has any significant benefit over applying a tincture to the skin ahead of exercising. ⠀⠀ Those who have tried the items don’t seem to experience the desired results, either. Testers reported “feeling exhausted, as per usual” after working out in the leggings. Oh well. At least this inspired our next business venture: CBD infused laundry detergent (patent pending).

Count Your Prayers With This eRosary Back in March we posted about the “Click to Pray” app created in partnership with Pope Francis. Well, this time the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network has taken the concept of praying a step further – introducing the Click to Pray eRosary, a wearable tech bracelet featuring a crucifix that tracks the user’s worship and syncs with their smartphone app.

⠀⠀ The rosary allows users monitor the ‘progress’ of each prayer and provides them with an audio prayer guide via the app. Once activated, users can choose between standard prayers or themed ones – updated throughout the year in conjunction to religious holidays. The app also connects to a social prayer platform created by Click to Pray, where they can share their progress and favorite prayers. ⠀⠀

So how much does this wearable bracelet cost? It racks up to a whopping €99 (£85), but it comes with the bonus feature of step counting, to “encourage the faithful to pursue a healthy lifestyle”. It also comes in a box wrapped to look like a bible. Amen.

To learn more about the weird and wonderful things happening in culture, check our Instagram @world__wide__weird

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