Sunday, October 19, 2008

Seen and Heard

Another cool conference (or unconference) that I am missing: the first Open Sustainability Network unconference. Appropedia's Lonny Grafman told me about it and I'm sure they've come up with some great stuff over the last two days.

Technology, Health and Development Blog has a great article on the future of M-money.

Wired has a great wiki on how to take microscopic photos using a digital camera.

According to the PSD Blog, Gartner has some ideas on the future of microinsurance, the scheme that aims to create a new insurance segment at affordable prices. We may finally be able to get a reimbursement code for those agricultural prosthetics.

Congrats to Amy Smith on Winning Popular Mechanics Breakthough Award!

Popular Mechanics just awarded MIT's own Amy Smith with a Breakthrough Award for her pioneering work in bringing technology to developing countries.

The Secret Life Bees: Diagnostics

Artist Susana Soares is creating a series of beautiflly crafted chambers that collect air samples, or breath samples. Her BEE'S project builds on bee's acute odor perception.  In my book, these a wonderful example of good elegant design that can have wonderful apps in the developing world. No electronic noses, or fancy micromechanical systems, or complex diagnostic arrays: just a handful of dutiful bees trained to be attracted to something which produces a yes/no response. 

Another company is working on using the bees as portable explosives detectors.

This reminds of a previous project funded by the World Bank to use trained rats to smell and detect TB in samples. I like the Soares approach more though, after all, no one's put a rat on a cereal box design yet.

More at Proto