Technology Review (5/18)

SELF DRIVING CARS

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For years we have heard rumors about autonomous vehicles and now they are in the process of full development. Vehicles that have been coined self-operated have actually been around for a while now.  In fact, self-driving cars should be of no surprise to most people as the NYC subway is controlled by an AI and there are military aircrafts that strictly fly based off of computerized demands. A company called Waymo officially abandoned test drivers behind the wheels of their autonomous vehicles in Arizona back in November of 2017. They are now in the process of launching a self-driving taxi service in the suburbs of Phoenix. The development of these vehicles, although a bit scary at first thought, could offer many potential benefits; more efficient commuting, more free time, fewer traffic incidents and of course a major step in innovative technologies.

In fact, the Tesla company states that their auto-pilot option will be ready to drive itself from California to New York in the near future. This is good news for Tesla owners as all they would need is an update to their vehicle and it will already be capable of self-driving. However, even with such a major leap in technology and other benefits there is still a fear that many could lose their jobs and many jobs could become more demanding. This innovation is advantageous, but it could result in an economic rift.

COMPUTATIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY

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Computational photography is a feature that is on the up and up. It refers to the many avenues taken by engineers with advanced software that will enhance digital cameras. The camera pieces and parts we all know and admire are not being replaced, but the software being implemented by engineers will make many new magical moments possible when it comes to getting the best and most desired shots, while also making these devices affordable. In case you haven’t noticed, our phones are constantly getting sleeker, thinner and more covertly portable and the images captured from such devices are only getting clearer and highly defined. One of the biggest influences in that feat is software which adds better depth of field effects. Even professionals are beginning to shoot with iPhones, Samsung Phones and Google Phones as they have each exhibited superior HDR processing and integrate many AI features.

UPDATED NINTENDO

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Nintendo is back and better than ever! The death of the Wii U was an unfortunate event in early 2017 although it was a promising console. The simple fact is that it was never able to take off in the way it needed to to gain fame from audiences. Although upsetting, many were taken aback when the Switch hit the market. The Switch brought back the classic sense of the Nintendo platform; inexpensive, gimmick-focused and a shitload of excellent, nostalgic titles. However, it was its signature feature that brought many past and present fans flocking to retrieve it. The Switch can go seamlessly from console play on the TV to mobile play (a feature that made me think hmmm if this was possible on the PS Vita would it still be popular today?). Ports of older games like Skyrim and Doom are actually fresh takes because they are now mobile games that are almost as good as their counterparts on other consoles. Although not a recent technology, the Switch is still popular and deserves praise for its features especially games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild which was one of the best high quality games produced on the system. The Switch also gives some of the popular systems such as PS4 and XBox One a run for their money.

PROOF WRISTBAND

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Driving drunk is both incompetent and dangerous for anyone and no one should ever do it. However, sometimes we are in a position where making that choice may be difficult even after having several drinks that you assume may not have gotten you intoxicated. Monitoring your blood alcohol content without a proper breathalyzer test is not always possible until now. Proof is a unique and elegant solution to this problem; it is a wearable wristband that can discretely analyze your BAC levels through your skin. Developers of the product were able to successfully reach their target goal for funding and Proof will begin shipping at full production capacity sometime this year.

 

REVERSE MICROWAVE

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The microwave was originally produced to heat up meals in a rush. However, sometimes people need things frozen quickly. Some may say “why not just use a freezer?”, but freezers take time to do their job. Frigondas, is an innovative home kitchen technology which can cool and freeze food and drinks in mere minutes and can also serve a dual purpose as a standard microwave as well. There is no set release date for the product, but it will be available in the U.S. in the near future.

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