I just finished reading about Magic Wheelchair, a global non-profit organization that creates custom wheelchair costumes for kids. The video shows how a father, Ryan Weiner, wanted to dress up his three year old son as a pirate for a special occasion.
The young boy had spinal muscular atrophy and was restricted to a wheelchair. Weiner designed a homemade costume that incorporated the wheelchair as a pirate ship. Needless to say, his son was thrilled and felt so much joy.
The organization is now all about making disabled kids feel special. Their wheelchairs no longer define them.
In addition to bringing joy to the costumed kids, and their families, Weiner says his designs can act as a “cure” by liberating the kids from the stigma so often attached to wheelchairs.
Isn’t this wonderful? For more information, click here.
Speaking of wheelchairs. I wanted you to see what the future looks like for people who can’t walk. This is pretty incredible. We are living in an age where technology can provide freedom that others never had before. A designer shared a video that shows what wheelchairs will look like in the future.
(I didn’t have permission to tape the video. It has been deleted by YouTube. I probably would have been able to record it if it wasn’t over 10 minutes. Sorry!)
Many DigiDame readers have children, grandchildren, or both, who one day will be raising money for a business they want to start. I think I have enough experience to say they shouldn’t take money from folks who are not passionate about them and the project they are working on.
Most entrepreneurs will take money from anyone they can get it from. I have been involved with those deals. Many times they don’t work out well because the minute something goes wrong, the investor pulls.
I encourage you to watch the segment of Shark Tank I taped off the air. You want an investor like Barbara Corcoran for the Fidget pitch in the video. She will not let this inventor fail. She won’t run away when the big challenges present themselves. I’m not saying that Barbara is always the right investor. I’m saying that she is just as enthusiastic about the Fidget as the inventor.
My last advice is that if you don’t find a passionate investor, you need to find several deep pockets so that you have plenty to replace the ones you lose. Investing is a fickle business.
Image: SLS Hotel photo of art installation.
I don’t know why I am so fascinated by technology, but I am. When I walked into the SLS Brickell hotel in downtown Miami yesterday afternoon, I was thrilled to see a large interactive installation called “Monkey See, Monkey You.”
Video by Steve Greenberg
The lobby had a lot of interesting art pieces, but the large interactive screen was a big draw. All you had to do was approach the screen and the monkeys start moving. A few seconds later the playful monkeys start mimicking your poses and then movements. It’s a great way to make guests feel they are a member of the hotel community.
I asked the concierge how the screen worked, but she didn’t have any available written details. She did think the system was being programmed by an XBox Microsoft system, a video games console. I tried to research the system being used but I couldn’t find any descriptions.
Enjoy the video.
We are going to make one more attempt at learning to speak and read Spanish. We have been living in Miami full time for over a year, and we would love to speak Spanish to a lot of our Latino friends. We also would love to communicate with our French and Italian friends. 0ne language at a time.
We heard from many friends on the Internet that the Babbel app is the way to go. The ads for Babbel say, “if we give it one hour a day, for three weeks, we could be having a conversation with someone in Spanish within a month. Our expectations are not that high. We will be happy if we can increase our Spanish vocabulary little by little.
It would also be nice to learn Italian and French so we can talk to strangers when we travel, or if we meet new folks in the United States. The reason for this sudden ambition is because we were told that Babbel is so easy to use. It sounds too good to be true. We will let you know.
I am hoping to find a number of exhibits at CES in January that will be dedicated to making clothing that will feature motors, sensors and artificial intelligence in order to help the elderly with movement, including standing, sitting and bending.
Please watch the video to see how the “powered clothing” works.
I only know of two companies that have come together to make this type of apparel: famous Swiss designer Yves Behar, and a robotics company, called Superflex.
Béhar is the founder and principal designer of Fuseproject, an award-winning industrial design and brand development firm. He is also the chief creative officer of the wearable technology company Jawbone, and co-founder and chief creative officer of August, a smart lock company.
Superflex was born out of a nonprofit research organization called SRI International. It’s main objective is robotic augmentations for people who need help with every day tasks.
The material being used is an origami like fabric expands as needed. According to a company description, “The power is housed in hexagonally shaped low-profile shells. It targets specific points in order to provide necessary support while maximizing ergonomics. The lightweight suit is able to connect to the wearers main muscle points while effectively acting as a second supportive skin.”
The suits should be available in early 2018. I will show you the reviews as soon as they become available. I will even try to get trial products for some of our DigiDame readers to test.
Who wants to try and review powered clothing first?
Even if you knew it was an optical illusion, could you walk across this bridge? I couldn’t.
Photos from Mashable.
China is well known for its daring, all glass walking bridges, but this one is a real mind blower. To give visitors from all over the world a real treat, China has inserted optical illusion paintings on the floor of its famed Yellow River bridge in Zhongwei, Ningxia.
I’m not sure if they want to scare the wits out of people, or simply see how many brave souls will walk the bridge. It looks like visitors could easily fall on the river below. Optical illusions are very scary propositions.
I wanted to share this story with you because several tech pubs wrote about this travel destination. See what Mashable had to say.
The Yellow River is the world’s sixth longest river.
Would you, or wouldn’t you walk this bridge?
When our Uber (yes, we have been taking Uber all over Paris) pulled up to CES Unveiled Paris at the Palais Brongniart, I was thrilled to see the world’s third largest wire service, Agence France-Presse, was across the street. I have been working with them for decades. Associated Press and Reuters are one and two, respectively. I saluted and off we went to CES.
I can’t believe I made it. I have been talking to Eliot about attending one of these foreign tech shows for years, and this year, we decided to pick the one CES does in Paris. These are mini tech CES satellite shows, mostly for start-ups. Many of the exhibitors haven’t even started selling their products yet. That’s why I wanted to attend the show. Meet and greet before the other PR agencies pitch them.
Getting ready to meet the French innovators.
The pathway to innovation.
Karen Chupka, Senior Vice President of CES. She is the boss lady everyone loves. Eliot gets a hug.
Me and my HandL. The elastic grip makes using a smartphone so much easier.
This product is going to promote short stories on slips of paper. That’s all I am going to tell you at this point.
His telescope is so powerful that the SETI Institute has agreed to joint projects.
Athletic shoes for those who may need assistance on the road. I will reveal details at a later date.
Promoting a mask that is a pollution protector. I’m mum for now.
The pollution mask
A new way to listen to music.
Special CES recognition
An adorable robot that will be your company greeter.
The exhibition hall
Personal surveillance for human resources
A new type of Arlo
Giving the HWH PR pitch.
Fancy video effects
Lunch at Spoon 2, a great treat.
We also ate at their sister restaurant in Hong Kong.