At last week's Institute for the Future
client conference, I conducted an on-stage interview with Alvaro Fernandez, co-founder of SharpBrains.com. Alvaro's company creates custom "mind gym" programs for corporations, athletic teams, children, and the elderly, and tracks scientific advances related to cognitive fitness. At the foundation of the SharpBrains programs and other mental fitness companies' offerings is the recent scientific evidence of neuropolasticity, the brain's ability to grow new brain cells and form new connections throughout life. The SharpBrains "fitness regimes" consist of various software games designed, say, to improve memory or improve concentration. Do they work? Alvaro is convinced. And besides, he jokes, if someone doesn't see improvement, he just tells them that "they're already at their peak." (He kids! He kids!) Today's Los Angeles Times profiles the emerging industry of brain training. From the article:
"There is plausibility, both biological and behavioral, to the claim that these may work," says Molly Wagster, chief of the National Institute on Aging's neuropsychology branch. "But it is still a situation of 'buyer beware.' "
Insurance companies such as Humana and Penn Treaty American Corp. have begun to distribute software programs such as Posit Science's Brain Fitness 2.0 to millions of their older customers. In two years on the market, Nintendo's Brain Age, a video game designed to be played on a hand-held game device, has sold 10 million copies worldwide. Retirement communities are rushing to establish brain gyms to help current residents sharpen their mental skills and to attract baby boomers, who may one day put such amenities on a par with a weight room and a track.
"I see this as a new frontier of fitness overall," says Alvaro Fernandez, founder and chief executive of the website SharpBrains .com, which tracks the business and science of brain-training. Americans already understand the value of physical fitness as a means of preserving the body's proper function and preventing age-related diseases, says Fernandez.
He predicts that cognitive fitness will become a goal to which Americans equally aspire as we learn more about aging and the brain.
to Los Angeles Times article, Link to Alvaro's SharpBrains blog
I asked Amy Parness, the co-founder of Sparkle Labs, maker of fantastic educational electronics kits, to write a Medium post about gender and the business of being a maker business person. Her terrific essay calls out the problems with “pink girly engineering kits.” From Medium:
Zero UI is the new term for “invisible interfaces”—what happens in the future when all the clicking and tapping and typing is history: “If you look at the history of computing, starting with the jacquard loom in 1801, humans have always had to interact with machines in a really abstract, complex way.” [Fast Company]
CEO Dick Costolo will resign, to be replaced in the interim by Jack Dorsey
It’s time for a power upgrade — throw out that tired-out power strip and swap in this family-size USB charger, packed with 6 high-speed ports. With a built-in control chip, Kinkoo optimizes each port to ensure the fastest charging possible for all your devices. The Kinkoo is made from high-grade and durable materials so you […]
Watching Netflix, Hulu or other streaming services can unfortunately be difficult while traveling outside the US. Rather than bypass these restrictions with the help of a complex and slow VPN, choose a faster and simpler solution with Getflix. Instead of rerouting all your Internet traffic through a different server, this handy service only routes the […]
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