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Neuro+: Video games controlled by the brain help kids and adults with ADD/ADHD

The ever-increasing amount of ADHD diagnoses is what lead NEURO+ to create its brain-controlled video games which help children and adults learn to master attention skills. Neuro+ is a video game to help you improve focus, body self-control, and impulse-control.

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Improve focus, and impulse control

More than six million American children ages 4-17 have been diagnosed with ADHD. Of those 6.4 million children, 6.1% are currently taking medication to help battle their difficulties concentrating, staying organized, remembering details, staying still, and paying attention.

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The ever-increasing amount of ADHD diagnoses is what lead NEURO+ to create its brain-controlled video games which help children and adults learn to master attention skills. According to Neuro+, the video game combines “neurofeedback, motion-biofeedback, and go/no-go cognitive training protocols to help you improve focus, body self-control, and impulse-control.”

Your brain alone can save the villagers

For $499/year, you can receive access to the NEURO+ video game, as well as a free Muse Headband, a necessary apparatus for the at-home training game.

NEURO+ has a three-pronged training approach. The program concentrates on teaching individuals to learn to focus, sit still, and ignore distractions.

By wearing the Muse Headband in combination with the NEURO+ software, users are transported into a futuristic world that uses your brain-power to save villages, defend towns and “pilot” a dragon. The better you do at your tasks, the higher you’ll rise in the 150+ levels of the game.

The levels of the game which concentrate on “focusing” involve the user racing a dragon and powering an energy shield. Similar to exercising a muscle, neuroplasticity research has proven that training your brain can make it better at paying attention, with time and effort.

Must sit still to play

ADHD makes sitting still a difficult task, which is why this is one of the three specific training skills NEURO+ zeroes in on. The inability to sit still can lead to problems in school, in work, and in society.

In order to teach users to gain control over their actions, Neuro+ has developed a patent-pending system which requires individuals to sit still to play. The video game even gives constant in-game feedback and will reward or penalize users with points for staying still throughout your game.

Challenges your decision-making skills

Lastly, NEURO+ wants to help players ignore surrounding distractions and control their impulsive behaviors.  The video game will force the user to make split second decisions, and the better you get at decision-making, the harder the decision-making will become. According to Neuro+, “To help you build resistance against the inevitable distractions that compete for your attention, NEURO+ includes cognitive attention training tasks designed to help you develop and improve your working memory, reaction time, multitasking, and impulse-control skills.”

Treat brain training like a workout

NEURO+ suggests that users train on their home-based program for at least 30 minutes a day, three times a week. However, be aware that the program itself will only allow users to play for one out of every ten hours.

#NEURO+BrainTraining

Staff Writer, Abigail White is a wordsmith who hails from the Deep South, having graduated with a degree in Journalism from Auburn University. She is usually reading three books at once, loves history, sarcasm, and arguing over the Oxford comma.

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Australia wants Facebook and Google to pay media royalties

Australia seeks to require Facebook and Google to pay royalties to media companies for use of news content on their platforms.

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Australia is in the process of requiring tech giants, Facebook and Alphabet, to pay royalties to Australian media companies for using their content. Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced the move the day after the US Congressional antitrust hearing that put the CEOs of Facebook, Alphabet, Amazon, and Apple back in the regulatory spotlight.

In addition to the pressure from the United States investigation into market control by these companies, global leaders are calling for similar regulations. Though none have been successful, media companies in Germany, France, and Spain have pushed for legislation to force Google to pay licensing fees to use their news content. Some companies have been pushing for this for years and yet, the tech giants keep dragging out their changes, even admitting their actions are wrong.

In 2019, the Australian government instructed Facebook and Google to negotiate voluntary deals with Australian media to use their content. The Australian government says the companies failed to follow through on the directive, and therefore will be forced to intervene. They have 45 days to reach an agreement in arbitration, after which the Australian Communications and Media Authority will create legally binding terms for the companies on behalf of the Australian government.

Google claims the web traffic that it drives to media websites should be compensation enough for the content. A Google representative in Australia asserts that the government regulations would constitute interference into market competition – which would be the point, Google!

According to a 2019 study, an estimated 3,000 journalism jobs have been lost in the last decade. The previous generation of media companies has paid substantial advertising fees to Google and Facebook while receiving nothing in return for the use of its news content. Frydenberg asserts the regulatory measures are necessary to protect consumers and ensure a “sustainable media landscape” in the country.

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Onboarding for customers and employees made easy

(TECH NEWS) Cohere enables live, virtual onboarding at bargain prices to help you better support and guide your users.

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Web development and site design may be straightforward, but that doesn’t mean your customers won’t get turned around when reviewing your products. Onboarding visitors is the simplest solution, but is it the easiest?

According to Cohere–a live, remote onboarding tool–the answer is a resounding yes.

Cohere claims to be able to integrate with your website using “just 2 lines of code”; after completing this integration, you can communicate with, guide, and show your product to any site visitor upon request. You’ll also be able to see what customers are doing in real time rather than relying on metrics, making it easy to catch and convert customers who are on the fence, due to uncertainty or confusion.

There isn’t a screen-share option in Cohere’s package, but what they do include is a “multiplayer” option in which your cursor will appear on a customer’s screen, thus enabling you to guide them to the correct options; you can also scroll and type for your customer, all the while talking them through the process as needed. It’s the kind of onboarding that, in a normal world, would have to take place face-to-face–completely tailored for virtual so you don’t have to.

You can even use Cohere to stage an actual demo for customers, which accomplishes two things: the ability to pare down your own demo page in favor of live options, and minimizing confusion (and, by extension, faster sales) on the behalf of the customer. It’s a win-win situation that streamlines your website efficiency while potentially increasing your sales.

Naturally, the applications for Cohere are endless. Using this tool for eCommerce or tech support is an obvious choice, but as virtual job interviews and onboarding become more and more prevalent, one could anticipate Cohere becoming the industry example for remote inservice and walkthroughs.

Hands-on help beats written instructions any day, so if companies are able to allocate the HR resources to moderate common Cohere usage, it could be a huge win for those businesses.

For those two lines of code (and a bit more), you’ll pay anywhere from $39 to $129 for the listed packages. Custom pricing is available for larger businesses, so you may have some wiggle room if you’re willing to take a shot at implementing Cohere business-wide.

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Smart clothing could be used to track COVID-19

(TECH NEWS) In order to track and limit the spread of COVID-19 smart clothing may be the solution we need to flatten the curve–but at what cost?

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COVID tracking clothing

When most people hear the phrase “smart clothing”, they probably envision wearables like AR glasses or fitness trackers, but certainly not specially designed fabrics to indicate different variables about the people wearing them–including, potentially, whether or not someone has contracted COVID-19.

According to Politico, that’s exactly what clinical researchers are attempting to create.

The process started with Apple and Fitbit using their respective wearables to attempt to detect COVID-19 symptoms in wearers. This wouldn’t be the first time a tech company got involved with public health in this context; earlier this year, for example, Apple announced a new Watch feature that would call 911 if it detected an abnormal fall. The NBA also attempted to detect outbreaks in players by providing them with Oura Rings–another smart wearable.

While these attempts have yet to achieve widespread success, optimism toward smart clothing–especially things like undershirts–and its ability to report adequately someone’s symptoms, remains high.

The smart clothing industry has existed in the context of monitoring health for quite some time. The aforementioned tech giants have made no secret of integrating health- and wellness-centric features into their devices, and companies like Nanowear have even gone so far as to create undergarments that track things like the wearer’s heart rate.

It’s only fitting that these companies would transition to COVID assessment, containment, and prevention in the shadow of the pandemic, though they aren’t the only ones doing so. Indeed, innovators from all corners of the United States are set to participate in a “rapid testing solutions” competition–the end goal being a cheap, fast, easy-to-use wearable option to help flatten the curve. The “cheap” aspect is perhaps the most difficult; as Politico says, the majority of people have a general understanding of how to use wearable technology.

Perhaps more importantly, the potential for HIPPA violations via data access is high–and, during a period of time in which people are more suspicious of technology companies than ever, vis-a-vis data sharing, privacy could be a significant barrier to the creation, distribution, and use of otherwise crucial smart clothing.

There is no denying that the Coronavirus pandemic has accelerated, among other things, technological advancement in ways unseen by many of us alive today. Only time will tell if smart clothing–life-saving potential and all–becomes part of that trend.

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