A French magician who goes by Moulla wanted a hands-free umbrella solution that didn’t involve wearing something. So, he decided to combine a drone, umbrella and a smartphone app into one creation, called the “DroneBrella”. It’s basically an app-controlled umbrella that was developed by Moulla and his team at Augmented magic. Unfortunately, there’s no word yet on pricing or availability. Read more for a video and additional information.
Apple unveiled the new Mac Pro at WWDC 2019 earlier this month, and ever since that time, people have been comparing its design to a cheese grater, and rightfully so. Aerospace enthusiast and maker Winston Moy wanted to see just how an Apple cheese grater would perform if they ever made one, so he fired up the CNC machine create his very own replica. Does it do a good job? Let’s just say that Apple should stick with electronics. Read more for the video and additional information.
London’s Imperial College and Samsung’s AI researchers have developed a new algorithm that can turn a static photo and audio file into an animated singing video portrait. Similar to other deepfake AI algorithms, this one also uses machine learning to generate their output, and even though the clips may be rough around the edges, it shows just what is possible in the future for better or worse. Read more for two videos showing the algorithm in-action, all created from a static photos and audio files.
An official media address by Pakistani regional minister Shaukat Yousafzai gained international attention last week, but not for the reasons you may think. Simply put, someone accidentally left the cat filter on during the Facebook livestream, thus transforming Yousafzai and other party members into cats for the entire conference. They intended to discuss important decisions of the provincial cabinet in Peshawar last Friday, but the social media team handling the broadcast wasn’t quite paying attention to what was going on. Read more for a video clip and additional information.
For those who aren’t familiar with Boston Dynamics, it’s basically an American engineering and robotics design company founded in 1992 as a spin-off from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, now a wholly owned subsidiary of the Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group. They’re most well known for their development of BigDog, a quadruped robot designed for the U.S. military with funding from Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). What if they eventually developed an AI-powered, self-aware robot that was able to fight back? Bosstownn Dynamics attempts to show us with their parody video. Read more to watch.
Li Kaixiang, a software development engineer for Chinese e-commerce website JD.com, has been inundated with projects, but didn’t want to leave his girlfriend hanging. So, he decided to create an AI-powered chatbot to answer and send messages automatically. The screenshot you see above is one sample conversation that the chatbot had recently, and while not perfectly human-like, it gets the job done. Read more for the original message that was posted to Weibo in Chinese.
Petz, a Brazilian pet shop chain, has decided to use facial recognition technology and artificial intelligence to let dogs to buy their favorite products by simply analyzing their facial expressions. How does it work? Simply turn on your internet connected camera, put the dog’s face in frame and then allow the AI system to analyze its facial expressions as you scroll through the various products listed on the site. Once it detects excitement, it automatically adds the product to your shopping cart. Read more for a video and additional information.
Frontier Communications is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the first ever flip-phone, so the Utah-based ISP decided to offer $1,000 to someone willing to ditch their modern smartphone for a week. There are a few requirements for the winner, and they include recording how long it takes them to do simple tasks such as texting, sending emails, how much sleep they get, and whether their productivity increases during the experiment. Read more for another video and additional information on how to enter.
The bee population has been in decline for quite some time, and according to research, honeybees perform 80% of pollination and 70% of the top human food crops—which supply about 90% of the planet’s nutrition—are pollinated by bees. McDonald’s boasts close to 38,000 locations in over 100 countries, and most certainly has an impact on global food supply and an interest in making sure that bees can keep doing their work for this reason. Sweden’s McDonalds franchisees are experimenting with beehives on top of some restaurants in the country. Read more for a video, additional pictures and information.
Before 1973, mobile telephony was limited to phones that were equipped in cars and other vehicles. Motorola was the very first company to develop a handheld mobile phone. On April 3, 1973, Motorola engineer Martin Cooper made the first mobile telephone call from handheld subscriber equipment, placing a call to Dr. Joel S. Engel of Bell Labs, his rival. Thie prototype handheld phone he used weighed 2.4 lb and measured 9.1 by 5.1 by 1.8 in. It boasted a talk time of just 30 minutes and took 10 hours to re-charge. Read more for another video explaining why it was an epic troll, along with a bonus clip.