Oxford researcher wins prize for helping the blind to ‘see’

first_imgA researcher from the University of Oxford has been awarded £50,000 in prize money for his work on a device that uses the revolutionary technology of augmented reality to help blind people ‘see.’ Dr Stephen Hicks, a research associate at the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neuroscience, has been working on the ‘smart-glasses’ and other related technologies for the past five years.  The Royal Society recently bestowed on him the 2013 Brian Mercer Award for Innovation, which is designed to bridge the funding gap between scientific research and venture capital investment.When completed, the device will use two miniscule cameras, an infrared projector and advanced computer software to recognise nearby objects and project them onto the lenses. The lenses then act like a personalised movie-screen for the wearer, who can see a ‘highlight-reel’ of objects in front of them. Speaking to Cherwell, Dr Hicks said, “This is the beginning of a golden-age for computerised vision. We are seeing smart recognition technology in everything from cameras to smartphones to self-driving cars. It’s entirely possible that at some point in the future this technology could be improved to the point where severely vision impaired individuals would be able to read signs or even large-print books.” A spokesperson for the Royal Society said, “Dr Hicks’ work is truly inspirational; his invention has the potential to transform the lives of many and he is a worthy recipient of the Brian Mercer Award.”One third-year Hertford biologist said, “This truly is an exciting time to be alive.”last_img read more

How ISL can extend Aaron Hughes’ international career

first_imgFresh from Northern Ireland’s Euro championships debut in June 2016, Kerala Blasters’ marquee player in 2016, Aaron Hughes describes the tournament as ‘the highlight of all of our careers’.Northern Ireland beat Ukraine 2-0 in their second group match before perhaps their biggest game against Germany where a win could have guaranteed them a knock out spot. The world champions won a close match 1-0.Even as his national team prepares to meet Germany once again in the 2018 World cup qualifiers on Tuesday, and in the words of manager Michael O’Neill readies for a ‘backlash’, Hughes says it was hard to put into words his Euro experience.’Actual tournament in itself was fantastic. The stadiums and atmosphere, playing against some of the top European countries. The Germany game stands out for us. Getting to play Wales but eventually not going through to knockouts. All of it was exciting.Even before the tournament began, training for three weeks and doing all the things that we had never experienced before. We used to prepare for big games in terms of qualifying but we had never done this before.”To get there we had a lot of belief anyway in what we could do. We knew that if the work we do on the training pitch, we take into the games, we could make a difference. We could see from our success in the qualifying stage.’As galvanizing as a debut like this can be for a sporting country, Hughes believes the major difference will be for future generations. He adds, ‘Not a lot will be different for us, we want to keep doing what we have. But back home, it’s given the kids something to look up to, something to get inspired by.’advertisementPersonally for Hughes coming to India to play Indian Super League was in many ways to extend his own international career. The second most capped Northern Irish footballer has set his eyes on the 2018 World cup for a swansong. (Also read: ISL: Diego Forlan shines in Mumbai City’s win over NorthEast United)The defender who nearly quit back in 2011 after a Euro 2012 qualification seemed distant, now says there is more left in him.’We are in the World Cup 2018 qualifiers at the moment. I dare say that will be probably be my last one. One reason I came to India is because it gave me an opportunity to play and be competitive and fit. There’s hopefully another year left in me.”When the option of the ISL was put in front of me, it was an exciting one. It’s a new league, only the third season. So there is a lot of excitement around it. For me, it was going to be new, not just on the football pitch but a new country as well. So I hoped that will be a new challenge.’Speaking on the ISL itself, Hughes said, ‘As it grows and gets bigger, with more hype, interest and publicity, attracts top names from around the world, things will snowball and get bigger for India. It is a massive country and a massive pool of players to pick from. I won’t be surprised if because of ISL and players coming in, India establishes itself to compete with the big ones.’last_img read more

Relentless schedule taking toll on big-name tennis players

first_imgNovak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka have reputations for being supreme athletes but a gruelling tennis season that offers little time to recover has left them among a number of big-name players who will be missing from the U.S. Open with injuries. (Also read: Roger Federer unconcerned by mounting injury toll ahead of US Open)Despite medical advances and a greater understanding by the players on how their bodies work, there is little down time for anyone who wants to be a regular competitor during the ATP and WTA seasons, which last approximately 11 and 10 months, respectively.”Most of the injuries in tennis are what are classified as overuse,” Todd Ellenbecker, the ATP’s Vice President of Medical Services, said in an email interview.”Not one particular force or trauma but a continued, repeated overload of smaller forces that lead to a breakdown in the player’s body.”Five top 11 men’s players are among those who have said they will miss the year’s final grand slam, which starts on Monday in New York: former world number one Djokovic (elbow), Andy Murray (hip), 2016 champion Wawrinka (knee), Canada’s Milos Raonic (wrist) and Japan’s Kei Nishikori (wrist).The women’s draw has not been robbed of the same level of star power with the most high-profile withdrawal due to injury being 2011 U.S. Open champion Samantha Stosur (hand).Reuters Photo With a non-stop stream of tournaments on hard courts, grass and clay, coupled with racket technology that allows players to hit the ball harder than ever before, the physical toll on bodies can mount up.advertisement”Tennis is indeed unique in that it is one of the only high level sports played on multiple surfaces at the elite level,” said Ellenbecker. “We know that different ball speeds, and trajectories/court surface interfaces do affect the player’s body … however definitive injury risk research is scant.”Ellenbecker said after matches, a player’s focus shifts immediately from performance to recovery, which means replacing fluid and vital nutrients and for some, ice baths, compression garments and other recovery methods that work for them.Former world number one Roger Federer, who had been blessed with a body that seemed bullet-proof against the aches, pains and injuries suffered by most top athletes, is in the midst of one of the greatest ever comebacks from injury.After missing the second half of last season with a knee problem, Federer has won five titles this year, including the Australian Open and Wimbledon trophies.The Swiss is also aware that now aged 36, he not only needs to be judicious with his schedule but also has to be cautious about how far he should push his body.Hence opting to skip the claycourt season, including the French Open despite being fully fit, paid off for the Swiss as just weeks later he became the first man to win eight Wimbledon titles.Reuters Photo Bill Norris, the ATP’s former Director of Medical Services who spent 35 years patching up the broken and sore bodies of players from Ken Rosewall to Federer, said players have little choice but to pace themselves by taking regular breaks if they want to stay competitive late in their careers.”Federer has changed a lot of coaches but he’s kept a great team around him,” said Norris.”By (age) 30-35 you know what your body is capable of, what the competition is capable of. If you schedule yourself right and pace yourself you will have some reserve.”The run enjoyed by Federer and 37-year-old American Venus Williams, a finalist at both the Australian Open and Wimbledon this year, has prompted many to ask whether a 40-year could soon walk off with one of the four grand slam titles.”From a truly anatomical standpoint, the work the players are doing now to maintain elite levels of human performance well into their 30s it is indeed possible and perceivable that we might see champions at this level among players in their 40s,” said Ellenbecker.”The amount of off-court work, human recovery efforts, and elite tennis skill development we are seeing now on the ATP World Tour where 43 of the top 100 players are age 30 or more tells us that this indeed could be possible.”last_img read more

Spalletti expects Inter reaction

first_imgInternazionale Spalletti promises reaction from smarting Inter against Genoa Dom Farrell Last updated 2 years ago 17:45 24/9/2017 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Spalletti - cropped Twitter (@Inter) Internazionale Internazionale v Genoa Genoa Serie A Tuesday’s 1-1 draw at Bologna left a bitter taste and the Nerazzurri manager has seen a determination to put things right Inter are eager to atone for a poor showing last time out as they prepare to host Genoa in Serie A, insists Luciano Spalletti.The Nerazzurri dropped points for the first time this season in midweek after they needed a 77th-minute Mauro Icardi penalty to salvage a 1-1 draw at Bologna.Inter 11/2 to beat Genoa 2-0 Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘I’m getting better’ – Can Man Utd flop Fred save his Old Trafford career? Why Barcelona god Messi will never be worshipped in the same way in Argentina Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Spalletti told a pre-match news conference that his squad have already shown a reaction in training, with midfielder Joao Mario not believing he was worthy of sitting out a training match.”The players were the first to be unhappy with the last result and there’s an automatic reaction and desire to give more,” Spalletti said.#Spalletti: “I’m convinced there will be a reaction in #InterGenoa, we must aim to do better and we don’t want to be inferior to anyone.” pic.twitter.com/5RZes9r19A— Inter (@Inter_en) September 23, 2017″These are the players we have for this season, we don’t know what will happen after but I have faith in these players.”Until the final day that I’m here, I will believe in them and I won’t change how I think because of one match or a statistic.”We perhaps need more creativity in the opponent’s half but we still did well in the second half at Bologna despite the sense of anxiety as we knew we had to save the result.”After Bologna, we played a training match with some of those who have played less. Joao Mario wanted to be part of it the day after because he wasn’t happy with what he gave.”Victory on Sunday would move Inter to within two points of Serie A pacesetters Napoli and Juventus, who preserved their 100 per cent records on Saturday.last_img read more