What happens when technology knows more about us than we do? Poppy Crum studies how we express emotions -- and she suggests the end of the poker face is near, as new tech makes it easy to see the signals that give away how we're feeling. In a talk and demo, she shows how "empathetic technology" can read physical signals like body temperature and the chemical composition of our breath to inform on our emotional state. For better or for worse. "If we recognize the power of becoming technological empaths, we get this opportunity where technology can help us bridge the emotional and cognitive divide," Crum says.
Northwestern University and Washington University School of Medicine researchers have developed the first example of a bioelectronic medicine: an implantable, biodegradable wireless device that speeds nerve regeneration and improves healing of a damaged nerve. Their device delivered pulses of electricity to damaged nerves in rats after a surgical repair process, accelerating the regrowth of nerves and enhancing the recovery of muscle strength and control. The device is the size of a dime and the thickness of a sheet of paper and dissolves in the body after about two weeks.