Technology

Finally, a VR chair that won’t make you nauseous

Tom Cruise lied and told me I’d feel like I was floating in zero gravity. OK, Cruise didn’t really lie to me IRL, but he did in VR, after I strapped on an Oculus Rift VR headset and sat down in a Positron Voyager VR cinema chair to try out the The Mummy: Zero Gravity VR Experience at SXSW 2017. The Positron Voyager was introduced at the Sundance Film Festival in January. Like all immersive theater chairs — you know, like those 4D movie chairs that rock back and forth to make you feel every explosion — the Voyager promises ...

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Ed Lane of BBC News wrote a fascinating article about how technology is changing disaster relief.

Consider the efforts of the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force in distributing to refugees in Northern Iraq the following: water; food; and the technology needed to communicate — power for mobile phones. Lane describes the initiative: Alongside tents and drinking water, RAF planes dropped more than 1,000 solar-powered lanterns attached to chargers for all types of mobile handsets to the stranded members of the Yazidi religious community below. It is the first time the lanterns have been airdropped in such a relief effort, but humanitarian workers say it is part of growing efforts to develop technology designed to make a ...

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MULTAN: Pakistan’s premier smart robot waitress serves foods.

Dreaming big! A fast food restaurant run by robots. The robot wraps female scarf around neck, can easily navigate to the customer’s table, greet the customers in mechanical voice “Hello welcome” and serves meal and come back to the service counter. It can also detect obstacles on the way during serving orders and avoid them to continue towards its destination. All the mechanical and electrical components used in the robot are completely made in Pakistan. “The robot navigates with the help of object detection besides speaking in female mechanical voice. Sensitive censors incorporated in the robot to help the machine ...

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Apple’s iPhone-destroying robots are ‘operating’ in California and Europe

Last spring, Apple introduced a new robot at its spring event, Liam, whose job it is to take apart iPhones so more of the valuable materials inside could be recovered and reused. Liam “production line” systems are currently operating in California and the Netherlands, Apple said in a report published on February 21. One Liam system can disassemble 1.2 million iPhone 6 units in a year, according to the report. The maximum 2.4 million phones the two systems can take apart per year are a fraction of the 211 million iPhones Apple sold in 2016. Last spring, Apple said that its robot could ...

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The cognitive cloud? IBM rolls out Watson-as-a-service

Otto writes: IBM announced last week it has moved its cognitive computing system into the cloud to form the Watson Discovery Advisor, allowing researchers, academics and anyone else trying to leverage big data the ability to test programs and hypotheses at speeds never before seen. Since Watson is built to understand the nuance of natural language, this new service allows researchers to process millions of data points normally impossible for humans to handle. This can reduce project timelines from years to weeks or days. The ability to understand natural language queries is a big deal. You can ask, for example: “I’m ...

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