Friday Futures: typing by telepathy, spotting autism, Einstein

Image credit: junrong /

Welcome to Friday Futures, our weekly guide to the latest visions of The Future from around the web. This week: Facebook and telepathic typing; technology based on light; aerogel vs lava; spotting autism; the rise of the Chinese internet; bulletproof backpacks; creative computers.

Facebook is developing a device that types your thoughts

Facebook has announced a major breakthrough in its plans to allow people to type just by thinking of the words they want to use. But the US web giant says it is still some way away from a finished product. Read more…

Future technologies could be based on light

The future of faster, more efficient information processing may come down to light rather than electricity. Mark Lawrence, a postdoctoral scholar in materials science and engineering at Stanford, has moved a step closer to this future with a scheme to make a photon diode. Read more…

Will lava burn aerogel?
New, simple ways to spot autism
New research suggests that two simple, quantifiable measures — spontaneous fluctuations in pupil dilation or heart rate — could enable earlier diagnosis of Rett syndrome and possibly other disorders with autism-like features. Read more…
In the US, parents are buying their kids bulletproof backpacks

For parents in America, back-to-school shopping this year is about more than buying notebooks and binders — it’s about giving their child the best possible chance of surviving a school shooting. Read more…

The rise and rise of the Chinese internet (from 2018 but still good)


Turns out that Einstein’s theory holds up, for now

In the most comprehensive test of general relativity near the monstrous black hole at the center of our galaxy, researchers report that Einstein’s theory of general relativity holds up, at least for now.

This microphone can listen to a single sound particle

Researchers at Stanford University have developed a “quantum microphone” that’s sensitive enough to measure the individual particles of sound known as “phonons.” “We expect this device to allow new types of quantum sensors, transducers and storage devices for future quantum machines.” Read more…

Here’s how computers are learning to be creative – sort of

(Compiled by Alex Leslie and edited by Tony Poulos)

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