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Looking towards robotic 2045

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Kaspersky Labs’ experts have made a few predictions as to what our world may look like in 30 years time.

About 30 years ago the personal computer began to make its way into regular use – and it went on to transform society and the way we live our lives. Kaspersky Lab’s experts decided to mark that anniversary by looking further into the future and imagining how information technology might develop and change our lives in the new digital realities of 2045, 30 years from now..

The current rate of development in IT makes it difficult to deliver precise predictions about where we will be in a few decades. However, it is clear that every year our technologies will get even smarter and the people who work with them will need to keep up. We can certainly be sure that cybercriminals will continue to make every effort to exploit any new IT advances for their own malicious purposes,” said Alexander Gostev, Chief Security Expert at Kaspersky Lab. “But whatever our world looks like in 30 years, we should start improving its comfort, safety and well-being now. Technology is just a tool, and it is entirely up to us whether we use it for good or for evil.”

robots-website

 

Robots Everywhere:
Before long it’s likely that the world’s population will include billions of people and billions of robots, with the latter doing almost all of the heavy, routine labour. People will work on improving the software for the robots and the IT industry will be home to companies developing programmes for robots just like they now develop apps for users to download and install.

Mechanical People:
To a certain extent the boundaries between robots and humans will become blurred. Transplants will start using electronically controlled artificial organs and prosthesis will be a routine surgical procedure. Nanorobots will travel deep into the body to deliver drugs to diseased cells or perform microsurgery. Specially installed sensors will monitor people’s health and transmit their findings into a cloud-based storage that can be accessed by the local doctor. All of this should lead to a considerable increase in life expectancies.

Smart Homes:
Moreover, people will live in smart homes where most creature comforts will be fully automated. The software that runs the house will take care of energy, water, food and supplies consumption and replenishment. The residents’ only concern will be to ensure there is enough money in their bank accounts to pay the bills.

Hyper Intelligence:
Our digital alter egos will finally be fully formed within a single global infrastructure capable of self-regulation and involved in managing life on the planet. The system will operate a bit like today’s TOR; the most active and effective users will earn moderator rights. The system will be geared towards distributing resources between people, preventing armed conflict and other humanitarian actions.

3D Printing – Fast and Cheap:
It won’t just be dreary chores that are consigned to the history books – production of certain items will no longer be needed. Instead 3D printers will enable us to design and create what we need, from household items like dishes and clothes to the building bricks for a future home.

No More Computers:
The PC might have started the whole IT boom, but by 2045 we’ll probably only see it in museums. To be more precise we will no longer need a single tool for working with data – which is basically all a computer does. There will be an even greater range of smart devices and these different gadgets will steadily take over the functions of today’s PCs. For example, financial analysis will be done by a server controlled by the organisation concerned using electronic documents, not by an accountant on a personal computer.

Technophobia:
Not everyone will be excited by a brave new robotic world, however. New Luddites will likely emerge to oppose the development of smart homes, automated lifestyles and robots. The opposition to IT developments will shy away from using smart systems, appliances and robots for certain types of work, and will not have any digital identity.

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Low-cost wireless sport earphones get a kickstart

Wireless earphone brands are common, but not crowdfunded brands. BRYAN TURNER takes the K Sport Wireless for a run.

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As wireless technology becomes better, Bluetooth earphones have become popular in the consumer market. KuaiFit aspires to make them even more accessible to more people through a cheaper, quality product, by selling the K Sport Wireless Earphones directly from its Kickstarter page

KuaiFit has an app by the same name which offers voice-guided personal training services in almost every type of exercise, from cardio to weight-lifting. A vast range of connectivity to third-party sensors is available, like heart rate sensors and GPS devices, which work well with guided coaching. 

The app starts off with selecting a fitness level: beginner, intermediate and advanced. Thereafter, one has the ability to connect with real personal trainers via a subscription to its paid service. The subscription comes free for 6 months with the earphones, and R30 per month thereafter. 

The box includes a manual, a USB to two USB Type B connectors, different sized soft plastic eartips and the two earphone units. Each earphone is wireless and connects to the other independently of wires. This puts the K Sport Wireless in the realm of the Apple Earpods in terms of connection style. 

The earphones are just over 2cm wide and 2cm high. The set is black with a light blue KuaiFit logo on the earphone’s button. 

The button functions as an on/off switch when long-pressed and a play/pause button when quick-pressed. The dual-button set-up is convenient in everyday use, allowing for playback control depending on which hand is free. Two connectivity modes are available, single earphone mode or dual earphone mode. The dual earphone mode intelligently connects the second earphone and syncs stereo audio a few seconds after powering on. 

In terms of connectivity, the earphones are Bluetooth 4.1 with a massive 10-meter range, provided there are no obstacles between the device and the earphones. While it’s not Bluetooth 5, it still falls into the Bluetooth Low Energy connection category, meaning that the smartphone’s battery won’t be drastically affected by a consistent connection to the earphones. The batteries within the earphones aren’t specifically listed but last anywhere between 3 and 6 hours, depending on the mode. 

Audio quality is surprisingly good for earphones at this price point. The headset style is restricted to in-ear due to its small design and probable usage in movement-intensive activities. As a result, one has to be very careful how one puts these earphones, in because bass has the potential of getting reduced from an incorrect in-ear placement. In-ear earphones are usually notorious for ear discomfort and suction pain after extended usage. These earphones are one of the very few in this price range that are comfortable and don’t cause discomfort. The good quality of the soft plastic ear tip is definitely a factor in the high level of comfort of the in-ear earphone experience.

Overall, the K Sport Wireless earphones are great considering the sound quality and the low price: US$30 on Kickstarter.

Find them on Kickstarter here.

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Taxify enters Google Maps

A recent update to Taxify now uses Google Maps which allows users to identify their drivers, find public transport and search for billing options.

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People planning their travel routes using Google Maps will now see a Taxify icon in the app, in addition to the familiar car, public transport, walking and billing options.

Taxify started operating in South Africa in 2016 and as of October 2018 operates in seven South African cities – Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni, Tshwane, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Polokwane.

Once riders have searched for their destination and asked the app for directions, Google Maps shares the proximity of cars on the Taxify platform, as well as an estimated fare for the trip.

If users see that taking the Taxify option is their best bet, they can simply tap on the ‘Open app’ icon, to complete the process of booking the ride. Customers without the app on their device will be prompted to install Taxify first.

This integration makes it possible for users to evaluate which of the private, public or e-hailing modes of transport are most time-efficient and cost-effective.

“This integration with Google Maps makes it so much easier for users to choose the best way to move around their city,” says Gareth Taylor, Taxify’s country manager for South Africa. “They’ll have quick comparisons between estimated arrival times for the different modes of transport, as well as fares they can expect to pay, which will help save both time and money,” he added.

Taxify rides in Google Maps are rolling out globally today and will be available in more than 15 countries, with South Africa being one of the first countries to benefit from this convenient service.

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