playlist

There's an app for that

Everyone makes the joke, but it's true. Here's a selection of interesting apps and the inspiration behind them.

  1. 6:33
    Andrew Bastawrous Get your next eye exam on a smartphone

    Thirty-nine million people in the world are blind, and the majority lost their sight due to curable and preventable diseases. But how do you test and treat people who live in remote areas, where expensive, bulky eye equipment is hard to come by? TED Fellow Andrew Bastawrous demos a smartphone app and cheap hardware that might help.

  2. 7:20
    Daniele Quercia Happy maps

    Mapping apps help us find the fastest route to where we’re going. But what if we’d rather wander? Researcher Daniele Quercia demos “happy maps” that take into account not only the route you want to take, but how you want to feel along the way.

  3. 11:04
    Rana el Kaliouby This app knows how you feel — from the look on your face

    Our emotions influence every aspect of our lives — how we learn, how we communicate, how we make decisions. Yet they're absent from our digital lives; the devices and apps we interact with have no way of knowing how we feel. Scientist Rana el Kaliouby aims to change that. She demos a powerful new technology that reads your facial expressions and matches them to corresponding emotions. This "emotion engine" has big implications, she says, and could change not just how we interact with machines — but with each other.

  4. 15:00
    Amit Sood Every piece of art you've ever wanted to see — up close and searchable

    What does a cultural Big Bang look like? For Amit Sood, director of Google's Cultural Institute and Art Project, it's an online platform where anyone can explore the world's greatest collections of art and artifacts in vivid, lifelike detail. Join Sood and Google artist in residence Cyril Diagne in a mind-bending demo of experiments from the Cultural Institute and glimpse the exciting future of accessibility to arts and culture.

  5. 6:03
    Carlos Bautista The awful logic of land mines — and an app that helps people avoid them

    Fifty years of armed conflict in Colombia has left the countryside riddled with land mines that maim and kill innocent people who happen across them. To help keep communities safe from harm, TED Resident Carlos Bautista is developing an app to track land mines — and direct travelers away from them. Learn more about how this potentially life-saving tool could promote peace in countries plagued by land mines once conflicts end.

  6. 6:10
    Jeff Kirschner This app makes it fun to pick up litter

    The earth is a big place to keep clean. With Litterati — an app for users to identify, collect and geotag the world's litter — TED Resident Jeff Kirschner has created a community that's crowdsource-cleaning the planet. After tracking trash in more than 100 countries, Kirschner hopes to use the data he's collected to work with brands and organizations to stop litter before it reaches the ground.