Welcome to the first solar-powered town

February 1, 2018 The Editors

Future Tech: Featuring stand-alone VR headsets & high-security backpacks.

Residents begin moving into Florida community powered by the sun

Welcome to the first solar-powered town

From Popular Mechanics:

A new solar-powered town in Florida has already built a restaurant, a school and a community gathering space. Now in 2018, Babcock Ranch is adding something even more important: residents.

Below Tampa and Orlando, about half an hour northeast from the tourist attractions of Fort Myers, Babcock Ranch is built on an 18,000-acre expanse and hopes to have 19,500 homes and 50,000 residents within 20 to 25 years. Its first residents moved in January 4th.

While building a town is a multi-faceted project that no one person could accomplish, Babcock Ranch is the brainchild of one man: Syd Kitson, a Florida developer. "In 2005," the town's website states, Kitson "set out to prove that smart growth and preservation could work hand in hand."

Originally used for logging and agriculture by Edward Vose Babcock, a lumber baron and mayor of Pittsburgh in the early 20th century, the land became known as the Babcock Nature Preserve. In 2006, Babcock's heirs eventually sold the land to Kitson, who beat out the state of Florida in the bidding. He sold most of the land to the state and used the rest to create Babcock Ranch. At the time, Kitson told the New York Times, "This is how I’m going to change the world.”

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Stand-alone headsets usher in VR 2.0

Stand-alone headsets usher in VR 2.0

From Fast Company:

For more than two years, consumer virtual reality has been in 1.0 mode. The first generation of VR devices needed to be linked to either an external PC or a smartphone from the likes of Facebook-owned Oculus, HTC, Google, Sony and a few others. But this year, we’ll see the beginnings of VR 2.0: Stand-alone headsets.

Today, Google and Lenovo pulled back the wraps on their entrant into the stand-alone VR world, the Mirage Solo, a device that has all its computing onboard, and which is capable of positional tracking with no external sensors.

Stand-alone VR is one of the innovations that could help virtual reality become a truly mainstream technology given that it does away with all the cables and wires that weigh down the user experience on systems like the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive. Although analysts predict that VR will be a $38 billion industry by 2026, it has been slow to gain traction with consumers. And while things like lower hardware prices, more and better content, and improved social experiences will help, innovations in the hardware, like the release of stand-alone headsets, is likely to be a major boon for the industry.

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This bag has an alarm system, so you can rest easy on the road

This bag has an alarm system

From Engadget:

Not everyone is good at keeping track of their personal belongings, like a backpack or a messenger bag. So CabinR, a startup based out of Hong Kong, wants to help you feel safer on a journey.

The company has created two bags, a backpack and a messenger model, that feature an alarm system powered by RFID (radio-frequency identification) tags to (hopefully) keep any potential thieves away from your stuff. It works quite simply: On the bag, there's an alarm device that you activate by pressing a button, and the only way to deactivate it is by tapping an RFID plastic card on it.

If you don't do that and open the bag, its sensors will detect movement and create a loud, annoying sound that can only be turned off with your personal CabinR card.

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About the Author

The Editors

The Editorial Team develops articles, company profiles and resources for the Business Hub to bring IT, tech and innovation stories to the Manitoba business community.

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