Ever wondered what fireworks look like from the air? So did Joe Stinghling, an ameteur drone operator. So last week, he and a few friends launched his DJI Phantom 2 drone with a GoPro Hero 3 camera, and the results are beautiful.
SCiO is the world's first affordable molecular sensor (priced at $249) that fits in the palm of your hand. Developed by Consumer Physics, SCiO is a tiny spectrometer that can tell you the chemical makeup of everything around you. Advanced algorithms rely on an updatable database to analyze the spectrum within milliseconds and deliver instant, specfic information about your sample directly to your smartphone.
SCiO can tell you the chemical makeup of food, plants, medications, oils, fuels, plastics, wood and much more. It can tell you:
- Nutritional facts about different kinds of food, including salad dressings, sauces, fruits, cheeses and more
- How ripe an avocado is, through the peel
- The quality of your cooking oil
- The well being of your plants
- About your soil or hydroponic solutions
- About medications or supplements
The developers are working on expanding the reaches of SCiO. In the future, it may be able to tell you the properties of cosmetics, clothes, flora, jewels and precious stones, leather, rubber, plastics, and even your pet!
While the FAA recently grounded Amazon's plans to make deliveries by drones, Dodo Pizza in Syktyvkar, Russia, has done it.
On June 21, 2014, Dodo Pizza delivered six pizzas in 1.5 hours -- the first commercial pizza delivery by drone.
Here's how it works: A Dodo Pizza salesperson takes orders on a tablet in a park -- cash and credit accepted. The tablet transmits orders to a tablet in the restaurant's kitchen. A few minutes later, the pizza box is loaded onto a CopterExpress drone and flown to the park, where it lowers the pizza to the customer with a cable. The customer gets his or her pizza and everyone gets a show.
Currently, the delivery location is limited because the routes and flights must be pre-approved by authorities.
According to a recent NPR story, a computer program has passed the Turing Test, a test that determines whether people can tell if they're communicating with a person or machine.
The program, called Eugene developed by Vladimir Veselov and Eugene Demchenko, fooled roughly 100 out of 300 people into believing they were text chatting with a 13-year-old Ukrainian boy named Eugene Goostman.
Eugene's creators spent a lot of time developing a believable personality and programming the "dialog controller," which makes conversations seem human.
Ever wonder how virtual reality could be applied to the world of farming? Well, a project called Second Livestock might have the answer.
This virtual reality concept for conventionally farmed chickens seeks to solve the problem of free-range chickens being more expensive than conventionally raised chickens. Using virtual reality, farmers would trick chickens into thinking they live in spacious, green fields. In reality, they would be confined to small pens like many chickens are today.
Second Livestock is meant to spark conversation about the ethics of contemporary farming and our growing reliance on “virtual worlds.” The project’s website raises some interesting questions:
- What role does virtual reality play in our real, day-to-day lives?
- Is perception reality—both for humans and for animals?
- What are the ethical considerations of using virtual reality in farming?
- What advancements does the future hold in high-tech farming?
- How could virtual reality be used to improve the quality of life for animals (and even humans)?
To find out more, and see some of the project’s interesting (and disturbing) conceptual images, click here.