Planes, Brains, and Video Games


Look Ma! I'm Flying a Plane with only My Thoughts

Controlling objects with brainpower alone sounds like a superhero plot line, but as new technology emerges comics may be coming to life. This week, WIRED’S Jack Stewart tries flying a plane with only his thoughts. Equipped with a shower cap-looking device on his head, Stewart is connected to the plane through electrodes that measure his brain patterns as they correspond to basic directions (up, down, left right) on a screen. When he needs to turn right, he simply focuses on the right arrow command on the computer screen, and his brain waves signal the plane to go right. While Delta Airlines won’t be adopting this technology anytime soon, it’s an exciting new technology to keep top of mind and the video is definitely one to watch.


Hollywood Days with Hayes

Feeling that he hadn’t yet lived enough of his life to warrant a memoir, Internet sensation Hayes Grier is breaking the mold of YouTuber autobiographies and publishing a fictional novel and an accompanying app. Partnering with interactive story app Episodes, Grier’s Hollywood Days allow fans to step into the story and experience the plot in a novel way. Starring a fictionalized Grier, the story takes place on the set of a fictional Hollywood film. Episode users can play their way through the plot as if they were interns on set, creating characters for themselves and directly inserting themselves into the action. Consider this further proof that today’s young consumers would rather interact with content than read it.


Google Arts + Culture

As VR becomes more ubiquitous, so will the need for stunning VR experiences. Not surprisingly, Google, which just debuted its new Pixel smartphone, is ready to deliver. Enter Google Arts + Culture, an app that employs the Daydream VR headset to allow users to “visit” virtual art galleries where they can discover and experience famous works of various artists, from Van Gough to Rembrandt. Not only can users zoom into see the finest details down to the brush strokes, each piece is also accompanied by audio from an expert museum curator.


Designed by Apple in California

Just in time for the holidays, Apple is debuting a coffee table book chronicling the company’s past two decades of beautiful products and packaging. Shot by photographer Andrew Zuckerman, the all-white book shares 450 photos showcasing the evolution of Apple’s signature minimalist design. Die hard Apple fans will love that the book is dedicated to the memory of Steve Jobs and probably won’t be surprised at the price tag, either. The coffee table tome starts at $199 for a small edition and $299 for the full sized copy—quite the price to pay for an Apple product without a battery!



Gaddr is a new app making waves for allowing users to bring all of their social media accounts to one comprehensive hub. The app not only makes it easy to see confirmed influencer and celebrity profiles, but allows users to upload profiles of their choosing from over 50 different social media apps and websites. Gaddr also keeps a newsfeed of users’ activity across all apps meaning that their Instagram, Twitter, Facebook posts and more can all appear in the same feed. With its seamless, centralized solution for social, we think Gaddr is perfectly on trend.


AI LipNet

Thanks to AI LipNet, technology is making huge strides in helping deaf people more easily consume digital content. Created by brilliant minds at Oxford University and using a type of technology called DeepMind, researchers have trained an AI to teach itself how to lip-read. This technology is extremely powerful due to its ability to lip read while getting smarter with continued use (recently, the AI Lip Net reached a whopping 93.4% accuracy). Although the technology currently only works with well-lit front facing videos, it’s a hint of what’s to come in augmenting content for those with specialized needs.

Kristin Castillo