ShapeScale creates 3D scans of users to help with fitness goals

ShopScale is aiming to create a new way to lose weight using 3D scanning technology that will scan the users body and monitor weight loss and gain.

The company is envisioning a tech friendly solution to monitoring and encouraging healthy weight loss. The technology comes with an app that can help visualize progress and create graphs or maps to track success throughout the body and help users know where to focus.

The app can also help identify whether or not the users diet and workout plan is helping in their specific goal.

The device uses an RGB depth camera that rotates around the user as the user stands on a scale. The camera captures photos of the user to create a 3D body.


Microsoft displays newest devices to the Surface line

9.jpgMicrosoft introduced the Surface Studio, a touchscreen all-in-one desktop computer. Its 12.5mm thick, has a 18-inch PixelSense display, GeForce 980M, an Intel i7 processor, 2TB of storage, and up to 32GB of memory. It also has a “zero-gravity hinge” that allows the screen to be tilt at different angles, allowing for creative work. These tiny computers start at $2,999.

10.jpgThe Surface Dial is also a new device by Microsoft. The device provides haptic feedback and allows for twisting to select item from a menu screen. Along with the Surface Studio users can place the Dial directly onto the screen for contextual software control. The Surface Dial will be out in November at $99.99, but comes free with Surface Studio preorders,.

8Microsoft did not show off a new Surface Book, instead they upgraded its latest model to include an Intel i7 processor and a bigger battery, supposedly able to reach up to 16 hours of battery life. The Surface Book i7 will be available in November for $2,399.

Microsoft envisions everyone as being creative and this push into products that allow for creativity might just be the beginning. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella came up on stage and said that he wants to empower everyone with a new creative platform using 3D content, AR, and the integration of Windows and gaming.

Teslas Autopilot 2.0 now available on all Models

Tesla said last Wednesday that all of its vehicles that are being produced will be equipped with hardware needed for full self-driving capability and as stated by Tesla at a “safety level substantially greater than that of a human driver.”

Autopilot 2.0 is the second generation autonomous driving hardware that will offer full level 5 autonomy, according to CEO Elon Musk. It’s available in future Models S and X and every Model 3.

Autopilot 2.0 will equip the vehicles with 360 camera coverage up to 250 meters range for level 5 autonomy. It will have 8 cameras, 3 front facing, 12 ultrasonic sensors, a forward facing radar, and 40x more powerful on-board computers, using the Nvidia GPU Titan supercomputer.

Musk noted that at first the new hardware will not offer Autopilot 1.0 capabilities, though it will after a few software improvements over the coming months. By early next year, it should outperform Autopilot 1.0. Level 3 autonomy will be coming in a few months while levels 4 and ultimately level 5 will be coming in 2018.

Autopilot 2.0 will come at a price much like the Autopilot which costs $3,000, Tesla Vision will of course be more expensive at around $8,000. Some new capabilities that will come with are automatic emergency breaking, collision warning, lane holding, and active cruise control, and all of these will be enabled using the over-the-air updates.

Lenovos new Yoga Book: Fascinating and Innovative

Lenovo has always been very innovative and this year the company showed off the Yoga Book, what we may call a next gen tablet.

The Yoga Book has two panels attached by a hinge, no keyboard, no touch pad. Now your thinking if its a tablet why are there two panels? Lenovo thought from a different perspective, one which many of us expected for tablets long ago. The ability to not only write on the tablet but also have a functioning keyboard and be able to switch between the two.


Lenovo Yoga Book

The Yoga Books second panel, the touch panel, has an integrated keyboard and track pad, so essentially it doubles as a writing pad and keyboard. Though this might be off putting for those that don’t prefer to use the touch keyboards, its something many having been looking forward to.


Lenovo Yoga Book

The touch panel also gives the ability for users to place a notepad or paper on top of the panel and write notes with a real ink pen and have a digitized version ready to use on the tablet. The tablet also has adaptive typing that learns as you type.

The company has said that the device is primarily targeted for college students that would need the note taking or drawing functionality. The device will come in both Android and Windows and will run at $499, with the Microsoft version expected to be a bit higher.

Its definitely innovative or in a sense its something that many would have thought would already be available in the market, a connection between the physical and the digital.



Google Launches Project Blocks to teach kids to code

Google announced Project Bloks, an open hardware platform that allows developers to build their own devices and is aimed at helping kids learn to code.

From Googles Creative Lab Goldstein and Wilbert worked together with IDEO and Paulo Blikstein, the Director of Transformative Learning Technologies Lab at Stanford University to develop this project.

The platform has 3 parts that make up the development system to allow for customization, reconfiguration, and rearrangement.

three boards.jpg

The first part is called the “Brain Board,” which is a Raspberry Pi Zero based board. The board will be the central processing unit and power unit. The Brain Board talks to the “Pucks” and “Base Board,” which make up the physical programming language. The board contains an API to receive and send data to the Base Boards. It sends the instructions from the Base Board to any device with WiFi or Bluetooth connectivity and an API.

Pucks are used to send commands such as ‘turn on or off’, ‘move left’ or ‘jump’. Google shows the use of buttons, dials, and switches, however you are able to use different forms such as paper with conductive ink. Pucks.jpg

The Base Board reads the commands from the Pucks and transmits them to the Brain Board. The Base Board has haptic motors and an LED to allow users to get real-time feedback. It can also be used to play audio using the speakers that come on the Brain Board. image08

In the introduction video kids use Bloks to control a Lego WeDo 2.0 robot. Project Bloks may pave the way for a new way of learning how to code and build systems for kids.

“Imagine what could happen if we had 10 times more people developing ways for children to learn coding and computational thinking: not just the traditional way, but kits that would teach programming in different ways such as making music or controlling the physical world,” Blikstein said in a statement. “That is what this platform will enable: make it easy to think outside of the box, without all the technical obstacles.”

Google is looking for educators, developers, parents and researchers, from around the world to remotley participate in research studies later in the year. You can sign up for the study here.

Kajima and Jaxa are partnering to develop machinery for off world use

A Japanese contractor Kajima is planning to partner with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (Jaxa) to create automated construction machinery that will be used outside the Earth.

The company states on its website that the automated construction could be used off world to prepare landing sites, build launchpads, or carry dirt. The machines would be operated by humans via computers from a remote location. According to Kajima, networked bulldozers carried out “simple and repetitive” construction operations with “high precision”.

Kajima plans to develop its A4CSEL software to enable communication between machines, which can compensate for the delay in signals sent from the Earth. It would allow machines to avoid each other while working. The software would also be beneficial for rovers working on Mars or the Moon.

JAXA and Kajima are working together to develop machinery for the Space Exploration Innovation Hub project. An experiment will be held in doors in April of 2017. Kajima and JAXA aim to have fully functional machinery and developed software for use in the next 15 to 25 years.


Lenovo’s making flexible phones and tablets

Lenovo’s Tech World 2016 event showed much promise of upcoming tech, one of which is sure to change the way we interact with devices. Lenovo teased flexible phones that can bend around your wrist and tablets that fold in half.

The CPlus is an android smartphone that bends and snaps around the wrist, much like a bracelet and may be fully functional in that state. YouTube star Meghan McCarthy showed a demo of the phone and the tablet during the event. In the demo of the smartphone the screen was very much alive. So it may have certain available functionality much like a smart watch.


Lenovo Media Kit

The Folio is the company’s tablet that folds outward, which is not the traditional model, this is because it allows the user to be able to use the full screen and given them two screens when folded. The tablet can also be used as a phone when folded.


The devices are not available yet, far from it. Aside from creating or working around hardware flexibility, there are many kinks that would need to be solved, and maybe new technologies to be created. The devices were samples of what could be available in the future. Samsung is also working on flexible devices though there haven’t been functional prototypes.

These prototypes do show the promise of flexible devices and in a few years we might see near functional devices.

WatchOS gets an upgrade

WWDC is live and Apple has launched the third release of watchOS.

The company has focused on speed and how fast apps will run, which is a major improvement since the earlier releases were a bit slow and lagged from time to time. Apple says the apps now launch and react “seven times” faster than the previous OS.

Apple has done this by allowing 3rd party and built-in apps to be saved onto the memory, and when apps are being used they update and refresh in the background.

Navigation speed has been increased through a new feature called “dock” that lets you swipe up to launch different apps. It will also have a control center where you can swipe up to see quick commands such as Bluetooth, WiFi, and more.

Messages has a new feature called scribble that allows you to draw letters which are converted to text.

New faces will be available in the new OS such as Minnie Mouse, Roman Numerals, and more. Users will be able to switch between different faces by swiping left and right.

If you’re missing out watch here and make sure to keep up with our live blog!

Raspberry Pi gets Android OS Support

Raspberry Pi has been one of the greatest inventions of our time for users who want to learn about computing, programming, coding, and just about everything else related to computers.

The Raspberry Pi is a tiny ARM computer that is mostly branded at those wishing to learn or have a multitude of DYI projects that are waiting to get started. It provides open source software, comes in a small size, and has ports and various boards.

The latest is the Raspberry Pi 3, which goes for $35. It comes with a 1.2GHz 64-bit Broadcam BCM2837 ARMv8 CPU, 1GB RAM, a VideoCore IV GPU, 802.11n Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.1. It also allows users to add components via external devices, such as a MicroSD card.

Raspberry Pi have mostly have had Linux support and recently Windows 10 IoT core support though Google has officially given support for Android on the Raspberry Pi. The company recently registered the Raspberry Pi 3 as a new device tree in its Android Open Source Project (AOSP) repository.

The support on Android will give access to Pi users to the million plus apps and who knows that support might mean access to DayDream, Googles newest VR developers platform in the near future.

Researchers are teaching robot to ‘feel’ and react to pain

Scientists from Leibniz University of Hannover, are programming a robot to feel pain and react to it.

Researchers are developing a robot nervous system that allows robots to understand pain and appropriately respond to it. The system would use a reflex controller to mimic reactions from pain.

The robot reacts to different types of pain from light and moderate to severe, even testing a cup of hot boiled water. Its being trained to react to pain and save themselves from danger. The project was displayed at the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation in Stockholm, Sweden.

Though a very important thing to understand is that the ability to not feel pain allows robots to work in dangerous environments or perform tasks that are too risky for humans. It would also allow robots to assess, understand, and react to threats when near humans.

And while robots won’t essentially feel pain, this would be a direct first step in understanding how to emulate pain. So don’t worry robots aren’t becoming human, right now. As of yet the technology is still very primitive.