“Deep farming” turns old coal mines into fully functioning farms
From Popular Mechanics:
Abandoned coal mines are often held up as symbols of the changing state of climate or the economy. But academics at the University of Nottingham see in them the potential future of food. They’ve patented a new system revolving around what they call “deep farming” — turning old coal mines into fully functioning farms.
Deep farms would have advantages that current land-based farms lack, including a controlled climate uninfluenced by weather and no need for expensive farming equipment. They wouldn’t need to be built in coal mines, but the scientists see them as a perfect starting point.
“Tunnels and shafts would need less energy with heating, so are very attractive for food production. They’re almost perfect,” says Saffa Riffat of Nottingham, speaking to the BBC. “You’re looking at about £30,000 [~$38,240] to set up one shaft and the running costs are very low — less than the energy consumed by three houses each year. With natural sunlight, the costs are even less.”
In a press statement, Riffat estimates that “a small Deep Farm can produce 80 tonnes of food per annum,” or around 176,370 pounds of food per year. These farms would allow for year-round food production and “up to 10 crop cycles per year could be achieved compared to 1-2 cycles for conventional agriculture…1 indoor acre is equivalent to 4-6 outdoor acres or more, depending on the crop.”
This jacket won’t let you leave your phone behind
From The Verge:
Google and Levi’s Jacquard smart jacket has introduced a new function designed to stop you from mistakenly leaving your phone behind, as spotted by Android Police.
The feature, called Always Together, is an automatic alert that will go off if the jacket moves too far away from your phone. When triggered, notifications happen on both ends. So, your phone will get a notification, and the jacket’s signature sleeve tag will also blink and vibrate. Previously, there was a manual “find your phone” option where an assigned gesture on the jacket could prompt your phone to ring at full volume.
It’s a neat addition for the smart jacket, which can already use touch inputs to control things on your smartphone like music controls and navigation pings within Google Maps. Earlier this year, an update in the Jacquard platform introduced a handful of other functions, like support for ride-sharing alerts and pin drops on a map to save locations.
Bose introduces audio AR sunglasses
From Tech Radar:
Bose is making the first pair of smart sunglasses that focus, as you might expect, on audio. They’re called the Bose Frames, and while its open-ear design will surprise you, that’s actually the least shocking part of the announcement.
The most surprising part is that the Frames are the first component of the Bose audio AR platform, which offers an alternative to the visual AR systems like Google Glass and Microsoft HoloLens.
Bose didn’t provide an example of exactly how Bose AR will work, but the company noted that the tech “knows where you are and what you’re facing using a 9-axis head motion sensor and the GPS from your iOS or Android device — and automatically adds a layer of audio, connecting that place and time to endless possibilities for travel, learning, entertainment, gaming and more.”
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