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Fact or Fiction?: 5 Sci-Fi Body Hacks That Are More Plausible Than You Think

Fact or Fiction?: 5 Sci-Fi Body Hacks That Are More Plausible Than You Think

    After yesterday’s post about Sci-Fi Brain Hacks, I thought it was only fair to showcase some equally interesting hacks that increase the performance of your body (especially since some of you went out of your way to say how much you enjoyed yesterday’s post when you were filling out your reader surveys.)

    We’ve all seen sci-fi flicks where people hack their brains, but what about stories where people hack their bodies? Here is a roundup of some of the craziest fictional technologies for body enhancement that may be more plausible than you think.

    1. Super Soldier Serum

    As seen in: Captain America (comic book and film)

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    In the Captain America comics (and in the upcoming film), Steve Rogers tries to enlist in the army during World War II so he can fight the Nazis. However, he is a scrawny weakling, and so they turn him down. After multiple attempts to enlist, Rogers is admitted to a secret army program where he is given a serum injection that bulks him up and makes him the perfect soldier: Captain America.

    So what are the odds of something like this serum being developed and administered to soldiers in real life?
    Well, DARPA started a $3 billion super soldier project in 2008. The project’s goal was to create a “Metabolically Dominant Soldier,” and specific projects include “drugs and genetic enhancements… for regeneration, faster healing, muscle strength enhancement up to current Olympic levels, cognitive enhancement…[and] fixing your cells so that you could live off your fat.”

    In addition, Professor Peter Wayand of Southern Methodist University is researching gene therapy techniques for enhancing human muscle fibers. It has been reported that his research aims to get humans running at speeds of 45 miles per hour and rocking a 5 second times for the 100 meter dash.

    2. Exo-suits

    As seen in: Iron Man (comic books and films)

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    Playboy billionaire Tony Stark creates the first exo-suit, capable of taking his body above and beyond its normal capacity. It makes him a super-soldier, but unlike Captain America, this body hack is done with metal, not medicine. Fans of the most recent Iron Man flick probably remember the scene where Stark testifies before the Senate that every other country in the world is 20 years away from mastering his technology. But how far away are we from a real life Iron Man suit?

    Tsukuba University’s HAL exo-suit is entering hospital trials next year. This full-body exo-suit can help the wearer lift heavy loads, and has both military applications and potential for aiding the disabled or senior citizens. And Berkeley Bionic’s HULC exo-suit can be used to carry a load of up to 200 pounds at a top speed of 10 miles per hour.

    3. Second Skin Body Suits

    As seen in: Tons of superhero comics and sci-fi flicks

    From superheroes to space babes, there are tons of examples of performance-enhancing body suits that hug the body, rather than encase it like a bulk exo-suit. Some of these suits have been compared to the suits used by characters in The Incredibles, and offer features like protecting skin from trauma and boosting speed.

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    These types of suits are already in development, and you’ve probably seen them in use at the Olympics. Spyder has developed “d3o, an engineered material with ‘intelligent’ molecules, reduces padding volume by 40 percent and has the ability to flow with a skier moving down the course or lock together and stiffen should the skier fall (to absorb the impact).”

    4. Organ Replacement

    As seen in: Repo Men (film)

    One of the most enduring sci-fi tropes is extending your life with replacement organs, either grown from stem cells or created from artificial materials, like the organs in the film Repo Men.

    In real life, experimental work is being done with growing new organs from stem cells over a “skeleton” of biological material that allows the organs to grow into the correct shape.

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    5. Bionics

    As seen in: Wait, you really have to ask?

    Bionics were at the center of two of the most iconic sci-fi TV shows of all time: The Six-Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman. And while these two old shows seem pretty dated today, they may have been spot on when it comes to predicting the use of bionics.

    According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, the bionic eyes of Steve Austin or Geordi LaForge are more plausible than you might think.

    Second Sight Medical Products Inc. has developed “a pair of glasses to send images to a receiver implanted on the retina. From there, the image is transmitted to the brain through the optic nerve. The device is targeted to patients who have lost most of their vision as a result of retinal degeneration and whose nerve connections are still intact.”

    Would you ever consider augmenting your body with sci-fi tech? Tell us in the comments below!

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    Tucker Cummings

    Writer and social media professional sharing productivity tips on Lifehack.

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    Last Updated on October 16, 2019

    11 Meeting Scheduler Apps to Boost Your Productivity

    11 Meeting Scheduler Apps to Boost Your Productivity

    Automations are key to improving efficiency. Set the system up right from the beginning and you’ll reduce the amount of no-shows and cancellations.

    Whatever your business is, with automations, meeting scheduler apps do more than just streamline appointment setting. They prime your workflow for maximum results.

    Meeting scheduler apps are awesome if you use them right. Use them wrong and you can look like an arrogant elitist.

    In this article, I will share with you 11 great meeting scheduler apps you can start using today to boost your productivity.

    1. ScheduleOnce

      ScheduleOnce is an industry leader and robust solution. Whether you work alone or have a large team, ScheduleOnce can support you.

      ScheduleOnce allows you to create multiple users and multiple calendars. I use one calendar for booking podcast guests with automations set up to prep my guests for our interview. I use another calendar for strategy sessions and coaching calls.

      ScheduleOnce also has embeddable widgets so you can keep the scheduler inside your own website.

      Starting at $7 a month and a 14 day free trial, ScheduleOnce can fit a variety of needs in business.

      Available on Web

      2. Calendly

        Calendly stands out for its clean, easy to use interface. If you like clean design, Calendly might be your choice. It too has robust automations and integrations for individuals and teams alike.

        You can try Calendly free for 14 days. Their basic plan is free while their most robust plan is only $12 a month.

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        Available on Web | Google Chrome Extension

        3. Assistant.to

          For those who use gmail, Assistant.to is a super simple solution.

          From inside an email, you click on the Assistant.to icon and pick times your free. Assistant.to embeds the times directly into the email so the recipient can quickly pick a time that works for them.

          While it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of apps like Calendly or ScheduleOnce, Assistant.to is completely free.

          Available on Web

          4. Acuityscheduling

            Acuity is a robust meeting scheduler very similar to ScheduleOnce. It integrates with CRMs, Email Marketing platforms, Analytics tools and accounting software.

            It comes with a 14 day free trial. They have a free solo account but if you want the benefit of the integrations, you’ll start as low as $15 a month and can cost up to $50 a month.

            Available on Web | iOS | Android

            5. Pick

              Built for simplicity, Pick is direct and easy to use. You can create your own url extension like pick.co/yournamehere and it integrates with Google calendar and Office 365.

              At $3 a month, this is a great tool for quick scheduling.

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              Available on Web

              6. X.ai

                For those who are early adopters of AI, this may be the solution for you. X.ai created two AI assistants they call Amy and Andrew Ingram. After setting up your account you simply CC them on your emails with the person you’re wanting to schedule and the AI assistants will email your guests from there until your appointment is set.

                This type of scheduler feels more personal because of the dialogue. There are stories on their site of people thinking Amy and Andrew are real people. X.ai integrates with Google, Office 365 and Outlook.

                Starting at $29 a month for an Individual account and $39 a month per user for a Team account, Amy and Andrew are ready to schedule meetings for you. Want to try it out first? They do have a free trial.

                Available on Web

                7. YouCanBook.me

                  is another competitive solution for scheduling meetings online. You can manage the calendars of your entire team, configure booking forms, and integrate with your calendar.

                  They have a free account branded with their company name or you can have some control over your branding and appearance at $10 a month for all their features. Either way, this company is worth a look.

                  Available on Web

                  8. Doodle

                    Doodle is unique in the space of meeting schedulers because it helps groups of people find a time to meet that works for everyone.

                    It integrates with your calendar and allows you to send a poll to all invited. Once people vote on the poll you can see which time works best for everyone.

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                    You can also run polls for food preferences if you’re scheduling a lunch meeting or a section of town if people are coming from all over.

                    While there is a free account, you’ll unlock it’s potential starting at $39 per year.

                    Available on Web | iOS | Android

                    9. WhenAvailable

                      WhenAvailable is another scheduler that works for groups of people. You can use it to schedule a pickup game of basketball, decide on your next book club or book your family reunion.

                      Their free account allows up to 20 guests, unlimited events and one contact group. For $15 a year you unlock all the goodies including reminders and chat messages.

                      Available on Web

                      10. Rally

                        Like Doodle and WhenAvailable, Rallly is helpful for scheduling meetings and events with multiple people involved. You create a poll and everyone votes. It’s quick and easy.

                        Unlike Doodle, it doesn’t have as many features, but it’s entirely free.

                        Available on Web

                        11. NeedtoMeet

                          Finishing strong, NeedtoMeet is our last app that allows you to schedule meetings or events for multiple people. It has mobile apps, custom urls, easy polling, notifications and commenting.

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                          NeedtoMeet also allows 1:1 Meetings for things like performance reviews for your whole team. You send out the your calendar slots to your team and they can only pick 1 slot, minimizing the amount of emails and scheduling you have to coordinate.

                          While they have a free account, you can unlock all features for only $19 a year.

                          Available on Web

                          Bonus: Don’t Make These Common Mistakes When Using Meeting Schedulers

                          In the excitement of streamlining your scheduling process, it can be easy to forget the feelings of those you’re inviting to meet. I know. I’ve done this.

                          To say “Hey, schedule time on my calendar” feels colder than “Hey, here’s my calendar. To avoid all the back and forth, pick a time that works best for you.”

                          Always make sure to frame your invite with your scheduler app with the benefit to them and why we’re doing it this way rather than the old fashioned, personal way.

                          A little finesse goes a long way. Without it, you risk seeming transactional and cold.

                          Some meeting scheduler widgets you can embed in your site can take a couple seconds to load. If you go this route, make sure there’s text just above the widget that lets your guest know the calendar will appear below and to wait for it to load.

                          If you use an online meeting tool like Zoom, it’s also important to explicitly let them know the meeting will take place on Zoom and include the Zoom link in the email reminder. Many make the mistake of not clarifying where the meeting will actually take place which can create last minute chaos at the time of the meeting.

                          Should you require special settings, like ethernet, external mics or lighting, let your guests know that on your thank you page and reminder emails so they are prepared for the meeting and you end up with the best meeting possible.

                          With clear communication in your automation, your meeting scheduler tools can almost perform like a virtual assistant for a fraction of the cost, or free, depending on the app you choose.

                          The Bottom Line

                          Meeting scheduler apps are diverse in features and unique in design. Before committing to one and realizing it’s not a fit, I recommend exploring which 3 might best fit you and then doing a trial with each of them at the same time so that you can see how they feel as you use them side by side.

                          Scheduling meetings the old fashioned way can be tedious. Conversely, finding a scheduling app that works seamlessly in the background is heavenly.

                          Like cell phones, meeting scheduler apps are moving from a nice-to-have luxury to must-have necessity in the lives of productive people. As you explore your options, stay true to your brand and the tools that have worked well for you to this point and simply find a meeting scheduler app that plays well with what you have created.

                          Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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