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3 Technology Trends to Watch Out for in 2017

3 Technology Trends to Watch Out for in 2017

Some technologies have been surprising us year after year, and 2017 is going to be no different. If anything, it will probably only mark the development of some of the most innovative technologies we have ever been introduced to.

And while it’s hard to identify which technologies are going to steal the headlines this year, there are definitely some worthy of your attention.

We will be talking about three technologies that may either change our lives with tectonic force, or quietly make a significant impact.

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1. Virtual Reality

Virtual reality was expected to be the biggest thing of 2016, and while it has not been a complete disappointment, it certainly didn’t transform the society the way many industry experts expected it to.

However, it seems that its potential has not been ruled out, but rather just delayed. It did see significant growth in the past year, with some major improvements and a considerably increased visibility.

But unlike 2016, this year is not going to be about curiosity for this emerging technology trend. It’s very likely to become a more tangible tool this year – with enhancing the mundane, unproductive activities being likely the first thing it will achieve this year.

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Another thing that you can expect from VR this year is fewer hardware introductions, but a considerably higher level of integration with existing platforms. What kind of impact will it have on people’s social lives is also being keenly watched .

This is especially after Facebook’s big promises and astonishing demonstration at its F8 developers conference in 2016. Experts believe that even those with the most basic of VR equipment will have a big update from Facebook this year.

2. 3D Technology

While some technology trends have been getting the most attention, 3D technology has been one of the most underrated ones. Although it is not something as groundbreaking as some of the more innovative new finds such as VR, it has been far ahead in terms of offering a real, tangible benefit so far.

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Despite not getting the attention they probably deserve from the general public, the 3D industry is definitely in a booming phase. There seem to be new products and updates being launched almost every few weeks, with one of the latest and more significant ones being a 3D pen.

In 2017, however, the industry looks to take it to a whole new level. While printing in metals such as gold has already been achieved, the organic materials will be the target this year. Multi-material 3D printing seems to be another interesting area to watch.

Similarly, cheaper 3D printing is something the industry keenly awaits, and this is going to be another area the industry is going to work on this year. It would probably be achieved with the help of another emerging trend: faster, better 3D printers.

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3D modeling, which has so far been an utter disappointment in terms of ease of use, especially for users other than graphic designers and animators, is probably going to change too. 2017 has just started and we already have a few online apps and plugins that offer an easier way to access 3D modeling.

3. Artificial Intelligence

When it comes to the latest and most innovative technology trends out there, it’s hard to beat artificial intelligence. The way it is already affecting people’s lives is astonishing, and things are only going to get more interesting from here.

For AI, 2016 was a year of machine learning and voice assistants. This year, Microsoft in particular is all set to take it a step further with a Cortana device. Apple, too, seems to be having some interesting plans with Siri.

However, it’s hard to make any predictions about something that has already developed to an extent that it’s capable of playing a game and writing notes for you. We can only wait in excitement and see how AI keeps getting bigger and better, and soon change the way we live before we even know it.

Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

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George Olufemi O

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Last Updated on September 10, 2018

Overcoming The Pain Of A Breakup: 3 Suggestions Based On Science

Overcoming The Pain Of A Breakup: 3 Suggestions Based On Science

We thought that the expression ‘broken heart’ was just a metaphor, but science is telling us that it is not: breakups and rejections do cause physical pain. When a group of psychologists asked research participants to look at images of their ex-partners who broke up with them, researchers found that the same brain areas that are activated by physical pain are also activated by looking at images of ex-partners. Looking at images of our ex is a painful experience, literally.[1].

Given that the effect of rejections and breakups is the same as the effect of physical pain, scientists have speculated on whether the practices that reduce physical pain could be used to reduce the emotional pain that follows from breakups and rejections. In a study on whether painkillers reduce the emotional pain caused by a breakup, researchers found that painkillers did help. Individuals who took painkillers were better able to deal with their breakup. Tamar Cohen wrote that “A simple dose of paracetamol could help ease the pain of a broken heart.”[2]

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Just like painkillers can be used to ease the pain of a broken heart, other practices that ease physical pain can also be used to ease the pain of rejections and breakups. Three of these scientifically validated practices are presented in this article.

Looking at images of loved ones

While images of ex-partners stimulate the pain neuro-circuitry in our brain, images of loved ones activate a different circuitry. Looking at images of people who care about us increases the release of oxytocin in our body. Oxytocin, or the “cuddle hormone,” is the hormone that our body relies on to induce in us a soothing feeling of tranquility, even when we are under high stress and pain.

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In fact, oxytocin was found to have a crucial role as a mother is giving birth to her baby. Despite the extreme pain that a mother has to endure during delivery, the high level of oxytocin secreted by her body transforms pain into pleasure. Mariem Melainine notes that, “Oxytocin levels are usually at their peak during delivery, which promotes a sense of euphoria in the mother and helps her develop a stronger bond with her baby.”[3]

Whenever you feel tempted to look at images of your ex-partner, log into your Facebook page and start browsing images of your loved ones. As Eva Ritvo, M.D. notes, “Facebook fools our brain into believing that loved ones surround us, which historically was essential to our survival. The human brain, because it evolved thousands of years before photography, fails on many levels to recognize the difference between pictures and people”[4]

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Exercise

Endorphins are neurotransmitters that reduce our perception of pain. When our body is high on endorphins, painful sensations are kept outside of conscious awareness. It was found that exercise causes endorphins to be secreted in the brain and as a result produce a feeling of power, as psychologist Alex Korb noted in his book: “Exercise causes your brain to release endorphins, neurotransmitters that act on your neurons like opiates (such as morphine or Vicodin) by sending a neural signal to reduce pain and provide anxiety relief.”[5] By inhibiting pain from being transmitted to our brain, exercise acts as a powerful antidote to the pain caused by rejections and breakups.

Meditation

Jon Kabat Zinn, a doctor who pioneered the use of mindfulness meditation therapy for patients with chronic pain, has argued that it is not pain itself that is harmful to our mental health, rather, it is the way we react to pain. When we react to pain with irritation, frustration, and self-pity, more pain is generated, and we enter a never ending spiral of painful thoughts and sensations.

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In order to disrupt the domino effect caused by reacting to pain with pain, Kabat Zinn and other proponents of mindfulness meditation therapy have suggested reacting to pain through nonjudgmental contemplation and acceptance. By practicing meditation on a daily basis and getting used to the habit of paying attention to the sensations generated by our body (including the painful ones and by observing these sensations nonjudgmentally and with compassion) our brain develops the habit of reacting to pain with grace and patience.

When you find yourself thinking about a recent breakup or a recent rejection, close your eyes and pay attention to the sensations produced by your body. Take deep breaths and as you are feeling the sensations produced by your body, distance yourself from them, and observe them without judgment and with compassion. If your brain starts wandering and gets distracted, gently bring back your compassionate nonjudgmental attention to your body. Try to do this exercise for one minute and gradually increase its duration.

With consistent practice, nonjudgmental acceptance will become our default reaction to breakups, rejections, and other disappointments that we experience in life. Every rejection and every breakup teaches us great lessons about relationships and about ourselves.

Featured photo credit: condesign via pixabay.com

Reference

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