StartRocket, a Russia-based startup, wants to take advertising to a whole new level, literally. Their plans is to create a massive solar-powered billboard that can be used to display advertisements in the night sky by sending a fleet of mini-satellites, also known as CubeSats, into low-Earth orbit. When in place, this programmable display is capable of showcasing ads that target a potential audience of 7 billion people. “When phones don’t work, during zero visibility, power cuts and catastrophic emergencies, the government can use the display for urgent notifications for the population,” said the company. Read more for a video and additional information.
Forget humans, the Knightscope K7 is a fully autonomous, four-wheeled security robot that weighs in at 770 lbs. It’s designed for multi-terrain applications and is most practical for use in airports, prisons, power substations, and solar / wind farms. This robot boasts holonomic steering which means it can move like a “crab” rotating or moving side to side. It uses LiDAR, sonar, GPS, thermal imaging, license plate recognition, and people detection to ensure it always stays on course. Read more for another video, additional pictures and information.
Computer scientists at the University of St Andrews Computer Human Interaction research group (SACHI) have unveiled Solinteraction, which demonstrates the potential for radar-based interaction. The team has worked with Google on Project Soli, a radar-based sensor technology that can sense the micro and subtle motion of human fingers. The FCC has recently granted Google a waiver that allows Project Soli sensors to use frequencies between 57 and 64 Ghz, which are higher than typically allowed in normal gadgets. Back in 2015, Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects group (ATAP) showed off tiny radar-based sensors that enabled users to control gadgets simply by tapping their fingers together. Read more for a Solinteraction video and additional information.
Xiaomi has unveiled a new in-display fingerprint sensor with a much larger active area, or at least compared to the one used on their Mi 8 flagship phone released last year. Weibo post by president and co-founder Lin Bin has just posted a video showcasing Xiaomi’s prototype phone with a new fingerprint sensor that covers an active area of 25 x 50mm. In other words, users can unlock it by even tapping in the middle of the display. Read more to see it in-action and for additional information.
Fossil Group Inc announced today that it would sell its intellectual property related to a smartwatch technology currently under development to Alphabet Inc’s Google for approximately $40-million, and will send a portion of that R&D team currently to the search giant, with the deal expected to close at the end of January. “The addition of Fossil Group’s technology and team to Google demonstrates our commitment to the wearables industry,” said Stacey Burr, vice president of product management at Google’s Wear OS, a smartwatch platform. Read more for an in-depth look at the latest Wear OS features.
Photo credit: LetsGoDigital
LG Electronics recently filed a patent for an ‘electronic device’ that describes a foldable mobile phone with the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Office) and USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office), and it was published on December 27, 2018. Simply put, when this smartphone is folded, the flexible display is on the outside and extends to the entire rear via the right-hand edges. In the middle, there’s a spring-loaded hinge that can keeps the device open when the display is fully opened. There’s no official word yet on pricing or availability, but we may catch a glimpse of it at Mobile World Congress 2019 in Barcelona next month. Read more for additional images of the patent and information.
The Droid Razr M is an Android-based, 4G LTE-capable smartphone that was released in 2012, now Lenovo could be bringing the RAZR back as a $1,500 foldable mobile phone that could be launched as early as February, according to the Wall Street Journal. It’s reported to be priced around $1,500, and could look similar to the Royole FlexPai or it may work like the RAZR V4 concept, where the top half folds down when not in use. There’s no word yet on what kind of processor, camera, RAM, storage, etc. it would have, but at that price point, it should at least compete with Samsung’s upcoming foldable phone. Read more for a video of the foldable Motorola V4 and additional information.
Photo credit: CERN
CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world’s largest atom smasher, has been up and running for the past 7-years, confirming the existence of a mysterious subatomic particle known as the Higgs boson. Now, physicists have proposed a $24-billion project to build an even larger collider. Called “The Future Circular Collider (FCC),” this would be four times bigger and up to ten times more powerful than the LHC. “The FCC conceptual design report is a remarkable accomplishment.It shows the tremendous potential of the FCC to improve our knowledge of fundamental physics and to advance many technologies with a broad impact on society,” said CERN Director-General Fabiola Gianotti. Read more for another video and additional information.
Rememberthe Black Mirror episode “Playtest”? The one where the main character Cooper (played by Wyatt Russell) finds himself stuck inside of an experimental horror video game? Well, that is now one step closer to reality, thanks to Teslasuit. It’s touted as “the world’s first fully integrated smart clothing apparel,” and is basically a full-body haptic suit with integrated vibrating sensor pads, motion capture sensors, biometric feedback, and even climate control for the ultimate virtual reality experience. Read more for another video, additional pictures and information.
Photo credit: Nicohlash
Netflix is officially raising its U.S. prices by 13% – 18%, the largest annual increase since the company launched its streaming service 12 years ago. Its most popular standard plan, which offers high-definition streaming on up to two different internet-connected devices simultaneously, will see the biggest hike, from $11 to $13 per month. The extra revenue will go towards Netflix’s large investment in original shows and films. Read more for a video of the most anticipated Netflix originals of 2019 and additional information.