Allstate Insurance Using Video Games to Refresh Elderly Drivers' Skills... Seriously

October 13 2008 / by John Heylin / In association with Future
Category: Social Issues   Year: 2008   Rating: 8 Hot

Allstate, the second-largest insurance provider in the US, recently sent out video games to 100,000 of their clients aged 50 to 75. “The set of five games, together called InSight and made by Posit Science, are designed to improve the mental acuity of older drivers.” Allstate expects to see fewer accidents among the group receiving the video games than from those who did not.

Allstate professes that “ten hours of game play turns the clock back 10 years in terms of memory, useful field of view, processing visual information, and general cognitive functions.”

The idea of training the brain to perform better is something that has been studied for centuries. Think of it as putting your brain through its own workout routine – it needs to do lifts, squats, push-ups and of course cardio. This is most commonly in the form of games.

So will we be seeing more and more brain training in the future?

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Socially Assistive Robots: The Psychology of Robotic Helpers

November 20 2008 / by Mielle Sullivan / In association with Future
Category: Technology   Year: 2008   Rating: 3

Socially assistive robots — robots that help care for the disabled, elderly or injured — will be a primary part of the coming robotics revolution, argued Maja Mataric founding director of the USC Center for Robotics and Embedded Systems at the Robo Development Conference in Santa Clara on Tuesday.  But because of subtle psychological factors, they need to be carefully designed.

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