From haptic accessible Apple Watches to brainwave-controlled wheelchairs, progress remains slow for 48 million disabled Americans

A photo of a disassembled Apple watch on display at a store.
A photo of a disassembled Apple watch on display at a store.
Apple’s new Apple Watch Series 5 displayed at an Apple retail store at the IFC Mall in Pudong New Area, Shanghai. Photo: Alex Tai/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

Fitbit just didn’t work for Keiran Kern, a marketer and wheelchair user from New Jersey. It wouldn’t record her actual steps — she thinks because she takes small steps — yet it did record “steps” when she was rolling along on her electric wheelchair. “This would be my calorie-burning dream,” she jokes, “but it’s not reality, and it’s not helpful.”

Fitbit — which was recently acquired by Google for $2.1 billion — told OneZero the company understands that “one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to health and fitness, so we provide a range of devices, motivating software, and…

New platforms are providing creators with a chance to bypass pirate sites and platform rules, and connect directly with users

Illustration: Molly Dyson

A common criticism of mainstream porn is that it’s unrealistic. Detractors argue that everything from the clichéd storylines to the fake orgasms combine to create depictions of sex which are void of intimacy at best, and downright harmful at worst.

It’s true that porn has its problems. Fetishization and violence (although research shows this is decreasing) are still regular fixtures on “tube” sites — the free, largely unregulated sites like Pornhub and Xtube. Those sites also frequently feature pirated content. But the industry is largely changing for the better as platforms, creators, and studios merge with the social media movement.

Queer people in hostile countries depend on such apps as a lifeline to their community, but they may be more vulnerable than they know

Credit: SOPA Images/Getty Images

Like many queer people in Russia, Roman Gunt uses multiple LGBT+ dating apps. “They’re the main reason our community exists here,” he tells me. “Our society is still stuck in a USSR mentality, so you can’t publicly declare that you’re part of the LGBT+ community.” Apps made a big difference because they allowed gay people to communicate directly with each other, Gunt explains, making them feel more united. And that matters in Russia, where a combination of open hostility and a harmful “propaganda law” — which bans anyone from “promoting” homosexuality through art, education, or online information — have pushed…

Jake Hall

Freelance writer of all things weird, queer and horny. Expect politics, culture, kink and whatever I can’t write elsewhere!

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