Focus on Technology

Monday afternoons during Cincinnati Edition, 1:00 - 2:00 pm

Ann Thompson reports on the latest trends in technology and their effects on medicine, safety, the environment or entertainment.


This past weekend the Cincinnati Cyclones played their season opener with a special kind of socks. Kevlar socks prevent serious injury to the ankle and calf from a potentially damaging skate blade.

Forward Kenny Ryan has worn them for a few years now under his actual game socks. "I had a buddy who took a skate and cut his Achilles and wasn't ever able to play again. I think these are starting to become league-wide."

While the socks might be slightly low-tech, some other gadgets are not.


Ruger, the electronic-detection K9, is getting his feet wet as the newest member of the Franklin County, Ohio Sheriff's Department.

The eighteen-month old black Labrador Retriever is one of just two dozen dogs nationwide that can sniff out smart phones, tablets, SD cards and flash drives. In Franklin County he's on the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) where Sheriff Zach Scott says criminals are pretty good at hiding evidence. His detectives have found SD cards in cigarette lighters.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Cameras are now a necessity in buses, commuter trains, streetcars and subways as demonstrated by the New Jersey commuter train accident. Managing companies are not only recording video, but keeping it longer and installing the equivalent of an airline black box.

The company that operates The Cincinnati Bell Connector, Transdev, says it has installed SmartDrive cameras.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

University of Cincinnati medical students and other health professionals will soon be making regular trips to Greater Cincinnati's largest certified organic farm to learn, in a new state-of-the-art kitchen, how food can be used to prevent disease.


MRI results show a special collar worn by Cincinnati athletes continues to protect the brain from changes that may occur after a head impact.

The Q-Collar, puts pressure on the jugular vein, increasing blood volume to create a natural bubble wrap around the brain.


Robots are increasingly having to protect themselves from people after a rash of destructive incidents.

The behavior can come in the form of a loud screech, a polite request to get out of the way, or shivers, so people will feel sorry for them.

This is the robot with the loud screech, K5, who is currently patrolling malls, parking lots and schools.

UC Health/Mayfield Brain & Spine

University of Cincinnati researchers are looking deep inside the brain to figure out why some head injury patients recover and others do not.

PlaySight,  a video and analytics technology, is attracting the attention of tennis players worldwide. With a smart court, five cameras and a kiosk, tennis players get line calls, dissect the game point by point, track the speed of their serve, check the distance covered and more.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

When Marilyn Cotter's doctor ordered a stress test after a bout of chest tightness the Delhi Township grandmother had a space-age option, the AlterG treadmill.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

A partnership with Over the Rhine's Frameri is helping the color blind see the world in a whole new light.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

DESĪN, with offices in Dayton and Michigan, is introducing  Obi™  the robotic dining companion.

For inventor Jon Dekar it was a very personal decade long project. While in high school volunteering, he watched the disabled struggle as well as his own grandfather who slowly lost the ability to feed himself. "You know, it's one of life's basic needs and it's also a fundamental freedom. It's a very intimate personal experience."

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Bindi, an Australian Koolie, American Bulldog, and Golden Retriever mix, has a happy home with Richard Hussey, as long as she remains an Ohio State Buckeye.

An Ohio State bandana never comes off her neck and she is trained to spin to OH-IO, a popular Buckeye chant.

Hussey adopted the rescue dog a year ago and some months later noticed a growth on her nose was getting larger. The bump was a cancerous tumor.

Made To Order Skin

Jul 18, 2016

A layer of protective skin may eventually do everything from tightening bags under your eyes, to shielding you from the sun's damaging rays to delivering drugs and vitamins. The product is now under development at Olivo Laboratories. Scientists at MIT, Massachusetts General Hospital and Living Proof worked on the product initially.

Cincinnati Zoo (taken by a drone)

Henry the hippo has said goodbye to the Dickerson Park Zoo in Springfield, Missouri and is now at the Cincinnati Zoo. Henry, 34, described as "one of the most charismatic animals at the zoo, is joined by a 17 year old female, named Bibi. .A new exhibit will open July 21st. In order to house them the Cincinnati Zoo had to build an elaborate water filtration system, as described in this story which originally aired last summer.

Here's an encore presentation of the report:

Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

Four Japanese institutions have announced they will collaborate to cure age-related macular degeneration using banked stem cells. Scientists will take cells from donors and implant them into twenty patients with the disease, at a fraction of the cost of using the patient's own cells.