From giving us the ability to fly, to allowing people to talk to each other from anywhere in the world – technology can sometimes feel like magic. What took Harry Potter a flick of his wand, we can accomplish with a press of a button. And according to this week’s headlines, the potential for gadgets like a human-sized invisibility cloak and contact lenses with Google Glass-like capabilities are leaving consumers spellbound. But while this tech is enchanting, can it also be dangerous? If this week’s PRISM scandal has taught us anything, it’s that more tech may lead to privacy issues and not more freedom.
For the full details on all these stories, here is our weekly roundup rDigital News:
The power of invisibility
Don’t get too excited (or panicked). We don’t yet have the ability to make entire people disappear with the wave of a cloak. But according to a University of Rochester in New York professor, we are getting close. John and Benjamin Howell published a paper on Wednesday about using lenses and mirrors to bend light and make it appear as if large objects are not there. For now, the cloaks only works in one direction, revealing the illusion from other vantage points but according to Howell, this technology could have uses, for instance, clocking satellites in outer-space.
But if we have the ability to make things disappear, will more privacy issues start appearing? Will this change our perception of what is “real”?
Read the full story here:
- A human-sized invisibility cloak could actually exist – Canada.com
- Human-scale invisibility cloak unveiled – Mashable
- Researchers invent invisibility cloak – ABC News
Computerized Contact Lenses
This week we asked rdigitaLIFE viewers if they would augment their bodies with technology and if so, what they would do. The responses we got indicated that many people are ready for the idea of merging with machine – and according to researchers at several institutions, computerizing your world may soon be as easy as popping in a contact lens. Engineers are working on completing contact lenses with Google Glass-like capabilities have been tested on rabbits, with no ill effects after five hours. While this technology is still in development, cause us to question: Will wearable computing help us see more or less of the world?
Read the full article here: “This contact lens computer is like Google Glass, without the glasses” via Mashable
And for a sneak peek of what the future might look like, check out our interview with the “Eyeborg”:
Is losing privacy a new tech trend?
How would you feel about someone in power checking out which sites you’ve visited, reading your emails, or taking a gander at your chat logs? According to a whistleblower, the American government is doing exactly that. And more. Documents describing the NSA’s digital surveillance program, known as PRISM, describe how the NSA has “direct access” to the servers of the largest internet companies.
How private are our internet lives? Does our right to privacy change when we put things online? How is technology changing how we keep our information safe?
For the full story, check out these links:
- NSA slides explain the PRISM data-collection program – Washington Post
- Will PRISM damage tech companies’ reputation for privacy? – Washington Post
- ‘Sweet Land of Privacy?’: On PRISM and Apathy Regarding Our Privacy Online – Huffington Post Blog
- Obama Blasts Media ‘Hype Over Secret Program – Business Insider
“What bit of personal data do you most want kept private?” Tweet us your answer @rdigitalife for a chance to win NXNE festival passes!
By: Ishani Nath (@ishaninath)