Norway already has the world beat when it comes to electric car ownership, but the Scandinavian country aims to go one step further by equipping the streets of Oslo with wireless electric charging infrastructure for taxis. The taxis will be charged through induction technology integrated into the street. This will help the city meet its zero-emission taxis by 2023 goal.
New Algorithm Turns Doodles Into Hyper-Real Imagery In Seconds
MS Paint may be gone, but there's a souped up, soon-to-be-released tool out there waiting to take its place. This new tool, called GauGAN, can transform simple computer doodles into breathtaking photo-real images in real time. GauGAN even comes with different filters that adjust for time of day and style of painting, meaning someone could turn a simple doodle into a beautiful Impressionist sunset picture.
Bad Acoustics Are A Killer. Here's What Designers Can Do About It.
Noise is all around us, whether we like it or not. We're only now beginning to understand the detrimental effects loud sounds can have on our health. Luckily, we can mitigate those effects with design thinking.
"Living Coral" may be Pantone's 2019 color of the year, but the situation of real coral is quite dire. Warming global ocean temperatures threaten to totally destroy coral reefs and destabilize the marine ecosystems that they support. It's a manmade problem, and one scientist is proposing a manmade solution: LarvalBot, an underwater robot equipped to dispense heat resistant coral larvae over failing reefs.
English Town Trades in Coal Economy for Solar-Powered Housing
Renewable energy use has increased rapidly in U.K., leaving local economies previously dependent on coal-generated electricity in the lurch. But in the town of Rugeley, a shuttered coal plant is undergoing an incredible transformation into sustainably-powered housing. Engie, the former owner of the plant, wants to see its former site become "one of the most efficient, low-carbon redevelopment projects in the U.K.”
Retail is on the Verge of a Tech-Assisted Renaissance
For years we've been hearing all about the decline of brick-and-mortar shops, but it turns out that prediction just isn't true. Shopping isn't going full-on digital, but rather embracing a blend of physical and virtual opportunities. Big name brands like Walmart, Amazon, and Alibaba are turning to solutions like augmented reality, robots, and dynamic personalized ad displays in and out of physical stores to reinvigorate retail.
Artificial intelligence may be a nascent technology but its capabilities are already startlingly advanced. The next industry to be touched by AI's incredible potential may be gaming. A new software developed by chipmaker Nvidia could take a huge burden off developers with its ability to dream up incredibly detailed scenes in mere minutes.
Holographic Co-working Product Lets You Attend a Work Meeting Without Getting Dressed
Tired of putting on a shirt just to face time into a meeting? Enter Spacial, an AR company developing a holographic co-working software that uses VR technology to essentially bring to life sci-fi hologram calls. Spacial currently focuses on creating hologram avatars, but has also piqued the interest of NASA for its 3D modeling capabilities. It might help space travel in the future, but right now Spacial helps you go to work without leaving the house.
Ray Kurzweil Claims the Singularity is Less Than 30 Years Away
In 2029, artificial intelligence will pass a Turing test and match human intelligence. By 2045, humans and AI will merge in an event called the Singularity. At least, that's what Ray Kurzweil, Google's director of engineering, says. But don't be so quick to write him off—since the 1990's, 147 of his predictions have come true, which is equivalent to an 86% accuracy rate.
Chinese scientists announced plans to launch a "second moon" into the night sky over the city of Chengdu in 2020, resulting in a worldwide eyebrow raising. The artificial moon would reflect sunlight back to Earth through reflective coating, and could be eight times brighter than the OG moon. If successful, the team says three more moons could rise by 2022.
Move Over Solar Panels, Solar Paint is Coming
Researchers at Australia's Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology have developed a new renewable energy solution in the form of solar paint. The paint can produce electricity through solar energy or by absorbing moisture out of the air, making it ideal for humid and arid climates. The researchers estimate that when the paint becomes commercially available it will be relatively cheap to produce.
Dockless Bicycles Contribute to Smart City Planning
People generally don't like how technology can track their location at all times—the profusion of articles about how to hide from Google and Facebook's panopticon-like power make that perfectly clear. Silicon Valley–based startup Lime, which deploys and operates dockless bicycles in over 88 American cities, may slightly improve that opinion. A few city planning departments have turned to Lime's data about user locations to understand how people are biking in their cities and how to accommodate those riders with new and improved bicycle infrastructure.
Who's the buffest of them all? Thanks to Naked Labs' newest product, a high-tech personal computer housed in a floor-length mirror, athletes and fitness enthusiasts will have an answer that's more than what meets the eye. The mirror comes with a scale that can produce a 360-degree 3-D model of the user, showing current and predictive weight loss, in just 15 seconds.
A New Future for Nuclear Power?
Decades ago, nuclear power was at the forefront of clean, renewable energy. Today, however, it's plagued by all sorts of bad press and logistical nightmares. But nuclear energy looks like a promising alternative to fossil fuels once again with a bold new concept: floating power plants.
So Apparently Robo-Bees Are a Thing
Robo-bees may sound like our worst nightmare, but they could be a dream come true for the endangered insects and their human saviors. A group of European scientists developed robotic bees to learn how other social animals communicate and maybe one day use that knowledge to influence their survival rates. The experiment was also conducted on zebra fish, opening up an avenue to save aquatic animals, too.
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