Tag Archives: Innovations

Augmented Reality: Apple Unveils ‘Glass Air’ Glasses

Concept Images by Kylin Wu

Yanko Design (June 2, 2023) – Augmented Reality has always been Tim Cook’s favorite buzzword, and he’s consistently pushed for Apple to have a presence in this space. It’s expected that all this will culminate in what analysts and leakers call “Reality”, Apple’s first XR headset. This cutting-edge device, expected to be unveiled at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, aims to pioneer the relatively uncharted realm of mixed-reality technology.

With a price tag of approximately $3,000, the ‘Reality’ headset has been seven years in the making, and has been apparently filled with controversy too, with a large chunk of Apple’s own employees expressing doubt and disdain. However, here’s everything we know about the Reality headset (or could it be a pair of glasses?) that’s set to launch this Monday.

The headset’s design journey has oscillated between being thick and obtrusive, like your average VR headset, to being as slim as a pair of spectacles, or realistically, a pair of chunky ski goggles. At its heart, however, lies the innovative xrOS, designed to provide an interface that echoes the familiar iOS experience. The new operating system (which is pretty much confirmed thanks to a trademark filed by Apple in New Zealand) is set to revolutionize how users interact with their devices, presenting a traditional Home Screen in an entirely new dimension filled with apps and customizable widgets.

One of the most exciting features of ‘Reality’ is its ability to merge digital elements with the real world. The xrOS software could potentially project AR app interface elements onto actual objects, creating a seamless mixed-reality overlay effect. This represents a significant leap forward in AR technology, blurring the boundaries between the physical and digital worlds. According to MacRumors, the ‘Reality’ device will achieve this using “dual high-resolution 4K micro OLED displays with up to 3,000 pixels per inch for a rich, realistic, and immersive viewing experience.” To operate the device, the user’s hands and eyes will be monitored by over a dozen optical cameras. The user can select an on-screen item by simply looking at it and activate it by making a hand gesture, such as a pinch.



Technology: What Is Generative AI Good For?

The Economist (May 18, 2023) – Generative AI is the technology behind the wave of new online tools used by millions around the world. As the technology is ever more widely deployed, what are its current strengths and its weaknesses?

Video timeline: 00:00 – What is generative AI? 00:46 – Breakthroughs and take-up of the technology 02:03 – Strengths 03:32 – Weaknesses

Innovation: Expandable ‘Sliding Home’ Prototype

Kirsten Dirksen Films (May 28, 2023) – Caspar Schols built his first shapeshifting house in his mother’s backyard as her writing cabin that, by sliding a room-on-rails, could convert into a place to sleep under the stars.

He has since perfected his expandable home with 10 prototypes: his most recent model is robust enough to serve as a primary residence and has a bathtub and guest bed hidden in the floor. The house can be opened up – on sunny days, for nature-watching or just to sleep directly under the stars – with just a push.

The entire walls and ceiling of the house move, but anyone can propel this 3,000 kilograms (over 6000 pounds) room-on-rails because Schols created a system that is “super low friction”. To create a well-insulated home that has walls that move, Schols and his team designed the rails with wind labyrinths to trap the air and added brushes to any moving surface to prevent airflow.


Design Exhibitions: 2023 Salone Del Mobile, Milan

bookcase, salone milano

Salone del Mobile 2023

18 to 23 April

This spring, as we leave behind the slow and cautious post-pandemic recovery, the spotlight returns to Milan for a thrilling edition of Milan Design Week that marks 2023 as a year of renewal, especially in the world of design.

Technology Preview: AI Magazine April 2023


AI Magazine – April 2023 Issue:

Experts call on AI support for latest cybersecurity battles

Game changer: How AI is powering the future of development

The ‘2023 Hymer Venture S’: World’s Best Camper Van

Hymer GmbH & Co. KG

Hymer GmbH & Co. KG (February 24, 2023) – The HYMER Venture S defines an entirely new vehicle category – an innovative motorhome that satisfies the loftiest demands in terms of design and function. It sets new standards by combining a distinctive appearance and narrow body with generous interior space. As an exclusively equipped off-roader for two people, the Venture S promises freedom without compromise.

Read a review at DesignBoom

World Economic Forum: Top Stories – Feb 3, 2023

World Economic Forum (February 3, 2023) – This week’s top stories include:

  • 0:15 This AI robot is revolutionizing farming – The robot can identify weeds and crops at rate of 20 plants a second. The robot then delivers either weedkiller or fertilizer directly to individual plants to an accuracy of within 1mm. It can treat up to 500,000 plants per hour. The robot was invented by US firm Verdant Robotics.
  • 1:24 This company cancelled all internal meetings – In January, e-commerce platform Shopify cancelled all regular meetings with 3 people or more and imposed a 2-week window before staff could schedule anything new. It also permanently banned meetings on Wednesdays and limited large meetings to a strict window on Thursdays. More organizations are trying a ‘meeting reset’, from Dropbox to Asana and Zapier. But why – and could your organization try it too?
  • 3:00 How to build a thriving workplace – Businesses often ask staff why they resign. So why not ask why they’re joining or staying? “Why would you wait until people have already committed to walk out the door to say, ‘If only I had a time machine, I would go back to the past and convince you to stay’? What I would much rather see employers do are entry interviews and stay interviews. Entry interview is just asking the same questions you would normally pose at exit at the beginning of the employment relationship: Why are you here? What are you hoping to learn? Right. What are some of the best projects you’ve worked on? Tell me about the worst boss you’ve ever had so we can try to emulate the good and avoid the bad.”
  • 5:22 ChatGPT is already being used for scientific research – ChatGPT launched to the public in November 2022. It gives in-depth, natural language answers to prompts, based on what it has learned from a huge database of books and articles. People have been using ChatGPT to perform an impressive range of tasks, from writing university-level essays to debugging code and filling in job applications. It has written fake scientific reports that have fooled scientists and has even been used to write a children’s book.

The World Economic Forum is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation. The Forum engages the foremost political, business, cultural and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. We believe that progress happens by bringing together people from all walks of life who have the drive and the influence to make positive change.

Technology Preview: AI Magazine February 2023


AI Magazine – February 2023 Issue:

OpenAI helps spot AI text before it gets used for cheating

OpenAI’s AI Text Classifier aims to spot content generated by AI platforms before it can be used by bad actors, but the company admits it’s not perfect

ICYMI: Microsoft’s plans for quantum and Open AI investment

A week is a long time in artificial intelligence, so here’s a round-up of the AI Magazine articles that have been starting conversations around the world

World Economic Forum: Top Stories – Jan 13, 2023

World Economic Forum – January 13, 2023 top stories:

0:15 Solar powered car drives 1000kms – The Sunswift 7 weighs just 500kg. While an average car weighs between 1,500 and 2,000kg and boasts incredibly low rolling resistance due to its shape. A team at UNSW Sydney designed and built the car. Which completed 240 laps of a special test circuit. Equal to driving from Sydney to Melbourne, plus 100km.

1:32 3D printed bionic arms – Cure Bionics 3D-printed prosthetics are lightweight and muscle-controlled. They can be attached without surgical intervention and are charged wirelessly by solar power. The arms can be printed and ready within a week at the cost of just $3,000. Other providers can take months and charge up to $100,000. Cure Bionics’ arms are available for children with limb differences aged 8 and up. The low weight makes them easy for kids to operate. An immersive VR training programme helps patients learn to use their arms even before it’s made. Cure Bionics was founded in Tunisia, where the start-up has already launched a prototype. In spring 2023, it’s releasing a public version.

3:17 Geneva introduces driverless buses – 15 self-driving minibuses will be deployed in 2025. Providing an on-demand, door-to-door service, 24 hours a day. This pilot project will run for 1 year alongside similar schemes in Germany and Norway.

4:55 Implants restore vision to blind people – The implants were given to 20 people by scientists at Sweden’s Linköping University and LinkoCare Life Sciences. 14 were blind and 6 were on the verge of losing their sight. After 2 years, none of them were blind.

Preview: MIT Technology Review – January/Feb 2023

JF23 cover

MIT Technology Review – January/February 2023:

10 Breakthrough Technologies 2023

Our annual look at 10 Breakthrough Technologies—including CRISPR for high cholesterol, battery recycling, AI that makes images, and the James Webb Space Telescope—that will have a profound effect on our lives. Plus care robots, 3-D printing pioneers, and chasing bugs on the blockchain.

Generative AI is changing everything. But what’s left when the hype is gone?

No one knew how popular OpenAI’s DALL-E would be in 2022, and no one knows where its rise will leave us.

AI is bringing the internet to submerged Roman ruins

The technology is making it easier to monitor underwater archaeological sites.