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CES 2016: Qualcomm and Tencent team up for drone stream

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At CES 2016, Qualcomm Technologies, Tencent and ZEROTECH have announced and demonstrated YING, a commercial drone based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon Flight platform.

YING uses the Snapdragon 4K capture to “supersample” the video image, providing stabilised high-definition video and picture recording at 1080P as well as first person view at 720p that can be directly streamed or uploaded to Tencent’s drone social community platforms Wexin and QQ.

Tencent and ZEROTECH have co-designed YING, a small, lightweight drone that can be easily controlled right from your smartphone, leveraging the companies’ advanced software, and the computational power of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, making it fun and easy to capture great video that can be streamed directly to your friends using QQ and Wexin. “As the industry’s leading unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) manufacturer, we continue to bring a range of new research and development products to meet the needs and demands of our customers across various industries,” said Jianjun Yang, Founder, ZEROTECH. “We’re excited to work with two companies who are technology leaders in their space – Qualcomm Technologies who has brought their mobile expertise to the consumer drone industry, and Tencent with its popular social networks, to bring a lightweight, highly integrated consumer drone that enables users to share their photos and videos instantly with their friends.”

ZEROTECH 4K Drone

“The consumer drone market is expected to soar in the next few years, and YING is a good example that shows how Tencent is working closely with the fast growing drone market by enriching use cases of our core and leading social communication services,” said Roland Cai, vice president, IEG, Tencent. “ZEROTECH’s expertise in UAV manufacturing and, Qualcomm Technologies’ highly integrated drone development board coupled with our social networking platforms allows us to provide our hundreds of millions of active users with a competitive price on a high quality drone such as YING that can share their experiences in real time.”

Snapdragon Flight is a highly optimized 58x40mm board targeted specifically for consumer drones and robotics applications. Snapdragon Flight is based on the Snapdragon 801 processor, with GPS, 4K video capture, and robust connectivity, along with advanced drone software and development tools, bringing cutting-edge mobile technologies to create a new class of consumer drones.

“Consumer drones are becoming the ultimate selfie camera but with advanced capabilities such as 4K capture and high performance computing and connectivity,” said Raj Talluri, senior vice president, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “We are tapping into our proven mobile technologies for the exciting drone opportunity, and teaming up with ZEROTECH and Tencent enables us to support smaller, smarter drones that deliver real-time content to China’s largest social media network.”

Availability

The YING drone is expected to be available globally by 1H 2016.

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Earth 2050: memory chips for kids, telepathy for adults

An astonishing set of predictions for the next 30 years includes a major challenge to the privacy of our thoughts.

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Buy 2050, most kids may be fitted with the latest memory boosting implants, and adults will have replaced mobile devices with direct connectivity through brain implants, powered by thought.

These are some of the more dramatic forecasts in Earth 2050, an award-winning, interactive multimedia project that accumulates predictions about social and technological developments for the upcoming 30 years. The aim is to identify global challenges for humanity and possible ways of solving these challenges. The website was launched in 2017 to mark Kaspersky Lab’s 20th birthday. It comprises a rich variety of predictions and future scenarios, covering a wide range of topics.

Recently a number of new contributions have been added to the site. Among them Lord Martin Rees, the UK’s Astronomer Royal, Professor at Cambridge University and former President of the Royal Society; investor and entrepreneur Steven Hoffman, Peter Tatchell, human rights campaigner, along withDmitry Galov, security researcher and Alexey Malanov, malware analyst at Kaspersky Lab.

The new visions for 2050 consider, among other things:

  • The replacement of mobile devices with direct connectivity through brain implants, powered by thought – able to upload skills and knowledge in return – and the impact of this on individual consciousness and privacy of thought.
  • The ability to transform all life at the genetic level through gene editing.
  • The potential impact of mistakes made by advanced machine-learning systems/AI.
  • The demise of current political systems and the rise of ‘citizen governments’, where ordinary people are co-opted to approve legislation.
  • The end of the techno-industrial age as the world runs out of fossil fuels, leading to economic and environmental devastation.
  • The end of industrial-scale meat production, as most people become vegan and meat is cultured from biopsies taken from living, outdoor reared livestock.

The hypothetical prediction for 2050 from Dmitry Galov, security researcher at Kaspersky Lab is as follows: “By 2050, our knowledge of how the brain works, and our ability to enhance or repair it is so advanced that being able to remember everything and learn new things at an outrageous speed has become commonplace. Most kids are fitted with the latest memory boosting implants to support their learning and this makes education easier than it has ever been. 

“Brain damage as a result of head injury is easily repaired; memory loss is no longer a medical condition, and people suffering from mental illnesses, such as depression, are quickly cured.  The technologies that underpin this have existed in some form since the late 2010s. Memory implants are in fact a natural progression from the connected deep brain stimulation implants of 2018.

“But every technology has another side – a dark side. In 2050, the medical, social and economic impact of memory boosting implants are significant, but they are also vulnerable to exploitation and cyber-abuse. New threats that have appeared in the last decade include the mass manipulation of groups through implanted or erased memories of political events or conflicts, and even the creation of ‘human botnets’. 

“These botnets connect people’s brains into a network of agents controlled and operated by cybercriminals, without the knowledge of the victims themselves.  Repurposed cyberthreats from previous decades are targeting the memories of world leaders for cyber-espionage, as well as those of celebrities, ordinary people and businesses with the aim of memory theft, deletion of or ‘locking’ of memories (for example, in return for a ransom).  

“This landscape is only possible because, in the late 2010s when the technologies began to evolve, the potential future security vulnerabilities were not considered a priority, and the various players: healthcare, security, policy makers and more, didn’t come together to understand and address future risks.”

For more information and the full suite of inspirational and thought-provoking predictions, visit Earth 2050.

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Pizoelectrics: Healthcare’s new gymnasts of gadgetry

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Healthcare electronics is rapidly deploying for wellness, electroceuticals, and intrusive medical procedures, among other, powered by new technologies. Much of it is trending to diagnostics and treatment on the move, and removing the need for the patient to perform procedures on time. 

Instruments become wearables, including electronic skin patches and implants. The IDTechEx Research report, “Piezoelectric Harvesting and Sensing for Healthcare 2019-2029”, notes that sensors should preferably be self-powered, non-poisonous even on disposal, and many need to be biocompatible and even biodegradable. 

We need to detect biology, vibration, force, acceleration, stress and linear movement and do imaging. Devices must reject bacteria and be useful in wearables and Internet of Things nodes. Preferably we must move to one device performing multiple tasks. 

So is there a gymnast material category that has that awesome versatility? 

Piezoelectrics has a good claim. It measures all those parameters. That even includes biosensors where the piezo senses the swelling of a biomolecule recognizing a target analyte. The most important form of self-powered (one material, two functions) piezo sensing is ultrasound imaging, a market growing at 5.1% yearly. 

The IDTechEx Research report looks at what comes next, based on global travel and interviewing by its PhD level analysts in 2018 with continuous updates.  

Click here to read how Piezo has been reinvented.

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