With the New Year just weeks away, you are probably looking forward to watching the dazzling fireworks shows that will usher in 2018 worldwide. Unfortunately, the over ten million visually impaired and blind Americans, and scores more around the globe, have never been able to experience this joyful celebration. That may change soon thanks to Feeling Fireworks, a tactile fireworks experience invented by the masterminds at the Disney Research Lab in Switzerland.
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From December 4 through 10, tens of millions of people from over 180 countries will participate in the Hour of Code Challenge. Now in its fifth year, the event aimed to introduce the world of computer science to anyone from ages 4 to 104, is organized by Seattle-based nonprofit, Code.org.
On October 26, Saudi Arabia made history by becoming the first country in the world to grant citizenship to a non-human. The stunning announcement came shortly after Sophia, a humanoid robot, had completed a live interview at the Future Investment Initiative held in the capital city of Riyadh from October 24 to 26. The three-day summit was organized by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia to connect the world’s most powerful investors, thought leaders, and public officials to future innovations.
Asking a patient to hum piano melodies and play an instrument while undergoing brain surgery may sound like a strange request from a doctor. However, that is precisely what a team of brain specialists, led by University of Rochester Medical Center’s Web Pilcher, requested Dan Fabbio to do as they were removing his tumor.
Self-driving cars are all the rage today, Companies ranging from car manufacturers like General Motors and Toyota to private-hire companies like Uber and even Internet search giant Google are all scrambling to be the first to bring them to market. The efforts are so intense that the University of Michigan has established an entire city to help the cause. Dubbed Mcity, it allows manufacturers to safely test their autonomous cars using human props.
Pedestrian etiquette – things like not walking into oncoming traffic or keeping to the right of the sidewalk – comes naturally to humans. However, while robots have been programmed to accomplish many things, teaching them to navigate among crowds has proved a challenge because it is hard to accurately predict each person’s path. Now, a team of MIT engineers, led by Steven Chen, have overcome the hurdle with a knee-high autonomous machine that can seamlessly weave itself through pedestrians, paving the way for errand-running and pizza delivering robots.
A week ago, on Tuesday, September 12, Apple unveiled its latest offerings to eagerly awaiting fans. The 2017 product showcase held at Apple Park, the company’s new “spaceship” headquarters in Cupertino, CA, included an upgraded Apple Watch, 4K Apple TV, as well as the next generation iPhones – 8 and 8 plus. Just as the presentation appeared to be drawing to a close, company CEO Tim Cook, took to the podium mouthing the late Steve Job’s familiar, “one more thing . . .” phrase, before introducing the much-anticipated iPhone X (“ten”).
Tony Stark, aka Ironman, constantly seen manipulating 3D holographic images and floating displays projected in mid-air from his phone or tablet. Unfortunately, the rest of us are not as fortunate because the current computer-generated holograms are too bulky to be integrated into our personal devices. However, if a team of researchers from Australia's RMIT University and the Beijing Institute of Technology (BIT) is right, we may all soon be able to mimic Ironman, at least, when it comes to playing with 3D holograms.