🔮Technologically Clairvoyant

Edition 4

June 09, 2019

Hello 👋

Brandon here.

Welcome to Edition 4 🔮

Near Future

🗽 New York Tenants Fight As Landlords Embrace Facial Recognition Cameras

In a bid to stop facial recongition replacing traditional keys, 130 tenants have signed a petition. The public sector heavily regulates facial recognition, but there are currently no laws in the private sector.

On the one hand, keys are often lost. Tenants come and go. This all saves money for the landlords.

But, we may see some transitive relations. The landlords won’t sell the data, but the company the landlords are leasing (or buying) the equipment from might sell the data. Is it then a problem with the landlords, or a problem with the company?

👓 Drag:on - Air Resitance For Vr

Researches from the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) have created VR controllers which can vary their air resistance. This is 1 step closer to being immersed in VR. In the distant future, weight will be introduced into VR and other aspects of human life. I can see it being possible to workout in VR or practice archery as if it were real life.

Markov Keyboard

After every letterpress, the design of the keyboard changes. It uses Markov Modelling to predict what’s the next key you’ll press and it brings these keys to the home row.

Our current keyboard layout, QWERTY, is designed to increase travel distance to prevent mistakes from happening on Typewriters (yes, it is that old).

This is a small example, but I can imagine in the distant future keyboards which know what you’ll type and reduce key travel, preventing RSI.

🤖 Amazon Announces 800 New Robots Designed To Create New Jobs

Amazon’s factory workers are becoming maintainers and robot specialists. In this video interview, Amazon interviews a part-time factory worker whose job is now to maintain 800 robots in a factory.

Horses did everything 100 years ago. Carrying packages. Mail. Transport. Public transport. Everything. With the introduction of the car, horses got to do what they loved. Racing - enjoying life. They stopped doing mundane tasks of walking up and down a street and started doing exciting things.

Automation’s job isn’t to replace humans, it’s to replace doing the boring, mundane jobs. Note: I’m pro replacing humans for mundane jobs, but the idea of every single human becoming a maintainer is ridiculous.

As a side note, Amazon’s event RE:MARS was this week. This event is where Amazon shows off the future technology they’re working on. Expect a lot of Amazon in the near future section.

🖐 Magic Leap Achieves Full Hand Tracking

Magic Leap can track hands (without gloves or equipment on the hands) as well as being able to recognise gestures. This is a huge step forward for XR equipment. Imagine using XR without controllers. Only your hands. Crazy.

🚁 Amazon Announces New Half-drone Half-aeroplane

The drone will have the moveability of drones, mixed with the performance and speed of aeroplanes.

🗣 Chinese Search Engine Sogou Has A 90% Accurate Ai Lip Reading System

The system was designed to help the deaf, but it’s not hard to see this system being used in facial recognition software.

💄 Amazon Is Partnering With L’oréal To Let You Digitally Try On Makeup

To be clear, this isn’t invented by Amazon. L’Oréal invented Modiface to let consumers try on makeup at home. Originally based on Facebook, Amazon is now implementing it in its app. Looking at the website, L’Oréal expects to sell this technology to rival companies.

😁 New Zealand’s Latest Budget Puts Happiness Over Wealth

The goal is to downplay the role of gross domestic product (GDP) in favour of increasing the happiness of all citizens.

Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s Prime Minister, has promised billions of dollars in funds to work on:

  • Address mental health problems
  • Preventing Suicide
  • Child Poverty

Mental health services have been promised NZ$2 billion.

🚪 Amazon’s Ring Is Putting Suspected Thieves Into Their Advertisements

Amazon’s advert showed a video of someone breaking into a car and stealing something. The advert asked:

“Mountain View Residents: Do you recognise this woman? If so, call the police”

Crowdsourcing the solutions to crimes is nothing new. TV shows have been doing it for years. What’s interesting is the idea of using targetted advertisements for crimes such as theft.

🐉 Bbc Reporter For Beijing Locked Out Of Wechat For Posting About Tiannaman Square Massacre

“Chinese friends started asking on WeChat what the event was? Why were people gathering? Where was it?”

“I answered a few of them, rather cryptically, then suddenly I was locked out of WeChat.”

What interested me the most about this story were the Orwellian steps they had to take to regain access to WeChat. The author notes “living in Bejing without WeChat is impossible.” so he has to get it back.

The reporter posted about the memorial they visited on WeChat Moments. They say:

“I was instructed to hold my phone up - to “face front camera straight on” - looking directly at the image of a human head. Then told to “Read numbers aloud in Mandarin Chinese”.

A few weeks ago, we explored how with such little data you can create a deepfake of anyone doing anything. Sharing this type of data with a singular entity is always worrisome.

I would like to make it clear that living in China without WeChat is impossible, so you have to do this. The author notes the uses of WeChat:

“When you meet somebody in a work context they don’t give you a name card any more, they share their WeChat; if you play for a football team training details are on WeChat; children’s school arrangements, WeChat; Tinder-style dates, WeChat; movie tickets, WeChat; news stream, WeChat; restaurant locations, WeChat; paying for absolutely everything from a bowl of noodles to clothes to a dining room table… WeChat.”

🙌 Jeff Bezos Tries On Big Hands

Bezos tried on haptic feedback hands. He described it as “incredible”. Not much to say other than haptic feedback hands are cool and would make a fine addition to XR related products.

🚀 Nasa Allowing Tourists To Visit Iss

NASA expects to open up the ISS as a ‘hotel’ by 2020, per night this costs $35,000.

Distant future

🚀 Rockets On Standby

Twitter user Tom Carrol suggested to NASA & SpaceX to develop a fleet of pre-made spacecraft that are ready to go on short notice for quick responses to events like Oumuamua.

Oumuamua is the only interstellar object detected passing through the solar system.

Let’s go one step further. Why are we building rockets pre-mission when events like this happen? Why don’t we build rockets ready to react to things like this?

One step further. Why are we building rockets on earth? Our gravity forces rockets to spend a lot of energy to leave the earth. If we built rockets in space, we would save a lot of energy. The problem is then, how do we build rockets in space?

🛩 Uas Technologies Launches Solar-powered Drone Which Can Fly Up To 8 Hours A Day, 4 Hours At Night

With drones being ever more relevant, it’s obvious that drones will have to find eco-friendly ways to be kept in flight. This is 1 step towards that.

Looking into my crystal ball🔮 electric vehicles already have ways to generate power while driving, such as regenerative breaking. Birds use minimal energy to fly and often use the wind to carry them distances, rarely flapping their wings . Drones in the future could use the same principle to conserve energy. They could rely on the highways in the sky. Using the wind to fly, they might also have small turbines on board which can generate power (or used to fly like a plane).

Along with the solar energy they get, it’s not hard to see that in the future drones may be able to fly upwards of 16+ hours a day.

Then again, with ion drives becoming a thing the idea of propellors in the distant future seems absurd. The idea is to “ionise the air and use electric fields in the air to provide acceleration”.

Ion craft do not need any moving parts. They can fly without them. The drawbacks at the moment are that it’s very energy inefficient. At the moment, it’s about 10 times less inefficient than a helicopter. They also leave a trail of ozone in its path.

Likewise, take reading about ion craft with a grain of salt. In the distant future, it is possible to see them becoming ever more used. With normal drones, they have moving parts. Over time, these parts need to be repaired. With a non-moving parts plane, that plane will have less that needs to be repaired. Meaning it could fly longer continuously if only the disadvantages were fixed. Again, this is looking into my crystal ball 🔮 and making assumptions about the future which might never come true.

Klm And Tu Delft Make Energy Efficient Flying V Aircraft

The conceptualised plane has a very unusual look to it. Imagine a V, where each line of the V is both a wing and seating for passengers. The plane manufacturer claims it will use 20% less fuel than the Airbus A350

s v-shaped design will integrate the passenger cabin, the cargo hold and the fuel tanks in the wings. Its improved aerodynamic shape and reduced weight will mean it uses 20% less fuel than the Airbus A350 which Airbus claims is the “most modern and efficient aircraft”.

🧬 Stem Cells Edited In Body

Stem cells are cells which are nestled deep inside certain tissues in the body and constantly replace old cells. In recent years, scientists have been able to correct genetic diseases by removing these stem cells, editing their genomes, and then implanting them back into the patient.

Now scientists at Harvard have successfully edited the genes of stem cells while still in the body of mice.

🚁 Designing A Drone To Fire From A Grenade Launcher

Glytche, the hacker behind this, says that armies and police forces want quick deployment of drones. But he says search and rescue operations can benefit using this technology too.

In a fictional film, Slaughterbots, the writers showed how drones can be used to kill people. They use facial recognition to find their target (which, by the way, is so accurate that airports are forgoing passports for facial recongition). Then with explosives onboard, the drone explodes on the victims head - killing them.

Drones can be so small. You don’t need a lot of explosives to hurt someone. Drones can also manoeuvre well and can go fast. With grenade launchable drones, it may be possible to see “heat-seeking bullets” come to life.

When it comes to search and rescue operations, small, launchable drones could become very useful. You could create a network of drones, all launched in unison which uses a SLAM algorithm. These algorithms are often used by robot vacuum cleaners. “What’s the fastest way to clean 100% of this room?” could be rephrased to “What’s the fastest way to search 100% of this area?”

Let’s look at a freak fire in a building. Once the fire is discovered, a network of these small drones is immediately fired at the building. They’re the first on the scene by a longshot. Once on the scene, they address everything. They find people trapped. They find where the fire is, where it’s spreading. They map 100% of the building. Working together as an army of small, versatile drones. They can fly through windows, soar through hallways and under tables.

More drones come. This time, these drones are looking at putting out the fire. They attach to a fire hydrant. Thanks to the small network of drones earlier, they know exactly where to fight the fires at. They begin putting out the fires, stopping it from spreading.

More drones arrive on the scene. Or robots (delivered by drones?) These robots help rescue people inside. They guide people safely out. Thanks to our network of robots earlier, these robots know the exact safest route out. All these robots work in tandem to help people.

Finally, the firefighters & ambulance services arrive on the scene. Since the robots have done all the mundane jobs, they can work on what they do best. Rescuing people from under the rubble, supporting and caring for people who have come out of the fire.

Thanks to our robots from earlier, the fire is controlled. It’s being put out by drones. They have an entire map of the building, with the exact locations of everyone and any points of interest. Instead of working on figuring all this out for themselves, they can save people instead and help put out the fire.

This is where I see automation going. Not replacement, but supplementing those in difficult or mundane jobs.

Michael Bloomberg Pledges $500 Million To Close All Remaining Coal Plants (in The Usa) By 2030

One step forward for America, a giant leap for mankind. Britain is almost entirely off from coal. A few weeks ago Britain lasted for 2 weeks without coal. It’s amazing to see how most of our efforts are going more into renewable energy.

🚁 Researchers Develop A Self-assembling Quadrotor Drone

This enables drones to track & dock together while in flight. This has all sorts of uses. Firstly, logistics. Drones could combine together to lift heavier objects and then break apart again to carry out other tasks.

This technology can improve drones while they fly. Let’s say a drone is working on something, say putting out a fire. It could need vision assistance (The fires too strong for the drones vision sensors to work) so the drone requests an upgrade. Another drone flies to it and provides vision to it while it deals with its main task.

With solar-powered drones which need to fly 24/7, we could have drones that fly to these drones and provide power to them. Serving as flying battery packs. The possibilities are endless.

👓 Rokid Shows Off A Mixed Vision Headset

The headset plugs into your phone, and using their AR glasses provides a full desktop experience for you. You can see as many, or as little monitors as you want. This idea has been around for a while. I doubt the display released will look anything like this video, it’s cool to see we’re still heading in this direction.

👸 German Researchers Introduce Dentronics, A Robotic Arm Dentist

At the moment, the arm is designed to assist the dentist. By providing tools, mirrors and more. I doubt it’ll be long until the robot starts doing work too, and then the robot will be the one doing the work while the dentist supervises.

🚁 Nasa Has Developed A Drone For Use On Mars

“Can we fly on Mars?”

Is the question they are hoping to answer with this mission.

It’s interesting to see. I’m sure we’ll see a lot of things from a bird’s eye view that we can’t normally see.

Until next time,

  • Brandon 🐝

Brandon Skerritt

Written by Brandon Skerritt who loves writing and dogs 🐶 You should follow me on Twitter

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