Thursday, March 10, 2016

Friday Thinking 11 March 2016

Hello – Friday Thinking is curated on the basis of my own curiosity and offered in the spirit of sharing. Many thanks to those who enjoy this. 

In the 21st Century curiosity will SKILL the cat.

Another thing that’s going on is that population geneticists, such as myself, are a bit unschooled. We haven’t gone through graduate school in anthropology, or linguistics, or history, and yet, we’re making very strong statements about these people’s fields. It's a little bit like barbarians are walking into your room, and you can’t ignore barbarians because they have information, weapons, and technology that you didn’t have access to before.

It’s a new type of information. I’ve been at a series of interdisciplinary meetings between linguists and archeologists and geneticists recently, and the genetics give succor to some people but it doesn’t make everybody happy; nobody is completely happy with the genetic data. It doesn’t perfectly play into anyone’s theory. In general, there is this battle line that’s been drawn between people who support what’s called the Anatolian hypothesis, the arrival of Indo-European languages from the Near East with farming, and people who think it arose later through a homeland in the steppe.

I opened up my own ancient DNA laboratory in Boston in 2013 with the help of Svante Pääbo, to study some of the topics that he wasn’t interested in studying himself, mostly population transformations after the Ice Age, and that’s what the work of the last three years has been. It’s been turning ancient DNA into an industrial process, studying very large numbers of samples, moving away from the model of studying just one or two or three amazing interesting samples and studying dozens or hundreds of people and understanding how carefully constructed time transects through different places in the world, and how populations have changed over time.        
The Genomic Ancient DNA Revolution- A New Way to Investigate the Past
A Conversation With David Reich

Attention is intimate, the kaleidoscopic point at which the self twines with a panoply of strange others, both human and non-human. Like the self, attention can do very well without an off-the-shelf concept of what it is and should be. Attention is about redistribution of action, and so can never be a final and stabilized state. It can't be hoarded. Its strength is not always in unity, purity, and concentration.

...a different way of describing and discussing attention: a lexicon that neither worships technology nor romanticizes nature. I want to move past a vocabulary of emancipation vs. enslavement. To think about attention through the language of ecology is to see it as a sound-wave that a bow draws from a violin: in constant flux, not just existing in its surroundings, but actually unable to be abstracted from the constituting conditions of the resin on the bow, the quality of the horsehair, the density of the wood, the moisture in the room's air. Attention is contingent on shifting attachments between individuals, collectivities, histories, technological and material conditions. To husband our attention requires a commitment to digital and analog life at once because, in so many ways, we are each other's attention.
A Better Way of Talking About Attention Loss
Economic models for contemporary attention-loss are cynical—and incomplete.
It's time to talk about an "ecology of attention."

“Innovation is not always about invention. It’s often about integration of ideas that pre-exist, and then you put them together in a novel package.”
Verdant Global: Germinating a Future by Growing Food Indoors

Ultimately, people still need a town center where they’re going to gather. I think a lot of retail space probably needs to be repurposed. There’s always a need to reimagine space and how people use it
For NREC’s Sam Sidiqi, Real Estate in Africa Offers a Way to Hedge Currency Risk

This is a great discussion exploring Google’s efforts to understand how to develop and support great teams and teamwork.
traits like ‘‘conversational turn-taking’’ and ‘‘average social sensitivity’’ as aspects of what’s known as psychological safety — a group culture that the Harvard Business School professor Amy Edmondson defines as a ‘‘shared belief held by members of a team that the team is safe for interpersonal risk-taking.’’ Psychological safety is ‘‘a sense of confidence that the team will not embarrass, reject or punish someone for speaking up,’’ Edmondson wrote in a study published in 1999. ‘‘It describes a team climate characterized by interpersonal trust and mutual respect in which people are comfortable being themselves.’’
What Google Learned From Its Quest to Build the Perfect Team
New research reveals surprising truths about why some work groups thrive and others falter.
Five years ago, Google — one of the most public proselytizers of how studying workers can transform productivity — became focused on building the perfect team. In the last decade, the tech giant has spent untold millions of dollars measuring nearly every aspect of its employees’ lives. Google’s People Operations department has scrutinized everything from how frequently particular people eat together (the most productive employees tend to build larger networks by rotating dining companions) to which traits the best managers share (unsurprisingly, good communication and avoiding micromanaging is critical; more shocking, this was news to many Google managers).

In 2012, the company embarked on an initiative — code-named Project Aristotle — to study hundreds of Google’s teams and figure out why some stumbled while others soared. Dubey, a leader of the project, gathered some of the company’s best statisticians, organizational psychologists, sociologists and engineers. He also needed researchers.

When Rozovsky and her Google colleagues encountered the concept of psychological safety in academic papers, it was as if everything suddenly fell into place. ... Google’s data indicated that psychological safety, more than anything else, was critical to making a team work.

What Project Aristotle has taught people within Google is that no one wants to put on a ‘‘work face’’ when they get to the office. No one wants to leave part of their personality and inner life at home. But to be fully present at work, to feel ‘‘psychologically safe,’’ we must know that we can be free enough, sometimes, to share the things that scare us without fear of recriminations. We must be able to talk about what is messy or sad, to have hard conversations with colleagues who are driving us crazy. We can’t be focused just on efficiency.

This is a top 10 list for 2016 - I thought I would include it because of one recommendation - one that I believe is vital for harnessing talent in any large organization.
Altimeter’s Top Digital Trends for 2016
From Charlene Li
Digital governance becomes a necessity
While terribly mundane, many organizations will reach a breaking point in 2016 where the morass known as digital/social/mobile will require a wholesale review of how they work with each other and across the enterprise. Central to this effort will be the rationalization of the digital C-Suite, identifying the roles and digital responsibilities of the CEO, COO, CMO, CIO, and the need for new positions like the Chief Digital Officer and Chief Experience Officer.

It seems like science and especially social science may not be in such a crisis after all - despite the incredible degree of complexity involved in social research. This is actually a must read - as efforts to replicate may have to be even more rigorous than the original study.
Who Says Most Psychology Studies Can't Be Replicated?
A high-profile paper left that impression last year. Now, Harvard University researchers are offering a detailed rebuttal.
Here's the thing about research: It can always be challenged, re-examined, re-interpreted. In a high-profile example of that process, a much-publicized 2015 paper looked at 100 psychology studies published in major journals, and found only 36 percent of them could be successfully replicated.

This led to many commentaries about a crisis in psychological research. But now the re-examination process has, in a sense, come full circle.

A group of researchers led by prominent Harvard University psychologist Daniel Gilbert has published a detailed rebuttal of the 2015 paper. It points to three statistical errors that, in their analysis, led the original authors to an unwarranted conclusion.

After controlling for those mistakes, "the data (of the original paper) are consistent with the opposite conclusion—namely, that the reproducibility of psychological science is quite high," the researchers write in this week's issue of the journal Science.

This is another ‘weak signal’ related to a fundamental re-imagining of political-economies through reformulation of the basic science underlying the current pseudo-science of neo-classical economics - who’s ‘strong simplifying assumptions’ may actually make dangerously simplistic.
...a fundamental error in traditional economic models — they rely on data meant to approximate the actions of a single rational individual or average person. But the economy is not comprised of average people acting rationally and independently. Relying on models that assume so makes it difficult for experts to see what’s really going on.
In particular, traditional models have largely failed to account for the interactions between people or institutions. They don’t have any way to measure phenomena such as positive feedback, which is when a slight disturbance in a system causes a domino effect that sends it spiraling out of control.
The Next Financial Crisis Could Be Predicted By A Smarter Economic Model, Experts Say
What if ecologists who study food webs and epidemiologists who study disease outbreaks could help central bankers predict the next financial crisis? That idea isn’t so far-fetched to some economists who want to adapt a widely used scientific strategy to monitor the global economy.

A group of financial experts, including the chief economist of the Bank of England, issued a call to action Thursday in a major scientific journal asking scientists for help in building a better economic model.

Specifically, they want to incorporate complexity theory, which is already used by scientists to understand webs and systems in physics, computer science, biology and epidemiology. The model they hope to create will allow regulators and central bankers to forecast the impacts of new policies and possibly even anticipate the next financial crisis.

“Truth be told, the workhorse model in economics and finance, God bless it, does come with some strong simplifying assumptions, some of which mean it's not often well equipped to deal with situations of stress,” Andy Haldane, chief economist at the Bank of England who co-authored the proposal in Science, said.

Here’s a 12 page paper discussing a possible evolution of the blockchain for privacy. Worth the read for anyone interested in the future of the digital environment and privacy.
Enigma: Decentralized Computation Platform with Guaranteed Privacy
A peer-to-peer network, enabling different parties to jointly store and run computations on data while keeping the data completely private. Enigma’s computational model is based on a highly optimized version of secure multi-party computation, guaranteed by a verifiable secret-sharing scheme. For storage, we use a modi- fied distributed hashtable for holding secret-shared data. An external blockchain is utilized as the controller of the network, manages access control, identities and serves as a tamper-proof log of events. Security deposits and fees incentivize operation, correctness and fairness of the system. Similar to Bitcoin, Enigma removes the need for a trusted third party, enabling autonomous control of personal data. For the first time, users are able to share their data with cryptographic guarantees regarding their privacy.

I think of fiber optic infrastructure to every household and business as the basic utility of the digital environment - just as building roads aren’t the ‘source’ of wealth buth the enable the economy to innovate the creation of wealth through ever new uses. Here’s an article by a key thinker in this domain Susan Crawford.
This is a must read - it illuminates new business models to deliver public infrastructure - one can easily imagine each city building this - and leasing it out competitively.
In reality, the way competition actually happens in telecommunications is to have a world-class, basic, fixed-price, passive, wholesale wire to every home and business that can be used by any retail operator to provide services. That’s it. That’s the sensible model. Once you have that in place, competition explodes: the retail sellers know how much the wholesale input costs and can rely on that pricing while they differentiate their services by price, customer service, and quality commitments. Presto: prices charged to consumers begin to approach the marginal cost of the service and service quality climbs.
You Didn’t Notice It, But Google Fiber Just Began the Golden Age of High Speed Internet Access
Its “dark fiber” project in Huntsville creates a model that might finally thrust US Internet access into the 21st Century
This week, Google launched what amounts to a religious war in American telecom land.

In a surprising announcement, the Alphabet company known as Google Fiber said it would expand its high speed Internet access services to Huntsville, Alabama — but in a different way that it currently has started up operations in cities like Austin and Kansas City. In cities it services to date, Google Fiber actually lays down the fiber-optic cables that allow it to deliver super-high numbers of bits to customers and businesses. But in Huntsville, it will lease “dark” fiber that will be built and owned by the electric utility in that city. (Dark fiber is passive, unlit by lasers, so not capable of carrying information until someone comes along and lights it.) The Google lease is nonexclusive — any other ISP can show up and provide services — and will allow Google to provide retail gigabit fiber Internet access services to any home or business that Huntsville decides to serve.

...this is the model that has been used with enormous success in several other cities — and could be revolutionary here in smashing the current dogma that keeps Americans overcharged and under-served.

Here is a great example of leaping into the digital environment.
More phones, few banks and years of instability are transforming Somalia to a cashless society
Ahmed Farah Hassan no longer carries the tattered Somali shilling notes that were the currency of his war-torn country’s economy for years.

At a gas station in Mogadishu recently, the 32-year-old filled up his car and then paid with a few clicks of his phone.

“It’s easy nowadays. I don’t need to carry my cash. I just use my phone to pay bills everywhere I buy goods and services,” said Hassan, a driver at the Kheyre Development and Rehabilitation Organization, a local NGO that works with UNICEF to help street children. “Everyone here has his own bank. It’s safe.”
In the streets of Mogadishu, the future has arrived: cash is disappearing, credit cards are unnecessary, and daily shopping is speedy and digital.

And as the world accesses the Internet with mobile technology - the power of the computer becomes ever more massive - and ethereal.
“Larry, I still don’t get it. There are so many search companies. Web search, for free? Where does that get you?”
Each of the 12.1 billion queries that Google’s 1.2 billion searchers conduct each day tutor the deep-learning AI over and over again. With another 10 years of steady improvements to its AI algorithms, plus a thousand-fold more data and 100 times more computing resources, Google will have an unrivaled AI. My prediction: By 2024, Google’s main product will not be search but AI.
The Three Breakthroughs That Have Finally Unleashed AI on the World
The original Watson is ... about the size of a bedroom, with 10 upright, refrigerator-shaped machines forming the four walls. The tiny interior cavity gives technicians access to the jumble of wires and cables on the machines’ backs. It is surprisingly warm inside, as if the cluster were alive.

Today’s Watson is very different. It no longer exists solely within a wall of cabinets but is spread across a cloud of open-standard servers that run several hundred “instances” of the AI at once. Like all things cloudy, Watson is served to simultaneous customers anywhere in the world, who can access it using their phones, their desktops, or their own data servers. This kind of AI can be scaled up or down on demand. Because AI improves as people use it, Watson is always getting smarter; anything it learns in one instance can be immediately transferred to the others. And instead of one single program, it’s an aggregation of diverse software engines—its logic-deduction engine and its language-parsing engine might operate on different code, on different chips, in different locations—all cleverly integrated into a unified stream of intelligence.

When, in plain English, I give it the symptoms of a disease I once contracted in India, it gives me a list of hunches, ranked from most to least probable. The most likely cause, it declares, is Giardia—the correct answer. This expertise isn’t yet available to patients directly; IBM provides access to Watson’s intelligence to partners, helping them develop user-friendly interfaces for subscribing doctors and hospitals. “I believe something like Watson will soon be the world’s best diagnostician—whether machine or human,” says Alan Greene, chief medical officer of Scanadu, a startup that is building a diagnostic device inspired by the Star Trek medical tricorder and powered by a cloud AI. “At the rate AI technology is improving, a kid born today will rarely need to see a doctor to get a diagnosis by the time they are an adult.”

Here’s a 15 min interview with Geoffrey Hinton on AI. Worth the view.
The Code That Runs Our Lives
From searching on Google to real-time translation, millions of people use deep learning every day, mostly without knowing it. It's a form of artificial intelligence designed to mimic the human brain. Geoffrey Hinton is a professor in the department of computer science at the University of Toronto. His work on deep learning has been snapped up by Google and is now being used to power its search engine. He joins The Agenda to discuss deep learning and the future of artificial intelligence.

And in relation to AI and perhaps a potential aspect of a personal AI-ssistant.
The Artificially Intelligent Doctor Will Hear You Now
U.K.-based startup Babylon will launch an app later this year that will listen to your symptoms and provide medical advice. Will it help or hinder the health-care system?
There are about 10,000 known human diseases, yet human doctors are only able to recall a fraction of them at any given moment. As many as 40,500 patients die annually in an ICU in the U.S. as a result of misdiagnosis, according to a 2012 Johns Hopkins study. British entrepreneur Ali Parsa believes that artificial intelligence can help doctors avoid these mistakes.

Parsa is the founder and CEO of Babylon, a U.K.-based subscription health service that plans to launch an AI-based app designed to improve doctors’ hit rate. Users will report the symptoms of their illness to the app, which will check them against a database of diseases using speech recognition. After taking into account the patient’s history and circumstances, Babylon will offer an appropriate course of action. Currently in beta testing, the app is expected to be available later this year.

The concept is comparable to IBM’s Watson computer, which is currently in use by oncologists at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. IBM’s software draws from 600,000 medical evidence reports, 1.5 million patient records and clinical trials, and two million pages of text from medical journals to help doctors develop treatment plans tailored to patients’ individual symptoms, genetics, and histories.

The phase transition in finance is also startling - it’s not just mobile currency but the shift to a more distributed platform - at least partially enabled by the blockchain technology.
Open ledgers may also make possible new 'smart' securities and derivatives that will revolutionize operational and transactional efficiency, They may help reduce some of the enormous cost of the increased financial system infrastructure required by new laws and regulations, including Dodd-Frank.
...we actually think open source is going to have a really big role in this space, probably more so than any other initiative in our industry, maybe ever.
CFTC Hearing Explores Role of Regulators in Blockchain Future
The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission's (CFTC) Technology Advisory Committee discussed how blockchain applications could reshape the derivatives market at a meeting today in with special attention was paid to the need for industry standards and collaboration.

The hearing, originally announced in January but later postponed, featured testimony from representatives from both traditional finance firms as well as startups in the blockchain space.

Notably, the CFTC commissioners present indicated a willingness to avoid cumbersome regulatory demands on the still-nascent technology, with CFTC Chairman Timothy Massad remarking that, despite questions about what industry problems blockchain tech could solve, the agency doesn't want to prevent any possible benefits.

This is a very interesting article - a weak signal on the future of organizational planning, and perhaps even of a more participative democracy.
the game gives universities an opportunity to take the pulse of the community and build literacy about the future, which allows them to become more resilient.
UC Davis Uses Online Game to Crowdsource Its Future
The university community spent 36 hours generating ideas about where UC Davis should go in the future.
More than 2,000 people can't fit around a conference table, but they can envision their university's future together in an online game.

For 36 hours last week, members of the University of California at Davis (UC Davis) community built off of each other's ideas and asked questions about what learning, work and public engagement would look like in 2026. The public research university had been working on a strategic planning initiative, but the typical committees, discussions and public comment periods have their limits. UC Davis needed people with more diverse perspectives to infuse fresh ideas on research, curriculum development, classroom instruction and lower-level operational changes.

This "Envision UC Davis" game engaged students and brought more people into the public idea-generating process. Students played with enthusiasm and thanked university leaders for asking their opinion — a sign that the university may not ask students for their opinion as often as it should, said Gary Sandy, project manager in the Office of Chancellor and Provost.

UC Davis became the second university to play a serious future game on the Foresight Engine, which Jane McGonigal designed for the not-for-profit think tank Institute for the Future. The game asked players to share their ideas in 140 characters or less. Once a gamer played an idea card, others could ask questions, advance the idea and add their perspective. The game rewarded players with points when they collaborated on big ideas.

About 3 years ago I paid $100 to 23andMe for a light-weight gene analysis - found out that I’m about 2.6% Neanderthal (0.1% below average) and lots more. We are getting closer to a cost where our full DNA sequence could become a standard medical requirement - maybe even covered under health care insurance based on being able to increase effectiveness of preventative health measures and better targeted-tailored drugs.
For $999, Veritas Genetics Will Put Your Genome on a Smartphone App
Getting your entire genome decoded is now more affordable than ever. Will consumers buy it?
The $1,000 genome is a reality. Actually, you’ll save a dollar. It’s $999.
A Cambridge, Massachusetts, company, Veritas Genetics, said this week that is how much it will charge for a consumer-friendly know-your-genome service that would pair insight into your genetic makeup with a handy phone app and on-demand video calls with genetic counselors.

The company said a genome test, which it will launch in April, should essentially replace every other type of genetic test since it effectively provides all the answers at once. It will include all six billion letters of a person’s genome, analyzed by an algorithm to highlight medical predispositions. Consumers would learn facts ranging from the silly (is their earwax wet or dry?) to the potentially scary, like whether they have “highly pathogenic germline mutations” that cause things like malignant hyperthermia. They’ll also learn whether their genomes harbor mutations in 150 genes linked to cancer susceptibility, such as the BRCA breast cancer genes.

A “$1,000 genome” was first announced by Illumina in 2014, but that referred to the cost of producing the raw data on that company’s instruments. What’s new is that Veritas is offering the data, along with interpretation, for a price of less than $1,000.

Part of the domestication of DNA is the re-domestication of plants -new form of urban agriculture - bringing a new definition to the factory farm - this is a Canadian example.
All of our economics have been done based upon normal, wholesale market conditions against existing incumbents. The reason for that, of course, is they exist and if you can’t compete with them, you’re going to be taken out of the market. That being said, we also are essentially an organic product. We’re a premium product. We’re tastier, we’re fresher, we’re local, which gives us an upside that we can actually capitalize on. Our average selling price is higher than the wholesale market price but well within the range of normal stores.
Verdant Global: Germinating a Future by Growing Food Indoors
How do you feed a growing world population with fresh, nutritious food in the face of limited resources such as farmable land? Canadian firm Verdant Global has an innovative solution: efficiently grow produce indoors at scale in “agrifactories” close to local populations so food tastes fresher because it wasn’t harvested early for travel. In these indoor facilities, plants are stacked in layers and the environment is controlled so they can grow year-round and without pesticides. Verdant claims a yield of 20 times bigger than greenhouses. Knowledge@Wharton spoke to Verdant CEO Douglas James about how his company is at the leading edge of the future of farming.

The way I see the market evolving is that a major center like Philadelphia ultimately could have five to 15 of these growing different things in the local marketplace, so that’s really the scale.

Here are two articles discussing our past and potential future relationship with viral DNA - the future in intimately connected with the human domestication of DNA.
Ancient Viruses Hidden in Your DNA Fight Off New Viruses
THE HUMAN GENOME is three billion letters long. About 240 million letters of it, scientists estimate, is viral. Yes, eight percent of human DNA comes from ancient viruses that once infected our ancestors.
Most viral infections are as fleeting as a cold, but two things made the ancient ones unusual: One, these viruses had the special ability to copy themselves into the DNA of their hosts. And two, they sometimes got lucky enough to copy themselves into an egg that became fertilized and grew into a full-fledged adult. So that viral DNA got passed down from generation to human generation as so-called endogenous retroviruses.

But there’s no need for alarm about the DNA of viral origin teeming inside your cells. Some of it may even make you you. As a growing fetus, you co-opted a gene from an ancient virus to form the placenta that kept you nourished in the womb. And in recent years, scientists poring over gigabytes of genetic sequencing data have seen other tantalizing hints of endogenous retroviruses turning useful. A new paper out today in Science suggests humans have also co-opted the remnants of ancient viruses to direct the immune system against other pathogens. Ah, the irony. “The tables have been turned,” says Nels Elde, a biologist at the University of Utah and coauthor of the study. “We’ve claimed those elements to fight off modern viruses.”

And our future not unlike our past but with more conscious choices…
Engineering foe into friend
Bose Grant awardee Jacquin Niles aims to repurpose the malaria parasite for drug delivery.
What if a centuries-old foe could become a workhorse for drug delivery in the future? Jacquin Niles, an associate professor of biological engineering at MIT, sees potential for such a transformation in what others might consider an unlikely subject: the malaria parasite.

Niles’ lab works mainly on eliminating malaria as a disease, but he is taking a radically different approach to the parasite with his project to re-engineer the organism as a vehicle for drug delivery. The project is funded by an Amar G. Bose Grant, which supports high-risk, high-reward research.

As Niles delved deeper into the biology of the parasite, he began to ponder another side of the organism. Around half a million people die each year from malaria — but some 200 million that are infected survive. Many experience no symptoms. These people are clinically immune, meaning they carry the parasite, but show no overt disease symptoms. This makes it hard to identify carriers of the disease, as the malaria parasite survives in the bloodstream at some level, but the carrier is unaware.

“That’s a problem for eliminating the disease, but if you flip that around to think about the organism as a potential therapeutic vehicle, it becomes an interesting ‘feature’ rather than a ‘bug’,” Niles says.

The phase transition in energy geo-politics seems to have caught almost everyone by surprise - some may still be in doubt.
Over the past four decades, most of the debate over energy security has focused on oil. But the forum’s report suggests that in the coming few decades, the pivotal problems for energy security will center around electric power.
What does our energy future look like? This new report offers a glimpse.
What a difference a year makes. Just 12 months ago, in March 2015, oil prices had dropped to $50 — about half of what a barrel fetched the summer before. Oil producers were hurting, but they could also imagine that the markets would soon correct, the slide would stop and prices might rebound.

Today, oil prices have been cut in half again, and there’s no correction in sight. Demand for oil remains slack, thanks to the slowdown in the global economy and to policies aimed at cutting oil consumption. Supplies remain high while investment in production has crashed. For oil sellers and for the governments that rely on oil revenue, it’s a nightmare. Cheap oil, they hope, will rekindle demand and the prices that suppliers can charge will rise again.

They’re free to hope. But over the past year, another striking trend has darkened the long-term outlook for purveyors of fossil fuels: serious policy on climate change.

This is fascinating.
Eyeglasses That Can Focus Themselves Are on the Way
Deep Optics is working on glasses with liquid-crystal lenses that can constantly refocus; it could be good news for aging eyes and virtual reality, too.
An Israeli startup is making glasses with lenses that can automatically adjust their optical power in real time, which may be a boon to people with age-related trouble focusing on nearby objects and could also be helpful for making virtual reality less nauseating.

Called Deep Optics, the startup has spent the last three years building lenses with a see-through liquid-crystal layer that can change its refractive index—that is, the way light bends while passing through it—when subjected to an electrical current that depends on sensor data about where a wearer’s eyes are trying to focus. This month it announced it had brought in $4 million in venture capital to help make this happen; investors include Essilor, a French company that makes eyeglass lenses.

While the technology is not entirely new—it’s been used in smartphone camera lenses in the past, for instance—Deep Optics claims to be able to use it in lenses that are larger and more optically powerful.

You won’t be able to buy glasses that include this technology any time soon. While the company has the basics of a working prototype, including functional lenses and other components, it still has a lot of work to do when it comes to perfecting the lenses and the system for detecting pupil distance, Haddad says, not to mention figuring out how to shrink everything down so it can fit into something as slim as a pair of eyeglasses. He expects that it will be two years before Deep Optics will start having people test the glasses extensively.

Haddad says the Deep Optics technology may be useful for other things besides vision problems. For example, it may offer a way to focus your eyes more naturally when wearing a virtual-reality headset. The experience requires you to focus both on a flat display ahead of you and on 3-D images that look closer to your eyes, which makes some people feel sick. Haddad thinks the constantly adjusting lenses can help.

This is so cool - a 4 min MUST SEE video about a new game - you have to see the video to understand what this is doing to stretch our imagination.
A look at the Technology behind the 4D Game Miegakure
4D Crystals made using Tetrahedral Meshes FTW

Stay tuned for the next video, which will show more gameplay! We also will make more videos explaining the fourth dimension using the game.

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