Sorry to tell you this, US Navy, but in our opinion, you’ve been had. This new app you’ve funded, dubbed Caffeine Zone, is not the best way to schedule your caffeine intake so as to maximize awesome and minimize double vision and crazy manic behavior. Not by a long shot.
True, Caffeine Zone, developed by researchers at Penn State, does draw on studies that suggest that between 200 and 400 milligrams of caffeine in the blood is the sweet spot, the level at which that glorious productive high kicks in. Likewise, studies also say that having about 100 milligrams in the blood around bedtime puts you in the danger zone of insomnia. But when users type in when they plan to drink their caffeine, how much of it they’ll drink, and how fast they’ll drink it, the readout they get of their projected caffeine levels throughout the day sounds like a pretty basic chart that reflects how long caffeine hangs around in the average Joe, at least in this press release. It doesn’t take into account individuals’ metabolism, whether they’ve eaten recently, and all the other things that even the most dilletante-ish coffee addict can tell you affect the high.
It’s not in the eyes, the face, or fingerprints. For some researchers, the future of biometrics lies in the ear.
Imagine walking into a store and instead of submitting to an iris scan, like in Minority Report, having the cameras scan your ear, noting its curves and wrinkles, to identify you. Christopher Mims, blogging for Technology Review, reports that that day may come.
What makes the human ear good for use as a biometric is its uniqueness, which does not change with age. But first the computer needs to be able to pick your ear out of the crowd, which–while easy for a human–is quite difficult for a computer.