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Google's Internet balloons lift off in Indonesia next year (Tomorrow Daily 268)

Jeff discusses MIT's new living bio-skin and the way it can improve athletic clothing. Plus: Google's plans to deploy its 'Project Loon' balloons in 2016 and why 3D-printed hair could mean better toys someday.

MIT's Tangible Media Lab is working on an interesting project they're calling "bioLogic." It uses Nattō cells to create living actuators and sensors that can be 3D printed directly onto fabric. The demonstration in the lab's video shows the bio-film responding to a wearer's sweat and curling up to create living vents in the garment.

Google's Project Loon isn't new, but it's taking its "balloon Internet" experiment to Indonesia next year. It's partnered with three telecom carriers to provide an Internet connection for the entire country. Only one in three Indonesians have access to the Internet, so it's a prime candidate for Google's experimental balloons. The goal of Project Loon is to bring the Internet to remote locations or places where connections aren't otherwise available.

Lastly, Carnegie Mellon University researchers have made it possible to 3D print plastic hair. Sure, it's rudimentary -- it's inspired by the thin strands that form if you pull a glue gun away from a blob of hot glue -- but it's fun to see how strong the plastic hair actually is. It can be curled, braided, brushed or even used to create tiny paintbrushes.

Our crowdfunding effort of the week is Ollinfit, a set of three sensors designed to be a kind of "digital personal trainer" when you go to the gym. It helps correct bad form while you're working out and offers advice for improving the quality of your workouts.

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268: Google's Internet balloons lift off in Indonesia next year

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