The Wonder, June 15 - Bionic Arms for Kids, Emergency Housing, and 5G Is Coming

INthe wonder, blog, technology|BYsf appworks

A Weekly Snapshot of Life-Changing Technology

Happy Friday!

Father’s day is Sunday. Our take on the best gift? Time 🙂 Skip the tie rack and go for a hike. Reservations not required.

Or, for $200, you can make his home smart.

This newsletter is an effort to highlight notable examples of like-minded people and organizations, inspired by new technology and eager to help people with it.

Enjoy!

Bionic Arms for Kids

Limbitless Solutions is rethinking the way we build artificial limbs for children. Instead of trying to mimic the look of human skin, they are creating limbs that are colorful and artistic.

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Andrew’s Take: It’s a good reminder that just getting the job done, as traditional prosthetics do, is sometimes not enough. Looking and feeling good about yourself, especially as a child, may be the most important factor here. To some, it was never about being able to pick things up. It was about changing the conversation around them.      

Darius’s Take: Superhero limbs that make children feel special, not strange. Amazing. But kids are different than adults in that their bodies grow, which can be economically challenging if they have to keep switching prosthetics. Maybe there is a way to make them interchangeable or upgradeable. 3D printing can be a big help here.

Emergency Housing

Airbnb is expanding its Open Homes pilot program, allowing Airbnb hosts to list their properties ahead of a disaster so that refugees or evacuees can find housing on short notice for free.

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Andrew’s Take: This is a win all around. Hosts can help out in a meaningful way during emergencies, those displaced by disasters can find short-term housing, and Airbnb can attract new users to its platform while doing something good for the world.

Darius’s Take: Unfortunately, global warming will bring more natural disasters. It’s good to see companies trying to facilitate a way for people to help each other out. We’ve seen big corporations directly champion causes, but this is a new take: peer to peer disaster preparation.

5G Is Coming

The mobile industry achieved a critical milestone this week when it approved 5G standalone specifications. This kicks off the final sprint towards 5G commercialization, which will begin later this year in the US.

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Andrew’s Take: Though it’s true we need to keep up with the heavy demands of HD video streaming, the bigger impact will come from the proliferation of internet-ready hardware. In the next ten years we’ll go from 6.4 billion to 20.8 billion connected devices. 5G will be critical in moving the internet of things forward so that your alarm clock can start your coffee machine and your fridge can order more milk.

Darius’s Take: Get ready for even faster on-the-go internet as the new standard becomes official! As mobile devices and data usage has increased, 4G networks have struggled to keep up with the data transfer demands. 5G operates at higher radio frequencies allowing for data transfer up to 20 times faster. That should ease the speed and data bottlenecks quite a bit.

One Amazing Comeback

After fumbling the handoff, USC sprinter Kendall Ellis goes from fifth place to first place in her anchor leg to win the NCAA Track and Field Championships.

Watch>> 

Thanks for reading! We’ll see you next week.

-Andrew and Darius