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May 17, 2018

Exploring virtual reality in and out of the classroom

Today’s virtual reality technology has the potential to enhance the student learning experience in a multitude of ways. The Mohawk College research team wanted to find some of the best ways virtual reality and 360-degree camera technology could help media and entertainment students to create visual content, and to learn about other areas where the technology could be applied. To do that, the research team experimented with using new visual technologies to produce three-dimensional, computer-generated environments through virtual reality and explored 360-degree camera technology to learn about techniques for enhancing learning. The team also reviewed editing software for 360 cameras... Read more
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May 17, 2018

Packaging dreams by robot

Bright and shiny lottery tickets get purchasers seats to fantasyland—a destination so popular that it’s hard for Pollard Banknote Ltd., a leading global producer of high-volume gaming tickets, to keep up with the high demand for the tickets it produces in its facility in Sault Ste. Marie in Ontario. But for Pollard to expand its market it needs to make its packaging more efficient — by automating with robotics. That need led it to partner with Sault College researchers, who were asked to develop custom software, and to design and deploy hardware in the College’s Robotics lab. By working with... Read more
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May 17, 2018

Sharing knowledge, sharing hope: a new approach to social service delivery

It’s a paradox of social work that services aimed at helping people get back on their feet and living independent lives have traditionally been “delivered” to them. Their needs are assessed by others, what’s best for them is determined by policies decided far from their day-to-day reality and individual circumstances. However, that’s starting to change, with a new approach known as “co-production” a social innovation where the service provider becomes a catalyst and facilitator rather than the key provider of services. The need for services is not determined by a provider, rather, professionals, and the people and families being served... Read more
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May 17, 2018

Giving young parents a chance to LEAP ahead

Life can be full of challenges for young parents. To help them manage, Ontario Works’ Learning, Earning, and Parenting (LEAP) program provides support to people between the ages of 16 and 25 who already have children by helping them finish high school, achieve sustainable employment and become independent and self-reliant. However, some 60 percent of the young adults in the LEAP program who graduate from high school each year don’t plan to continue their education at a post-secondary institution, a choice that can affect their employment options for the rest of their lives. Durham College worked together with the continuing... Read more
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May 16, 2018

Bridging the gap between parking management and technology

Drivers with smart cars and smart phones are looking for smarter parking spots, and Precise ParkLink is working to meet that demand. Precise ParkLink is a North York, Ontario-based company involved in all aspects of the parking business, from building parking lots to providing equipment and attendants for them, to managing the revenue they generate. Having recognized that as the public becomes more tech savvy and dependant on its mobile phones, its expectation for a different way to pay for parking would grow, Precise ParkLink developed a web-based portal called i PASS, designed to streamline the process. Precise ParkLink then... Read more
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May 16, 2018

Asset and Inventory Management System

Keeping track of the conditions of the thousands of poles, holes, signs and lights that line the streets of cities and towns — keeping track of the streets themselves — is a huge job. Traditionally, municipalities have left the task of keeping track of the state of road conditions and infrastructure to staff (sometimes driving around for other reasons), or random checks and public complaints. It’s a haphazard approach that may or may not get the job done, and North-Line Canada Ltd., recognized an opportunity to create an inventory-management system that could be installed in any vehicle and tailored to... Read more
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May 16, 2018

A mobile platform to keep patients safely in one place — home

When something goes wrong and patients have to return to hospital for the same problem in the month after they’ve been discharged, it takes a toll both on the individual and the health system. According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, hospital readmissions cost the healthcare system as much as $1.8 billion per year. It’s estimated, however, that almost 60 per cent of those readmissions could be avoided if those who were most likely to have to return to hospital could be identified and given better care before and after discharge. Older people, those with multiple health problems, those... Read more
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May 16, 2018

A bit of research today keeps the doctor away — from the apples

Apples, the fruit that famously keeps the doctor away, are getting some help to keep away unwanted visitors themselves. Ontario’s apple trees are facing damage from a new pest – the apple leaf curling midge. The galls (bumps that appear on leaves) produced by the midges can interfere with the normal growth and development of the terminal shoots of young apple trees, which delays or stunts their structural development. It’s a particular problem in Durham Region, where the amount of land dedicated to growing apples has doubled in the last five years, because young trees are particularly affected, but apple... Read more
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May 16, 2018

Easier video surveillance

Lanoptic Video Solutions Inc. designs, sells and supports digital video devices for security and surveillance. It recently developed a system for installing digital video cameras that combines the mounting system with tools and a fastener. Called Novattach, the system makes cameras much simpler and faster to install than traditional methods. Lanoptic, however, wanted to reduce the device’s overall cost without affecting its functionality and turned to researchers and students at Durham College for help, with a goal of ultimately creating a family of engineered solutions. Two students from the Mechanical Engineering Technology Program worked on this project, creating designs for... Read more
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May 16, 2018

Tracking the Wanderers

People with autism or dementia tend to wander, which puts them at risk — so knowing their whereabouts are being tracked 24/7 can give their caregivers peace of mind and help ensure the wandering one’s safety. That’s why Strategic Smart Inc. developed WeTraq. Unlike other tracking tools that use Bluetooth or GPS, WeTraq is an “internet of things” device. That’s the phrase used to describe objects, from cars to heart monitors, which have embedded software and sensors capable of collecting data and sharing it. WeTraq is a credit-card-sized device that works by connecting wirelessly to smart phones via its mobile... Read more
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