Emerging Tech Roundup — October 27
The Quantious team’s top picks for timely trending news in the tech world.
This week in tech: Liquid Metal Fabric Protects Astronauts From Lunar Dust, Instagram Tests Feature to Turn Users’ Photos Into Stickers, NVIDIA’s Eureka Aces Complex Tasks, Canva Launches Free AI ‘Classroom Magic’ Tools For Educators, Instagram Tests Dedicated Feed for Posts From Verified Users, Brilliant Labs Raises $3M for Generative AI-Based AR Glasses, and Study Finds the Moon is Older Than Previously Thought.
This Liquid Metal Fabric Will Protect Astronauts From Lunar Dust
(Interesting Engineering, October 21)
Lunar dust, despite its unassuming name, poses substantial risks to both the health of NASA astronauts and their mission equipment on the Moon’s surface. A professor has proposed a solution, suggesting the use of liquid metal to create LiqMEST (Liquid Metal Electrostatic Protective Textile), a fabric that can repel lunar dust on demand and is flexible and stretchable. This innovative technology could serve as an outer layer for NASA’s space suits and fabric covers, effectively mitigating the issues associated with lunar dust.
Instagram’s Latest Test Feature Turns Users’ Photos Into Stickers for Reels and Stories
(Engadget, October 22)
Instagram is currently testing a sticker creation feature that enables users to create custom stickers using their own photos, and potentially from others’ photos as well. This tool simplifies sticker creation by automatically selecting the subject of a photo and removing the background, allowing users to place the resulting free-floating sticker over other content in Reels or Stories. This Instagram feature is still in the testing phase and not yet available to all of the app’s users.
Revolutionizing Robot Learning: NVIDIA’s Eureka Aces Complex Tasks
(Unite AI, October 23)
NVIDIA is making waves in robotics with its cutting-edge Eureka AI agent, which equips robots with the ability to master intricate tasks that were previously considered too complex. This technology allows robots to perform delicate actions such as pen-spinning tricks with the finesse of a human. Beyond this, Eureka is poised to revolutionize robotics, potentially enabling machines to seamlessly integrate into daily life tasks.
Canva Launches Free AI ‘Classroom Magic’ Tools For Educators
(Mashable, October 23)
Canva has unveiled a suite of AI tools called Classroom Magic, designed to support educators with various tasks like lesson planning, content editing, document reformatting, and more. The tools represent one of the first widespread AI-powered educational tool launches, indicating the growing influence of AI in the field of education. Classroom Magic complements Canva’s Magic Studio, a suite of AI tools that provide educators with robust AI capabilities while also offering oversight and educational guidance.
Instagram is Testing a Dedicated Feed for Posts From Verified Users
(Tech Crunch, October 24)
Instagram is currently testing a feature that allows users to view posts exclusively from Meta Verified and legacy verified users, as revealed by Instagram head Adam Mosseri. This toggle will be accessible through the “Following” and “Favorites” options in the app. The move is seen as a way to encourage more users to subscribe to Meta Verified, a paid service offering benefits like a blue checkmark, enhanced customer support, increased visibility, and exclusive features. The new functionality is ultimately aimed at helping businesses and creators gain more exposure on the platform.
Brilliant Labs Raises $3M for Generative AI-Based AR Glasses
(Venture Beat, October 24)
Brilliant Labs secured $3 million in funding for its AI-powered AR glasses, solidifying its role in advancing generative AI technology. They also introduced the rebranded generative AI app Noa and integrated Stability AI into their flagship AR device, Monocle. This funding round positions Brilliant Labs as a leading provider of AR devices and promotes an open-source ecosystem for developers and consumers seeking a dependable personal AI assistant.
Lunar Rock Samples Suggest Moon is Older Than Previously Thought
(Engadget, October 24)
Recent research has revealed that the moon is approximately 40 million years older than previously believed, shedding new light on its origins. Scientists used rock samples from the moon’s surface to analyze the age of crystal formations — particularly zircon crystals — collected during NASA’s Apollo program. This discovery not only refines our understanding of the moon’s age, but also provides a key clue about when the moon’s formation occurred.