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Magic Calendar: The Act of Combining Paper And Digital To Track Dates

If you’re someone who likes to hang up a paper calendar up on the wall at home or at the office, this bold and somewhat whimsical product could be the perfect combination of paper and next-generation digital. The Magic Calendar has the appearance of a regular wall calendar. But it can be edited and manipulated using an Android phone. The product aims to make a big impact on using less paper in everyday life while keeping the nostalgic paper-like and physical feel of a calendar.

a photo that contains a silhouette of a man with a phone, a calendar on the wall, and a short information about the Magic Calendar on the sideSlashgear explains that the Magic Calendar—like other always-on dashboards such as the Raspberry Pi—are usually run by small computers. However, this product uses an e-ink display rather than an LCD. This feature gives the Magic Calendar the edge of running for up to 30 months on a single charge. The e-ink reportedly doesn’t use any power when displaying static content. It only draws energy when the schedules to be displayed are adjusted.

In a video introducing the Magic Calendar, Designer Kosjo Tsuboi shares, “I came up with the design for Magic Calendar based on the idea of having a product that would inherit the characteristics of both smartphone and paper calendars so that the schedules inputted in calendars can be quickly checked.” He continues, “I believe there is a kind of surprise or a certain type of impression that will come from the ability to put changeable information on a media that has a similar weight, texture, or smooth feeling that we associate with touching paper.”

The Bold Idea of the Magic Calendar

The Magic Calendar is one of several promising Android-powered ideas. It’s part of a Japanese Android Experiments campaign. But it has the potential of being developed into an actual, commercial product. It answers the challenge of having a calendar that combines the best features of paper and smartphone.

The calendar is always on, and this makes sharing events and schedules between people easier and more natural. However, one of its limitations is its dependence on a computer or phone when editing. The edits or changes must be made first on Google Calendar before it is reflected on the Magic Calendar, as Design Milk explains.

Indeed, the Magic Calendar is not really completely new concept. But it is a bold idea that could be adapted a lot sooner than we think to make more homes and offices all over the world “paperless” places. This sphere is another area where digital transformation can help make the world a better and greener place to live in.

The Business Case for Sustainability

For businesses to remain viable, leaders must manage the bottom line. However, when making the commitment to operate in an environmentally and socially responsible way, a singular focus on the bottom line may be morally myopic.

Most successful companies have established an acceptable payback period for investments through which they filter investment decisions.  Andrew Winston, author and founder of Winston Eco-Strategies, proposes a bold idea—to make the business case for sustainability, leadership should look beyond the bottom line to bring “doing the right thing” into the equation.  Winston’s strategies on navigating and profiting from humanity’s biggest environmental and social challenges are sought after by leading companies worldwide.

Business initiatives for sustainability fact boxWinston identifies four types of business initiatives companies decide whether or not to invest in. Three create some recognizable degree of value for the business; one is more about creating value for society.

Four Types of Business Initiatives

  1. Short-term projects that meet all selection criteria (particularly, payback requirements)
  2. Projects with clear financial benefits but with longer paybacks
  3. Investments with less certain paybacks but that create indirect value to the company, such as enhanced branding or increased customer or employee loyalty
  4. Investments that result in value to society (Winston calls this the “save the world” value bucket)

Winston points out type 1 and 2 initiatives are pretty much a slam-dunk. Most companies motivated by sustainability spend their time calculating, pondering, and evaluating type 3 investments. A business that can quantify the indirect value received from environmental or social investments. This is an easier sell to a decision maker.

Business Case for Sustainability: Understanding Type 4

It’s type 4, the “save the world” value bucket, that’s the conundrum. How do you make a business case for something that may only tangentially benefit the company? Winston believes it is time to bring the moral dimension into decision making.

Organizational culture reflects the values of its leaders. Ultimately, leadership will be the moral authority governing business decisions.  Bold leaders must ask themselves, in terms of sustainability, are we part of the problem or part of the solution? To have a bold impact and really make a difference, is it time to add morality to the business case for sustainability?

The Elon Musk Neural Link Reality—A Development in Cyborg Technology

Reports that Elon Musk formed a company in California 6 months ago, by the name of Neuralink, with the goal of merging human brains and machines are surfacing. And Max Hodak, who says he is a member of the Founders Team, confirmed the existence of the company. It’s no surprise that the announcement immediately brings up images of superhumans and even the world-famous cyborg Neil Harbisson. Indeed, the idea of an Elon Musk Neural Link reality is an incredible pursuit.

Last February in Dubai, Musk made a speech in which he said that humans would have to soon merge with machines or be in danger of being “left behind”. His reasoning was that as artificial intelligence develops, the typical human/machine interface of using fingers on a keyboard simply becomes too slow to keep up. A direct interface—a wired brain so to speak—would be much faster and provide humanity a purpose on the planet, at least for a little bit longer. Musk also highlighted that “Over time I think we will probably see a closer merger of biological intelligence and digital intelligence.”

Other Details on the Matter of Cyborg Technology

At any rate, the majority of the financial community recognize that the February statement alluded to Neuralink. The company has begun hiring staff—including engineers and neuroscience interface researchers from Lawrence Livermore, University of California San Francisco and Boston University. Primarily, it is believed that Neuralink will delve into the same lines of research as Kernel—which evolved from Braintree. Other companies in the field, including Kernel, don’t really pursue merging human brains with machines, Instead, they use machines to help humans who may have diseases or damages that affect the normal function of their brains and nervous systems. Their approach is therapeutic rather than an enhancement. And although the field is very new, great strides have been made.

The world’s first “cyborg”, Neil Harbisson, developed the technology to offset his color-blindness. He wasn’t looking for superpowers. But he says he has created an entirely new sense. He has an antenna implanted in his skull that has a camera mounted on it. The camera is connected to a processor, which analyzes each color in the visual spectrum. Then it turns into a frequency that Harbisson can “hear” in his head. It allows him to distinguish between different colors. It is a creative and remarkable adaptation to allow him to “hear” color. Harbisson says that it is an entirely new sense—and in a real way, he is correct. “I see it as a new sensory organ that extends my perception of color,” notes Harbisson.

The Bottomline of the Elon Musk Neural Link Reality

Of course, Elon Musk’s Neuralink—or the Elon Musk Neural Link reality—is pushing the view that humans must become cyborgs for mere survival and value, not as liberating experience. It isn’t really about making the blind “see” as much as keeping pace with machines to avoid extinction, so to speak. In Dubai, he specified that going cyborg is the best way to solve the “control and useless” problem. However, his new venture is getting a bit of negative feedback, especially in the financial press. Musk seems to be stretched a bit thin and most of his ventures aren’t producing a profit. Tesla, in particular, is regarded as wildly overvalued. The financial industry would like him to just make a profit on that first before he jumps into creating a machine interface with a load of hyperbolic promises.