Weekly Recap: 8K, Artificial Neurons, Robot Tattooist, Area 404 and Water Pistols

Out with the old, in with the 8K TV

Super Hi-Vision Camera, Hitachi.

The world’s first broadcast using 8K TV technology is about to begin on Japan’s public channel, NHK. With a resolution of 7680x4320, “Super Hi-Vision” has about four times the detail of 4K, and 16 times that of HDTV (1920 1080), 33 177 600 pixels vs 2 073 600. The first trials will broadcast parts of the Olympic Games, as of August 6. Few TV sets support this kind of resolution. Sharp has an 8K, 85-inch screen (216 cm) on catalogue, for the low, low price of CA$200,000.

Ars Technica, “World’s first 8K TV broadcasts begin for Rio 2016 Olympics.”

Artificial Neurons

An artistic rendering of a population of stochastic phase-change neurons .

IBM Research in Zurich has created world’s first artificial nanoscale stochastic phase-change neurons. IBM has already created a population of 500 of these artificial neurons and used them to process a signal in a brain-like way. The neurons’ stochasticity means that they are able to produce slightly different, random results, just like biological neurons.

Ars Technica, “IBM creates world’s first artificial phase-change neurons.”

Robot Tattooist

Two French designers, Pierre Emm and Johan da Silveira, residents at Pier 9 in San Francisco, developed a robot tattooist with the help of Autodesk. The video warns “Don’t try this at home”. Even if we wanted to, we don’t happen to have an industrial robot at home.

Circuit Breaker, “Your future robot tattooist has steady hands, but isn’t great at conversation.”

Area 404

Hermle 5-axis machining center. Photo Facebook.

Facebook opened the doors to the mystery-shrouded Area 404 of its labs in Menlo Park, California, dedicated to developing and fabricating new hardware. “Over the next 10 years, we're building everything from Oculus headsets to solar-powered planes”, said Mark Zuckerberg.

Wired, “See inside Facebook’s new Area 404 hardware lab.”

Water Pistols

Apple iOS10, emoji waterpistol.

Apple has redesigned its existing emojis and released a slew of new ones. The hundred-or-so new emojis are more diverse, and feature female versions of traditionally male occupations and activities. But the most telling change is the replacement of the gun emoji with a fluorescent green water pistol.

Ars Technica, “Newest iOS 10 beta includes 100 new emoji, replaces gun with waterpistol.”