Magic Wheelchairs Turn Kids Into Superheroes 

I just finished reading about Magic Wheelchair, a global non-profit organization that creates custom wheelchair costumes for kids. The video shows how a father, Ryan Weiner, wanted to dress up his three year old son as a pirate for a special occasion.  

The young boy had spinal muscular atrophy and was restricted to a wheelchair. Weiner designed a homemade costume that incorporated the wheelchair as a pirate ship. Needless to say, his son was thrilled and felt so much joy. 

The organization is now all about making disabled kids feel special. Their wheelchairs no longer define them.  

In addition to bringing joy to the costumed kids, and their families, Weiner says his designs can act as a “cure” by liberating the kids from the stigma so often attached to wheelchairs.

Isn’t this wonderful? For more information, click here

Speaking of wheelchairs. I wanted you to see what the future looks like for people who can’t walk. This is pretty incredible. We are living in an age where technology can provide freedom that others never had before. A designer shared a video that shows what wheelchairs will look like in the future. 

Pick The Right Investor    

(I didn’t have permission to tape the video. It has been deleted by YouTube. I probably would have been able to record it if it wasn’t over 10 minutes. Sorry!

Many DigiDame readers have children, grandchildren, or both, who one day will be raising money for a business they want to start. I think I have enough experience to say they shouldn’t take money from folks who are not passionate about them and the project they are working on.

Most entrepreneurs will take money from anyone they can get it from. I have been involved with those deals. Many times they don’t work out well because the minute something goes wrong, the investor pulls.

I encourage you to watch the segment of Shark Tank I taped off the air. You want an investor like Barbara Corcoran for the Fidget pitch in the video. She will not let this inventor fail.  She won’t run away when the big challenges present themselves.  I’m not saying that Barbara is always the right investor. I’m saying that she is  just as enthusiastic about the Fidget as the inventor.  

My last advice is that if you don’t find a passionate investor, you need to find several deep pockets so that you have plenty to replace the ones you lose.  Investing is a fickle business.

Interactive Public Art 

Image: SLS Hotel photo of art installation.

I don’t know why I am so fascinated by technology, but I am. When I walked into the SLS Brickell hotel in downtown Miami yesterday afternoon, I was thrilled to see a large interactive installation  called “Monkey See, Monkey You.” 

Video by Steve Greenberg 

The lobby had a lot of interesting art pieces, but the large interactive screen was a big draw. All you had to do was approach the screen and the monkeys start moving. A few seconds later the playful monkeys start mimicking your poses and then movements. It’s a great way to make guests feel they are a member of the hotel community. 

I asked the concierge how the screen worked, but she didn’t have any available written details. She did think the system was being programmed by an XBox Microsoft system, a video games console. I tried to research the system being used but I couldn’t find any descriptions.

Enjoy the video.

Learning Spanish   

We are going to make one more attempt at learning to speak and read Spanish. We have been living in Miami full time for over a year, and we would love to speak Spanish to a lot of our Latino friends.  We also would love to communicate with our French and Italian friends. 0ne language at a time.

We heard from many friends on the Internet that the Babbel app is the way to go. The ads for   Babbel say, “if we give it one hour a day, for three weeks, we could be having a conversation with someone in Spanish within a month. Our expectations are not that high. We will be happy if we can increase our Spanish vocabulary little by little.

It would also be nice to learn Italian and French so we can talk to strangers when we travel, or if we meet new folks in the United States. The reason for this sudden ambition is because we were told that Babbel is so easy to use. It sounds too good to be true. We will let you know.

“Powered Clothing” For Seniors    

I am hoping to find a number of exhibits at CES in January that will be dedicated to making  clothing that will feature motors, sensors  and artificial intelligence in order to help the elderly with movement, including standing, sitting and bending.

Please watch the video to see how the “powered clothing” works.

I only know of two companies that have come together to make this type of apparel: famous Swiss designer Yves Behar, and a robotics company, called Superflex.

Béhar is the founder and principal designer of Fuseproject, an award-winning industrial design and brand development firm. He is also the chief creative officer of the wearable technology company Jawbone, and co-founder and chief creative officer of August, a smart lock company.

Superflex was born out of a nonprofit research organization called SRI International. It’s main objective is robotic augmentations for people who need help with every day tasks. 
The material being used is an origami like fabric  expands as needed. According  to a company description, “The power is housed in hexagonally shaped low-profile shells. It targets specific points in order to provide necessary support while maximizing ergonomics. The lightweight suit is able to connect to the wearers main muscle points while effectively acting as a second supportive skin.”

The suits should be available in early 2018. I will show you the reviews as soon as they become available. I will even try to get trial products for  some of our DigiDame readers to test.

Who wants to try and review powered clothing first? 



Testing Your Wits

Even if you knew it was an optical illusion, could you walk across this bridge?  I couldn’t.

Photos from Mashable.


China is well known for its daring, all glass walking bridges, but this one is a real mind blower. To give visitors from all over the world a real treat, China has inserted optical illusion paintings on the floor of its famed Yellow River bridge in Zhongwei, Ningxia. 

I’m not sure if they want to scare the wits out of people, or simply see how many brave souls will walk the bridge. It looks like visitors could easily fall on the river below. Optical illusions are very scary propositions.

I wanted to share this story with you because several tech pubs wrote about this travel destination. See what Mashable had to say. 

The Yellow River is the world’s sixth longest river. 

Would you, or wouldn’t you walk this bridge? 

An Afternoon In Paris  

Jews are alive and living well in Paris. We hear different in the U.S. but after questioning a few Jewish folks in Paris, the general response was, “At the moment everything is fine, but we live in a crazy world so we don’t take anything for granted.” Eliot was asked to put on Tefillin (also called phylacteries) by a local rabbi who spotted Eliot on the street in the Marais area and they said a prayer. Tefillin is a set of small black leather boxes containing scrolls of parchment inscribed with verses from the Torah. They are worn by male observant Jews during weekday morning prayers. 


We went to the Picasso Museum in Paris today and guess who I saw? I couldn’t believe my eyes. What a treat. My interview is below.

Pablo Picasso

Lois:  Pablo, what are you doing here? I thought you were dead. 

Pablo: I was, but after I heard about Harvey Weinstein, I wanted to come back to defend myself. I don’t want people to think I attacked women. I loved them. I never had one complaint. All of them were  happy. Harvey ruined it for all men who like a little variety. The last few women I flirted with immediately called their lawyers. I don’t need heartache. I’ve had enough.”

Lois: Are you still painting?

Pablo:  Painting? You call that painting?  All of my work in this museum was done when I was suffering from migraines. I would shut my eyes and swirl the paint brush around on the canvas. These weird looking women would appear. I didn’t say anything because everyone seemed to think they were genius. 

“I just finished listening to the audio guide they hand out when you enter the museum. Where do they get that crap? I didn’t paint a plant coming out of a woman’s uneven breasts. I dropped my caesar salad  on the canvas. That’s where it landed.  It’s so obvious that I can’t believe that millions of folks listen to the so called art experts. They don’t know what they are talking about. It’s fake news.”

Lois:  What do you think of Donald Trump? 

Pablo:  I’m glad I got out when I did. 

More photos from our afternoon at Picasso’s museum.

CES Unveiled Paris at the Palais Brongniart

When our Uber (yes, we have been taking Uber all over Paris) pulled up to CES Unveiled Paris at the Palais Brongniart, I was thrilled to see the world’s third largest wire service, Agence France-Presse, was across the street. I have been working with them for decades. Associated Press and Reuters are one and two, respectively. I saluted and off we went to CES. 

I can’t believe I made it. I have been talking to Eliot about attending one of these foreign tech shows for years, and this year, we decided to pick the one CES does in Paris. These are mini tech CES satellite shows, mostly for start-ups. Many of the exhibitors haven’t even started selling their products yet. That’s why I wanted to attend the show. Meet and greet before the other PR agencies pitch them.

Getting ready to meet the French innovators.

The pathway to innovation.

Karen Chupka, Senior Vice President of CES. She is the boss lady everyone loves. Eliot gets a hug.

Me and my HandL. The elastic grip makes using a smartphone so much easier.

This product is going to promote short stories on slips of paper. That’s all I am going to tell you at this point.

His telescope is so powerful that the SETI Institute has agreed to joint projects.

Athletic shoes for those who may need assistance on the road. I will reveal details at a later date.

Promoting a mask that is a pollution protector. I’m mum for now.

The pollution mask

A new way to listen to music.

Special CES recognition

An adorable robot that will be your company greeter.

The exhibition hall

Software training

Personal surveillance for human resources

A new type of Arlo

Reference materials

Giving the HWH PR pitch.

Fancy video effects

Electronic communications

Lunch at Spoon 2, a great treat.

We also ate at their sister restaurant in Hong Kong.

Paris Extraordinaire  

If you haven’t seen the Louis Vuitton Foundation art museum and cultural center, designed by Frank Gehry, just on the outskirts of Paris, on the edge of the Bois de Boulogne, make it your next destination. No matter what I say, or show you here, your visit to this structural wonder, will be the highlight of any trip you have ever made. Eliot and I thank Doug Garr for his recommendation and Robert John Rissè II for his spectacular company.

Detecting Future Earthquakes 

We had a full day at Versailles. Eliot’s photos of the gardens are below. We love going there because we are currently watching “Versailles,” the Netflix series, and we wanted to see where all of the hanky-panky took place. Watch it at your own risk. The upside is that you do learn a lot of French history. My friend Bob follows the series by Googling names and places discussed in the script. He said it’s a fascinating way to learn what was happening in France at the time.

Meanwhile, I just learned that fiber optics, the type of cable that is providing the best  performance for data networking and telecommunications, can help detect earthquakes. 

A story in Engadget said that researchers have developed a technology “that detects seismic activity through jiggling in fiber optic lines. Laser interrogators watch for disturbances in the fiber and send information about the magnitude and direction of tremors. The system can not only detect different types of seismic waves (and thus determine the seriousness of the threat), but spot very minor or localized quakes that might otherwise go unnoticed.”  

The system is currently being tested in a three-mile loop around Stanford University. This is developing news, so I will be looking for more stories to update you all the time. 

Onto Versailles. Photos by: Eliot Hess