Innovation Trail

Innovation Economy & Technology news

SASHA-ANN SIMONS/ WXXI NEWS

The addicting effect of video games is one an avid gamer can certainly describe. Once the controller hits the tips of their fingers, they are transported into a world of challenge and excitement.

The pastime is often criticized and accused of contributing to inactivity, and sometimes for having a violent influence. Studies have shown, however, that gaming can actually provide therapeutic value.

SASHA-ANN SIMONS/ WXXI NEWS

David Swerzenski couldn't even read the first time his family brought him to the State Fair, but he was already doing his research. The fun outing quickly became exhausting for the adults, as the then-toddler asked a barrage of questions about the rides and how they actually worked. Little did David know he would one day get the opportunity to put his inquisitive nature to good use. 

SASHA-ANN SIMONS/WXXI NEWS

Barry Culhane is counting the days until he can finally walk unassisted again.

“I walked into a herniated disc surgery and woke up paralyzed, never expecting that,” says Culhane, who has only gained back some feeling in his legs since then.

Given his positive outlook over the last three years adjusting to life mostly in a wheelchair and decades-long involvement with the Al Sigl Community of Agencies, it comes as no surprise to his peers that Culhane has handled the physical setback so well.

SHUTTERSTOCK

 

 

Just one minute into the first round of a sparring match at Aquinas Institute, and Michael Robertson has already thrown and ducked dozens of punches. The young boxer has been hit a number of times, too. In the second round, his opponent takes control at times, backing Robertson into a corner and landing continuous jabs. Coach Dominic Arioli stands inside the ring, pacing quickly.   

“Don’t rush, don’t rush.”

“Bend over like this. Get down like this,” says Arioli.

PBS.ORG

More women are adding terms like “coder” and “game developer” to their résumés, but the industry still has a long way to go to reach gender parity.

Last year, women made up 22 per cent of the game developer workforce, double the 11.5 per cent of females in the field in 2009, according to a recent study by the International Game Developers Association (IGDA).

But for women like Elizabeth Canas, the road to a career in technology was less traveled when she was growing up.

“I didn’t even know what technology was!” says Canas.

CASE

Since the introduction of bitcoin in 2009, the digital currency has received a lot of attention: some good, some bad. From both technical and social perspectives, it has become an often-complicated phenomenon.

Bitcoin has begun gaining traction recently, and in the future, it could play a major role in how consumers and businesses pay for goods and services. But first, it has to solve its security issues. It has been associated with numerous scams, thefts and reported loss of bitcoin wallets, which store the private keys that you need to access a bitcoin address and spend your funds. 

One proposed solution is Case, a bitcoin wallet that emphasizes security and ease of use, according to the company’s CEO, Melanie Shapiro.

SASHA-ANN SIMONS/WXXI NEWS

 

A small company in Ithaca, led by a 19-year-old entrepreneur, has a robot they say can clean floors and will make beds. The robot is still in prototype stage, but the team behind Maidbot is hoping to bring the “Rosie” from The Jetsons-type machine onto the market within the next year.

ITHACASH

 

In a quiet second floor office on the Ithaca Commons, Ithacash founder Scott Morris and staffer Béline Falzon sit on opposite ends of the table with laptops open as they fold sheets of paper into thirds. The two are preparing maps for “The Holiday Hunger Game”-- a treasure hunt created by the regional currency start-up and designed for shoppers to support downtown Ithaca businesses during the holidays.

YOUMAGINE.COM

Jon Schull is transforming lives for young people in need of limbs. The RIT research scientist is the founder of e-NABLE, an organization that uses 3-D printing to create limbs for children at no cost. While kids would outgrow traditional prosthetic arms that cost around $40,000, e-NABLE can make them for less than $20 each. Watch Schull’s Innovation Trail story from PBS NewsHour.

(Video after the jump)

BUFFALO GAME SPACE FACEBOOK

Creating a video game is a daunting, yet rewarding task. Along with countless hours of research, design and testing, teams can spend a great deal of time putting the pieces together. And being able to walk into a place and get instant feedback on your prototype can only enhance the experience.

“I wanted to find something where I could fit in and belong and I found them online, showed up one day and never stopped coming again,” says Joe Wilson, a video game designer.

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