AR in the Louvre and AI in the Music Industry

Quantious Team
4 min readOct 20, 2023

--

Emerging Tech Roundup — October 20

The Quantious team’s top picks for timely trending news in the tech world.

This week in tech: Suzuki Unveils Revolutionary Stair-Climbing Motorcycle, New Tech Can Guide Drones Without Relying on Cameras, Deep Tech Startup Raises $40M to Focus on Smart Contact Lenses, Study Finds Mac Users Are Embracing AI Apps, Google Rolls Out More Accessibility Features, $4 Million Riffusion Raise Lights Up AI Music Scene, and Louvre Augmented Reality Exhibit With Snapchat Uncovers Ancient Egypt.

MOQBA: Suzuki Unveils Revolutionary Stair-Climbing Motorcycle

(Interesting Engineering, October 16)

Suzuki has unveiled the MOQBA (Modular Quad Based Architecture), a revolutionary concept vehicle designed to redefine urban mobility and enhance accessibility for all individuals, including those with mobility challenges. This innovative concept combines wheels and legs to navigate through urban environments filled with obstacles like curbs, potholes, and staircases. Suzuki’s focus on improving accessibility in regions with developed public transportation underlines its commitment to providing inclusive transportation solutions for a wide range of users.

New Tech Can Guide Drones Without Relying on Cameras, GPS

(Interesting Engineering, October 16)

Researchers have developed an RFID-based guidance system for autonomous drones. As the use of drones for civil applications continues to grow, this system offers a unique solution for drone navigation. By utilizing RFID tags and millimeter wave frequency communication, autonomous drones can accurately locate and communicate with RFID tags even when they are not within visual range — making it a valuable tool for applications including healthcare and disaster response.

Xpanceo, A Deep Tech Startup, Raises $40M to Focus on Smart Contact Lenses

(Tech Crunch, October 16)

Dubai-based deep tech startup Xpanceo has secured $40 million in funding from a single investor, Opportunity Ventures in Hong Kong, to develop smart contact lenses as the next generation of computing devices. Xpanceo aims to simplify technology by seamlessly integrating it into everyday life and merging various gadgets into a single, infinite-screen gadget. With a team of over 50 scientists and engineers, the company is researching new materials for contact lenses and has created an AI platform for “neural interfacing,” allowing wearers to control applications without the need for awkward eye movements or external controllers.

Mac Users Are Embracing AI Apps, Study Finds, With 42% Using AI Apps Daily

(Tech Crunch, October 16)

A recent report found that AI adoption is on the rise among Mac users, with 42% of them using AI-based apps daily, and 63% believing that AI apps offer greater benefits than those without AI. Additionally, the study saw that Mac app developers are embracing AI, with 44% having already integrated AI or machine learning models into their applications, and another 28% actively working on doing so. While the survey is limited to 1,241 Mac users primarily in the U.S., it underscores the growing interest in AI apps.

Google Rolls Out More Accessibility Features for Maps, Search and Assistant

(Engadget, October 17)

Google is introducing a series of accessibility updates for its Maps, Search, and Assistant, with a significant focus on improving wheelchair accessibility. Users of Google Maps on iOS and Android will now have the option to request stair-free walking routes, which will be beneficial not only to those with wheelchairs but also to travelers with luggage and strollers. Additionally, wheelchair-accessible information will be available on Maps for Android Auto and vehicles with Google integration, showing icons indicating step-free entrances, accessible restrooms, parking, and seating when searching for a location.

Blending Tech and Tunes, $4 Million Riffusion Raise Lights Up AI Music Scene

(Decrypt, October 17)

Riffusion, initially developed as a free and open-source project, has secured a $4 million investment after its creators pivoted it into a commercial venture. The app, which uses Stable Diffusion to generate music from visual descriptions, garnered interest from tech giants like Meta, Google, and ByteDance. The funding round, led by Greycroft Partner, reflects the growing interest in generative AI tools as professional composers join in on exploring ways to incorporate AI into their creative process.

Louvre Augmented Reality Exhibit With Snapchat Uncovers Ancient Egypt

(Decrypt, October 18)

Snap has collaborated with the Louvre museum in Paris to launch “Egypt Augmented,” a five-part augmented reality experience. The AR experience includes four location-specific components — three of them focusing on exhibits inside the museum’s Department of Egyptian Antiquities and one in the Cour Carrée courtyard. In addition to on-site experiences, a free Face Lens feature is available to Snapchat users worldwide, allowing them to interact with AR elements inspired by the exhibition by scanning a QR code with their smartphone.

--

--