09 December 2016

Microsoft Turns Phones into PCs

Microsoft is bringing a full version of Windows 10, complete with desktop app support, to ARM chipsets. The software giant demonstrated Windows 10 running on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chip, complete with HD video playback, Adobe Photoshop support, and Microsoft Office. Microsoft expects ARM-based laptops to be the first to adopt this new version of Windows 10. Traditional x86 desktop apps will be emulated, making the experience seamless to the end user. Laptops might be the first, but it’s easy to realize that this means Microsoft is about to turn a phone into a real PC.


Microsoft surprised everyone with Continuum for phones last year, a feature of Windows 10 that lets phones turn into a PC. Continuum makes use of Qualcomm chipsets and Windows 10’s new universal apps to scale from a phone screen up to a monitor and includes features that make it feel like a full-blown PC. While it might look like a PC, you can’t currently run apps like Chrome or Photoshop, and it’s reliant on developers creating universal apps. Microsoft is making Continuum a lot more powerful next year, thanks to desktop apps.

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08 December 2016

AR Glasses for Cyclists

Augmented reality company Everysight announced that its Raptor smart glasses for cyclists are entering final development. The glasses overlay sharp, high resolution information onto the cyclist’s view to enhance athletic performance. Eyesight has also kicked off a Test Pilot Program to give consumers access to the pre-release version of the Raptor glasses to help shape the user experience by providing feedback on the product. The company says, its patented BEAM technology allows the information appear as a projection out in front of the user rather than delivering information with an object located around the eye area that obscures the rider’s vision.


The on-lens projection displays real-time information such as turn-by-turn navigation, time, distance, speed, heart rate, cadence and power, while reducing eyestrain and keeping a rider’s vision clear. Riders may choose to use a controller located on their handlebars, voice command or a simple swipe and touch pad located on the temples of the Raptor to control functions including maps, volume, brightness, communication and more. A look-and-shoot camera captures high definition video that can be uploaded and analyzed post-ride. Videos can also be shared with friends and followers through any social media channel.

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07 December 2016

Upload Knowledge to your Brain

Scientists have found a way where they can feed information into anyone’s brain and it wouldn’t even require that much effort as they claim it will be as easy as falling asleep. Scientists at HRL information and system Sciences Laboratory, California have been working on a low-current electrical brain stimulation to modulate a person’s learning of complex, real-world skills.


Researchers utilized a neuro-stimulation technique known as TDCS (Transcranial direct current stimulation) to excite areas in the brain which are responsible for learning and skilling retention. TDCS technique is a noninvasive, painless shock that makes use of a constant, small electric current to excite specific brain regions.

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30 November 2016

Super-Recognizers

In 2009, psychological scientists first used the term super-recognizer to describe four participants in a study they conducted. According to the conclusions of the study, their findings demonstrate the existence of people with exceptionally good face recognition ability and show that the range of face recognition and face perception ability is wider than has been previously acknowledged. More recently, researchers at the University of Greenwich in London, is advancing this work. I talked to researchers to find out more about this fascinating field of research. By chance, they also one of the most recognizable people I have ever met.


According to them, approximately 1% of us may be super-recognizers. They might have this memory superpower. They have already identified well over 1000 super-recognizers from around the world. According them one of the problems is diagnosing super-recognition. Currently researchers have tended to use two main criteria. First, excellent performance on short term face memory tests using photos. Second, extraordinary subjective experiences of real person recognition. However, it can be difficult to know from lab-based tests how good a particular person is at real-life face remembering, he concedes.

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28 November 2016

Mapping Disaster Areas Using Drones & Insect Biobots

Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a combination of software and hardware that will allow them to use unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and insect cyborgs, or biobots, to map large, unfamiliar areas, such as collapsed buildings after a disaster. The biobots would be allowed to move freely within a defined area and would signal researchers via radio waves whenever they got close to each other. Custom software would then use an algorithm to translate the biobot sensor data into a rough map of the unknown environment.


Once the program receives enough data to map the defined area, the UAV moves forward to hover over an adjacent, unexplored section. The biobots move with it, and the mapping process is repeated. The software program then stitches the new map to the previous one. This can be repeated until the entire region or structure has been mapped; that map could then be used by first responders or other authorities. This has utility for areas, like collapsed buildings, where GPS can't be used.

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