HIGH 5! Here is the news update of the latest trends from the global technology and startup scene. HIGH 5 is published by Lab1886. This week’s topics are:
NEC builds air taxis +++ AR and VR survey +++ AIs as patentholders? +++ Energy storage causes disruption +++ E-textiles harvest energy
The Japanese electronics giant is collaborating with Cartivator to produce air taxi concepts and has already demonstrated a prototype. The project is backed by the Japanese government, which plans to regularize large-scale drone deliveries by 2023. By 2030, manned air taxis should also be commonplace.
Source: New Atlas
AR // VR
A survey of 900 AR and VR developers attending the XRDC conference attempts to profile the industry’s status. Games are still the biggest innovation driver – 59 percent of AR and VR projects are game-related. But other areas are catching up, including education (at 30 percent) and training (at 27 percent). A possible connection: More developers stated that they do not expect their projects to be immediately profitable.
Dabus, a neural network-based AI, has designed a flashing warning light, and a fractal food container that is easier for robots to grasp. Imagination Engines – the company that developed the AI – and researchers at the University of Surrey have filed patents in several countries on Dabus’s behalf. They argue that under current legislation, the intellectual property system will no longer work if AIs start to invent things. Consequently, AIs should be recognized as patent holders.
Storage is driving disruption – due primarily to the electronics that link batteries to renewable energy sources, says Mark Ahlstrom, president of the Energy Systems Integration Group. He believes that hybrid projects will be the next step, as the pairing of battery storage with solar cells gives birth to computer-controlled solid-state power plants – virtual power plants made real.
A new 3D printing method invented by scientists at Beijing’s Tsinghua University could produce e-textiles capable of generating electrical energy. Their energy-harvesting approach uses a 3D-printed triboelectric generator consisting of a silk fibroin (SF) sheath around a conductive core of carbon nanotubes (CNT). In the long run, this method could improve the performance of electronic devices and wearables by removing the need for batteries.
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