February 23, 2018
MIT startup Ministry of Supply has launched an intelligent heated jacket that can operate manually or respond to smart assistants. As Richard Priday of Wired explains, the “optimum temperature of the garment” is calculated using sensors that detect the outside temperature as well as the user’s body movement and temperature.
Joseph Coughlin, director of the AgeLab, writes for Barron’s about how senior citizens are becoming an increasingly dominant consumer market. “Older consumers will no longer put up with companies that address only basic physiological or safety needs,” writes Coughlin. “New demands in the older market are arising from higher-level drives, such as goals, aspirations, aesthetic preferences, social needs, and talents.”
Writing for Wired, Prof. Joi Ito, director of the Media Lab, writes about the need for creating more open, global datasets for such critical issues as air quality monitoring. “We need to start using data for more than commercial exploitation,” argues Ito, “deploying it to understand the long-term effects of policy, and create transparency around those in power—not of private citizens.”
Fast Company reporter Katharine Schwab writes that researchers from the MIT Senseable City Lab have developed a new interactive tool, called Escape, that allows users to map flight costs to any destination in the world. Schwab writes that Escape’s “design is meant to help narrow down countless destinations as you plan your next getaway.”
Boston Globe reporter Jessie Scanlon spotlights Prof. Regina Barzilay’s work developing machine learning systems that can identify patients at risk of developing breast cancer. Barzilay is creating “software that aims to teach a computer to analyze mammogram images more effectively than the human eye can and to catch signs of cancer in its earliest phases.”
Forbes reporter Fiona McMillan writes that MIT researchers have engineered an anti-bacterial peptide found in wasp venom in an effort to create a new antibiotic. McMillan writes that the researchers, “gained new insight into which structural attributes work best, either alone or in combination. In this way, they were able to tweak the peptide’s structure to obtain optimal function.”