Sign of the times: Can hugging machines solve the touch crisis?

As the American loneliness epidemic reaches alarming new heights, one artist theorizes on what connection might look like in the future.

Photography: Scottie Cameron
  • The Compression Carpet is a machine created by Los Angeles-based artist Lucy McRae that simulates a hug to a person craving intimacy.
  • Research indicates that nearly half of Americans lack daily meaningful interpersonal interactions with a friend or family member. This loneliness epidemic is accompanied by a touch crisis.
  • McRae's art and neuroscience suggest that it is affectionate touch that we are deprived of in our increasingly touch-phobic society. New sensory technology seeks to solve this problem.
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In VR, boys and girls learn differently

Study looks at who/what they prefer learning from

  • In a study, 33 girls preferred to learn from a young VR researcher named Marie — 33 boys did better with lessons from a robot drone
  • It's expected that the future of learning is VR
  • Is it better to be guided by someone like you, or something else entirely?
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Apple debuts new iPad Pro alongside revamped MacBook Airs

... and also the return of the (mini) Mac.

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 30: The Brooklyn Academy of Music hosts an Apple launch event on October 30, 2018 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Apple debuted a new MacBook Pro, Mac Mini and iPad Pro. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)
  • Inside the new iPad Pros are the new A12x Bionic chip, which are apparently faster than 92% of the laptops out there.
  • MacBook Airs come with Retina display, first true update in 8 years.
  • The iPad Pro starts at $799 while the MacBook Air starts at $1,199.
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