Are you ready for the afterlife? How tech can help us achieve immortality

Credit: V&A Museum

Technological innovations could help us achieve immortality and preserve the future of the human race

THE idea of creating a ‘digital you’ that lives on after you die may sound like something straight out of Black Mirror but the wheels are already in motion — as are developments to ensure the future survival of our race should doomsday descend.

The Eternime app, for example, which is still in testing mode, uses social media posts to build a digital avatar your family and friends can interact with after you’re dead. So far, so creepy, right? The app features in a major new exhibition at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum called The Future Starts Here, where the digital afterlife is just one of the technological innovations that could — in theory — keep us living forever…

The full article appeared in the 18 May 2018 print edition of Metro and can also be viewed in the e-edition.

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Back in an instant: the return of Polaroid

Polaroid Originals

Polaroids are well and truly back. Instant photography has been bubbling along for a few years but a wave of nostalgia inspired by the likes of Netflix drama Stranger Things, coupled with a brand new Polaroid camera, is putting the distinctive square snaps back on the map.

The story of instant photos goes back to 1937, when Edwin Land founded Polaroid. The company popularised instant snaps but went bankrupt in 2001 and scrapped instant film production in 2008 as digital cameras took over.

Shortly afterwards a brand known as The Impossible Project bought Polaroid’s last factory and film stock. Since acquiring the Polaroid name this year, it has relaunched as Polaroid Originals with a new retro-styled camera, the OneStep 2 (£109.99).

Designed to resemble the original OneStep from 1977, the new camera takes both classic 600 film and Polaroid’s new i-Type film, and has a built-in flash, a self-timer for selfies and a 60-day battery life. But what exactly is it about instant photography that makes it so appealing?

The full article appeared in the 24 November 2017 issue of Metro and can be also be viewed in the e-edition.

Cool coding just for kids

Pioneering Nasa scientist Katherine Johnson celebrated in Lego

If nerds are the new rock stars, it’s time to get kids techy

Tech innovation depends on brainpower. That’s why encouraging children to study STEM subjects — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — is vital. And the good news is there’s help at hand. Lego has just launched its Boost sets, which incorporate app-based coding — allowing kids to bring their creations to life.

Aimed at children aged seven and older, the kits enable youngsters to build projects including Vernie The Robot and the Guitar 4000, while learning about how the built-in motors and sensors work. They can even add personality to their creations using voice recordings.

The Danish toymaker is also working on a Women Of Nasa set. Designed to mark the accomplishments of women and people of colour in space (and hopefully encourage their successors) it has just been given the green light to go into production…

You can read the full article in Metro (originally published 10 March 2017).