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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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Peruvian Company Creates Wooden Laptop Designed to Last Forever

In an age when tech companies are encouraging consumers to constantly buy newer, more-expensive gadgets, one Peruvian company has just a launched a sustainable wooden laptop designed to last at least 10 to 15 years.

In an attempt to bring new and affordable technology to the most remote areas of Peru, the Carrascos —a family made up of computer specialists and marketing experts – created the Wawalaptop, an SBC (Single Board Computer) with a wooden casing that can easily be taken apart for repairs and upgrading. The 0.1-inch (25.65-centimeter) laptop is lightweigh, ultra-portable and very affordable. A Wawalaptop costs 799 Peruvian Sol ($235), and an upgrade, which basically means a better circuit board, can be bought with about $35 on the free market.

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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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Chinese Startup Creates App That Finds Lost Dogs Using Photos of Their Nose

Chinese facial-recognition startup Megvii has been making news headlines for an app that allows people to track down their lost dogs using photos of their unique noses.

The idea of using AI-powered facial recognition technology to identify pets isn’t new, but what makes Megvii’s solution special is that instead of analyzing several facial features, like the eyes or snout, it focuses solely on dogs’ noses. Apparently, the patterns on a dog’s nose are just as unique as the ones on out fingertips, allowing the company’s app to track down pooches by matching their noses against a database with 95 percent accuracy. Megvii claims that its method is both cheaper and less invasive than inserting identification chips under the animals’ skin.

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Solein – The Wonder Food Made from Electricity, Water And Air

Finnish startup Solar Foods has come up with a way to produce a protein-rich food called Solein from electricity, water and air, by using an environment-friendly process similar to brewing beer.

Described as the world’s most environmentally friendly protein, Solein is is made by applying electricity to water to release bubbles of carbon dioxide and hydrogen. Living microbes are then added to the liquid to feed on the carbon dioxide and hydrogen bubbles and produce the Solein, which is then dried to make the powder. It’a natural fermentation process similar to beer brewing, but it requires a special reactor that reportedly resembles a hurricane lantern. The dried Solein has a protein content of 50 percent and looks and tastes just like wheat flour. It can be used in all kinds of diets and can be 3D-printed for added texture.

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Meet Liam Nikuro, Japan’s First Virtual Male Influencer

1sec Inc., a Japanese technology company that specializes in blending the digital world with our reality, has created Japan’s first virtual male influencer, a young music producer named Liam Nikuro.

If you thought making it as an Instagram influencer these days was hard, we have some bad new for you: it’s about to get even harder, with perfect-looking virtual models entering the fray. Following the success of digital social media stars like Miquela and Imma, a Japanese tech start-up set out to create the Asian country’s first virtual male model. The result of their hard work is Liam Nikuro, a young heart-throb “from Los Angeles” who reportedly works in some of the coolest and most profitable industries of our time – music, fashion, and entertainment.

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12-Year-Old Boy Invents Rain-Detecting Clothes Drying Rack After Being Scolded by His Mother

A 12-year-old by from Nanning, China recently won first prize at a regional science and innovation contest for creating an automatic clothes drying rack that retracts whenever it detects rain and extends again when the sky clears. The ingenious contraption impressed a lot of people, but it was the inspiration behind it that really got people talking.

Lu Jiezhen, a sixth-grade student at North-East Women’s Education Center in, Nanning, China’s Guangdong Province, came up with the idea for the automatic rain-detecting drying rack after being yelled at by his mother. One day, she had to leave the house and asked him to look after the clothes she had hung out to dry, reminding him that he was to take them inside in case it started to rain. Needless to say, the 12-year-old started playing around the house and forgot to pick up the clothes when the rain inevitably came. When his mother returned, she found the clothes soaking wet, and scolded him for disobeying her. But instead of finding excuses, Lu started thinking about a solution that would make his forgetfulness irrelevant in the future.

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Russian Startup Plans to Launch Giant Ad Billboards in Low-Earth Orbit

Imagine looking up to gaze at the moon on a clear summer night only to see the sky full of glowing advertising billboards. That’s the future envisioned by a Russian start-up which plans to launch billboard advertisements into low-Earth orbit as early as 2021.

Russian company StartRocket announced plans to introduce orbital advertising billboards made up of a grid of tissue box-sized satellites called CubeSats. These tiny satellites will orbit 400-500 kilometers above the Earth and use reflective Mylar sails around 30 feet in diameter to catch and reflect sunlight, creating a pixelated matrix. The ads would only be visible at night but could be seen from just about anywhere on the planet. The company already has a CubeSat prototype, and could start testing its sky advertisements next year.

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Chinese Schools Track Students with GPS-Enabled “Smart Uniforms”

Eleven schools in the Chinese province of Guizhou have introduced micro-chipped uniforms that track and monitor the students even beyond school grounds.

Developed by local company Guizhou Guanyu Technology, the smart school uniforms feature two microchips embedded into the shoulder pads which allow both the school and the children’s parents to monitor their activity at all times. A GPS system tracks their movements and an alarm informs both teachers and parents whenever a student leaves the classroom or school grounds without permission, or if he falls asleep during classes. The smart uniforms also allow students’ parents to monitor their purchases at school and set spending limits via a mobile app.

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China Unveils Disturbingly Realistic AI News Anchors

China’s state news agency Xinhua unveiled two very realistic looking AI news anchors that can “tirelessly” report the news 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, from anywhere in the world.

We’ve known that robots and artificial intelligence were coming for our jobs, but somehow I never thought news anchors would be among the first to be replaced. However, if the two AI broadcasters who made their debut last week during China’s annual World Internet Conference are anything to go by, the future of human news anchors looks very bleak. The newest additions to Xinhua’s team of broadcasters not only look disturbingly realistic, but they can also move their mouths to match the audio, blink, nod their head in emphasis, or raise their eyebrows. But their most important quality is that they can work 24/7, both on the agency’s website and on social media platforms, greatly “reducing news production costs and improving efficiency”.

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This Religious Pokemon GO-Like App Lets You Catch Biblical Characters Instead of Pokemon

Follow JC Go! is a religious take on the popular mobile game Pokemon Go. Instead of using augmented reality to roam around in the real world and catch virtual Pokemon, you get to catch saints and other religious figures.

Developed by Fundación Ramón Pané, a Catholic organization with headquarters in Miami and Honduras, Follow JC Go! is an augmented reality video game that combines technology and evangelization to teach players of all ages about the Catholic faith. It features the same principles as the immensely popular Pokemon GO app, allowing users to roam around real-life locations and use the camera of their smartphones to find and catch virtual characters. Only instead of Pokemon like the adorable Pikachu, players will be looking for saints and other religious figures.

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Chinese City to Launch “Artificial Moon” Bright Enough to Replace Streetlights

The chairman of a private space contractor in Chengdu, China, recently revealed plans to launch an “artificial moon” satellite up to eight times as bright as the real moon and capable of replacing traditional streetlights.

The ambitious project was announced at a national mass innovation and entrepreneurship event held in Chengdu, a city of 14 million people in China’s southwestern province of Sichuan. Wu Chunfeng, the chairman of the private space contractor Chengdu Aerospace Science and Technology Microelectronics System Research Institute Co (Casc) revealed plans to launch an illumination satellite referred to as an “artificial moon” that would be eight times as bright as Earth’s natural satellite and capable of an area with a diameter of 10-80km.

The innovative satellite “designed to complement the moon at night” has apparently been in the works since for years, but thanks to the rapid advancement of technology it should be ready for launch in 2020. While the exact details of the satellite have yet to be revealed, some media outlets report that it will have a coating that can reflect light from the sun with solar panel-like wings which can be adjusted to allow the light to focus on precise locations.

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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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‘Human Uber’ Lets Users Attend Events Using Another Person’s Body

If you’ve been looking for something to help you leave the house even less than you currently do, you’re probably going to love “Human Uber” a tech concept that allows people to be present anywhere using another person’s body.

Japanese researcher Jun Rekimoto presented his idea, called ChameleonMask, at MIT Tech Review’s EmTech in Singapore this week. Although he described it as “human uber,” his intriguing concept is more accurately described as mobile FaceTime, although even that is too much of a simplification considering that the technology aims to allow someone else to live your life for you.

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Japanese Inn Teams Up with Car Maker Nissan to Create Self-Driving Slippers for Its Guests

Japan has long been known for both its strong traditions and being on the cutting edge of technology, and  this new inn combining the classic Japanese surroundings with high-tech, self-driving slippers and furniture is a perfect reflection of this.

Nissan Motor Co. developed a system in which slippers park themselves at the entrance of the traditional inn, called ‘ProPilot Park Ryokan,’ waiting for guests to use them upon arrival. When guests have finished using them, the slippers will drive themselves back to their original position. Each slipper features two tiny wheels, a motor, and sensors to drive it across the lobby’s wooden floor using a simplified form of Nissan’s ProPilot Park technology.

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