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Fight ‘Gameboy Disease’

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Research has found that children’s necks are at the risk of developing incorrectly due to the time they spend crouched over their smartphone. To combat this, Medical Wearable Solutions as launched a Kickstarter campaign for the Tech Neck device.

Kids’ spines are at risk of developing incorrectly due to the amount of time they now spend hunched over smartphones and tablets. Medical Wearable Solutions – a company that develops wearable technology to solve healthcare problems – has launched a Kickstarter campaign to put a stop to the condition known as “Game Boy Disease” or “Tech Neck”.

The EyeForcer looks like a pair of glasses and prevents children from hunching over devices, which over time can cause abnormal spine development.

“Gameboy Disease is a serious condition,” says Dr. Vahid Sahiholnasab, one of Medical Wearable Solutions’ founders. “As kids continue to bend their necks over devices, they are going to experience permanent damage.”

The EyeForcer stops the “tech-induced” condition from developing by promoting proper use of electronics. The glasses, which connect to tablets or smartphones using an Android app, force children to keep their necks in proper posture in order to play their games. As soon as users start to slouch, a warning message pops up on their screens. If a child receives more than five warnings, his or her program shuts down.

Children spend more time with digital media than with any other single influence, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and doctors are noticing the effect on kids’ health.

In fact, Dutch spinal surgeon, Dr. Piet van Loon, coined the term “Gameboy Disease” after noticing an increase in the number of children (aged eight to 18) with back problems.

Symptoms of Gameboy Disease include neck and back pain, headaches, vision problems, and mood issues. If left untreated, it can lead to obesity, depression and spinal disc herniation.

“Technology is part of education, entertainment, and daily life, so preventing this condition is not as simple as taking away or limiting time on devices,” Dr. Sahiholnasab said. “The EyeForcer is a way to allow children to continue to use tablets and smartphones for learning and entertainment without harming their health.”

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ConceptD: Creatives get a tech brand of their own

The unveiling of a new brand by Acer recognises the massive computing power needed in creative professions, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK

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It’s a crisp Spring morning in Brooklyn. The regular water taxi from Manhattan pulls up at Duggal Greenhouse on the edge of the East River. It’s a building that symbolises the rejuvenation of Brooklyn as a hub of artistic and creative expression.

Inside the vast structure, global computer brand Acer is about to unveil its own tribute to creativity. Company CEO Jason Chen takes to the stage in faded blue jeans and brown t-shirt, underlining the connection of the event to the informality of the area.

“Brooklyn is become more and more diverse,” he tells a gathering of press from around the world, attending the Next@Acer media event. “It’s an area that is up and coming. It represents new lifestyles. And our theme today is turning a new chapter for creativity.”

Every year, Next@Acer is a parade of the cutting edge in gaming and educational laptops and computers. New devices from sub-brands like Predator, Helios and Nitro have gamers salivating. This year is no different, but there is a surprise in store, hinted in Chen’s introduction.

As a grand finale, he calls on stage Angelica Davila, whose day job is senior marketing manager for Acer Latin America. But she also happens to have a Masters degree in computer and electric engineering. A stint at Intel, where she joined a sales and marketing programme for engineers, set her on a new path.

Angelica Davila, marketing manager for Acer Latin America

For the last few months, she has been helping write Acer’s next chapter. She has shepherded into being nothing less than a new brand: ConceptD.

Click here to read more about ConceptD.

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Which voice assistant wins battle of translators?

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Take the most famous phrase from the Godfather – “I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse” – or “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” from the inaugural address of US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and see just how the virtual assistants do in translating them using their newly introduced Neural Machine Translation (NMT) capabilities. One Hour Translation (OHT), the world’s largest online translation service, conducted a study to find out just how accurate these new services are.

OHT used 60 sentences from movies and famous people ranging from the Godfather and Wizard of Oz to Neil Armstrong, the first man to set foot on the moon, US presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt and John Fitzgerald Kennedy and historical figures like Leonardo da Vinci and Aesop. The sentences were translated by Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri from English to French, Spanish, Chinese and German and then given to five professional translators for their assessment on a scale of 1-6. 

Google Assistant scored highest in three of the four languages surveyed – English to French, English to German and English to Spanish and second in English to Chinese.  Amazon’s Alexa, whose translation engine is powered by Microsoft Translator, was tops in the English to Chinese category. Apple’s Siri was second place in English to French and English to Spanish and third place in English to German and English to Chinese.  (See chart). All three virtual assistants are compatible with mobile phones.

“The automated assistants’ translation quality was relatively high, which means that assistants are useful for handling simple translations automatically,” says Yaron Kaufman, chief marketing officer and co-founder of OHT. He predicts that “there is no doubt that the use of assistants is growing rapidly, is becoming a part of our lives and will make a huge contribution to the business world.” 

A lot will depend on further improvements in NMT technology, which has revolutionized the field of translation over the past two years.  All the companies active in the field are investing large sums as part of this effort. “OHT is working with several of the leading NMT providers to improve their engines through the use of its hybrid online translation service that combines NMT and human post-editing,” notes Kaufman. He adds that this will no doubt have a huge impact on the use of assistants for translation purposes.

OHT has made a name for itself in assessing the level of translations by NMT engines.  Its ONEs Evaluation Score is a unique human-based assessment of the leading NMT engines conducted on a quarterly basis and used as an industry standard. 

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