22.September 2018 NEW YORKNow60°F
AdminSeptember 19, 2018
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1min55

5G, which stands for 5th generation mobile, is the next big thing in wireless communication. People have been raving about it for a while because it is evidently a big improvement to the current network we’re using today, the 4G.

Apparently, aside from being faster, it has fewer dead zones and can potentially end data caps on cellular contracts.

What Makes 5G Special?

When 5G will finally become available to the public, it will show better capabilities than the current technology we are using today by being able to deal with more data and being able to connect more devices simultaneously and doing all this at a much faster speed.

4G, which is the current technology that we are using, has a maximum download speed at around 50 megabits per second, but, of course, its speed is much lower in reality. During the test runs, 5G has shown that it is capable of having a speed that is 100 times more than that of 4G.

Theoretically speaking, having a good 5G connection can let users play a 4K video on their mobile phones with no interruptions or lag at all. Additionally, 5G networks can also support multiple devices at one time, which is the reason why it is especially handy for connecting together lots of IoT (Internet of Things) within smart buildings and cities.

Makes 5G Special

What Makes 5G Faster than 4G?

The mobile networks that we are using now are using radio waves. 5G, on the other hand, is using bits of the electromagnetic spectrum that aren’t presently being utilized by competitor networks. That is the reason why it is notably faster than any other network, not just 4G.

What’s more, it is the advancement in receiver and transmitter technology that enables the 5G networks to communicate using very high and very low-frequency waves, which was, in fact, impossible to achieve using the existing technologies we have today.

When Will We Get to Use 5G?

As of now, there isn’t any 5G-ready device on the market. Recently, however, various consumer electronics companies have announced that they are presently working with the chip manufacturer Qualcomm in order to produce devices that are 5G-ready by 2019.

So, based on that, there won’t be any 5G-ready devices until next year, but it won’t be long since the time has finally come for 5G to come into the spotlight.

5G network

Naturally, there will be a need for a network in which these 5G-ready devices will be able to connect to. In order to resolve that issue, several mobile manufacturers, such as Vodafone and AT&T, are now testing 5G networks that are powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X50 50 Modem. Some operators hope to develop full 5G networks before the year ends, while others are taking a much slower approach.

We don’t know for certain exactly when we will be able to see 5G connections, but one thing’s for sure: we will be having 5G-ready devices for a long time before we can actually get to connect to a 5G network, which is mostly because network providers might take a while to decide to finally roll out extensive coverage.


AdminSeptember 11, 2018
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2min91

The IFA conference, which is the biggest consumer electronics trade show in Europe, is a lot similar to the international CES conference that takes place in Las Vegas every January, where various tech companies from across the globe gather to exhibit their latest endeavors at consumer electronics.

The IFA is annually being held at Messe Berlin, with almost 2,000 exhibitors from over 30 countries and hundreds of thousands of attendees. At the IFA, attendees can take a close look at a number of new consumer electronics before they are even offered to the public.

This year, a lot of interesting gadgets were presented at the IFA that consumers will surely love. Here are some of the gadgets that made their debut during the IFA 2018:

Bang & Olufsen Beosound Edge

Bang & Olufsen (B&O) is known for the products that they create that are both outrageous and expensive but also good. Their latest product, B&O Beosound Edge, is a big circular speaker that users can control by rolling it back and forth on the ground. Interestingly enough, the presenters also claimed that the can feel a human’s presence.

Bang & Olufsen Beosound Edge

Acer Predator Thronos Gaming Throne

Acer wowed the crowd at the IFA with its Predator Thronos gaming throne, which consists of three 27-inch gaming monitors that fill the user’s field of view, rumbling feedback that will make games more immersive, and a 140-degree recline that will help negate the discomfort that comes from long hours of sitting down.

Acer Predator Thronos Gaming Throne

Casio Pro Tek Smartwatch

Casio presented its latest wrist item, the Casio Pro Tek smartwatch, which runs on Google’s updated Wear Operating System (OS) that is well-suited to the adventurer types. The new Pro Tek smartwatch includes a GPS and an altimeter that is powered by a battery, which enables it to last up to one and a half days.

Casio Pro Tek Smartwatch

LG Robot Pants

The CLOi SuitBot is an exoskeleton suit that is designed for the lower half of the body. It was made to get rid of some of the strain acquired from standing and walking for an extended period of time. The suit is targeted at factory workers who do a lot of heavy lifting and moving, which usually wear out the joints.

It’s definitely not the first of its kind, but it does look really elegant and definitely won’t malfunction. Just an advice though: don’t wear them on the treadmill at the gym.

LG Robot Pants

 

Nimble Phone Charger

This eye-catching charger includes a kickstand and provides 10-watt charging for Android devices while 7.5-watt charging for iPhones.

Compared to other phone chargers, Nimble’s phone charger focuses more on design and sustainability, as well as an increased emphasis on what happens to the device at the end of its life. At the price of $50, this wireless stand charger is definitely a good choice.

Nimble Phone Charger

SONY Tough Memory Cards

Anyone who’s ever had a Sony memory card knows that they are easy to break and nuke your photos. In this year’s IFA, Sony exhibited their latest memory card, which is 18 times tougher compared to other competitor cards.

According to the company, it will be sold for $276, and it will provide users with a sizeable 128 GB of storage without write-protection.

There are a lot more devices that were exhibited at the IFA that are worth buying, but these six items are definitely among the most interesting and appealing.


AdminSeptember 4, 2018
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2min77

Erica is 23. She has a pretty yet neutral face and speaks with a refined voice, but she’s actually a robot. Because of her lifelike features, anybody who sees her would think that she is a real person.

A research team from Kyoto University, Osaka University, and the Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute (ATR) are trying to upgrade Erica even further by integrating “backchanneling” and “attentive listening” abilities into her so as to improve her interaction skills.

Meet Erica, the Most Beautiful Robot

Who Erica is and How She Came to Be

Erica is a robot that resulted from the collaboration between Osaka and Kyoto universities. She was created by Hiroshi Ishiguro, who is the director of the Intelligent Robotics Laboratory at Osaka University, and was developed using the funds from one of Japan’s highest-funded science projects: the JST Erato.

Erica is purposely designed to be able to converse naturally with humans through the integration of human-like facial expressions and gestures. At present, she is still unable to move her arms. However, she can distinguish where a sound is coming from and can identify who is talking to her. Plus, she has one of the most advanced speech synthesis systems ever created and is equipped with 14 infrared sensors and face recognition technology. So, she can easily track people in a room.

Erica is equipped with 14 infrared sensors and face recognition technology

What Makes Erica so Beautiful and Special

According to Ishiguro, who considers himself as Erica’s father, Erica is the most beautiful and intelligent robot in the world. He also described her as being so lifelike that she might have a “soul”.

“Generally, everything that is beautiful can actually be seen in the average face. So, I utilized photos of 30 attractive women and combined their features and used the average for each in order to design the nose, eyes, and so on,” Ishiguro says during an interview. “That means she should appeal to everyone.”

Physically, she looks just like a beautiful 23-year-old woman, but what sets her apart from other AI is her charisma. Erica is able to hold an effortless conversation with humans, which is the result of the integration of speech-generation algorithms, facial recognition technology, and infrared sensors that could let Erica track faces of people across a room.

Even though she still is unable to move her arms, Erica can display various facial expressions and can move her neck, shoulders, and waist by herself. This allows her to react to human speech with an uncanny autonomy.

What Erica is Capable Of

According to Tatsuya Kawahara, an expert in speech and audio processing, his conversations with Erica is never a simple back and forth progression of information.

Erica is able to actively listen during the conversation. She is also able to express agreement by nodding or saying “uh-huh” so as to keep the momentum of the conversation. This ability is called “backchanneling”.

Erica also has the ability of “attentive listening”, which allows her to ask elaborate questions, or sometimes to repeat the last word of the speaker’s sentence, which allows for a more engaging conversation.

Erica is never a simple back and forth progression of information

Dr. Dylan Glas, Erica’s architect, says that she has learned jokes, “although they’re not exactly side-splitters,” he added. According to Dr. Glas, what their team really wanted is to have a robot that can think and act and do everything independently and autonomously. The team also wanted Erica to develop compassion.

According to Ishiguro, this robot can be warm and caring. He also says that Erica may soon exhibit proof of independent consciousness.

It is still too early to say if this artificial intelligence will be able to feel love as a human being, but who’s to say that it is otherwise impossible? Certainly not Ishiguro who says, “One day, humans and robots will be able to love each other.”


AdminSeptember 1, 2018
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2min79

One of the long-standing concerns that the public has regarding the emergence of artificial intelligence is the fact that AI will eventually replace humans in the workplace, rendering most humans jobless.

However, according to a recent statement from PwC, AI will actually create more jobs than it displaces.

PwC’s Stand on the Issue Regarding AI

PwC, which is legally known as PricewaterhouseCoopers, is a multinational professional services firm with headquarters in London, United Kingdom. It is considered to be the second largest professional services firm in the world with $37.7 billion revenue in FY 2017 alone.

PwC operates in over 150 countries around the world and employs more than 236,200 professionals across 743 locations. Incidentally, PwC is one of the Big 4, which refers to the four biggest accounting firms in the world. The Big 4 offers a wide range of accounting and auditing services as well as considerable employment and career growth for accountants and auditors around the world.

In the opposing view regarding the impact of artificial intelligence on jobs, whether it will provide more jobs or destroy them, PwC decidedly takes a more impartial approach. The firm’s analysts expect the number of jobs that will be displaced by AI is likely to be neutralized by the number of new jobs created.

PwC’s Stand on the Issue Regarding AI

As a matter of fact, within just 20 years, PwC expects around 7.2 million jobs to be created as opposed to the 7 million jobs that will be displaced by AI.

Euan Cameron, a UK-based AI leader working at PwC, said: “AI provides a huge potential economic boost to the UK. It is good to see that the government recognizes and supports the growth of the sector by means of the AI Sector Deal.”

Historically, rapid technological change has often been associated with increases in wealth and income inequality, so it’s vital that government and business work together to make sure everyone benefits from the positive benefits that AI can bring. These include increased productivity and consumer choice, as well as improved outcomes in those areas that matter most to people such as education to healthcare.”

Industries That Will Benefit from Artificial Intelligence

According to PwC, there are certain sectors that are sure to benefit from AI in terms of job growth, while there are also sectors that will suffer.

The sectors that PwC expects to benefit from this are the healthcare industry, PSTS (professional, scientific, and technical services), and education. The losing sectors, on the other hand, are said to be the manufacturing industry, transport and storage, and public administration.

Industries That Will Benefit from Artificial Intelligence

From this, it can be observed that low-paying jobs are bound to suffer the most. Since these industries mostly employ manual labor workers, it can easily be replaced by AI technology. In contrast, high-paying jobs usually require people with technical or professional expertise and knowledge. They are basically jobs that require a lot of thinking and decision-making that are quite hard to replicate using artificial intelligence.

However, analysts at PwC said: “A job that is being considered ‘high risk’ of getting displaced by AI doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be automated for certain since there could be a variety of economic, legal, and regulatory barriers to the adoption of these technologies.”

Insight and Recommendations from PwC

The healthcare industry will likely be one of the first sectors to see a significant growth in employment as there will be a growing demand for healthcare as people become richer and start to age. Of course, there are some jobs that will get wiped out, but many more jobs will likely arise as real incomes increase and patients still yearn for the ‘human touch’ from healthcare professionals and social care workers.

PwC suggests that people start investing more in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education since it will be useful in a human-machine collaboration setting, which is what will likely happen in the near future.

Insight and Recommendations from PwC

PwC believes that soft skills, such as creative problem-solving, social intelligence, and people management, will experience a rapid increase in demand as AI matures. That’s not hard to believe since these types of soft skills remain as significant bottlenecks to machine learning.

Looking at it objectively, there are indeed a lot of possible jobs that can be created as AI technology gradually develops and matures. The only thing that people need to do is to prepare and equip themselves with the right skills and knowledge.


AdminAugust 16, 2018
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1min88

From robotic cockroach that can crawl underwater to a robotic cockroach that can potentially perform search-and-rescue operations; every aspect is being explored by scientists in how they could harness the unique characteristics of the said insect.

Recently, Rolls-Royce, a company that is best known for its line of luxury cars, has created tiny robotic cockroaches that can crawl inside tight spaces of an aircraft to look for potential problems and eventually perform routine maintenance checks.

Robotic Cockroach

How These Robotic Cockroaches Affect Aircraft Maintenance

The company assured that the miniature technology can advance the way maintenance is being performed through swift inspections and doing away with the need to remove an engine from an aircraft for repair to be done.

These robotic cockroaches could go off scuttling around, reaching various parts of the combustion chamber. These robots could definitely save engineers a lot of time,” said James Kell, a technology specialist at Rolls-Royce.

“If we perform maintenance checks in a conventional way, it would probably take us five hours. With these little robots around, who knows, it might just take five minutes,” he even added.

The robotic cockroaches will work together in pairs. One robot will enter a combustion chamber, for instance, in order to scout for any danger or to remove debris, while the second robot, which is designed specifically for the job, will follow suit in order to complete the repair.

This buddy system allows the robotic cockroaches to perform easy tasks and detect problems. It can definitely save a lot of time because as low-skilled workers deploy the robots to investigate an issue, an engineer can retool another robot for a more complicated repair.

Once the inspection and repairs are done, the robots can be programmed to vacate the area, or it can get “ejected out” by the engine itself.

Robotic Cockroaches Affect Aircraft Maintenance

How These Robotic Cockroaches are Designed

In order to delve deeper into the concept, Rolls-Royce has decided to team up with robotics experts from Harvard University in the United States and the University of Nottingham in England.

Sebastian de Rivaz, who is a researcher at the Harvard Institute, said that the concept of the design was derived from the cockroach and that they had been working on the robotic roaches for eight years.

De Rivaz also stated that the next step of the process was to attach cameras on the robots and reduce their size down to 15 millimeters.

As a finished product, the robotic cockroaches would stand about 15 millimeters tall and would weigh just a few ounces. Each robot would be equipped with a camera and optics for 3D scanning that would enable engineers to remotely assess problems before retooling the robotic roaches to perform the appropriate repair.

Currently, their prototypes are much bigger than the target size and not quite geared up for these types of repairs. However, Rolls-Royce did announce that the robots will be ready within two years.

 

When These Robotic Cockroaches be Available in the Market

As of now, there is still no scheduled date as to when this robotic creepy crawlies will be available in the market. However, it might not be long before we see these little robots scuttling around airplanes and carrying out inspections and repairs.

Robotic Cockroaches be Available in the Market

So, the next time you see a cockroach, you might want to look closer. It just might be one of these robotic cockroaches.


AdminAugust 11, 2018
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2min213

Over time, the traffic situation in the city is becoming more and more frustrating as the population continues to explode. When it comes to driving in the city, being caught in traffic is really undesirable.

Traffic Light System

Luckily, some researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have come up with a solution. They have claimed that they have discovered a way to reduce a city driver’s travel time by up to 40%, as well as lower carbon emission, lessen congestion, and prevent accidents.

Virtual Traffic Lights and How it Works

Virtual Traffic Lights, which is an emerging vehicle-to-vehicle technology, is primarily designed for road efficiency. The concept behind it is to transfer the traffic control from fixed street signals to the cars themselves.

virtual traffic

“This technology basically buys you universal traffic control in each intersection,” Ozan Tonguz, a computer scientist at Carnegie Mellon University, explained. “The system makes traffic lights smart in the sense that it takes into consideration the number of vehicles that are present in each direction, and so it adjusts the cycle duration.”

In addition, Tonguz said that Virtual Traffic Light technology can be used as a standalone technology for traffic management. He even added, “The Virtual Traffic Light could also be used in combination with autonomous cars and congestion pricing, which is used by IBM and several other companies in different countries to mitigate congestion during rush hours.”

To explain how the technology actually works, Ozan Tonguz has provided a simple explanation: “When the driver is looking through the windshield, they’ll see that going straight is a green light, and turning right is a red light. It’s a seamless process as the driver doesn’t need to get involved in this decision-making process.”

After the driver has passed through the intersection, the virtual traffic light will automatically disappear.

Goals of Virtual Traffic Lights

The startup company truly has something going on with this technology, and they have a very venerable set of goals like aiming for a greener environment, for instance.

The most important goal of Virtual Traffic Lights is to give people their life back. Surely, most people believe that time is precious. Time lost cannot be taken back, after all. The average driver spends 15 hours each week just commuting. Now, wouldn’t it be nice to cut that time in half and give people more time to spend with their loved ones?

Traffic signs

Since less time is being spent on the road, we have more time to spend doing what we love to do; there is increased productivity not only in work but also in the personal lives of people. That is another goal of Virtual Traffic Lights.

Another goal is to improve general safety and reduce traffic fatalities. Because the technology can effectively function as a traffic system anywhere and because traffic lights at every intersection improve safety, there is a substantial increase in safety on highways and other road segments.

As mentioned earlier, having a greener environment is also a goal of Virtual Traffic Lights. Because drivers spend less time on the road, it leads to less pollution and reduction in carbon footprint of vehicles.

Lastly, Virtual Traffic Lights hope to improve the health and quality of life of people. It cannot be denied that traffic tends to induce stress, road rage, and pollution; all of which are bad for people’s health. And so if people spend less time getting stuck in traffic, their health and quality of life are considerably improved.

When it Will Be Available in the Market

Trafic It isn’t clear yet when the Virtual Traffic Lights will be sold in the market since it hasn’t been tested in a real-world setting. In fact, the biggest obstacle of Virtual Traffic Lights is to get the government to test the system in the real world.

When asked about it, Tonguz only said, “In my mind, the argument here is so compelling, the benefits so compelling; it’s not a matter of if but a matter of when.”



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