After rounding up the technology news in September and October, it is clear that the world is filled with amazing and innovative technological advancements. We decided to continue giving a break-down of the biggest tech news stories and so below we have provided you with an overview of what happened in November! Check it out:
1. Ford is Progressing with Self-Driving Cars
According to a Toronto Star article, Ford recently tested its self-driving Ford Fusion in Miami in front of journalists and analysts. The company has been working to make its self-driving partner, Argo AI, more comfortable behind the wheel and give it the same confidence as human drivers while still remaining safe on the roads. The goal is for the vehicle to fit in with the flow and movement of other vehicles in traffic. According to Ford, these aren’t going to be publicly available until 2021. Self-driving cars are even expected to become a business worth $7 trillion by 2050.
2. Technology Helping Patients with Dementia
According to a CTV News video, a company in Midland, Ontario has partnered with the University of Toronto and developed technology to stimulate and trigger memories in dementia patients to improve their quality of life. Thanks to an interactive machine called “Abby”, they can flip switches and press buttons to bring up music and photos to help gain access to forgotten memories and delay the progression of Dementia.
3. Ottawa Symphony Using 3D Printed Violins
According to a CTV News video, 8 violins and violas of the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra are made from plastic from a 3D printer. It took over 18 months to print, perfect and fine-tune the instruments while using a wooden violin as a model for the design. The reason for this undertaking was for the purpose of experimenting with technology, providing people with more access to music with the hopes that they would gain more of an interest in the instrument. The 3D printed plastic violins are of a slightly different pitch and are produced at a much lower cost than the traditional wooden instruments.
4. Amazon Alexa Solving Crime
According to a Global News article, in January 2017 two women were stabbed to death in a home in New Hampshire. An Amazon Echo speaker with the Alexa voice-assistant was on the kitchen counter during the incident, which could have picked up what happened at the time of their deaths. A U.S. court judge believes the servers and records maintained by Amazon.com contains the recordings of the attack made by the Echo speaker.
5. Foldable Smartphone Screens
According to a Global News article, companies like Samsung are getting ready to release smartphones with flexible and foldable screens to revive the mobile market with innovation. This special feature will be more versatile and could increase the display space to the size of a mini tablet which can then be folded up to the size of a small wallet. These special Samsung smartphones will be ready for release no later than next year, with Google, LG Electronics, Royole and Huawei not far behind with their own foldable screen models. In fact, according to Royole, their foldable smartphone, FlexPai, can be bent more than 200,000 times without deteriorating.
6. Blackberry Acquires California AI Cybersecurity Firm
According to a Reuters article, Blackberry recently bought Cylance, the California-based machine learning specialist, for $1.4 billion. Cylance uses machine learning to anticipate security breaches before they happen. Blackberry is hoping that their experience in artificial intelligence and cybersecurity will compliment their portfolio and add to Blackberry’s strength in mobile communications.
7. Robot Backpack for Collaborative Working
According to a BBC article, a robot operated Fusion backpack created at the Keio University’s Graduate School of Media Design in Tokyo was built for the purpose of collaborative working. The person operating the backpack can be in a completely different country controlling the machine using a virtual reality headset to move the robotic arms. The operator can see the backpack wearer’s point of view and aid them with different tasks by controlling the robotic limbs.
8. Technology for Warning Forest Fires in California
According to a CNBC article, the next California governor, Gavin Newsom, wishes to put in place a project to help face the devastating forest fire seasons. This would be an expansion on a camera network which gives early signs and warnings of wildfires in high-fire areas. Newsom continues to express the importance and need for tech solutions to combat forest fires. This includes using artificial intelligence and more early-warning infrared cameras placed around the state to spot them and enable a faster response from firefighters. Currently, there only exists 80 of these cameras around the state and so the goal is to increase the number of cameras on the network over the next four years to 600 by 2022.
9. Toyota Using HoloLens to Build Cars
According to a CNN article, Toyota is hoping augmented reality headsets can improve designing, manufacturing and fixing cars. Ford and Paccar are also among some of the big vehicle companies to use the HoloLens to help with designing vehicles. At the headquarters in Japan, Toyota is using this technology to speed up the process of measuring the thickness of paint and rust-prevention coatings to ensure consistent colour and to avoid corrosion. Apparently, this process usually takes up to a whole day, but thanks to the HoloLens, it only takes four hours. Toyota is also using the device to reveal which areas of a car that need to be tested.
10. Volkswagen Building Electric Cars
According to two Reuters articles, Volkswagen is planning on spending 44 billion euros on electric cars, autonomous driving, digitalization and new mobility services by 2023. They plan to increase productivity in factories by 30% by 2025. And, thanks to a new electric vehicle production platform, the company will be able to build over 15 million electric cars over the next several years.
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