Month: August 2013
General Motorls will offer consumers the option of wireless charging for mobile devices in some of its automobiles, Bloomberg reported this week. Select GM models will be equipped with Powermat wireless charging surfaces, which will require compatible devices that either have wireless charging capabilities built in or are paired with a wireless charging case. The collaboration was confirmed by Powermat Technologies CEO Ran Poliakine, though GM has so far declined to comment.
“The car is a major part of life for everyone with a smartphone,” Poliakine said in an interview. “And this is taking care of that part of life.”
Powermat’s Duracell chargers are already in place in some Silicon Valley, Boston, and New York Starbucks locations. In declining to comment on the Powermat CEO’s comments, a GM spokesperson did confirm that the automaker is at least working on wireless charging technologies.
“We continue to work with Powermat to bring their technologies to GM products, but for competitive reasons we’re not discussing specifics at this time,” the spokesperson said. “The technology continues to move forward.”
Wireless charging is currently featured in a number of high-end smartphones, but the technology has yet to take off, due in part to competing standards. In addition to Powermat, there is also the Qi wireless power technology, which is featured in a number of mobile devices. Qi’s technology is also built into the 2013 Toyota Avalon.
Having your dog or cat run away is pretty traumatic. And even if somebody finds your furry friend, they might not know where to find you. If your pet ends up in a shelter, chances are high that it will be euthanized, so Philip Rooyakkers, the CEO of PiP – The Pet Recognition Company, decided to see if he and his team could use facial recognition instead of tags to more easily report and find more lost pets.
PiP launched its Indiegogo campaign. The company is looking to raise $100,000 in the next month to raise the final funds necessary to bring the app to market.
I ran into Rooyakkers at the GROW conference in Vancouver last week, and he told me that the company’s technology, developed by the image-recognition expert Dr. Daesik Jang, is able to recognize 98 percent of dogs and cats. With the help of some extra metadata (breed, size, weight, gender, colors etc.), this means PiP can recognize virtually every lost pet.
Anybody can download the app to report found pets. Pet owners pay a subscription to PiP (the plan is to charge $1.49 per month, with 2 percent of all proceeds going to local pet rescue charities) and the moment their pet goes missing, PiP will alert local animal control and rescue agencies, veterinarians and social medial outlets.
This “Amber Alert” for missing pets is at the core of what the service does. It will also scan social media for postings about found pets. “We will not only broadcast across all social media that the pet is missing, but everyone with the app (in that locale) will get a pop-up Amber Alert. We will contact the owner directly to listen, provide PiP’s immediate response, and offer support,“ Rooyakkers said in a statement today.
Whenever a pet is found, PiP will use its facial recognition software to see if it can find a match in its system. To avoid false positives, Rooyakkers told me, somebody will always look at the metadata to ensure everything checks out.
Obviously, there are a few other ways to identify lost pets, including ID Tags and Microchip Implants. However, there are numerous standards for microchips, so not every shelter or clinic can scan every chip. Facial recognition would also allow anybody to scan dogs or cats right after finding them without the need for any special equipment, which should make reuniting them with their owners faster and easier.
For more information click the source link.
The likelihood of lasers appearing on the battlefield was boosted last week when Boeing announced that its Thin Disk Laser system had achieved unexpected levels of power and efficiency. In a recent demonstration for the US Department of Defense, the laser’s output was 30 percent higher than project requirements and had greater beam quality, a result which paves the way toward a practical tactical laser weapon.
As it says on the tin, the Boeing Thin Disk Laser system uses a thin disc laser. Also known as an active mirror laser, this type of solid state laser was first developed in the 1990s. Instead of rods, as is found in most solid-state lasers, the thin disk laser uses a layer of lasing material with a thickness less than the diameter of the beam it emits. This layer acts as both the gain medium or amplifier of the laser and as the mirror that reflects the beam.
Behind this layer is a thick substrate that acts as a heat sink. This draws the heat generated by the lasing layer away quickly, which greatly increases the laser’s power and efficiency. Boeing’s system incorporates a number of these high-powered industrial lasers to generate a single, high-energy beam.
According to Boeing, the latest version of the the laser has an output of more than 30 kW, which is 30 percent more than the Department of Defense’s Robust Electric Laser Initiative (RELI) requirements, with a similar increase in efficiency.
“These demonstrations prove the military utility of laser systems,” says Michael Rinn, Boeing Directed Energy Systems vice president and program director. “In order to be truly viable as a weapons-class system, a laser must achieve high brightness while simultaneously remaining efficient at higher power. Our team has shown that we have the necessary power, the beam quality, and the efficiency to deliver such a system to the battlefield.”
BlackBerry has announced today that the US Defense Information System Agency (DISA) has given both the BlackBerry Z10 and Q10 the Authority to Operate (ATO) on the Department of Defense (DoD) networks, making BlackBerry the first Mobile Device Management (MDM) to obtain an ATO. With the ATO, the DISA is prepping to support 10,000 BB10 devices by the fall and over 30,000 but the end of 2013.
Press Release below:
BlackBerry Awarded “Authority to Operate” on U.S. Department of Defense Networks
DISA deploying BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 to support BlackBerry 10 smartphones on DoD networks
WATERLOO, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – August 08, 2013) – BlackBerry® (NASDAQ: BBRY)(TSX: BB) today announced the U.S. Defense Information System Agency (DISA) has given BlackBerry® Z10 and BlackBerry® Q10 smartphones with BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10, the Authority to Operate (ATO) on Department of Defense (DoD) networks. BlackBerry is the first Mobile Device Management (MDM) provider to obtain an ATO.
With the ATO, DISA is now developing the infrastructure to support BlackBerry 10 smartphones. DISA is architecting the capacity to support 10,000 BlackBerry 10 smartphones by this fall and 30,000 by the end of 2013 on DoD networks.
“Being the first smartphones to be supported on U.S. Department of Defense networks further establishes BlackBerry’s proven and validated security model,” said Scott Totzke, SVP, BlackBerry Security Group at BlackBerry. “With foreign entities – governmental and criminal – ramping up attacks on electronic communications and information systems, BlackBerry provides government agencies with a proven partner that follows top-to-bottom security protocols.”
Receiving the ATO is a critical step forward in the security certification process. The approval demonstrates that BlackBerry 10 smartphones meet DoD’s most stringent security requirements. BlackBerry 10 smartphones will enable DoD personnel to have the ability to securely connect to networks and access assets from work. The BlackBerry mobile infrastructure provides a highly responsive, intelligent and intuitive mobile computing experience while ensuring the personal and the corporate information on a user’s phone are kept separate and safe.
For more information about BlackBerry 10, please visit: http://www.blackberry.com/BB10.