Google Unveils Driverless Vehicle
Google unveiled the latest version of its driverless car last week at the Code Conference in California. According to Google's website, the unconventional vehicle has no need for any driver controls, such as a steering wheel. The company has spent a number of years equipping conventional cars with special equipment to drive themselves, but this prototype has no human controls other than emergence stop switch. Within the next year, Google aims to build a hundred of these models for further testing on the streets. Google hopes that the introduction of electric-powered, self-driving cars will increase safety and provide a more environmentally friendly mode of transport.
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have hooked up one of their flying robots, known as a quadrotor, to Google's Tango smartphone. Google's Project Tango is a 5-inch Android smartphone equipped with the Myriad 1 vision processor, which combines intelligent vision with power efficiency. The phone has a number of capabilities that can benefit the robot, such as a motion tracking camera, depth sensor, and vision processors capable of tracking its position and creating real-time 3-D maps. The device enables the robot to navigate itself autonomously.
Neurogames on the Way
According to Palmer Luckey, founder of the renowned OculusVR, the future of neurogaming is practically upon us. Neurogames involve a combination of technologies that incorporate the player's nervous system into the game itself. The technology may include items such as EEG headsets, brain wave sensing and eye movement tracking devices and heart rate monitors. Throw virtually augmented reality into the mix, and you have a fully immersive gaming experience previously impossible. Developers of PrioVR just completed a successful Kickstarter campaign to produce a full body tracking suit, which enables a gamer to explore a virtual world.
Sometimes technological innovation is about doing something that has never been done. The Saturn V rocket that carried Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins to the moon certainly was. But other times, maybe even most other times, technological innovation is about tackling the small challenges that amalgamate to produce big changes. Sometimes true innovation is not about creating a product that is outwardly revolutionary, but one that performs a common task significantly better than its predecessor. We see these technologies everywhere – from cardboard boxes to light bulbs to fuel and emissions efficient engine technology.
Wrist Computer Inspired by Video Game
The Pip-Boy 3000 is a wearable wrist computer that looks like it came straight out of a video game, and in fact, it did. The device was inspired by the Fallout series of video games. A team of Reno Hackers—Ashley Hennefer, Colin Loretz, Christopher Baker, Andrew Warren and Ben Hammel—created the cuff device for NASA's space wearables competition, part of the International Space Apps Challenge 48-hour hackathon.
Ayla Networks to Make Internet of Things More User-friendly
Imagine the convenience of being able to measure your household's use of water, find out why your smoke alarm is going off when you’re not home or check your insulin level, all with an app on your smartphone.
With technologies like tablets, touch screens, computers in cars and cloud computing becoming ubiquitous, inventions that were once firmly in the realm of science fiction are becoming a daily reality.
Attention Powered Car
If you have to make long commutes on a regular basis, you know how easy it is to get distracted while on the road, so you may be interested in a new device by Emotiv, designed to avert driver distraction. And what's unique about this solution is that it interacts directly with your brain.
While California may have Silicon Valley, it's New England that's making waves in the angel investment community, and Chris Mirabile is one of the people leading the way. Mirabile is the co-managing director of Launchpad Venture Group, the largest angel group in New England.