Researchers Develop Groundbreaking Technologies to Solve Our Most Prevalent Problems
Emerging Tech Roundup — July 23
The Quantious team’s top picks for timely trending news in the tech world.
This week in tech: The Looking Glass Factory rolls out updated holographic interfaces, Snap invests more in AR shopping, USA Today promotes the Summer Olympics with AR, a VR game is developed to help deter teens from vaping, Microsoft pairs with Dutch engineers to create a beach-cleaning robot, Indian researchers develop a material that could fix cracked phone screens in seconds, and DeepMind works with the EMBL to advance scientific findings with newly identified protein structures.
The Looking Glass Factory Returns With Two New Holographic Systems
(Tech Times, July 15)
The Looking Glass Factory, the only company to offer holographic interfaces for 3D viewing by multiple users, is rolling out two new interfaces in 4k and 8k. The new technology has an updated and improved viewing experience for users, including updated plugins compatible with Unity, Unreal, and Blender. It is also integrated with the HoloPay Studio app for users to view, edit, and sync holographic media onto the interface.
Snap Buys Another Company to Make AR Shopping a Reality
(The Verge, July 19)
Snap has purchased Vertebrae, which will allow users within the Snapchat app to upload visuals and have it be built into a 3D model for shopping. As Snap experiments with the AR shopping experience within the app, they find that shoppers are more likely to buy an item if they can easily try it on virtually. They are getting a head start on the fast-growing popularity of AR shopping and working toward allowing users to scan items, try them on, and purchase them all within the Snapchat app.
USA Today Showcases New Summer Olympics Sports with Augmented Reality
(Mobile AR, July 19)
In light of the two new sports in the 2021 Summer Olympics, skateboarding and sports climbing, USA Today published two AR experience promotions. The experiences introduce skateboarder Tom Schaar and climber Kyra Condie, their stats, and a clip of them speaking on their specialized sports. The AR clips also demonstrate Condie’s climbing technique and some of Schaar’s skateboarding tricks.
Virtual Reality Game Is an Effective Tool for Vaping Prevention Among Teens
(Yale, July 20)
Invite Only VR: A Vaping Prevention Game helps informs teens of the short-term and long-term effects of vaping as well as how to avoid the practice. 285 middle school students participated in a simulation of a high school in which they are peer pressured to try e-cigarettes. Students interact using their own voices to help better prepare them for refusing the practice in real life. Throughout the simulation, students learn the negative effects of vaping and ways to keep a “cool” reputation when refusing to use e-cigarettes.
Microsoft’s Autonomous Beach-Cleaning Robot is Here to Clean Our Shores
(CNET, July 21)
Dutch engineers Martin Lukaart and Edwin Bos have built the BeachBot to clean up waste on the beaches using two cameras and robotic arms. The robot’s knowledge capabilities will need the help of humans, at first, to learn what is considered waste. Once it learns what it is expected to pick up and put in its built-in trash can, its capabilities will grow in speed and efficiency. In the future, the engineers hope to build smaller BeachBots to help the main machine in its mission to eliminate litter.
Self-Healing Material Could Automatically Repair Broken Phone Screens in Seconds
(ZME Science, July 21)
Indian scientists have developed a type of solid material that when broken, uses its polar arrangement to bring the pieces back together. The material does not require heat or electricity to mend itself. If engineers are able to incorporate the material into or onto the glass screens of devices without altering their functionality and responsiveness, the fear of breaking one’s phone screen could be a thing of the past.
DeepMind Open-Sources Protein Structure Dataset Generated By AlphaFold 2
(VentureBeat, July 22)
DeepMind worked with the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL) to launch a database of human structures for proteins, which can be used to advance the findings generated from “protein folding.” The database contains over 350,000 protein structure predictions and is expected to allow for more scientific breakthroughs. Researchers will be able to further study previously neglected diseases, including some containing makeups of E. Coli, malaria parasites, tuberculosis bacteria, and more.