3D Printing Your Own Body Parts

I received a lot of comments about my previous posting on the up and coming application of 3D printing to build new human organs. Here is another article on treehugger.com with more details and video.

Kinko's for Kidneys: 3D Printing Your Own Body Parts

by Lloyd Alter, Toronto on 12.22.09

3D printing to order is a regular subject on TreeHugger; we love the idea of making things when you need them, where you need them. And soon you will be able to order up body parts, at a sort of Ponoko for pancreas. Now people sit on waiting lists, hooked up to expensive equipment while they wait for donors and fly body parts all over the world; soon you will order them up fresh and hot. Perhaps, like Philip K. Dick did, we might even call them artif-orgs.

There is some good explanation of the technique in this posting on SmartPlanet.

This stuff easily makes it onto my "What if the Impossible Isn't?" list for the year!

All of this adds to my conviction that the big change required to make the most difference in the world is to check and change our historic baselines and assumptions.  To switch from thinking that we need to plan within the constraints of what we think is possible and increasingly design and strategize with the assumption that most anything IS possible, or soon will be.  We need to be more imaginative, more creative, more demanding than ever in the increasingly unconstrained world of abundance which more and more of us are privileged to live within.

Think about it.  What if the impossible isn't?  What, if it were possible, and would have the most positive and profound affect on your profession, your world?  What will you do when it is possible?  Are you ready?

— Wayne

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3D Printing Your Own Body Parts

I received a lot of comments about my previous posting on the up and coming application of 3D printing to build new human organs. Here is another article on treehugger.com with more details and video.

Kinko's for Kidneys: 3D Printing Your Own Body Parts

by Lloyd Alter, Toronto on 12.22.09

3D printing to order is a regular subject on TreeHugger; we love the idea of making things when you need them, where you need them. And soon you will be able to order up body parts, at a sort of Ponoko for pancreas. Now people sit on waiting lists, hooked up to expensive equipment while they wait for donors and fly body parts all over the world; soon you will order them up fresh and hot. Perhaps, like Philip K. Dick did, we might even call them artif-orgs.

There is some good explanation of the technique in this posting on SmartPlanet.

This stuff easily makes it onto my "What if the Impossible Isn't?" list for the year!

All of this adds to my conviction that the big change required to make the most difference in the world is to check and change our historic baselines and assumptions.  To switch from thinking that we need to plan within the constraints of what we think is possible and increasingly design and strategize with the assumption that most anything IS possible, or soon will be.  We need to be more imaginative, more creative, more demanding than ever in the increasingly unconstrained world of abundance which more and more of us are privileged to live within.

Think about it.  What if the impossible isn't?  What, if it were possible, and would have the most positive and profound affect on your profession, your world?  What will you do when it is possible?  Are you ready?

— Wayne

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Beyond Realtime Search: The Dawning Of Ambient Streams

This post about Ambient Streams is well worth reading. I agree with much of this, although my vision is a bit different, with much more focus on context, feedback loops, etc. I like and have been speaking about this general notion of being surrounded by this "ambient cloud" of not just digital information but also the "Internet of things" and the very real and physical world. As the article says:

“When trying to understand something potentially transformative, knowing what questions to ask is more than half the challenge. We are still in the early stages of these changes and don’t yet have the necessary metaphors to make the leap into the future. It is for that purpose that I want to suggest what I consider to be the building blocks of our next big evolutionary leap in how we use technology. The four main building blocks are:

  1. Realtime Web (Twitter, news flows, world events, and other information which relates to changes in the world)
  2. Published Information (sites, blogs, Wikipedia, etc.)
  3. Geolocation Data (your location and information layers related to it, including your past locations and that of your friends, as well as geo-tagged media)
  4. Social Communications (social graph updates, IMs, emails, text messages, and other forms of signal from your friends).

Before these building blocks can create an ambient stream which is not overwhelming, all of this data needs to pass through a filter. The Holy Grail is a filter which only serves up information which is relevant based on who you are, your social graph, what you or your friends are doing now, what you or friends have done before, and in context of other information you are consuming. It needs to be delivered wherever you are and on whatever device or display can deliver the ambient stream: mobile phone, laptop computer, TV, heads-up display in vehicle or inside your glasses. The future of how ambient streams might enter our world is illustrated with the following simplistic diagram:”

via www.techcrunch.com

I don't see the filter as the Holy Grail as per this article, and see it more as advanced degrees of decision support that help me make better, smarter, faster decisions and lead to more serendipitous discovery. Still, the article is well worth the read just so you can see what your take on this is.

–Wayne

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Unlikely Ukulele Uniqueness

You wouldn’t expect anything less than eclectic from me or Off Course – On Target, so here is the latest addition to my “What if the Impossible Isn’t?” list. My mission is to have us all change our baseline assumption to be that almost anything is possible.

The TED videos (and BoingBoing) are great sources of examples showing us how the impossible isn’t.

WARNING:  TED videos have proven to be addictive!

TED has recently released the teaser of who we will be seeing and hearing from in the TED2010 program guide

For one example of what you can expect in 2010, check out the music and passion coming from a young ukulele player named Jake Shimabukuro.  Yes, that’s right—a ukulele player!  Think you don’t like the ukulele or know what “that kind of music” sounds like?  Check out some of Jake’s YouTube videos such as the one below and see this example of how “the impossible isn’t” as he literally makes those four little strings dance and sing.  Best if you watch a few of these to see the diversity of sounds and songs from Thriller to Over the Rainbow to Let’s Dance.

I picked out the following performance of George Harrison’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” which takes place by a stream in Central Park .

Some of his concert performances are particularly worth watching to get more of a sense of the person behind the music (see below).

Almost more than the music, I love the passion and the commitment to change the way we think of this instrument and perhaps music in general. Well worth a look and listen, though with the usual caveats and warnings that you are likely to spend more time there and learn more than you expect.  And that’s part of the good news and the gift!  Enjoy!

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Future Interfaces

In their recent posting “Where’s my Jet Pack? Apple Tablet and Future Interfaces”, ReadWriteWeb has a good overview of some of 2009’s more creative examples of what interfaces might look like in the future. This provides more examples and some answers to my ongoing question “What if the impossible isn’t?”

Some of these examples have received a lot of press this year, and so you may already be familiar with them.  However I think it is well worth your time to read and watch some of these videos, not only to get a sense of what is and will be possible, but to increase our collective curiosity and ignite more imagination around how, where, and for what we will use such enabling technology. None of these developments will amount to much unless we are better prepared to take advantage of them as they arrive to help drive the research and development towards useful productive ends. We need to continue to dissolve the distance between ourselves, the technology, and the world within which we live—both virtual and physical.

I’d recommend you watch and ponder them all. Here’s one to get you started:

Pulp-Based Computing: While there’s little information on these projects just yet, one thing is clear. The folks in MIT’s Media Lab Fluid Interfaces Group are exploring electrically active inks and fibers during the paper making process to create a new form of paper-based computing. Apparently the paper would react in the same way as regular paper; however, it would also carry digital information. While the project is only in its early stages and appears to be hooked up to a basic Arduino prototyping platform, theoretically this could be used to create a new type of Wacom tablet. Remember when Steven Levy wrote about losing his Macbook Air? A paper interface would take some serious getting used to.

I’ve been championing “true digital paper” for about 20 years now, where traditional pulp-based paper is mixed with “digital goo” that adds new properties for display, control, and other input/outputs, so this MIT development has been especially interesting to me.

See what you think. In a future post, I’ll talk about some of my thoughts on where this might lead.

— Wayne

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Metadata from and for the Masses? A Common Nomenclature for Lego Families

This recent posting on The Morning News “A Common Nomenclature for Lego Families” is likely to resonate with many families, I suspect, and is as also a great learning moment in metadata, semantics, and language.

“Thousands of different Lego exist, yet when your seven-year-old asks for ‘a clippy bit,’ you know exactly what to hand him. GILES TURNBULL surveys a caucus of children.”

A selection of various Lego bricks

via www.themorningnews.org

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Synchtube: Watch Synchronized YouTube Videos With Your Friends

Synchtube: Watch Synchronized YouTube Videos With Your Friends

Written by Frederic Lardinois / December 31, 2009 9:25 AM / 0 Comments

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Chances are that you are getting at least a few emails and IMs with links to YouTube videos every day. While watching these alone can be fun, Synchtube turns this into a far more social experience. Synchtube allows you to share and discuss a video in real time with up to four of your friends. The first person to enter the room controls the playback and also has the ability to change videos.

Features

To get started, just head over to Synchtube.com and copy and paste a link to a YouTube video into the box in the lower right corner. Then send out the link to the room to your friends and start the video once they have arrived.

via www.readwriteweb.com

The latest addition to my list of "What if the Impossible Isn't?" Simple and useful, always a great combination.

The synchronization of video and chat enables true and interactive conversation and by using YouTube this enables pretty much any video source to be used.  Opens some interesting options for learning and sharing and worth trying and keeping an eye on this as it develops.

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School of What if the Impossible Isn’t?

Singularity University

Ted Greenwald is Tweeting from SU (http://twitter.com/tedgreenwald) using the hashtag #singularityu. Photos courtesy of Singularity University.

via www.wired.com

See this article for a great set of things to add to my "What if the Impossible Isn't?" list. You may also enjoy, as I did, reading more about the recently started Singularity University and this blogging account by one recent attendee.

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Augmented Reality in a Contact Lens: IEEE Spectrum WITII

Augmented Reality in a Contact Lens

A new generation of contact lenses built with very small circuits and LEDs promises bionic eyesight

Image: Raygun Studio

BY Babak A. Parviz // September 2009

The human eye is a perceptual powerhouse. It can see millions of colors, adjust easily to shifting light conditions, and transmit information to the brain at a rate exceeding that of a high-speed Internet connection.

But why stop there?

 


via IEEE Spectrum

Here is today's addition to the WITII list (What if the Impossible Isn't?)  I've been writing more about AR lately (who hasn't) and expect to continue as both research such as this and infant applications increasingly merge into the mainstream.  Glasses and goggles make sense too and may be possible sooner.  Implants have additional benefits and applications.

This is a longish article, at least by today's online reading standards, but it is well worth the read to get a glimpse at what is currently possible and what is about to be. 

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Triggerfish Monitors Your Eyes | h+ Magazine WITII

If you haven't been following along with all the advances in contact lenses, you are missing out. Efficiency is a top priority in our modern lives and doctors and patients are no exception, particularly when it comes to diagnosing and treating illness. When Grandma, Grandpa, or Billy the kid down the street has glaucoma, they want to have their vision treated as quickly and accurately as possible. And if all this can be packaged with a hint of coolness, that wouldn‘t hurt.

SENSIMED has found a way to make glaucoma treatment and monitoring quicker, better, and most importantly, more accurate. The Triggerfish allows ophthalmologists to do something that was previously cumbersome or impossible. Patients with glaucoma wear the slightly futuristic Triggerfish contraption which monitors the eye without hindering eyesight. It transmits the data to a recorder and then to the doctor‘s computer, allowing the doctor to see exactly what went on with the patient‘s eye throughout the day. With this constant monitoring, the doctor is better equipped to treat the patient and their individual needs

via www.hplusmagazine.com

Today's addition to my What if the Impossible Isn't (WITII) list and another great example of how the Snowflake Effect of mass personalzation continues to expand.  This recent development in contact lenses enables ophthalmologists to accurately monitor how an individual the eyes of a patient with glaucoma are working and personalize their treatment.

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