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 November 11 2016

Weekly Recap: Lip-Reading System, Emirati Hyperloop, Trumphone, Foldable Phone…

Make iPhone Great Again

Supremo Donald Trump Phone.

If you have $4,200 lying around (relax: Canadian, not American), you will want to commemorate the election of the latest President of the United States of America with this limited-edition iPhone sold by Russian company Caviar. The gold-plated phone is elegantly adorned with an engraved portrait of Donald Trump, the seal of the President of the United States and the motto, “Make America Great Again”. The very popular Putin Supremo models are also still available for purchase.

Caviar (RU), “Caviar iPhone 7, Supremo Trump.”

Business Insider, “You can now buy a gold-plated Donald Trump iPhone for about $3,000.”


Lecture labiale

Lip-reading systems are improving as we speak. This is good news for people who have become deaf or hard of hearing over the course of their lifetime. Those who are born deaf usually develop their own recognition system, reaching a recognition rate of up to 50%. The University of Oxford’s Department of Computer Science has developed new lip-reading software, LipNet, which is particularly adept at reading lips, with a 93.8% recognition rate, handily beating the previous best software. The research was done in cooperation with Alphabet’s DeepMind artificial intelligence program. The bad news: lip-reading technology will enable the reading of conversations on surveillance footage. Yet another threat to privacy.

Mashable, “Researchers create lip-reading software better than any human.”


Hyperloop One in the UAE

Dubai signed a deal with American startup Hyperloop One to conduct feasibility studies on a 130-kilometer, quasi-supersonic transportation link in the United Arab Emirates. If it were built, passengers would travel between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the capital, in just ten minutes at a speed of 1,100km/h. This kind of speed would put Montreal just 15 minutes from Quebec City and half an hour from New York.

Ars Technica, “Hyperloop One releases ‘comprehensive concept design’ for high-speed rail in Dubai.”


Canvas 3D

This system, made up of the Canvas application and an ingenious iPad accessory, Structure Sensor, allows users to quickly create a 3D model of any room. The model can then be edited in software like SketchUp, AutoCAD or Revit. Measurements are accurate with a margin of error of 0.14% at 40cm and 1% at 1m. Canvas 3D will appeal to architects, interior designers and renovation contractors. The 3D mapping of the surrounding environment reminds us of what Hololens already does. Price: US$420.

Mashable, “How a cheap 3D sensor can turn rooms into CAD drawings.”


Foldable Phone

Samsung Galaxy patent.

Samsung has filed a patent application in Korea for a foldable smartphone, which probably uses the flexible OLED screens already produced by the company. Last summer, Lenovo showed very similar prototypes. If produced, these phones would actually signal a return to the old-fashioned flip phone.

Circuit Breaker, “Samsung’s latest patent is a foldable phone.”



Fish a Big Mouth Billy Bass out of a garage sale and hook it up to Amazon’s Alexa API. Brian Kane did it. Brilliant.

Circuit Breaker, “Man hacks Alexa into singing fish robot, terror ensues.”


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