Window Swap – A Site That Lets You Experience the Views From Total Strangers’ Windows

In a time when traveling the world isn’t as simple as it used to be, a site that lets you experience the view from a window halfway around the world sounds pretty interesting. That’s where Window Swap comes in.

Developed by Sonali Ranjit and Vaishnav Balasubramaniam, a husband and wife team from Singapore, as a quarantine project, Window Swap is an easy and ingenious way to travel all around the world, from the comfort of your own home. All you have to do is visit the Window Swap website and click on the “Open a new window somewhere in the world” button to instantly be transported in a stranger’s home in cities like London, Bangalore or Jakarta from the windows of whom you can admire the views they wake up to every day.

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Automation Studio Creates Robot Swift That Flies Just Like the Real Bird

German automation company Festo recently unveiled its latest bio-inspired creation, the Bionic Swift, a lightweight robot capable of mimicking the flight of an actual swift.

Over the last decade Festo has unveiled an impressive number of robots inspired by the Earth’s fauna, from bionic ants and butterflies, to penguins, jellyfish and even kangaroos. Earlier this month, the robotics studio showcased their newest invention, a lightweight flying robot inspired by the swift and capable of mimicking its flight maneuvers with impressive accuracy. From steep turns and drops to nausea-inducing loops, the new Bionic Swift can pull of most, if not all, of a real swift’s movements.

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This Japanese Smartphone Won’t Let You Take Inappropriate Photos

Japanese company Tone Mobile has been getting a lot of attention ever since it launched its Tone e20 model, the world’s first smartphone that prevents users from taking “inappropriate” (nude) photos.

The Tone e20 is not a particularly attractive phone, and its spec sheet isn’t exactly impressive either, but it does one thing that no other phone in the word does – it uses artificial intelligence to prevent users from taking nude photos of themselves or anyone else. Aimed primarily at parents who want to ‘protect children from predators’, the phone can also ‘connect’ with other devices and notify their owner if the connected phone has clicked an inappropriate photo.

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Man Creates Virtual Traffic Jam on Google Maps by Dragging Small Cart with 99 Phones on Empty Street

German artist Simon Weckert recently went viral after posting a video on YouTube dragging a small cart with 99 smartphones on an empty street and tricking Google Maps into showing a traffic jam.

Basically, Weckert loaded 99 smartphones with Google Maps turned on onto a small wagon cart and then pulled that cart around various streets in Berlin, including outside the Google office building. He was thus reportedly able to fool Google’s GPS app into thinking that there was a high concentration of users on those streets. And because the phones were being carried in a slow-moving cart, the app was also tricked into thinking that it was detecting a traffic jam.

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Man Implants Car Key in Hand to His Unlock Tesla with a Simple Wave

A self-described cybernetics enthusiast from Utah recently made news headlines after having his Tesla 3 key embedded in his hand, allowing him to unlock it just by holding his hand close to the car.

Ben Workman has four computer chips embedded in his hands that allow him to perform different actions, from locking and unlocking his Tesla and the doors at his workplace, to logging into his computer and even sharing contact information. He has always been fascinated by technology and was eager to become a real-life cyborg as soon as the option became available, but he had trouble finding someone willing to perform the procedure at first. He was turned down by a veterinarian, a doctor and a piercing studio for his first two implants, so he eventually convinced a family member to do it.

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Chinese Researchers Create Stretchable Display Thin Enough to Be Worn as Temporary Tattoo

A team of researchers from the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Nanjing University recently unveiled an innovative display that is thin and flexible enough to be worn on skin, like a type of temporary tattoo.

Having to check a stopwatch to see your time while running, or looking at your smartphone screen to see who is calling may soon be things of the past thanks to a new and revolutionary human-machine interface that allows information to be displayed directly on human skin. Called alternating-current electroluminescent (ACEL) display, this new invention consists of an electroluminescent layer made of light-emitting microparticles sandwiched between two flexible silver nanowire electrodes. The ceramic nanoparticles embedded in stretchable polymer make this ACEL display brighter than any other, allowing it be clearly visible even in a well-lit room.

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Harry Potter Fans Eye Toyota’s New Electrically-Powered Witch’s Broom

Called an “e-broom”, Toyota’s latest mobility platform looks like a futuristic witch’s broom that users can ride to get around. Apparently, quidditch fans found the concept very intriguing.

Unfortunately, Toyota’s e-broom isn’t yet able to make quidditch players airborne, like in the popular Harry Potter books, but they are capable of propelling people on the ground, as long as they are wearing roller-skates. The e-broom is meant to be ridden like a witch’s broom, only instead of relying on magic to whisk its users towards the sky, it relies on an electrical motor and a wheel at the bottom to propel its rider forward at moderate speed. It’s not as impressive as we’d like it to be, but at least it’s a step toward a real life quidditch broom.

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Chinese Company Develops New Recognition System Based on Veins in the Human Hand

While most human identification technology companies choose to focus on facial recognition, one Chinese startup claims to have developed  much more accurate identification system based on micro traits of veins within human hand.

Developed by MELUX, AirWave is an incredibly efficient identification system that is said to be a million times more accurate than facial recognition technology. There are only 80 to 280 feature points on the face that artificial intelligence can asses when scanning an individual, but AirWave is able to scan more than a million micro-feature points in the palm of the hand in under 0.3 seconds, making it virtually impossible to cheat. A simple swipe of the palm over a special sensor is all that’s required to get an ultra-accurate authentication and/or authorization in real time.

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Terrifying Deepfake App Lets You Swap Faces with Virtually Anyone

Zao, a Chinese artificial intelligence-powered app that allows users to swap faces with actors and other celebrities in videos and GIF images, has sparked serious privacy concerns due to how convincing the transformation can be.

Uploaded to China’s iOS App Store last Friday, Zao became the number one downloaded app on the platform in only two days and looking at what it can do, it’s easy to see why. By using artificial intelligence, the app is able to take a simple picture of the user and superimpose it on to the face of any character in a video or GIF with truly breathtaking results. For example, one user claims it only took them under 8 seconds to swap faces with Leonardo DiCaprio and fulfil their dream of starring in blockbusters like Titanic.

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Chinese Scientists Use Innovative Chip to Power Autonomous Bicycle

While tech giants like Tesla and Google are working hard to perfect autonomous cars, a team of scientists in China is developing a self-driving bicycle and their results are pretty impressive.

Showcased in a short video presentation, the autonomous bicycle developed by scientists at Tsinghua University, in Beijing, can balance itself while also avoiding obstacles, following certain trajectories and obeying vocal commands. It can do all these things thanks to a revolutionary type of computer chip that combines two different architectural approaches to computing that hadn’t really worked well together until now, due to communication difficulties between the two systems. However, if this self-driving bike is any indication, the Chinese seem to have solved those issues.

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Real-Life Minority Report – AI Software Can Catch Shoplifters Before They Steal

A Japanese tech startup claims to have developed an artificial intelligence software that analyzes surveillance camera footage in order to detect suspicious behavior and prevent shoplifting before it actually happens.

In 2002, when the movie Minority Report, starring Tom Cruise, came out, the concept of preventing a future crime before the perpetrator did anything remotely suspicious was nothing more than a cool sci-fi idea, but thanks to the rapid advancement of artifical intelligence, we already have an early version of the technology displayed in that movie. VaakEye, an AI software developed by Japanese startup Vaak, can allegedly detect shoplifting before it occurs by analyzing surveillance camera footage for discrete suspicious movements and behaviors of people caught in the camera’s field of view. If the algorithm decides that there is a high-enough probability of a person shoplifting, it sends an alert via a smartphone app so the crime can be prevented.

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Forget Face Recognition, Chinese Authorities Now Use “Gait Recognition” Technology That Identifies People By How They Walk

They say you can tell a lot about a person by the way they walk, but one Chinese startup has apparently developed technology that allows it to identify individuals by their gait, even if their face is covered or they have their back to the camera.

Known as “gait recognition”, the technology invented by artificial intelligence startup Watrix analyses thousands of metrics about a person’s walk, from their body shape and the angle of arm movement to their posture and whether they have a toe-in or toe-out gait. All these individual traits go into a database that the software then goes through when attempting to identify people. According to an official statement from Watrix, the accuracy rate of gait technology at the laboratory level exceeds 96 per cent.

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Modern Scarecrows Use Lasers to Keep Hungry Birds At Bay

We are always looking for new and innovative ways to harness technology, and the industry of farming is no exception. A blueberry farm in Oregon was having big problems with birds stealing up to 25% of their crops and this year, they addressed the problem using a somewhat unconventional new technology.

At the start of the blueberry growing season, the farm installed 6 Agrilaser Autonomics—automated laser guns which are mounted on a pedestal. These laser guns shoot a steady green laser beam across the bushes. The birds seem to mistake the laser for an incoming predator, and will immediately flee whenever the laser comes close to them.

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These Liquid-Filled Eyeglasses Allegedly Make Wearers Immune to Motion Sickness

French car maker Citroën recently unveiled a pair of glassless, liquid-filled eye-glasses that can reportedly treat the symptoms of motion sickness.

Called Seetroën, the ingenious eyeglasses use Boarding Ring technology, which was created by a French start-up of the same name, to treat motion sickness in just a few minutes. According to the official press release, after being worn for 10 to 12 minutes, “the glasses enable the mind to resynchronise with the movement perceived by the inner ear while the eyes were focused on an immobile object such as a smartphone or a book,” and the wearer can just take them off and enjoy the rest of the journey.

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Billion Dollar Real Estate Company Ditches Physical Offices for Virtual Reality Campus

eXp Realty, one of the world’s fastest growing and most successful real estate companies, has become famous for not investing in any actual real-estate, opting instead for virtual reality offices that allow its agents and brokers to interact and socialize from anywhere around the globe.

Glenn Sanford, eXp Realty’s founder and CEO, founded the company a decade ago, soon after the real estate market collapse of 2007. He couldn’t afford to buy or rent office space, and figured that focusing on a system that allowed his team to work remotely would help the company avert disaster, should another real-estate crisis occur in the future. So eXp Realty relied on services like Google Docs and spreadsheets, project management solutions like Trello, and communications app Slack to help its workforce work together without actually sharing the same space. But three years ago, the company took this remote collaboration system to a whole new level, by building a campus complete with offices, meeting rooms, auditoriums, lounges and more, in virtual reality.

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