Future Tech: Plus…an AI personal stylist & helpful holograms in your windshield.
This amazing spray paint creates a touch-sensitive device
Due to its ubiquity, the touchscreen is a piece of technology we seem to really take for granted nowadays. They’re everywhere, but how do they work? The simple explanation is that the touch surface carries a small electrical charge, and by disrupting that charge with the touch of your finger upon that surface, a computer can figure out where you’ve touched by checking where charge has been lost.
This technology is evolving and getting more precise every day, and now we’re nearing the point where we can turn just about anything into a touch-sensitive device. Scientists at Carnegie Mellon University have figured out how to turn virtually any object into a touchscreen using conductive spray paint.
The new technology, called Electrick, works very much like the type of touchscreen you’re used to does. All you have to do is coat an object with the conductive spray paint, allow those surfaces to conduct a small amount of electricity (via a process called electric field tomography), and electrodes placed around the surface’s edges will be able to detect when and where your finger has disrupted the charge.
Would you let this AI personal stylist dress you?
From Popular Science:
Just last month, Amazon introduced a Prime feature called Outfit Compare which let users upload a pair of selfies showing different outfits to be evaluated by style experts. … Amazon has doubled down on its push to guide the style of everyday users with its home assistant and fashion guru, the $200 Echo Look, which can currently only be ordered by invitation.
The oblong device is a version of the Echo smart home hub with Alexa, but with the addition of built-in camera meant to help users pick out the best possible outfit. While the introduction of Outfit Compare originally focused heavily on the idea of human “style experts” making fashion calls, the Alexa integration–called Style Check–relies on AI in some part. Amazon says its algorithm will continue to learn based on feedback from users and style experts to make the process more automated.
Get holographic directions right in your windshield
There are plenty of ways to get directions in the car, but most have one big shortcoming. Whether you're using a standalone GPS, in-car navi system, smartphone, the Apple Watch, or even a paper map, you have to look away from the road (you know, that thing you're supposed to be paying attention to when driving) in order to see where you're supposed to be going.
So how to keep your eyes on the road and not get lost? One option is the heads-up display. Increasingly common on high-end cars, these devices project things like navigation directions and current speed onto the windshield, so the driver has important information right in their field of vision.
It's a technology that's fast spreading beyond this incarnation, though: We've seen screens showing ghost cars for racers, and another that uses lasers to "paint" the edge of a road on the windshield in inclement weather. Then there are these wacky augmented reality concept goggles from Mini. One of the latest gadgets to enter the fray is something called the Navion, from Swiss firm WayRay.
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