Want to learn a new language? Get a partner and play this video game

Using a language-learning game called ‘Crystallize,’ created by computer science faculty and students, researchers found that when players are required to work together they learn more words — and enjoy the game more.

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Novel controller allows video gamer who lacks hands to compete with his feet

Engineering graduate students, one of whom lost his hands to meningitis, design and build a foot-activated video game controller.

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Smart light used by researchers to track human behavior

Using the power of the light around us, researchers have significantly improved their innovative light-sensing system that tracks a person’s behavior continuously and unobtrusively in real time.

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Fighting virtual reality sickness

Engineers have developed a way to combat virtual reality sickness that can be applied to consumer head-worn VR displays, such as the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Sony PlayStation VR, and Google Cardboard. Their approach dynamically, yet subtly, changes the user’s field of view (FOV) in response to visually perceived motion, as the user virtually traverses an environment while remaining physically stationary, and significantly reduces VR sickness.

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Meta-lens works in the visible spectrum, sees smaller than a wavelength of light

Researchers have demonstrated the first planar lens that works with high efficiency within the visible spectrum of light — covering the whole range of colors from red to blue. The lens can resolve nanoscale features separated by distances smaller than the wavelength of light. It uses an ultra-thin array of tiny waveguides, known as a metasurface, which bends light as it passes through.

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Teenage brain on social media

Teenagers’ brains have been scanned while they used social media in a first-of-its-kind study. Among the new findings: The same brain circuits that are activated by eating chocolate and winning money are activated when teenagers see large numbers of ‘Likes’ on their own photos, and teenagers are definitely influenced by their online ‘friends,’ even if they barely know them.

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Future geriatricians ‘become’ Alfred, a 74-year-old patient, using virtual reality

A virtual reality experience transforms the user into a 74-year-old named Alfred in order to see his perspective as a medical patient.

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‘Virtual partner’ elicits emotional responses from a human partner in real-time

‘How does it ‘feel’ to interact behaviorally with a machine?’ To answer that, scientists created a virtual partner that can elicit emotional responses from its human partner while the pair engages in behavioral coordination in real-time. The virtual partner’s behavior is governed by mathematical models of human-to-human interactions in a way that enables humans to interact with the mathematical description of their social selves.

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Animal training techniques teach robots new tricks

Researchers are using ideas from animal training to help non-expert users teach robots how to do desired tasks.

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Personalized virtual heart predicts the risk of sudden cardiac death

A research team has developed a non-invasive 3-D virtual heart to help doctors determine who faces the highest risk of a life-threatening arrhythmia and would benefit from a defibrillator implant.

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Wireless communication between vehicles in a 5G world

Researchers have devised and configured a new 5G radio access system for intervehicular communication. The system is intended to improve road safety in a future scenario where 5G technologies are the norm.

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