Speaking gloves and e-waste for metal coatings – IMPRESSO #31

In this edition: Speaking gloves, science fiction in the OR, and transforming e-waste into superior metal coatings.


Speaking gloves

What is a person trying to tell you, if they show you a thumbs up?  Translating this sign into ‘yes’ or ‘good’ is a safe bet and universally understood. But what happens, if you are limited to using your hands to communicate everything you want to say? Nearly 500 million people worldwide suffer from disabling hearing. Bioengineers at UCLA have developed a glove that translates signed words into English speech in real-time! All you need is a smartphone and a pair of these special gloves. They are equipped with thin sensors that pick up your finger’s motions, send them to a coin-sized circuit board on the glove, and transmit them to your smartphone which then translates your signs into spoken words. This is social innovation done right! Read more


Science Fiction in the OR

Visualization is critical in an operating theatre when physicians have to mentally imagine the body part that they are treating based on images displayed on monitors. Visible, yet untouchable, holograms are the ultimate visualization tool. Moreover, they turn out to also significantly improve the physician’s accuracy in performing a procedure! A team of engineers and physicians from Washington University in St. Louis have for the first time shown how using a hologram of a heart improves surgical results in a procedure to treat an irregular heartbeat. For this, catheters are fed into the patient’s heart and the software translates the data into a holographic image that hovers over the patient’s heart. Here’s to even better surgical outcomes! Read more


Superior coatings from e-waste

I love my electronic devices and probably, so do you! But with humanity’s rising appetite for them, the amount of “e-waste” keeps rising to alarming levels. And recycling that stuff is hard as they consist of so many different materials. Wouldn’t it be great to use our e-waste sustainably? Well, we may have found a way! Scientists came up with a brand new strategy called ‘material microsurgery’ that transforms electronic waste into innovative and superior metal coatings. Science plus innovation equals impact! Read more