Your World This Week, Dec. 6 – 12

Published December 7, 2015

This week in technology: Google’s new blood-sucking invention, a truly washable smartphone, biometric tattoos and tech’s importance in fighting ISIS.

Google Files Patent For Wearable Blood-Sucking Device

Google Blood Drawing Sketch

Image Source: Gizmodo

Naturally, the Internet is now abuzz with the news of Google’s vampiric new project. Of course, the sober truth is that Google’s blood-drawing invention–which draws a tiny amount of blood without the use of a needle–could revolutionize the lives of diabetics and anyone else who regularly has to check their blood.

The device works by using gas to shoot a microparticle into the skin to create a point through which it can draw a small amount of blood into a pressurized container.

Though that sounds like science fiction, it’s just another in a long series of fantastical projects from the ominously named Google X, the Google division also plotting futuristic–often medical–technologies like cancer-tracking microparticles.

No matter how incredible any of these new projects sound now, Google is quick to reassure everyone that the ultimate status of projects like the blood-drawing device are very much up in the air. As Google put it to The Verge recently: “Prospective product announcements should not necessarily be inferred from our patents.”

Read more at Gizmodo.

We Now Have A Washable Smartphone

If you’re a certain kind of person, you’ll instantly recognize why a full-on, soap-and-water washable smartphone is like manna from heaven. And if you’re not that certain kind of person, you should probably know that the average cellphone contains 25,000 germs per square inch. That’s over 20 times dirtier than the average toilet seat, over 10 times dirtier than the average pet food dish, and over three times dirtier than the average doorknob.

Now, Japanese electronics giant Kyocera has addressed those concerns and released a truly washable smartphone. There’s no word yet on if and when the product, now only available in Japan, will come to the U.S. Those Americans utterly horrified by the statistics above may have to consider moving to Japan.

Read more at ABC News.

Presidential Candidates Call On Silicon Valley To Aid In ISIS Dismantling Efforts


Hillary Clinton calls on Silicon Valley to aid in anti-ISIS fight. Image Source: Flickr

Following the Paris and San Bernardino terrorist attacks and the knowledge that both groups of shooters had been communicating with other surveilled subjects, presidential hopefuls called on Silicon Valley giants to help the state in its fight against ISIS.

On Sunday, Hillary Clinton called on sites like Facebook to help the government in its attempts to disrupt ISIS, with others also highlighting the need for increased surveillance — and support from the private sector — in counterterrorism efforts. Learn more at The Guardian.

All That's Interesting
A New York-based publisher established in 2010, All That's Interesting brings together subject-level experts in history, true crime, and science to share stories that illuminate our world.
Savannah Cox
Savannah Cox holds a Master's in International Affairs from The New School as well as a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, and now serves as an Assistant Professor at the University of Sheffield. Her work as a writer has also appeared on DNAinfo.