May 22, 2012: Professors Jason Leigh and Robert Kenyon teach the first Human Augmentics class

Spring 2012

Professors Jason Leigh and Robert Kenyon teach the first Human Augmentics class. Human Augmentics is a term coined by Leigh and Kenyon to refer to technologies for enhancing the capabilities of humans. The belief is that by developing technologies that enhances the capabilities of all humans, the economies of scale will make it possible to bring down the cost of rehabilitation technologies, which are currently niche and therefore expensive.

In the class faculty and researchers?in Computer Science, BioEngineering, Psychology, Communication, and Art & Design?from UIC, Northwestern's Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, and Rush Medical Center ?gave presentations on topics that ranged from wearable technologies, brain-computer interfaces, to the ethics of a future augmented humanity. Students also presented research papers from relevant conferences and developed projects to prototype Human Augmentics concepts.

One of the projects was NinjaVision, a system of modular ultrasound-to-tactile transducers that can be worn on a body to enable the blind to more effortlessly navigate a room. NinjaVision can also be used for bike riders in the city to enable them to sense cars that are moving around them. Another project involved the development of an electronic asthma medication doser that can transmit dose information to a mobile phone to enable clinicians to provide adolescents with better asthma care. Lastly, the?Audio Dilation project prototyped a wearable earpiece that intentionally slows down audio from speech for applications such as: enabling a cognitively or hearing-impaired listener to improve?comprehension of speech; aiding the understanding of foreign language dialog; or lowering the cognitive load of phone conversations during driving.

To learn more about Human Augmentics and/or to view the class lectures visit:

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