Could the Martin jetpack really be a glimpse of the future? Video of the latest prototype shows a noisy machine that looks like a souped-up Flymo, although the project has come a long way in the five years since its launch, with test flights now reaching 3,500ft and the New Zealand-based Martin Aircraft Company set to list on the Australian stock exchange. The firm promises that its safety features make it one of the safest light aircraft around, “light” being an important qualification. The aspiration to build the “motorbike of the skies” is a reminder that small light aircraft do not share the credentials of large passenger aircraft as statistically the safest form of travel. Steve Yianni, chief executive of the British technology innovation centre Transport Systems Catapult, said: “With any new mobility solution, the factors in its success start with how safe is it – sometimes there is a difference between the public’s perceived safety and … [Read more...] about Jetpacks: niche hobby or future transport for the masses?
Mobile technology in the future
A Fitbit, for better or worse, looks like a Fitbit. For the past seven years Fitbit’s product design has skewed toy-like, friendly, utilitarian. A Fitbit won’t be mistaken for jewelry; it’s not high-fashion, though it may try; it’s a Fitbit. But that doesn’t mean Fitbit isn’t susceptible to the trends of its own industry, one that it helped firmly establish, and the new $130 Fitbit Alta is the best example of that. The company has eschewed a clunky wristband for one that’s a little bit more delicate. The Alta is slimmer and sleeker than Fitbit’s Charge, Charge HR, and Surge wristbands. The plastic band that ships with the Alta can also be swapped out for a softer, genuine leather one, giving it even more aesthetic appeal. It’s a trend we’re seeing more of: companies like Fitbit, Misfit, and Fossil have all stepped firmly in the direction of “fashionable” wearables this year, the idea being that if they don’t … [Read more...] about Fitbit Alta review: better design, same technology
At a two-day gathering for Honda's suppliers in March, Chief Executive Takahiro Hachigo sounded the alarm. At the Hotel Higashinihon in Utsunomiya, Hachigo told them the Japanese automaker was facing a crisis after a string of costly recalls and other quality blunders and it needed to plot a new course, according to two people who attended the meeting. Since then, Hachigo has been quietly working on reforms to centralise decision-making by bringing Honda's standalone research & development (R&D) division in-house and cutting some senior management roles, according to three Honda insiders. Expected to be announced early next year, the reforms are meant to simplify the way Honda designs cars and put its engineering resources to more effective use at a time when it needs to develop cars for an electric age, the sources said. "Decades ago, localisation ... was the buzz word and our tech centre independence was a key driver for innovation," said a former Honda executive who now is … [Read more...] about Honda’s Hachigo Seizes The Wheel As Quality Crisis Hits Profits
*NB: This interview was subjected to an approval process by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) before we were allowed to publish it. The text has been redacted and altered by the BMBF in addition to DW's normal editorial guidelines. As such, the text does not entirely reflect the audio of the interview as recorded on December 5, 2019. DW: We're in Berlin at an "Artificial Intelligence Camp" organized by the Gesellschaft für Informatik and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, where you head the department for "Research for Digitalization and Innovation." Artificial intelligence is in your remit. And all the people here are experts in the field. But AI is one of those topics where lots of people talk about it, but few people really understand it, especially in the wider public. So what use is an event like this? Prof. Dr.-Ing. (Doctor of Engineering) Ina Schieferdecker: We must always consider AI in its social context. That means … [Read more...] about Minister, what’s a European artificial intelligence?
It’s 4.50pm on a cold, blustery Saturday in March and I am at the in-laws’ house on the south coast of England. Cups of tea have been distributed, rugby is on the TV and Scotland are trundling to another defeat. Amid sympathetic murmurings, I glance at Twitter for the score that matters. Dumbarton have beaten Montrose away and my mood is saved for the evening. My attention, however, is drawn to the multitude of likes and shares appearing on a tweet from the official Berwick Rangers account: “Ugly scenes in the dugout as Cowdenbeath’s manager has just told [Berwick manager] Johnny Harvey to ‘take his face for a sh*te’ #BRFC.” As I stifle a giggle, I realise two things: firstly, I probably can’t explain what’s so funny to present company and, secondly, Berwick Rangers are going viral. Fast forward a week and, according to the Daily Record, the tweet had caused a “social media storm” that had “captured the attention … [Read more...] about What Berwick Rangers going viral tells football clubs about social media