We obviously live in a beauty-obsessed society. Diet tips, weight loss and surgery stories constantly make their way onto my newsfeed on a day-to-day basis. It’s tragic really — the lengths people will go to in order to achieve their ideal standard of beauty. Not to mention the financial costs of a little nip and tuck these days.
But we also have to remember that we are living in the digital age. There is an app for just about everything now, because who has time for anything that requires actual effort these days?
The latest of these apps includes Japan’s new “Spring App,” that will slim you down and lengthen your legs instantly, courtesy of Japan-based developer Kim Taewan. You can literally alter your body in just a few, brief motions. It’s so easy that it makes surgery and even photoshop look old-school.
According to Daily Mail, the app’s goal is to “help you adjust your body proportions, by overlaying lines onto the hips, shoulders and ankles to a more ‘appealing’ size.” The app asks users to pinpoint two to three spots on their body which they would like stretched.
Photo courtesy of Elite Daily
Photo Courtesy of Elite Daily
Since its recent release on July 21, it has already received glowing reviews on iTunes. One user wrote, “Just so easy to make you look much taller and thinner! Well I love it so much.”
In this day and age, with the rapid development of technology, pretty much anything is possible. We’ve seen everything from hologram waiters to virtual girlfriends in Japan, and it seems like each latest device or invention is even more bizarre than the last.
But sometimes, technology can also be used to fulfill a man’s simple wish to get married to the love of his life when he can’t physically be there on his own wedding day. Now this we can definitely appreciate.
Xinjiang army soldier Liang Tao was set to marry his fiancée, surnamed Yang, on July 26. Sadly, though he was already on leave, Liang was called into a mission that required him to stay in Xinjiang, as he was the only leader available. Deciding to put his duties first, Tao and his fiancée called off the wedding — only to be surprised by the commissioner of the army, Zhang Jiang Guo.
Having heard of Tao’s plans to marry, Guo decided to throw the couple a surprise video wedding. Guo and Tao’s fellow army soldiers were able to connect Tao to his wedding via satellite, where he appeared on a screen at the wedding ceremony.
Though this was nowhere near ideal for the bride, Yang reportedly burst into tears as she saw her husband’s face on the screen. She expressed her gratitude to the Xinjiang army, saying, “Thank you for everything you prepared for me. Although my husband is not with me here right now, this is a more meaningful and unforgettable wedding than others.”
Check out the happy couple’s wedding pictures below:
We’ve all probably had days where we weren’t paying attention while walking and, in the blink of an eye, accidentally took a spill or dive. I can think of multiple occasions where I’ve crashed into inanimate objects like poles or doors while walking and texting. Every time this happens, I’m left resisting the urge to scream bloody murder at the creators of all technology.
Does this sound like you, too? Well, while it’s easy to blame our devices for misguiding us in our paths, we think that this new line of interactive haptic (of or relating to the sense of touch) smart shoes designed by Indian inventors Krispian Lawrence and Anirudh Shram proves that technology is not always the devil, and can be used for worthwhile purposes. Perhaps they’ll change your mind as well.
Lechal (translating to “take me there” in Hindi), the brand name of the shoes, were initially designed to help the visually-impaired with navigation. The designers told Mashable, an Indian magazine, “People who are visually challenged rely heavily on their sense of hearing to acquaint themselves with the environment and may find audio feedback a major distraction.” With the shoes, they can instantly find their way through a buzzing sensation on either the right foot or left foot which signifies which way to turn.
But as the video below shows us, it really is for everyone, especially those who enjoy running. The shoes keep track of how many steps it took to get to your location, as well as the number of calories burned. How does it work? The shoes contain a module that can wirelessly connect to an app you can download on your phone. Through the app, the user enters his or her destination. As soon as he or she begins walking, the sensors will then send a vibration to signal a turn for the user.
I don’t know about you, but in my day, an elementary kid with a cell phone was simply unheard of. Well that’s certainly not the case anymore. I’ve seen 10-year-olds bring brand new laptops to school, 5-year-olds with the latest smartphones, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come across parents using an iPad to distract their toddlers from being too loud in public places.
I guess there’s no avoiding it. Advances in technology are bound to affect our youth. Don’t get me wrong. I see the benefits and if I’m being really honest, I think we’re all a little relieved that those loud, little ones have a reason to stop screaming and chasing each other while we’re in line at the bank.
Despite this, I can’t help but feel a little empty as technology continues to replace what’s familiar. Who knows how far this will go? Already in Japan, you can replace your relationship for a virtual girlfriend and who can ignore their plans of virtual waiters?
It can get pretty scary to think about all the changes to come, so we were quite relieved to see this Thai commercial which reminds viewers that no matter what, technology can’t replace everything. Specifically, technology can never replace love.
Check out the adorable video below where a new father learns this lesson first hand.
Ladies, ever scroll through Tumblr or Pinterest and see a lip color that you’re just dying to have? Or maybe you accidentally drop your eye shadow case and the palette bursts into a thousand, tiny particles (isn’t that the worst?), and you need a replacement ASAP.
Well, with the Mink printer, these dreams may soon come true.
Grace Choi, a former MBA student at Harvard Business School, is introducing a gadget that may just shake up (and piss off) the makeup industry: a mini 3D inkjet printer that prints real, usable makeup in the comfort of your own home.
Choi, who calls herself a “serial inventor,” debuted a proof-of-concept demo of the Mink printer at a TechCrunch Disrupt conference this week. She launched her presentation with this bold claim: “The makeup industry makes a whole lot of money on a whole lot of bullsh–.”
Summarized by Choi in simple terms, all makeup is made of are cheap raw material substrates that are mixed with varying shades of pigment. Cheaper and more accessible makeup products, sold at a Walmart or CVS, only come in colors that will sell in masses. More unique “niche” shades are sold at exponentially higher prices at Sephora or makeup counters. Who wants to pay that kind of money? “No one, that’s who,” Choi says.
So this is where the Mink 3D printer comes in. The gadget essentially turns the internet into an “endless beauty aisle,” says Choi. From any YouTube channel, Pinterest board or Facebook photo, makeup enthusiasts can select a shade, use a color picker to copy the exact hex code, click print, and voila. But you’ll just have to see it to believe it. Watch Choi’s demo in this video.
When all is said and done, Choi will initially sell the mini printer at the retail price of $300. We’re just simply fascinated at the endless possibilities that technology can offer.
There is simply no denying that our advances in technology will continue to progress. In fact, we have made so much progress in recent years that we like to hypothesize what the future may look like.
We did this with the movie Her starring Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams and Scarlett Johansson. The film has received widespread critical acclaim and praise. The appeal to the movie? A man falls in love with an operating system. This may seem impossible, but as it turns out, this may not be so unheard of after all. Japan, who is often known to be ahead of the game when it comes to technology, is already close to achieving this.
Japanese netizens are not in love with an operating system just yet. Instead, some are convinced that they are in love with a virtual girlfriend found in a video game. As you can see, Her isn’t that extreme after all.
Aside from virtual machines that we may grow to love, Japan has looked into various ways that our future may look like on an average day. In this video, a Tokyo-based tech company gives us a glimpse of what a restaurant may look like in the future.
Surprisingly, the woman in the video doesn’t have to actually interact with another human being. She can view the menu from her phone, touch the options in front of her and pay from her phone as well.
Although the idea of such advanced technology seems daunting, the things shown in this video aren’t too unrealistic. In fact, this seems like a perfectly plausible future restaurant. Of course, this may make it even more scary.
Influence comes in many forms, from high-profile advocates who are shaping ideas on an international stage to local heroes who are breaking barriers and defying expectations in their own communities. In our inaugural series celebrating influential Asian American women, Audrey Magazine highlights eight newsmakers, activists, leaders and trailblazers who encourage us to pursue our dreams, explore the unknown, and stand up for those without a voice.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE ASIAN AMERICAN INFLUENTIAL WOMEN!
by Ada Tseng
“ONE OF MY CEO CLIENTS SAID TO ME, ‘GRACE, YOU WILL THINGS TO HAPPEN.’ ALL ENTREPRENEURS WILL THINGS TO HAPPEN; YOU HAVE TO REALLY WANT IT. ESPECIALLY WHEN THERE ARE MOUNTAIN-MOVING GOALS, YOU HAVE TO INSPIRE PEOPLE TO MAKE IT HAPPEN.” — Grace Ueng
Grace Ueng was supposed to be an engineer. Her father was a professor at Georgia Tech, she grew up surrounded by engineering magazines, and after only applying to universities that had engineering programs, she ended up at MIT. But when she got there, she found herself scrambling to find her place in this environment of technical geniuses.
What she discovered was that she was a better leader than a programmer. Despite the fact that she had mapped out an escape route to study English at another Ivy League, she ended up being elected president of her MIT class and continued to serve for the next three years. After transferring to the school’s Sloan School of Management, where she studied management science and marketing, Ueng started the Sloan undergraduate Management Association, which still runs today. She would eventually go to Harvard Business School.
“I wasn’t the super geek who codes, but because I went to MIT, I really understood technical people,” says Ueng, who has worked for a number of technology start-ups and led campaigns for entrepreneurial technology companies that produced more than $1 billion of value for investors. “A lot of technical people don’t know how to bring their brilliance to the market, but in order for people to take advantage of their invention, it has to be packaged up. That’s where I come in.”
Nowadays, as CEO of Savvy Marketing Group, whose slogan is “Your successful venture is our passion,” Ueng has been called everything from “a success accelerator,” “a strategic weapon” to “a corporate therapist” by clients that now understand how strategic marketing can be integral to the success of their company.
When Ueng founded Savvy Marketing, many of her earlier clients were based in North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park, home to many of the nation’s prominent high-tech research and development centers. Ten years and approximately 100 projects later, she has branched out into health care (marketing medical technologies and devices), has started a nonprofit practice (recently, she helped revamp the business plan of a local organization that gives small business loans to rural and underprivileged populations), and has begun consulting companies interested in taking advantage of the Chinese market (an area she became interested in after teaching entrepreneurial marketing at Shanghai’s Fudan university).
Looking back, when she was working in executive teams where she was often the youngest member and the only Asian American woman, she says she was always trying to be superwoman. “Also, because I was a single mom, I felt like I had to prove that I could do what men, who had wives to do everything at home for them, could do,” says Ueng. “And now I realize women should just be themselves. I was always so focused, but you can’t always plan life.”
This was a lesson that was cemented eight years ago when she “literally went downhill at 40.” A few days before her 40th birthday, she was involved in a biking accident that left her with a broken neck and without her short-term memory. Neurospecialists told her she couldn’t work for months, but she was able to relearn everything and finish the projects she promised she would finish. Since then, she’s established a healthier work-life balance, and her second chance at life just makes her appreciate her work more.
“I want my clients to think big, and I want to help them get big,” says Ueng. “One of my CEO clients said to me, ‘Grace, you will things to happen.’ All entrepreneurs will things to happen; you have to really want it. Especially when there are mountain-moving goals, you have to inspire people to make it happen.”
On being initially intimidated while studying at MIT
I sometimes think that if I went to a less intense school, maybe I would have been an engineer. But it was my freshman year, I was put with the smartest woman from Korea and the smartest person from the Philippines, and everyone was so intensely brilliant. Then there was me, from Georgia, where people say, “Hey y’all!” I realized being a science brainiac wasn’t my thing, and decided to do what I wanted to do in that environment. It was definitely very rigorous, but I was always surrounded by very collaborative people at MIT.
On her bike accident at 40
It was a life-changing experience. After my head injury, my first words were in Chinese, [which she had learned as a kid but didn't speak as an adult]. It was such a wild experience, and when I started forgetting my Chinese, they told me it was good cause my brain was healing. I couldn’t work for a number of months because I had to rest, and that was hard. It made me really appreciate life because it was almost gone, and I was also asked to do more inspirational talks, which I loved.
On her initial goals when working with clients
First, I always want to understand what the client’s goals are and how our influence can help them be successful. When Ping Fu [of Geomagic, now 3D Systems Corporation] hired me, she told me, “I seek truth, not comfort.” And our role to always tell the truth to our clients. We see things in a different way. They’re so close to their business, and we can give them an outside perspective, and sometimes it’s tough, because I definitely see all the issues, but it’s my responsibility to point them out and help figure out solutions. It’s our responsibility to go in quickly, assess the situation, ask for the right data, gather the right data, and generate new data in order to glean insights and help implement change.
Who influences you?
Well, I’m most influenced by my parents and the way I was brought up, and then, on a day to day basis, by my 16-year-old son. And also my friends and clients, because I’m picky about the people I work with. I work with people with integrity and big goals. But I even learn from my interns because young people have a totally different point of view, and as much as they say I mentor them, it’s a two-way street. I think I learn from everybody, and you should learn from everybody.
BUY THE FALL 2013 ISSUE FEATURING OUR WOMEN OF INFLUENCE HERE.
“Design and Synthesis of Hydrogenated TiO2-Polyaniline Nanorods for Flexible High-Performance Supercapacitors” – say what? Well, that was the name of the winning experiment of 18-year-old Eesha Khare who took the one of two runner-up prizes at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair for inventing a device that charges cellphone batteries in less than 30 seconds. It’s taken the science and tech world by storm for an invention that could eventually wind up in some of our hands in the future. However, the teen is not interested in commercializing it anytime soon – she’s headed straight to Harvard (where she will use her $50k towards her education).
The Saratoga teen also recently appeared on Conan to talk about her invention, lovecalls from Google – and her next invention. She’s quite likeable. Click on to see the interviews!
Audrey Magazine is an award-winning national publication that covers the Asian experience from the perspective of Asian American women. Audrey covers the latest talent and trends in entertainment, fashion, beauty and lifestyle.