Tag Archives: Technology Trends

Technology: Opening Day ‘CES 2021’ – Online Demos Of Consumer Electronics

It’s the first day of CES 2021 and CNET is the place to kick off the tech decade with wall-to-wall coverage from inside the Consumer Electronics Show.

Check out more from CES 2021 https://www.cnet.com/ces/

Future Of Air Travel: ‘Airbus ZEROe – Next-Gen Hydrogen Planes’ (Video)

Airbus has revealed three concepts for the world’s first zero-emission commercial aircraft which could enter service by 2035. These concepts each represent a different approach to achieving zero-emission flight, exploring various technology pathways and aerodynamic configurations in order to support the company’s ambition of leading the way in the decarbonisation of the entire aviation industry.

All of these concepts rely on hydrogen as a primary power source – an option which Airbus believes holds exceptional promise as a clean aviation fuel and is likely to be a solution for aerospace and many other industries to meet their climate-neutral targets.

The three concepts – all codenamed “ZEROe” – for a first climate neutral zero-emission commercial aircraft include: 

•A turbofan design (120-200 passengers) with a range of 2,000+ nautical miles, capable of operating transcontinentally and powered by a modified gas-turbine engine running on hydrogen, rather than jet fuel, through combustion. The liquid hydrogen will be stored and distributed via tanks located behind the rear pressure bulkhead.

• A turboprop design (up to 100 passengers) using a turboprop engine instead of a turbofan and also powered by hydrogen combustion in modified gas-turbine engines, which would be capable of traveling more than 1,000 nautical miles, making it a perfect option for short-haul trips.

• A “blended-wing body” design (up to 200 passengers) concept in which the wings merge with the main body of the aircraft with a range similar to that of the turbofan concept. The exceptionally wide fuselage opens up multiple options for hydrogen storage and distribution, and for cabin layout. 

Future Of Energy: ‘Tiny Nuclear Reactors’ (Video)

Nuclear energy accounts for nearly 20% of electricity generated in the US, more than wind, solar and hydro combined. But now, new nuclear reactor designs could bring far more widespread use and public acceptance of this powerful form of energy.

X-energy is an American private nuclear reactor and fuel design engineering company. It is developing a Generation IV high-temperature gas-cooled nuclear reactor design.

Sustainable Foods: Inside A ‘Wind-Powered Vertical Farm’ In Denmark (Video)

Inside a warehouse in an industrial zone in Copenhagen vast stacks of plants soar almost to the ceiling. In time, this newly opened vertical farm will be one of the largest in Europe, while power from Denmark’s windfarms will ensure it is carbon-neutral, according to the company behind it.

Future Science: ‘Artificial Intelligence Everywhere’

December 4, 2020

Imagine a robot trained to think, respond, and behave using you as a model. Now imagine it assuming one of your roles in life, at home or perhaps at work. Would you trust it to do the right thing in a morally fraught situation?

That’s a question worth pondering as artificial intelligence increasingly becomes part of our everyday lives, from helping us navigate city streets to selecting a movie or song we might enjoy — services that have gotten more use in this era of social distancing. It’s playing an even larger cultural role with its use in systems for elections, policing, and health care.

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Tech: ‘2021 Toyota Mirai’ – Enhanced Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Car (Video)

The 2021 Toyota Mirai is the second generation of zero emission hydrogen fuel cell electric sedan.

One of the principal aims for the new 2021 Mirai has been to give the car a stronger emotional appeal, making it a car that people will be attracted to by its looks and the way it drives, as well its eco-performance. The new GA-L platform and Toyota’s advances in FCEV technologies have made this possible. Toyota’s new fuel cell stack and fuel cell power converter (FCPC) have been developed specifically for use with the GA-L platform.

The designers have been able to bring all the elements together in the stack frame (including the water pumps, intercooler, air conditioning and air compressors and the hydrogen recirculation pump) with each part made smaller and lighter, while at the same time improving performance. The stack case itself has been made smaller by using Friction Stir Welding, reducing the gap between the fuel cell and casing.

The new Mirai is equipped with lithium-ion high-voltage battery in place of the current model’s nickel-metal hydride unit. Although smaller in size, it is more energy-dense, giving higher output and superior environmental performance. Containing 84 cells, it has a 310.8 rated voltage compared to 244.8, and a 4.0 Ah capacity, versus 6.5 Ah. Overall weight has been reduced from 46.9 to 44.6 kg. The output has improved from 25.5 kW x 10 seconds to 31.5 kW x 10 seconds.

The battery’s smaller dimensions have allowed it to be positioned behind the rear seats, avoiding intrusion in the load compartment. An optimised air-cooling path has been designed, with discreet inlets either side of the rear seats. The environmental benefit of driving the Toyota Mirai go beyond zero emissions to “negative emissions” – the car effectively cleans the air as it moves. A Toyota innovation, a catalyst-type filter is incorporated in the air intake.

As air is drawn into the vehicle to supply the fuel cell, an electric charge on the non-woven fabric filter element captures microscopic particles of pollutants, including sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrous oxides (NOx) and PM 2.5 particulates. The system is effective in removing 90 to 100% of particles between 0 and 2.5 microns in diameter from the air as it passes into the fuel cell system.

Technology Trends: India Quickly Becoming A Major Smartphone Producer

India is positioning itself as a smartphone-production hub amid a U.S.-China trade war that has disrupted global supply chains and left tech firms such as Apple and Samsung looking for alternatives to China to manufacture their products. Photo: Olivier Le Hellard for The Wall Street Journal

Technology Podcast: Concerns Over Facial Recognition Technology

Scientists have grave concerns over ethical and societal impacts of facial-recognition technology. In this surveillance special, we dig into the details.

In this episode:

03:24 Standing up against ‘smart cities’

Cities across the globe are installing thousands of surveillance cameras equipped with facial recognition technology. Although marketed as a way to reduce crime, researchers worry that these systems are ripe for exploitation and are calling for strict regulations on their deployment.

Feature: Resisting the rise of facial recognition

17:44 The ethics of researching facial recognition technology

Despite concerns surrounding consent and use, researchers are still working on facial recognition technology. Can this sort of work be justified? We hear some of the debates going on in academia about this field of research.

Feature: The ethical questions that haunt facial-recognition research

25:02 What do researchers actually think?

Nature surveyed 480 researchers who have published papers on facial recognition, AI and computer science. The results revealed that many researchers think there’s a problem.