Move Over Lidar, SWEEPER is here

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Big, expensive, and the opposite of aesthetically pleasing are what usually pops into a techie’s head whenever he or she hears the word Lidar, which stands for light detection and ranging. Due to its rather hefty price tag, Lidar’s wondrous abilities are only utilized by experimental cars. The US’ Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) says that things are about to change.

Enter SWEEPER, which is basically a Lidar-on-a-chip system. SWEEPER is an acronym for: Short-range Wide-field-of-view Extremely agile Electronically steered Photonic EmitteR.

The Singularity University: An Eye Towards the Future

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In the early 1900s, several postcards depicting futuristic images of people in flying machines circulated around Germany.

What’s interesting about the flying machines is the materials they appear to be made of. The artist didn’t have any inkling of things like jet fuel, engines, or other propulsion systems, he rendered his own version of the airplane using technology available during that era: pedals, pulleys, ropes and other simple mechanisms.

The flying devices in the postcards are far from the actual vehicles we use today to move through the air. They probably look funny to most of you. But here’s a thought:

After a hundred years, won’t wireless devices, “high-speed” Internet, and other cutting-edge gadgets seem as primitive as pedals, pulleys, and ropes?

The Internet is the New TV

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Remember those good old days when you’d just sit on your couch and surf through channels, stick to one that you like, and just watch television for hours? You either watched TV by yourself or with a bunch of your friends or family members. Movie or TV series marathon anyone? Enter Netflix binge watching…

The Negative Effects of Social Media

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Our world is getting smaller and smaller and it’s partly because of social media. With platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat, we get to see what our friends are up to, reconnect with childhood buddies, and see what our relatives are currently doing, even if they’re halfway across the globe.

For many though, social media has become more than just a communication tool. It has turned into a distraction. Thanks (or no thanks) to smartphones and tablets, access to social networks are just several button presses and finger swipes away, whether you’re commuting, in an important meeting, or on the toilet. (Check out my article on Nomophobia.)

That said, what specific negative effects does social media have on its billions of users? Here are some of them:

Gaming: A Tool to Boost Cognitive Abilities

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For centuries humans have been quite successful at developing training programs designed to push the envelope of physical fitness. Want to lift 300 lb. weights? There are plenty of different training programs you can follow. Want to run a full marathon? A quick search on Google will show you several guides that’ll help you get in shape for that.

But what about our mental ability? Is there a proven regimen specifically designed to increase our cognitive capabilities?

Meet Bluesmart, the Smartest Luggage Ever

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A group of tech experts and designers over at Silicon Valley have pushed the envelope further when it comes to travelling. Welcome to the era of the “smart” luggage, brought to you by start-up company Bluesmart. Its brainchild, the Bluesmart, promises to “empower travelers, making the world a smarter, more connected planet.”

Apple’s New Patent Allows Users to Track People in Real Time

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Imagine being able to track people wherever they go, being able to see each and every turn another person makes in real time. Sounds fun? (or maybe creepy?) Apple users will soon have easy access to this technology. The company recently registered a patent for the tech called “Sharing location information among devices” at the US Patent and Trademark Office.