Tag: Technology

EU Parliament Officially Votes To Get Apple To Switch To USB-C



Image ID 169946452 © via Lakshmiprasad S | Dreamstime.com

 

It’s officially happened: The European Parliament has voted for a move that will force technology giants—including Apple—to adapt their myriad products to a standard USB-C charger.

602 lawmakers voted rather unanimously for the standardization, with 13 against the plan and eight abstaining from voting altogether. It’s expected the new legislation will be formally written into law by early next year. 

As the Parliament explained, having different chargers for different devices is not only an inconvenience, but it also generates unnecessary e-waste as our planet already battles pollution and climate change. 

As such, by the end of 2024, gadgets such as smartphones, tablets, digital cameras, headphones, and more will have to adopt the common USB-C charging standard.

Then, come Spring 2026, the rule will be extended to laptops, officially allowing consumers to use one single charger for an entire range of small and medium-sized electronic devices. 

In addition, all devices supporting fast charging will be tweaked to maintain the same charging speed, so that these gadgets can get juiced up at the same speed with any compatible charger. 

This ruling is expected to save 11,000 tonnes of chargers from being disposed of each year, and will save consumers an estimated €250 million (US$249 million) in just a single year. 

“The common charger will finally become a reality in Europe. We have waited more than ten years for these rules, but we can finally leave the current plethora of chargers in the past,” says the Parliament’s rapporteur Alex Agius Saliba. 

“This future-proof law allows for the development of innovative charging solutions in the future, and it will benefit everyone—from frustrated consumers to our vulnerable environment.”

 

 

 

[via Interesting Engineering and European Parliament, cover image via Lakshmiprasad S | Dreamstime.com]

http://www.designtaxi.com/news/420628/EU-Parliament-Officially-Votes-To-Get-Apple-To-Switch-To-USB-C/

‘Silent’ Ion-Propulsion Drone Advances Towards Commercial Use For Deliveries

[Click here to view the video in this article]

 



Image via Undefined Technologies

 

Florida-based startup Undefined Technologies’ latest release, the ‘Silent Ventus’, is a drone that uses ion propulsion to fly and navigate through the air.

 

Air particles are ionized by two interconnected boards within the flying device. These boards, meant to generate high-powered electric fields, can turn oxygen and nitrogen into electrons to produce positive charges. 

 

These positively charged ions are then cast downwards to create a wind tunnel that can thrust the Silent Ventus into the air. The company claims its “Air Thruster” system can push its unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) 150% higher into the air than other systems. 

 

In 2020, the company first released a teaser video of an early prototype showing a few seconds of shaky flight. At that time, the Silent Ventus produced a noise level of 90dB, although not quite as ‘silent’ as the name purports, since 90 dB is the volume of a hairdryer. 

 

Now, it has just released a significantly-upgraded demo of its latest iteration to “prove its commercial viability”, claiming a new flight time of four and a half minutes with a sound level of 70 dB, which CDC likens to that of a dishwasher.

 

Unfortunately, as the video was edited down to a minute and 17 seconds, one is unable to witness its actual capabilities in full display. 

 

Also, for context, New Atlas pointed out that Alphabet’s UAV subsidiary Wing’s 69 dB autonomous vehicle came under fire in 2019 for exceeding the noise limit in suburban neighborhoods. 

 

As UAVs become increasingly commonplace, the noise levels generated could be influencing factors to successful adoption in different sectors.

 

Eventually, Undefined hopes to achieve a flight time of 15 minutes at less than 70 dB to aid drone deliveries in making stealthy drop-offs to customers. Still, it is unclear if reaching that 15-minute mark will include reworks to the batteries and if it will even be able to carry a proper payload for deliveries. 

 

Until the hovering concerns settle to surface a more defined perspective, here’s a preview of what might be floating above your roof someday. 

 
 
 
 

[via New Atlas and TechTimes, images via Undefined Technologies]

http://www.designtaxi.com/news/420488/Silent-Ion-Propulsion-Drone-Advances-Towards-Commercial-Use-For-Deliveries/

Starlink’s Internet Lands On All Seven Continents As Antarctica Testing Starts



Image ID 246538744 © via Rafael Henrique | Dreamstime.com

 

Starlink, the brainchild of billionaire Elon Musk, has now officially reached all seven continents of the globe, with satellite internet testing beginning at the McMurdo Station in Antarctica last week. 

“NSF-supported USAP scientists in Antarctica are over the moon! Starlink is testing polar service with a newly deployed user terminal at McMurdo Station, increasing bandwidth and connectivity for science support,” tweeted the National Science Foundation. 

With the company’s broadband service, researchers in the rural polar region will finally have access to high-speed internet.

 

Starlink is now on all seven continents! In such a remote location like Antarctica, this capability is enabled by Starlink’s space laser network https://t.co/c9HX0xrX0u

— SpaceX (@SpaceX) September 14, 2022

 

The Register noted that, till now, scientists working there have stored data on hard drivers to be transported physically rather than relying on the low bandwidth from multiple satellite systems.

In fact, the internet there is so poor, researcher Peter Neff once said it was the equivalent of a thousand individuals sharing “the connection enjoyed by a typical family of three in the United States.” 

The firm’s reach worldwide has expanded significantly, with 51 more satellites deployed to space across 40 missions this year. Going forward, Musk plans for a launch to take place every five days, with a total of 100 missions planned for 2023.

 

 

 

[via The Register and The Siasat Daily, cover image via Rafael Henrique | Dreamstime.com]

http://www.designtaxi.com/news/420428/Starlink-s-Internet-Lands-On-All-Seven-Continents-As-Antarctica-Testing-Starts/

Apple Watch Users Can Now View Fitness Metrics On AR Glasses With This New App

[Click here to view the video in this article]



Image via ActiveLook

 

The days of checking your Apple Watch for the distance as you run may be far behind you.

 

ActiveLook, a company specializing in Bluetooth-connected sports eyewear, and MicroOled, a producer of microdisplays, are upgrading their smart glasses software with real-time data transmission to accommodate Apple Watch customers worldwide.

 

The heads-up display lets you choose up to three “dashboards” of real-time data—such as running power, time, distance, and heart rate—for display using the brand-new dedicated app ‘LightAR.’ 

 

In addition, new metrics introduced with Watch OS 9, like Stride Length, Vertical Oscillation, and Ground Contact Time, are available too.

 

ActiveLook takes technology from MicroOled and develops it for other eyewear brands to adapt into their AR glasses lineup. Previously, only Garmin and Android products could connect to the software, and while that gained quite a bit of traction, it was losing out to the bigger market of Apple Watch users.

 

So how do these near-eye displays (NEDs) work?

 

An incredibly tiny AM-OLED chip is stored in a compartment on the nose bridge of the glasses. (Don’t worry, you won’t notice the processor’s weight because it is only 6 grams, while the entire spectacles weigh 36 grams.) However, this tiny module packs a punch as it can power the eyewear for up to 12 hours.

 

The NEDs connect to your phone via Bluetooth, and the data is then projected before your eyes via a semi-reflexive glass lens. Sensors line the top rim of the spectacles to allow users to control what they are viewing without having to tap on the specs directly.

  

AcitveLook is currently partnered with different eyewear companies such as Engo, Julbo, and Cosmo Vision to take its technology to the market.

 

LightAR is being released just in time for the launch of the new Watch Ultra and Series 8. It will also be available for WatchOS 9 and later.

 

 

 

 

[via Gear Junkie and 9to5Mac, cover image via ActiveLook]

http://www.designtaxi.com/news/420412/Apple-Watch-Users-Can-Now-View-Fitness-Metrics-On-AR-Glasses-With-This-New-App/

HP Creates Robot That Churns Out Blueprints Right In Construction Zones

[Click here to view the video in this article]



Image via HP

 

Bulldozing over the paranoia of what automation may mean for the workforce, HP is looking at things on the bright side and is giving the construction industry a much-needed helping hand with its very own robot.

 

Taking shape in the form of an autonomous three-wheeled robot, ‘SitePrint’ can zip around building zones and mark out blueprints on the ground as it goes.

 

Once a project has been approved for assembly and after a site has been cleared for work to commence, the construction team will need to lay specific measurements on the ground using specialized equipment to get the dimensions accurate.

This method of doing so is pretty time-consuming and can take weeks to accomplish by hand.

However, SitePrint can get the job done in much less time. HP test ran the bot on a construction project with Skanska at the LIRR Train Hall Renovation in Penn Station, New York, to test the robot out by having it print the layout of a wall with an area of 2,400 square feet. It took SitePrint merely seven minutes to finish a job that would have taken seven hours manually.

SitePrint is able to provide accurate positioning via a Robotic Total Station. It is guided by a Leica TS16 and Leica iCON iCR80 Robotic Total Stations in collaboration with a Leica Geosystem.

HP’s robot printer comes with its own set of interchangeable devices, allowing it to switch between solid and dashed lines. It can also stamp text onto the ground for easier communication between different teams working on the project.

Special inks suited for different types of terrain and weather aim to support a multitude of locations under unpredictable conditions. And companies can choose between inks that fade over a period of weeks to months, depending on how long they need the guidelines to be left up.

 

HP has conducted experiments in over 80 different construction sites, such as hospitals, airports, and parking garages, to prove the efficacy of SitePrint. The bot will have an early rollout in the United States this month before expanding to international markets next year.

 

 

 

 

[via Gizmodo and AEC Magazine, cover image via HP]

http://www.designtaxi.com/news/420391/HP-Creates-Robot-That-Churns-Out-Blueprints-Right-In-Construction-Zones/

IBM Builds A Fridge Colder Than Space Itself To Protect Quantum Computers

[Click here to view the video in this article]



Image via IBM

 

If you’ve ever sat by your desktop for long periods of time, you’d be familiar with the way it can begin to heat up to accommodate all the work you are trying to do on it. Eventually, its fans will kick in to try and cool it down.

 

Now think about computers studying and examining things from the deepest parts of our universe. They will need more than just an in-built fan to keep them from exploding.

 

In stepsProject Goldeneye’, a refrigerator created by IBM that is colder than outer space. And if you know anything about outer space, you would know it’s incredibly cold. According to Astronomy.com, space is a frigid -455°F, or 2.7°K, if you needed an accurate estimate.

 

Goldeneye is meant to protect quantum computers that require such temperatures to be recreated on Earth to operate. Such supercomputers are needed to understand quantum physics, which is incredibly sensitive to our environment. Cryogenic temperatures are needed to keep the computers running, which would mean a state of cold that is almost at absolute zero or where an atom has almost zero energy.

 



Image via IBM

 

The fridge is known as a dilution refrigerator, which can cool its contents down to a mili-Kelvin by using a combination of helium-3 and helium-4.

 

Scientists have built the refrigerator in a clamshell design so that they can easily enter the exterior vacuum chamber to fix any problems.

 

When put to the test, the fridge was able to be chilled down to an incredible 25mK, which is 1,000 times colder than space. Scientists also placed a quantum chip within it and found that its qubits were able to retain information for up to 450 microseconds. While that time is quicker than the blink of an eye, it is actually on par with other dilution fridges.

 

Goldeneye weighs about 6.7 tons—reducing vibrations and noise—and takes up a fraction of the space that other quantum fridges do, making it usable by smaller research labs.

 

IBM is planning on moving the fridge to its IBM Quantum Computation Center in Poughkeepsie, NY, where the team will continue to use it as a model for research and development of such cooling systems for future generations to learn from.

 

 

 

 

[via Tech Explorist and NewScientist, images via IBM]

http://www.designtaxi.com/news/420363/IBM-Builds-A-Fridge-Colder-Than-Space-Itself-To-Protect-Quantum-Computers/

‘TickTock’ Mic-Monitoring Device Alerts You When Apps Are Eavesdropping



Photo 139137876 © Taisiya Kozorez | Dreamstime.com

 

Have you ever sat around talking to your friends only to find the same conversational topic being floated around on social media? While the belief that our phones are listening to us has been disproven, it’s happened so many times to the point of people taping over their devices’ cameras and microphones.

 

That is, until now. Researchers at Yonsei University in South Korea and the National University of Singapore (NUS) have teamed up to create a device called the ‘TickTock’, which is a mic-monitoring gadget that can alert users when apps have turned on their microphones. The two universities have jointly published their findings in a paper on ArXiv.

 

Currently, the device is made up of a radio-frequency amplifier, a software-defined radio(SDR), a near-field probe, and a Raspberry Pi 4 Model B. In the future, the team hopes to streamline the device down to the size of a USB that can clip onto laptops or phones and light up to alert its users of their mic status.

 

You may be wondering how exactly it knows if your microphone is on or off. Well, the team relies on electromagnetic signals that are typically emitted from MEMS microphones in laptops. 

 

The TickTock gadget then reads leaked electromagnetic emanations from your device as clock signals are being sent through the cables to the mic.

 

The end result of the experiment showed impressive findings. However, TickTock failed to work on three different Apple MacBooks. This is in part due to Apple’s aluminum closures and short flex cables that render these signals almost undetectable.

 

Other problems it faced included the fact that signal strength depended on how the laptops were wired internally and the fact that the audio of these signals was also reliant on the codec chip within the laptop.

 

Much work still needs to be done in order to bring the device to phones, tablets, and webcams. Phones and tablets, for example, use digital mics, whereas TickTock currently works only on analog ones.

 

Still, it is a step in the right direction, though it’s hard not to think about the steps we now have to go through to secure our privacy on the internet.

 

 

 

[via Tech Times and The Register, Photo 139137876 © Taisiya Kozorez | Dreamstime.com]

http://www.designtaxi.com/news/420359/TickTock-Mic-Monitoring-Device-Alerts-You-When-Apps-Are-Eavesdropping/

Lenovo Unveils An Extended Monitor For Your Face, In The Form Of Glasses



Image via Lenovo

 

When one, two, or perhaps three monitors are not enough to handle your workload or your gaming setup, Lenovo is stepping in to chuck a screen right into your face.

 

Yes, that’s right. It’s worth pointing out that Lenovo’s entry into the augmented-reality glasses sphere is not exactly a pair of specs that can immerse you in another digital world. It is, however, a handy extension that could help you at work or at play.

 

The ‘T1 Glasses’ have Micro OLED displays attached to the insides with a 60Hz refresh rate and a 1,920 by 1,080 resolution. These sunglasses-like devices can be connected to any device using a Snapdragon 800 processor or any Apple OS system.

 



Image via Lenovo

 

Physical buttons have also been embedded onto the eyewear directly for users to control volume, screen temperature, and other settings.

 

In case you were concerned that the company could adopt a one-size-fits-all standard, the glasses do come with interchangeable nose clips, adjustable temple arms, and, interestingly enough, prescription lenses.

 

The spectacles don’t actually come with their own battery. Instead, you will have to hook them up to your desktop, laptop, or phone via a USB cable in order for them to work. Although this means that you won’t need to wait for them to be charged to use, it could also drain the battery of your laptop or phone.

 

According to the tech brand, the aspect ratio adjusts accordingly to the device it is attached to.

 

Lenovo envisions future users utilizing the T1 Glasses when viewing videos in a larger format, engaging in more immersive gameplay, or peering at top-secret documents at work. 

 

The eyewear will be launched in China later this year, while other markets will see it sometime in 2023.

 

 

 

[via Input Mag and Lenovo / Business Wire, images via Lenovo]

http://www.designtaxi.com/news/420228/Lenovo-Unveils-An-Extended-Monitor-For-Your-Face-In-The-Form-Of-Glasses/

Uber Will Assign You A Safety Agent To Talk To During Uneasy Rides



Photo 196759596 © Cristi Croitoru | Dreamstime.com

 

The uneasy feeling of an Uber ride turned suspicious can leave anyone with a sense of dread. However, not every situation we are caught in requires the police, and sometimes we just need our rides to be tracked as we get to our destination.

 

Cue Uber’s updated Safety Toolkit. When the feature is activated on the app, the user will be connected to an agent from home security company ADT in hopes to help riders and drivers alike stay safe in certain situations.

 

Rebecca Payne, Uber’s Lead Safety Product Manager, says this option could be used, for example, when a rider doesn’t comply with guidelines, the passenger feels unsafe in a neighborhood, or if the driver makes an unwarranted stop along the way.

 



Image via Uber

The ADT officer will gain access to the user’s location via GPS once they are connected to the person in need.

 



Image via Uber

 

During the journey, the agent will be able to speak to the user via phone or text, as well as send vital information to 911 should things escalate.

 

The updated Safety Toolkit is also enhancing its text-to-911 feature, making it easier for passengers to discreetly reach out through messages.

 

The private car-hailing service has been embroiled in serious driver issues since 2014, including sexual assault allegations from its passengers.

 

CNN conducted an investigation looking into the claims in 2018 and Uber stepped forward to help with the inspection. Within the inquisition, the company provided over 9,000 reports of sexual assault varying from non-consensual kissing to rape. It’s safe to say a system such as this has been long overdue.

 

 

 

[via CNN and Uber, images via various sources]

http://www.designtaxi.com/news/420191/Uber-Will-Assign-You-A-Safety-Agent-To-Talk-To-During-Uneasy-Rides/

T-Mobile & SpaceX’s Fleet Of Satellites Join Forces To Cover ‘Dead Zones’



Image via T-Mobile

 

While most people would be accustomed to getting wireless cell signal everywhere they go, there are remote areas of the United States that still remain untouched by mobile service. 

 

That’s where T-Mobile plans to come in, by partnering SpaceX’s satellite internet service to offer its customers an “extra layer” of cell service.

 

The mobile operator is also planning on expanding the roaming service to carriers elsewhere globally, with Starlink’s constellations providing the connectivity for people all over the world. 

At an event announcing the collaboration, SpaceX founder Elon Musk launched an open invitation to carriers around the world to join the plan, and revealed that the forthcoming service—which will rely on version-two Starlink satellites—will probably roll out next year. 

“The important thing about this is that it means there are no dead zones anywhere in the world for your cell phone,” explained Musk. 

According to the press release, to provide this service, the companies will create a new network, which will broadcast from Starlink’s satellites using T-Mobile’s midband spectrum nationwide, allowing customers to enjoy complete coverage almost anywhere they can see the sky. 

The project will start out by rolling out text coverage everywhere in the continental US, Hawaii, parts of Alaska, Puerto Rico, and territorial waters, before moving on to add voice and data coverage. 

 

 

 

[via CNN and T-Mobile, cover image via T-Mobile]

http://www.designtaxi.com/news/420143/T-Mobile-SpaceX-s-Fleet-Of-Satellites-Join-Forces-To-Cover-Dead-Zones/

Hong Kong Builds Traffic Lights Into Ground For Those Glued To Their Phones



Image via Transport Department, Hong Kong

 

It’s no secret that society has become a slave to its phones, so much so that authorities have to work around usual traffic rules to make it easier for people to stay safe.

 

Down in Hong Kong, the Transport Department has installed street lights that illuminate pathways so that people who can’t take their eyes away from their smartphones won’t accidentally walk into oncoming traffic.

 



Image via Transport Department, Hong Kong

 

According to a report from Bloomberg, Hong Kong has seen an increase in motor-related deaths over the last year. Within the first half of 2022, seven pedestrians have died at intersections. Out of those, four did not obey proper traffic procedures.

 

As a result, it would appear that the Red Man sign is in danger of losing his job as LED lights take to the floor.

 



Image via Transport Department, Hong Kong

 

While the wash of harsh red lights from stop signals may look a tad ominous, a few citizens have gathered other concerns about these additions. In the same Bloomberg report, some expressed being wary that pedestrians were too attached to their phones, and that eventually, just as they had with the traditional signs, they would learn to ignore these new ones as well.

 

Hong Kong isn’t the only place to trial such measures. Over in Seoul, a similar initiative to tackle inattentive pedestrians has taken place where red and green signals are projected onto the edge of the road. In Scotland, warning signs with silhouettes of people walking and staring at their phones help alert citizens that they may be on their devices too much while walking around.

 

Safe to say, all these new measures are a literal sign of the times as people become increasingly absorbed by gadgets.

 

 

 

[via Bloomberg and Futurism, cover image via Transport Department, Hong Kong]

http://www.designtaxi.com/news/420109/Hong-Kong-Builds-Traffic-Lights-Into-Ground-For-Those-Glued-To-Their-Phones/

Elon Musk’s Neuralink To ‘Show-And-Tell’ Brain Chip Tech At Halloween Event



Illustration ID 172827240 © via Daniil Peshkov | Dreamstime.com

 

Apart from running Tesla, SpaceX, and The Boring Company, mogul Elon Musk still finds time to advance brain chip technology at Neuralink. 

The firm first made a splash in the news when it unveiled a video of a monkey playing a video game just by using its brain, which was implanted with brain chips that allowed it to register the animal’s desired hand and arm movements without it lifting a finger.

 

Naturally, not everyone was in favor of such an experiment, with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) filing a lawsuit against Musk’s company for alleged harming the monkeys in the process. 

Now, Neuralink has teased an upcoming “show and tell” of the progress its made in the field, which will be held on Halloween, October 31, 2022.

 

While not much is known about what could make an appearance at the event, expectations are certainly running high following the rather astonishing monkey stunt. 

According to Engadget, the firm has yet to receive clearance from the Food and Drug Administration to go ahead with human trials, and the state of the company is up in the air with many of its co-founders having left, with rumors swirling of a negative workplace culture.

Recently, industry insiders claimed that Neuralink has offered to invest in its direct competitor Synchron, which achieved the first endovascular installation of a brain-computer interface in the United States. Could this upcoming event showcase a joint project between the two? We’ll have to wait to find out. 

 

Neuralink progress update show & tell on October 31 st (Halloween)

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 22, 2022

 

 

 

[via Engadget and Digital Trends, cover image via Daniil Peshkov | Dreamstime.com]

http://www.designtaxi.com/news/420055/Elon-Musk-s-Neuralink-To-Show-And-Tell-Brain-Chip-Tech-At-Halloween-Event/

Airbus Solar-Powered Drone Crashes, Just Shy Of Making World’s Longest Flight



Image via Airbus

 

Welp. Just hours before Airbus’ solar-powered Zephyr drone broke the record for the longest continuous flight in history, it disappeared over Arizona, ending its commendable 64-day streak of staying in the air. 

Ground controllers had unexpectedly lost contact with the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) on August 19, 2022. This wasn’t the first time the vessel had taken to the skies, with it having gone on several long-distance flights lasting over two weeks in the past, though this attempt was by far the farthest yet. 

The flight was just shy of beating the current record holder for the longest recorded flight—a Cessna 172 Skyhawk that was airborne for 64 days and 22 hours.

 

Thankfully, despite the disappointing end to this journey, developers and the US Army will still be able to gather important information and data from its records, allowing further improvements to be made to the current iteration of the drone.

 



Image via Airbus

 

According to Simple Flying, data from ADSB Exchange showed the UAV cruising at 45,000 to 50,000 feet between Phoenix and Mexicali, Baja California when disaster struck. The vessel then descended vertically at increasing speed, probably crashing into the ground. 

If you’re wondering how the Zephyr remained in the skies for weeks on end, it’s because it carried around an array of solar panels. 

By flying high up in the stratosphere, the unmanned aircraft is able to avoid terrestrial weather, allowing it to absorb all of the sun’s rays for as long as possible throughout the day.

 

The energy is then converted to power the vessel’s propellers by night, enabling it to bypass the need to be connected to a charging port here on the ground. 

Despite not smashing the record, the flight certainly was still a major milestone for long-range UAV flight and could pave the way for similar endeavors in the future. 

 

 

 

[via Simple Flying and Flight Global, cover image via Airbus]

http://www.designtaxi.com/news/420049/Airbus-Solar-Powered-Drone-Crashes-Just-Shy-Of-Making-World-s-Longest-Flight/

Airbnb Debuts ‘Anti-Party’ Tech That Predicts If You’ll Be Having A Wild Night



Image via Airbnb

 

If you were thinking of renting an Airbnb for one last summer throwdown, be sure you’re hosting an authorized party, or the company’s new “anti-party” technology may just put a stop to the festivities. 

This update comes as the firm announced in June that its temporary ban on unauthorized parties—big bashes held without the knowledge or consent of Hosts—was going to be a codified policy. 

It’s no big secret why most homeowners wouldn’t want ragers being thrown at their estate without permission, not to mention the risks of property damage and neighbor complaints that come with such events. 

As such, Airbnb is now introducing tools in the United States and Canada to crack down on “potentially high-risk” renters, and prevent those users from taking advantage of the platform. 

This will involve looking into an individual’s positive reviews (or lack thereof), how long they’ve been on the application, the length of the planned trip, distance from the listing, and many other factors. 

“The primary objective is attempting to reduce the ability of bad actors to throw unauthorized parties, which may negatively impact our Hosts, neighbors, and the communities we serve,” the company said in a statement. 

It appears Airbnb has been trailing this suite of measures in Australia since October 2021, and has seen a 35% drop in the occurrences of unauthorized parties. Hailing the effort a success, the brand will now be expanding the program nationwide. 

So what happens if you’re flagged by the system? Well, even if you’re blocked from booking an entire home, you’ll still be able to rent a private room or a hotel room instead.

 

The firm assured it will be transparent with users about the results of this testing phase and any future bans.

Of course, no system is perfect, with the company continuing to partner with communities and its Neighborhood Support Line to receive feedback about any unauthorized parties in progress or other concerns.

 

 

 

[via The Guardian and Airbnb, cover image via Airbnb]

http://www.designtaxi.com/news/419981/Airbnb-Debuts-Anti-Party-Tech-That-Predicts-If-You-ll-Be-Having-A-Wild-Night/

UK To Track Migrants With Criminal Records Using Facial Recognition Smartwatches



Image via Charnchai saeheng/Adobe Stock

 

Smartwatches don’t only track the number of steps you’ve walked and give you updates on your messages; they now also track previously convicted migrant workers. 

 

Under a scheme by the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice, migrants who have committed crimes must scan their faces five times a day using special smartwatches with facial recognition capabilities. According to documents seen by The Guardian, these migrants are to check in with authorities as necessitated by immigration control. 

 

The smartwatches were provided under a contract with tech firm Buddi Limited. The agreement between the tech company and the government allowed for non-fitted devices to be provided for the Home Office Satelite Tracking program.   

 

Information such as names, dates of birth, nationality, and photographs will all be stored on the watch and kept in databases for up to six years. Location tracking will also be used to monitor these individuals.   

 

These watches will be given only to foreigners who have committed an criminal offense and not to asylum-seekers.

 

Still, the morality of the plan is very much up for debate. According to The Guardian, risk assessments on an individual’s well-being from wearing such devices were left out of the provided documents.   

 

In the same report, Lucie Audibert, a lawyer for Privacy International, has spoken out against the issue, citing racial biases as a high probability when using facial recognition. Audibert also noted that no other country in Europe has enforced such measures to keep track of convicted migrants. 

 

At the University of London, Birkbeck, professor of criminology Dr Monish Bhatia stated that such protocols could lead to a litany of mental issues developed by the wearer. 

 

The new rule is set to roll out in autumn of this year.   

 

 

 

[via The Guardian and Mashable, cover image via Charnchai saeheng/Adobe Stock]

http://www.designtaxi.com/news/419831/UK-To-Track-Migrants-With-Criminal-Records-Using-Facial-Recognition-Smartwatches/

Xiaomi Debuts Live-Translating AR Glasses To Make The World Less Misunderstood



Image via Xiaomi

 

Xiaomi is taking a shot at helping the world understand each other better, with the official debut of its live-translating smart glasses.

 

Dubbed ‘Mijia Glasses Camera’, the AR glasses has the ability to translate text between English and Chinese in real-time, which is especially handy when interpreting confusing signals. 

 

 



Image via Xiaomi

 

The smart eyewear boasts a 50-megapixel Quad Bayer wide-angle camera, an 8-megapixel telephoto lens, and 15x hybrid zoom. It packs 35GB of storage, can handle over 100 minutes of recorded footage. Powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, it also features a Micro OLED from Sony that has 3,000 nits of brightness and 3,281 pixels per inch.

 

While that is impressive, the glasses don’t exactly hide that it’s not your average eyewear. With thick frames and cameras attached to its sides, it does little to go unnoticed.

 

 



Image via Xiaomi

 

Although intended for capturing daily activities, the smart glasses aren’t built to be worn for long. It weighs in at 3.5 ounces and its battery only lasts for about three hours. 

 

The AR specs were being crowdfunded for 2499 CNY (US$369.5) each for initial backers on the Xiaomi Mall. Once it officially hits the market, the price tag gets magnified to 2699 CNY (US$400).

 

 

 

[via Input Mag and NextPit, cover image via Xiaomi]

http://www.designtaxi.com/news/419811/Xiaomi-Debuts-Live-Translating-AR-Glasses-To-Make-The-World-Less-Misunderstood/

Literally Fishy PC Case Arrives With An Aquarium On Top



Image via MetalFish

 

To invite serenity into their workspaces, most people fill them with plants. But if you’re not most people, one manufacturer suggests introducing fish into your line of sight to “feel relaxed and calm” as you make video calls with clients and fill out your timesheets.

 

A regular fishbowl, apparently, is unremarkable. Try making fishies a part of your computer. Living up to its name, Chinese company MetalFish has rolled out a PC case with a fish tank upper (and it’s apparently not its first, as Tom’s Hardware discovers). The Y2 Fish Tank Chassis features an aquarium at the top half of its 370 x 250 x 290 mm body, allowing about 13 liters of water to keep your fish in.

 



Image via MetalFish

 

(Talk about achieving work-life balance.)

 

Water, electricity, and live animals rarely go together, but this computer case somehow finds a way to fuse those. Towering the fish tank is an LED strip supposedly designed to support fish and plant health, and there’s also a three-in-one, USB-powered pump, filter, and oxygenator.

Two rainbow fans stashed in front bring 360-degree heat dissipation—a necessary feature because you don’t want to fry fish and (computer) chips on your desk. At the same time, the firm claims the case can support high-performance graphics cards. An acrylic layer separates marine and electronic ecosystems.

The silver box has just enough real estate for a Micro-ATX or Mini-ITX motherboard. There’s also space for a 2.5-inch hard drive and two USB 3.0 ports. The chassis is reported to be priced at about US$75.

 

Just wanted to float this up.

 



Image via MetalFish

 



Image via MetalFish

 

 

 

[via Tom’s Hardware and PCMag, images via MetalFish]

http://www.designtaxi.com/news/419782/Literally-Fishy-PC-Case-Arrives-With-An-Aquarium-On-Top/

Ever Been ‘Ghosted’? It Could Become A Criminal Offense In The Philippines



Image ID 215821858 © via Hollyharryoz | Dreamstime.com

 

Ah, ghosting—when the person you’ve been chatting up stops communicating with you without warning—one of the many perils of online dating. While most of us have accepted the phenomenon as a part of modern-day courtship, a lawmaker in the Philippines has a different take.

Arnolfo Teves Jr of the House of Representatives recently suggested making the unsavory behavior a criminal offense. Teves said it constituted “a form of emotional cruelty,” citing research that showed a person experiencing social rejection could trigger the same neurological pathways as physical pain. 

However, it’s difficult to see how this law would possibly be enforced even if it does come into effect. 

 

According to Engadget, the proposed legislation defines ‘ghosting’ as taking place “in a dating relationship,” which it explains as one in which “the parties live together without getting married” or are “romantically involved over time and on a continuing basis.” 

Thus, as Tech Times notes, if you’ve been ghosted by a regular chat buddy or an acquittance you met on Tinder, unfortunately, the bill wouldn’t apply to you.

“Ghosting has adverse effects on the mental state of the one being ghosted and his or her emotional state is still adversely affected as he or she will be constantly thinking of the welfare or the unexplained reasons of the one who ghosted,” the document stated. 

“The ambiguity with ghosting, is that there is no real closure between the parties concerned and as such, it can be likened to a form of emotional cruelty and should be punished a an emotional offense because of the trauma it causes to the ‘ghosted’ party,” it added.

As much as many jilted lovers would like to see the proposed rule signed into law, The Washington Post reports that the probability of it happening is rather insignificant, which will be music to the ears of police officers who’d have to deal with hours of broken-hearted callers.

 

Have you been “ghosted” by someone?

Negros Oriental 3rd District Rep. Arnolfo Teves, Jr. filed a bill declaring “ghosting” as an “emotional offense.” He says “ghosting” is when someone cuts off communication with friends, partners, and alike without real closure. pic.twitter.com/Vv56IQJbMg

— ONE News PH (@onenewsph) July 26, 2022

 

 

 

[via Tech Times and The Washington Post, cover image via Hollyharryoz | Dreamstime.com]

http://www.designtaxi.com/news/419704/Ever-Been-Ghosted-It-Could-Become-A-Criminal-Offense-In-The-Philippines/

Manchester City Unveils Smart Scarf That Tracks Fans’ Emotional Reactions



Image via Manchester City

 

Head to any soccer match in the UK, and chances are you’ll find tons of dedicated fans waving their club’s scarf proudly. 

Now, to bring the “ultimate symbol” of the most ardent fans to the 21st century, Manchester City has partnered with Cisco to develop a “smart scarf” that tracks fans’ emotional states throughout the game.

“Being a true passionate fan is physiological, it has nothing to do with how many games you attend or where you are in the world. It’s that unites us as a collective. Now we’ve got the data to prove it,” said Chintan Patel, Chief Technology Officer at Cisco UK & Ireland.

To test the scarf’s futuristic capabilities, the club invited six lifelong fans to take part in a pilot program, which monitored them over 90 minutes of a soccer game, capturing over 120 moments of joy, nervousness, tension, excitement, and the whole spectrum of emotions. 

 



Image via Manchester City

 

The garment works by incorporating an EmotiBit sensor on its neck, which helps record a fan’s bio-signals throughout the duration of a match, including one’s heart rate, body temperature, and emotional state. 

With these data points, it’s believed The Connected Scarf could eventually be used to curate and customize fan experiences. Manchester City said it plans for the project to go “beyond the data,” and serve as a “study in shared passion” for soccer fans all over the globe. 

Starting next season, the high-tech scarf will be made available to fans both in the stadium and around the world, though it remains to be seen if fans are all that keen on having their emotions tracked, especially during particularly intense games. 

“A scarf is an iconic item that football fans across the globe own and wear to show their passion and support, and this latest activity with Cisco is an innovative, new way to bring fans together and connect with them in a new and exciting way,” summed up Nuria Tarré, Chief Marketing & Fan Experience Officer at City Football Group. 

 

 

 

[via Input and Manchester City, images via Manchester City]

http://www.designtaxi.com/news/419670/Manchester-City-Unveils-Smart-Scarf-That-Tracks-Fans-Emotional-Reactions/

Google, Oracle Cloud Servers Go Under As UK Heatwave Intensifies



Image ID 169954569 © via Daniel Constante | Dreamstime.com

 

As temperatures in the United Kingdom soar past 40°C (104°F) for the first time, with thermometers hitting record temperatures in over 30 locations across the nation, even technology is feeling the heat. 

Google Cloud and Oracle Cloud reported outages as cooling systems went under at the companies’ respective data centers, leading engineers to shut down equipment in order to prevent long-term damages to the hardware. 

Initially spotted by The Register, Oracle was the first to be hit, reporting that “a subset of cooling infrastructure within the UK South (London) Data Centre experienced an issue,” leading to “non-critical hardware” being powered down. 

A couple hours later, Google Cloud followed suit, publishing an incident report of a “cooling-related failure” in one of the buildings, causing “terminations and a loss of machines for a small set of our customers.” 

For now, as per Bleeping Computer, users of both Oracle Cloud and Google Cloud may not be able to reach or run virtual machines, or could see Persistent Disk devices running in “single redundancy mode.” 

Thankfully, the companies are not anticipating other issues as they currently work to bring the cooling systems back online. 

 

 

 

[via The Register and Bleeping Computer, cover image via Daniel Constante | Dreamstime.com]

http://www.designtaxi.com/news/419561/Google-Oracle-Cloud-Servers-Go-Under-As-UK-Heatwave-Intensifies/

5G Is Traveling To Space To Better Connect People On Earth



Photo 163542724 © Kampan Butshi | Dreamstime.com

 

5G is heading out of this world. A satellite has been built by Swedish telecommunications company Ericsson—along with French aerospace company Thales and Qualcomm Technologies—to send 5G into space to improve terrestrial connectivity.

 

The network is expected to bring 5G to areas previously out of reach.

 

With the satellite in low-Earth orbit (LEO), everywhere from remote mountain ranges to the middle of the ocean could soon have access to 5G, connecting the world in unprecedented ways. Full 5G coverage will benefit many people, including not only researchers out in the field but also isolated communities. 

 

The 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) telecommunications standards body approved the project, allowing the non-terrestrial network (NTN) to be launched into orbit. 

 

The three companies are working on conducting tests together in France in a simulated space environment to iron out the kinks before the satellite is ready to be orbited. When the project is finished, ordinary smartphones will be converted into satellite phones.  

 

Because they are supported by 3GPP, 5G NTNs will be adaptable to a wide range of devices. Tech companies will be able to easily tap into the new network connectivity and make their devices 5G NTN-compatible. 

 

 

 

[via Reuters and Ericsson, Photo 163542724 © Kampan Butshi | Dreamstime.com]

http://www.designtaxi.com/news/419446/5G-Is-Traveling-To-Space-To-Better-Connect-People-On-Earth/

MSCHF Tempts You To ‘Eat The Rich’ With Ice-Cold Billionaire Popsicles



Image via MSCHF

 

MSCHF, the famed prankster art collective, is back for its 81st drop—and this time, it wants you to “eat the rich,” quite literally. 

 

The group, previously behind the ‘OnlyBags’ launch, infamous Nike ‘Satan Shoes’, and an ‘Unholy Chick-Fil-A’, has now turned its attention to several of the richest men in society, and is inviting you to chomp down on them.

If you’d like to “munch Musk,” “suck Zuck,” or “bite Bezos,” the group will be deploying ice cream trucks to New York City and Los Angeles from July 11 to July 13, with the billionaire popsicles available at US$10 each. 

 



Image via MSCHF

 

Choose from the different “flavors” of billionaires, including Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg, Microsoft’s Bill Gates, Alibaba’s Jack Ma, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, and the world’s richest man, Elon Musk. 

Highsnobiety noted that the phrase “eat the rich,” which was most likely a misattributed statement, is said to have been devised by philosopher Jean-Jacques Rosseau in Adolphe Thiers’ History of the French Revolution

“When the people shall have nothing more to eat, they will eat the rich,” he allegedly quipped. 

Head here for the full list of locations where the billionaire popsicles will be on sale and, as MSCHF put it, “devour them all!” 

 

 

 

 

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A post shared by MSCHF (@mschf)

 

 

 

[via Highsnobiety and MSCHF, images via MSCHF]

http://www.designtaxi.com/news/419409/MSCHF-Tempts-You-To-Eat-The-Rich-With-Ice-Cold-Billionaire-Popsicles/

Online Companies To Make Huge Changes As EU Passes Laws For Safer Digital Spaces



Image ID 45105649 © via Marc Bruxelle | Dreamstime.com

 

This week, the European Parliament officially voted for the Digital Services Act (DSA) and Digital Markets Act (DMA), two landmark laws that aim to make online companies more accountable while promoting a safer internet. 

Digital service providers, such as social media sites and marketplaces, will now have to make big changes and adhere to the new regulations outlined by the DSA, including having to tackle illegal content, disinformation, and other risks to society. 

Apart from strengthening traceability, increasing transparency, and banning misleading advertising, large platforms with more than 45 million monthly users will be held to even stricter standards, and will be subject to independent audits from regulators. 

On the other hand, the DMA will outline rules for “gatekeepers,” otherwise known as dominant online platforms, to create a fairer business environment for consumers online. 

This includes allowing third parties’ users to exchange information without being restricted to a single platform, giving businesses access to data they generate, and stopping the practice of ranking their own products more favorably. 

If a platform is found to not be compliant with the new laws, the Commission can impose hefty fines of up to 10% of the company’s worldwide turnover, or even up to 20% for a repeating offender. 

“For too long, tech giants have benefitted from an absence of rules. The digital world has developed into a Wild West, with the biggest and strongest setting the rules,” explained Christel Schaldemose. 

“Now rules and rights will be strengthened. We are opening up the black box of algorithms so that we can have a proper look at the moneymaking machines behind these social media platforms,” she added.

The DSA will be enforced 15 months after being officially adopted, or from January 1, 2024 (whichever comes later), while the DMA will start to apply six months following its entry. 

 

 

 

[via Gizmodo and European Parliament, cover image via Marc Bruxelle | Dreamstime.com]

http://www.designtaxi.com/news/419331/Online-Companies-To-Make-Huge-Changes-As-EU-Passes-Laws-For-Safer-Digital-Spaces/

These Warehouse Robots Are Designed To Understand, Work In Harmony With Humans



Image via Robust.AI

 

Having autonomous robots in warehouses has posed quite a challenge as autonomous robots can be difficult to trust when transporting heavy goods around humans in a tight area. For them to truly be accepted in these spaces, engineers will need to find a way for both robots and humans to co-exist in the workplace without getting in each other’s way.  

 

Robust.AI has created its artificial intelligence software ‘Grace’, and its physical partner ‘Carter’, to solve the issue. Together, they are able to detect their human coworkers as they go about their day in the warehouse, assisting with the workload and maintaining the safety of the environment.

 

These two work hand in hand as a literal well-oiled machine. Grace is a no-code software system that makes it easy for companies to adopt, while Carter is a Collaborative Mobile Robot (CMR) that has been designed to work with people.

 

Grace’s system can alert Carter of a person nearby that needs help, or to take the initiative and offer to do something for them without being prompted or programmed with a set of fixed duties.  

 

As the brains of the two, Grace uses data collected from cameras and periscopes on Carter to process its surroundings. It can then alert Carter of a person nearby that needs help, or to nudge the brawns to take the initiative and offer to do something for them without being prompted or programmed with a set of fixed duties.  

 

Grace’s software allows it to meld into the workflow of any warehouse it is in. It has semantic and people perception to identify those around it and the behaviors of human colleagues, says Robust.AI. Meanwhile, Carter’s robotics allows it to jump right into the workforce without any additional changes to the environment to cater to the inclusion of a robot.  

 

A similar robot was created by the Intelligent Manufacturing Innovation Technology Center in China Three Gorges University, where it could read a human’s mind through electrical signals from a person’s muscles and preempt their next move. Often it would jump in at different points on the assembly line when it senses its help needed without being told to do so, much like Grace and Carter.  

 

Robust.AI has found that the supply chain industry has been struggling against a weakening workforce and seeks to aid shorthanded companies with robotics.

 

Bots in warehouses aren’t a new concept. However, the uptake can be slow due to the nature of some of the robots, as well as learning curve for people who may need to operate them. Grace and Carter are positioned to change the landscape by being able to fully learn and assimilate to each unique work environment of warehouses worldwide. 

 

 

 

[via Tech Times and Business Wire, cover image via Robust.AI]

http://www.designtaxi.com/news/419249/These-Warehouse-Robots-Are-Designed-To-Understand-Work-In-Harmony-With-Humans/

European Union To Fine Google, Meta, Tech Giants For Negligence On Deepfakes



Photo 205708445 © Cerrophotography | Dreamstime.com

 

The European Union will go after Google, Meta, Twitter, Microsoft, and TikTok for deepfakes if no action is taken against them. These new anti-disinformation initiatives are also set to tackle fake accounts impersonating or spreading false information. Hefty fines will be imposed upon companies that do not comply with the new regulations.  

 

A code of conduct on disinformation is being rolled out by the EU that requires companies to disclose information on how harmful practices are being deleted.

 

Deepfakes, which are fraudulent imitations of people that place them in situations and make them do things they never did in videos, have caused concern among the public for their growing realism. In the wrong hands, these could bring detrimental effects.

 

The new act, known as Digital Services Act (DSA), was agreed upon by the 27 EU countries earlier this year. Companies will have to offer up transparency of information sources and will have to ban advertising containing disinformation and provide honest sources on political advertising.  

 

Misleading and false information differs from country to country, and each will have to provide reports so that governments can better understand what they are dealing with. The battling of deceptive news and advertising comes after Russian propaganda that sprung up amid the war in Ukraine

 

 

 

[via Reuters and CNET, Photo 205708445 © Cerrophotography | Dreamstime.com]

http://www.designtaxi.com/news/419086/European-Union-To-Fine-Google-Meta-Tech-Giants-For-Negligence-On-Deepfakes/