Technology and Website

Tag Archive: change

From diversity to accessibility, can technology change the way we think about beauty for the better?


when Bold Glamor launched on TikTok earlier this year, it started a storm on social media. The viral beautifying filter uses machine learning technology to edit users’ facial features in photographs and videos, sculpting cheekbones, smoothing out skin and brightening eyes, all with unsettling realism.

Some on social media were impressed by the technology, but many expressed concern about how filters can promote unrealistic beauty standards.

While there is growing unease about the way technology is impacting our ideas of beauty, some believe it can also change our attitudes towards beauty for the better.

CNN asked experts to identify the innovations that are having a positive effect.

Digital filters and augmented reality (AR) have become an intrinsic part of how people represent themselves online. City University of London in 2021 reported that 90% of young women surveyed in the UK sometimes use a filter when posting a selfie; of these, more than half said they use a filter half of the time or more. According to research by the Dove Self-Esteem Project80% of girls surveyed in the US distort the way they look online by the age of 13.

‘I wish I did look like this’: See user reactions to viral, new beauty filter

But that’s not all negative for those who have grown up with social media, according to Hannah Mauser, beauty analyst at consumer trend forecasting company WGSN. She points out that there have been positive movements on platforms such as TikTok, from #AcnePositivity to #BodyHairPositivity, which encourages people to embrace the skin they’re in.

“Gen Z has played a major role in destigmatizing these beauty narratives as they confidently say no to ‘normal’ and challenge topics previously deemed as taboo,” she said.

Florencia Solari, a creative AR technologist and filter creator, echoes this. “Thanks to social media, we’ve been able to access a multi-diverse pool of representation of what beauty looks like,” she said.

“Instagram filters can help us play and experiment with different appearances. We don’t particularly have to expose our face to the whole world at all times and this doesn’t always mean low confidence, it can be a means for experimentation.”

Solari added that there is scope to try on a different persona, or even experiment with gender expression, a different face, makeup looks, or hair color thanks to AR.

Sampo Parkkinen, CEO of Revieve Inc., a beauty tech provider that

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Makers Making Change helps people with disabilities using 3D printing technology

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A network of volunteers and staff have developed a cost-effective solution to help people with disabilities across Canada and the United States.

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Statistics Canada said more than 80 per cent of persons with disabilities reported using at least one aid or assistive device and that cost was the most commonly reported reason for unmet needs for aids or assistive devices.

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This is where Makers Making Change comes in.

Starting in 2016 as part of a Neil Squire program, this not-for-profit has a mission to connect people who have disabilities with volunteer makers to build assistive technology using 3D printing at a much more affordable price.

“We have a bunch of volunteer makers, people who are like, ‘Hey, we want to help, we have certain skills. Let me know if you need my skills for anything,’” said Heather Buerfeind, Alberta outreach intern with Makers Making Change.

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Buerfeind says that the most commonly requested things are assistive switch devices such as grips for pens and pencils or a key holder to help turn your key in a lock. One of the newest is a card holder for people who struggle to hold playing cards.

“Commercial switches can be quite an upcharge because they’re a specialty. By crowdsourcing the movement maker and 3D printing, we can bring those costs down on average by about 94 per cent,” Buerfeind said.

So how it works is someone with a disability can go to the website, browse the devices online and either download the devices and 3D print them themselves or can be connected with a volunteer who can do that for them.

People can also volunteer to add new designs and, since everything is open-sourced, anyone can download a design and print it or submit a new design that someone may find useful.

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Buerfeind says that they have about 16 to 20 staff members who focus on outreach and developing new technologies, as well as working with individuals who have disabilities to develop technologies.

“We also get a bunch of people who will go on our website and say, ‘Hey, I would like something that helps me do such and such a task, but I don’t see anything on your website. Can someone help me design this?’” said Buerfeind.

Then either someone on their team or a volunteer maker can take that design

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