How can human beings make the best of the technology that is so rapidly and drastically changing the way we live? That was the question at the center of last week’s For Humankind pop-up design expo in Soho highlighting innovative science and tech projects, and how they can seamlessly integrate into our lives. The event, presented by Bing with Big Think, was the culmination of Humanizing Technology, an online expo exploring the evolving relationship between people and the technology we create.
“We are really interested in using technology to improve social innovations and we wanted to highlight how you can keep the human aspect to tech development,” said Aya Zook, Senior Product Manager at Bing. “Sometimes we can get lost in the gadget so we wanted to showcase that gap and also work to impact communities that may or may not have access to these advances.”
The event had 11 exhibits and one of the most impactful was the SOCCKET, the world’s first eco-friendly portable generator in a soccer ball. With just 30 minutes of play, you can produce 3 hours of electrical energy used to power different appliances like lamps or water sterilizers. Inspired by resource-poor communities in the developing world, founders Jessica O. Matthews and Julia Silverman created the product as part of their company Uncharted Play.
Another notable exhibit was Plant-in City, a revolutionary planter system with built-in sensors activated by sun exposure, changes in soil moisture, humidity, temperature and other natural cycles. Users can remotely connect to the Plant-in City using a mobile web app to check the plants’ vital signs, control lights and even water them.