Man, I love science. Why? Because a huge chunk of the time it creates superpowers, like in Spider-Man; I can't wait to see what sort of lab-based plot twists come about in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. One of my favorite things about Spider-Man's scientifically enhanced superstatus is his Spidey sense. Spidey sense allows our favorite webslinger to sense danger fractions of a second before they occur or appear and get the drop on evil.
Turns out that Spidey sense might not just for be for Spider-Man anymore. Victor Mateevitsi of the University of Illinois in Chicago has designed an ultrasonically sensitive suit called SpiderSense that converts ulstrasonic reflections into pressure on the body, alerting the wearer to people and objects nearby. Mateveesi told the New Scientist:
When someone is punching Spider-Man, he feels the sensation and can avoid it. Our suit is the same concept.
Mateveesi had a pretty cool way of testing out the suit, too. He suited up and blindfolded students and had them stand outside where others would approach them as "attackers". The test subjects were given cardboard "throwing stars" and told to throw them at where they thought the attackers would be as they were approached. The results? According to Mateveesi:
Ninety five per cent of the time they were able to sense someone approaching and throw the star at them.
We might not be fending off The Green Goblin with our new found SpiderSense suits anytime soon, but there are plenty of major applications for the nascent technology. Mateveesi hopes to develop it further to be used with the visually impaired or in creating wearable safety devices for cyclists.
See? Just another reason why I love science so much.
Would you want to wear SpiderSense? Let me know in the comments.