Some teachers are checking whether their students are paying attention by using headbands that read brain signals. Focus headbands, made by BrainCo in Massachusetts, were used in a recent trial with 10,000 school children aged between 10 and 17 in China. Over 21 days, students wore the headsets during class and teachers could monitor their average attention levels using an app.
Genuine, Princess Leia-type color holograms are still pretty rare. Most of what we think of as holograms are actually Pepper's Ghost, Tupac-style illusions that trick your brain by using 2D images to simulate 3D. To make that work even better, a French artist named Joanie Lemercier has taken that notion and added motion tracking. That way, the "no-logram" can change perspective as you move around it, fooling your brain into thinking the objects are truly 3D. Lemercier says he's been obsessed with mid-air projections since he first saw the original Star Wars, and was also inspired by Tom Cruise's user interface in Minority Report.
Meta has also been working hard on building out its custom operating system, as well as figuring out how to develop a new language of gestures for augmented reality. I had a chance to test out the shipping version of the Meta 2 at SXSW, and while it's still not perfect, it's the best AR experience I've seen yet. Yes, it looks a bit awkward -- especially with its large curved screen jutting out from the front -- but the Meta 2 fit comfortably on my head. The Meta 2's weight felt evenly distributed, and it was clear from the start that adding memory foam was a good move. It felt well cushioned around the sides of my head, which is where headsets usually end up feeling fatiguing if they're not padded properly.
The Singularity is a term you'll find in science and in science fiction. It was coined by mathematician John von Neumann to define a theoretical moment when the artificial intelligence of computers surpasses the capacity of the human brain. The term is borrowed from physics and quantum mechanics, where the term gravitational singularity is used in the study of black holes. These events are all considered singular because we are unable to predict what happens next; the disruptive degree of change associated with the event is simply too great for our current body of knowledge.
The tried and true way to improve at sports, or music or anything, really, is practice. What if we could master skills a lot faster -- with less practice -- simply by wearing a brain-boosting headset? I tried the technology behind this claim to improve my vertical jump. In Future You Episode 3, check out the technology and whether my vertical jump got higher -- and hear from an Olympic athlete who has tried it as well as the founder of Halo Neuroscience, a company that makes brain-boosting headsets. If we can boost our brains to learn in less time, could we keep our brains younger, for longer?