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How Some Twin Cities Residents are Living in a Tech Driven World

Ameer, Nick and Youseff are YouTubers. Their channel, TYNA Films, chronicles the teen’s lives with videos that entail pranks and challenges. "We love to put videos of ourselves out there for other people," says Youseff.

They became YouTubers to inspire others. With a small camera and a tripod, they record videos weekly. "This gets us up to actually do stuff. Instead of sitting around, we actually want to film videos and do something different and fun," says Nick.

Today, over 1.3 billion people around the world are drawn to the site with nearly 5 billion videos watched daily. "We're doing it to grow for fun and then eventually, we'll see if anything happens," says Ameer.

More than a vessel of information, a diary to account your life, or a space to showcase your talent, YouTube has been transformative- especially for millennials and gen-z’ers. "I've heard a different name for them, which is the digitals," says Hamline University Professor David Schultz. They're the digital generation indeed. "I haven't watched TV in at least a few years. It's always YouTube," says Nick.

As technology continues to evolve at a rapid speed, it’s also transforming our lives quicker than ever. Whether it be our smart phones, tablets or the internet of things, technology is all around us. "Certainly the biggest lifestyle change in the last generation is the shear time, not just children, but adults alike are spending with screens. Using technology is changing everything," says Dr. Erin Walsh. "We refer to this as the digital revolution."

Eyad works for one of the most techy companies today. "Now woman is uber, man is uber, everybody jumped to uber." Companies like Uber and Lift have changed the way we use transportation. Recently, Uber launched their driver-less cars in Pittsburg. Experts believe autonomous cars are years or decades away. But with over a million drivers worldwide, the likelihood of robots taking over the wheel may be deeming to some. "I don't think it's a good idea at all. If some customer took that ride and something happen to him inside the car, how is the no-driver going to know if he is alive or not? Maybe he will get sick or have a heart attack and there's no driver. How is it [robot] going to know? It's not safe at all."


The World's Most Advanced High Tech Glasses

Earl is legally blind. He was born with retinitis pigmentosa, impairing his vision. "At one point I could see at 20 feet with people with 20/20 vision could see at 200 feet. But that declined over the years and by the time I was 18, I didn't have any real usable vision."

Today, Earl is a successful blind entrepreneur. He's the owner of Minnesota based Triumph Technology, a distributor focusing on blindness and low vision adaptive tech products. It was cutting edge technology that led him to a life changing discovery.

His high tech glasses don’t regain his vision, but through a camera, they read text, describe objects and identify faces for the blind. The cutting edge technology is called Orcam. "I first put these glasses on about a year and a half ago and I was impressed. Right not it's a very solid product with the ability to read signs. I can read license plate numbers on a car if I want to. I can read that menu at the fast food menu board at the fast food restaurant if I want to or menus at the table."

Orcam is the world’s most advanced wearable assistive technology. "It's giving you independence," says Aliza, OrCam’s Area Manager. "It gives you this information quickly, efficiently, quietly into your ear and it's also giving you this information wherever you want to take it."

For Earl and his wife, who is also legally blind, OrCam has been a saving grace. "The ability to ready is huge."


One of the Fastest Growing Startups in Minnesota

The Twin Cities is home to 17 fortune 500's, including United Health Care, Target, Best Buy and 3M. And dozens of digital startups.

Scott Litman is one of the founders of Equals3, bringing IBM's Watson to the the marketing industry and proving to be one of the fastest growing startup's in the Twin Cities. "IBM spent over 4 billion dollars over the last decade to build up this technology. If we had all of it, what would we be doing with it?"

So the company recently launched a cutting edge technology, Lucy. "Lucy is the cognitive companion to the marketing professional. She's built for the fortune 1,000 marketers and the agencies that serve them. Her job is to help marketer's work through huge amounts of information."

Their Tagline, You + Lucy = 3. "The idea is that better than the individual, or better than the technology, is the individual that is complimented by the technology," says Scott. "To us, it's inevitable that this technology will become mainstream. Our goal is that we're the one's that will make it mainstream. But whether it's us or some competitor that comes around that's not there yet, we see that it's inevitable that this technology is going to changed things just as inevitable it was that we all went from those old phones to iphones, that we went from discman to ipods."


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