The Future of Security – Highlights from O. Brodt’s speech at Masters&Robots Conference 2017

Oleg Brodt works at Deutsche Telekom Innovation Labs in Israel. He comes from the small city called Beersheba, also spelled Beer-Sheva, which also is the largest city in the Negev desert of southern Israel. In the end of October this year he spoke at Masters&Robots Conference in Warsaw, and I would like to present some of the highlights of his speech on cyber security.

 

1. Beersheba – as a Cyber Security Center of Israel

Israeli government decided that Beersheba is going to be a cyber security capital of Israel (being more than 4 times smaller than Warsaw). Therefore, all the cyber security units of military and other agencies were moved to this city. That is what made a great impact on Beersheba’s development and stimulated the inflow of human capital into the city. Nowadays there are 40 multinational companies located in Beersheba. There are also many accelerators, incubators, around 100 Start-Ups and the Ben-Gurion University, which is the only university in Israel offering a cyber security degree. Generally, there are around 400 Start-Ups focused on cyber security in Israel, furthermore, the country attracts 15% of global venture capital financing of cyber security projects.

Beersheba 2007

Beersheba 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Cyber Security Kids – Israeli Programs for Talented Pupils

In Israel children, who are good at math and IT, have a chance to become a part of the educational programs, which are aimed to prepare human resources for Israeli military units. Those are usually kids, who go to 9th grade. If the kid is cherrypicked, he or she attends the after school classes on cyber security twice a week during four years of high school and after this, he or she joins the army unit.

By the time a child finishes a school, he or she is already an expert in cyber security. Moreover, there is a 6-months gap between the kid finishes school studies and joins the military agency, and during that gap, a kid already works on military CS projects in IT labs. Those are the lowest qualified workers in Israeli IT Labs. The IT labs are being headed by professor Yuval Elovici, who is a known academic figure in the field of CS.

3. There are Different Kinds of Attackers in CS

  • Kids (“Script Kiddies”) – just children, who are bored, they have spare time and technical skills to hack you. They have some basic knowledge, and start to play around with CS, however, they are lowly qualified and normally can not do a lot of harm. Moreover, kids are hacking for “FUN”, there is no real money interest in it.
  • State Actors – governments, which hack each other or specific targets. They are extremely highly qualified, and if you are the target – it will be very difficult to defend. Also, they have “unlimited resources” to hack you, which means they are very dangerous and if they really want to hack you, it is a question of time.
  • Cybercriminals – revenue driven hackers, who aim to get a financial benefit from you.
  • Hacktivism – is the subversive use of computers and computer networks to promote a political agenda or a social change. Perhaps the most prolific and well known hacktivist group, Anonymous has been prominent and prevalent in many major online hacks over the past decade.
  • Terror Organizations – not very active in the field of CS yet, but are increasing their activity gradually.

4. Financial Models of Attackers

There are also different ways attackers might harm you and there are some of them:

  • Ransomware – a type of malicious software from cryptovirology that threatens to publish the victim’s data or perpetually block access to it unless a ransom is paid. While some simple ransomware may lock the system in a way which is not difficult for a knowledgeable person to reverse, more advanced malware uses a technique called cryptoviral extortion, in which it encrypts the victim’s files, making them inaccessible, and demands a ransom payment to decrypt them.
  • DDOS-as-a-Service – a new service in the Darknet. If you want to attack your competitor in the internet (for example internet shop), you order such a service in the Darknet from qualified hackers, and than they attack the e-commerce platform of your competitor in a way that it gets too many requests and falls offline.
  • Crypto-Hacks – is something relatively new, and means that hackers attack bitcoins exchangers in order to still their money.
  • Darkweb hacking services – there are even whole price lists for certain violations in the Darkweb. For example, how much does it cost to but a thousand credit cards, or to hack somebody’s Facebook account.

5. It Is Not Personal – When Hacking You is a Business

  • The hackers, who attack you because of financial motivation are interested only in getting the money. They really do not care who you are, they are not hacking you because you are you, they are hacking you because of your resources. And the most popular way to hack during last two years is ransomware. Due to its “commonness”, there starts to arise a commoditization of the services connected to ransomware, so to say. In other words, hackers, who attack you with ransomware have support centers! So, for example, if you get hacked, and your entire organization data in currently encrypted, you get a message that you have to pay a ransom in bitcoins, but you do not know what actually bitcoin is – you may address hackers’ customer service for help. Yes, you get a phone number on your screen, and if you call on this number – a nice customer service representative guide you through the whole process. Sounds nice, hah?
  • Organizations, which are specialized in negotiations with hackers arise. For example: you are being hacked, and the attacker wants you to pay 5000$ ransom for your files. But how can you know that after the transfer of the money the files will be released? That is where negotiations companies come into play. First, they try to establish a reputation of the hacker – they ask him questions like: “How do I know that you are not going to publish my files in the Darkweb?” or “How do I know that you are not going to sell my files to other organizations?” And what happens next is something surprising – hackers give lists of “previous customers” (people or organizations, which were hacked by them before) to convince the victim that the deal is safe. They also propose to refer to those “customers” to get a recommendation. So there exists so-called recommendation base for hackers, in which new negotiations companies are specialized.

Sources:

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ransomware
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beersheba
  • Oleg’s Brodt Speech at Masters&Robots Conference in Warsaw (26-27 October 2017)

 

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Chat-bots – Rise of Machines

 

a chance to get in contact with your clients is a significant way for your business to grow. Chat bots help to handle interactions with customers for e-commerce companies and simulate the shopping that buyers get in a retail store. Now a days chat bots are the hottest artificial intelligence and tend to be included more and more in the systems. In the near future we will be using chat-bots all the time for different goals.

The integration of messaging apps and online shopping allows businesses to utilize applications such as Facebook Messenger, We-Chat, Whats-app, or even voice technology like the Amazon Echo. Customers can chat with AI robot and ask questions, receive customer commands and personalized recommendations, or purchase products all within one channel .  Although this form of AI is far from ready to take over eCommerce it is beginning to see more and more, so lets look at some of the areas where it has been experimented.

  • Marketing and brand boosting

Making money trough chat-bots is difficult, with some exceptions such as Adidas . Them giving out exclusive offers available only through bot messengers was a unique way to drive more interest. . The Chat bot would then contact them exclusively with dates and times. Their ultimate goal was to boost brand awareness and it certainly worked. Within the first week 2,000 people signed-up and their first week retention was 60%, higher than any app they’ve started.

 

  • Customer Service role

Chat-bots that interact via messaging could revolutionize the customer service sector for eCommerce.One reason is the speed with which they can respond to a customer query. Mgage a telecommunication provider from London through a survey found that Chat-bots can instantly & accurately answer up to 90% of the questions they’re asked. This round-the-clock support is unlikely for most businesses using humans due to the cost, so another benefit of Chat-bots is the money they’d save retailers, up to 30% in customer service.

 

  • Engaging Customers and send location offers

Burger King have begun testing a Chat-bot in the US that allows customers to place an order, choose a restaurant and collect from the location. Sending them message with deals, targeting them around the time of the day they would usually order and even location based offers.

  • Reduce steps to a conversion

H&M’s new messenger bot attempts to offer a personalized shopping experience that leads to the checkout. Customers enter a conversation with the bot who will pick-up certain keywords, like colors and garment types, to help guide them to their products. It will recommend clothing, suggest whole outfits and link them to the product page; reducing steps and creating new sales opportunities.

In my opinion Chat-bots can bring up new E-business ideas and encourage customer interaction. it provides the businesses a gateway to understand the customer needs and tailor solutions accordingly Overall it will be a powerful marketing tool in the future.

Sources :

  1.  https://chatbotsmagazine.com/how-chatbots-can-enhance-your-social-media-marketing-strategy-a801ae513faa
  2. https://www.topbots.com/project/hm-kik-bot-review
  3. http://fortune.com/2016/05/18/burger-king-bot/
  4. https://chatbotsmagazine.com/chatbots-for-retail-and-e-commerce-part-three-c112a89c0b48
  5. https://www.livechatinc.com/blog/use-cases-chatbots-ecommerce/

Tesla, One step further to change transports.

Global warming is amplifying and beating records every day. It is happening due to many reasons for which we can sometimes act, sometimes not. Nevertheless, for years now, Tesla’s name is linked with a game changer if it comes to companies that are pioneer in new clean way of living.

Tesla’s cars, Tesla’s batteries, Tesla’s solar roof. You have probably already heard about those products. Changes made thanks to Tesla are becoming more and more appreciated all around the world and making changes that are good for our planet.

However, Tesla wants to go one step further. After delivering more than 76,000 cars in 2016 worldwide and implementing many superchargers (Tesla’s “gas” stations to “refuel” their cars), the company from California presented on the 16th of November it’s way to look at the road transports in the next years.

 

Semi, is a fully electric truck with a range of 300 to 500 miles (480 – 800km) when it is completely loaded and on a highway at legal speed, not very impressive in comparison to up to more than 2000 miles (3200 km) range for a diesel truck, but it can be charged thanks to a megacharger and have more than 400 miles (640 km) range after 30 minutes of charge, all of that being 20% less expansive than a normal diesel truck. Tesla states that “Semi is the safest, most comfortable truck ever. Four independent motors provide maximum power and acceleration and require the lowest energy cost per mile”. With its 4 electric engines, the 40 tons machine can accelerate from 0 to 95km/h in less than 20 seconds and uses all the new technologies that are already implemented in Tesla cars for the security.


Tesla also worked a lot on the aerodynamics of the truck, being the black spot of the trucks we are used to know. The drag coefficient (cd) went from 0,65-0,7 in a normal truck to 0,36 in the semi. In comparison, the newest Bugatti Chiron has a cd or 0,38. The economy of this truck compared to a “normal” one could exceed 200,000$ in fuel savings through this technological solution and electric engines.

In addition, according to CITEPA, 7,9% of Co2 emissions are generated by Diesel trucks. Thanks to this new truck, those emissions could decrease significantly.

But on the other hand, according to UCSUSA, the production of such kind of cars/trucks, generates more carbon emissions than to build a conventional one, moreover, the electricity for this car has to be produced in some countries thanks to renewable energy, but sometimes, it is only possible with electricity from a nuclear power station or fossil power station, so in this case, the green side of it would be even worse than a heated engine.

In my opinion, the Tesla Semi is a good idea, thanks to many innovations, and a totally new way of looking at road transportation it is really something that can be good for the planet and for people working in this field. Nevertheless, this solution only makes sense if it is made with a good mind, in other words, being sure that it will be used with renewable energies, with a possibility to recycle them and to have a good warranty for batteries.

Sources :

Tesla’s 2016 Deliveries = 76,230+ Vehicles, Production = 83,922 Vehicles

https://www.tesla.com/semi/

http://www.futura-sciences.com/planete/questions-reponses/automobile-transport-camion-il-polluant-4117/

http://www.ucsusa.org/clean-vehicles/electric-vehicles/life-cycle-ev-emissions#.WhF76bZ7Qy6

Tesla Semi: 500-Mile Range, Cheaper Than Diesel, Quick to Charge

Tesla’s Electric Cars Aren’t as Green as You Might Think

Facebook Creator – a better way of meaningful content creation or just another Facebook app?

With its new objective to change mindless video consumption into “time well spent”, Facebook has recently released an app for creators. Facebook Creator provides a wide range of offerings to influencers including new tools for video streaming and story updates, a unified inbox of comments and chats from Instagram and Facebook, a cross-posting platform, broad analytics and page insights. 
Facebook for Creators is supposed to help influencers to grow their fan base through enhancing their content so that it is more meaningful to their followers. The idea for the app  was to provide content creators with one functional platform, from which they would be able to more efficiently manage their online presence making it more personal and interactive.
Although, the goal behind the new Facebook product seems like a big wow, what Facebook failed to mention is that it has long had an app similar to the one they have just released. A celebrity exclusive Facebook Mentions was an app that allowed public figures to monitor their mentions on different social media platforms and to keep in touch with their fans and people they cared about. The app provided similar functionalities as the new Creator App.
As a matter of fact, Facebook Creator has replaced the original Facebook Mentions app, making the new product not so new anymore. What used to be an exclusive platform for celebrities has now become an open and widely available to everyone on the App Store, Creator App. Therefore, instead of coming up with a totally new product as many articles seem to call it, Facebook has only updated and rebranded its original Facebook Mentions.

A Closer look inside Facebook Creator App functionalities

Facebook Live Creative Kit
Special features have been introduced allowing influencers to create custom intros and outros, and to add interactive stickers and custom video frames. Users can also access Facebook camera and story sharing from the app and cross-post to Instagram and Twitter. This last feature is definitely helpful as it might not only save content creators’ time, but also encourage them to build higher-quality content.

 

Communication Tab
A unified inbox between Facebook Messenger and Instagram has been created giving users access to all their messages and notifications on one platform. This streamline feature might help influencers to reduce the time to answer their followers and make it easier to hold a two-way conversations with their fans without the need to bounce between the two apps.

 

Analytics
This feature will help content creators to get insights about their fan base demographics and preferences, as well as possible brands that might be interested in partnership opportunities.
In addition, Facebook has also launched a new website – Facebook for Creators, with a goal to provide content creators with inspiration and learning support. The platform and the app seem like a great way to create a welcoming community of content creators. Facebook has definitely showed their care about the community of independent vloggers, and although Youtube is still Facebook’s biggest competition, the company has taken time advantage with their product launch over the fact that many Youtubers have been experiencing issues with a bot that demonetizes and limits the ads on their videos.

 

Possible Improvements

However, to gather more influencers on the platform, Facebook Creator could think about new ways to help them monetize their content. As for now, content creators are only able to monetize through creating branded content label with Facebook’s partnership tagging feature. This  is extremely limited comparing to Youtube’s monetization options. Therefore, in order for more influencers switching to Creator app, Facebook would need to explore different business models.
Another thing that Facebook Creator could do better is introducing a way to facilitate the communication not only between content creators and their fan base, but also between Facebook groups, so that fans could interact with each other. This might help to better meet Facebook’s goal of bringing people together around their passions.

Sources:

https://techcrunch.com/2017/11/16/facebook-creator-app/
https://www.theverge.com/2017/11/16/16667030/facebook-creator-app-announced-launches
https://www.theverge.com/2017/11/14/16648348/youtube-demonetizing-iphone-x-videos
https://www.forbes.com/sites/danafeldman/2017/11/16/facebook-launches-new-app-website-for-creators/#52c2d80a1d98
https://www.facebook.com/creators#app

Meet Sophia, your new friend

She talks, she smiles, she communicates with you. She is almost alive and might be a human, soon. Or isn’t she?

We live in the times, when technology is developing in the fastest way than we ever observed through the history. It is hard to realize, but more than half of our daily routines are already somehow improved by technology advancements. In fact, robots and artificial intelligence are already easing our lives. Moreover, it is time to face that the further changes are inevitable and sooner or later such technologies might become an integral part of our society.

The latest change has occurred to be an explosion in social media and almost every news source, when a new robot was introduced by Hanson Robotics. Her or its name is Sophia and she already has shocked everyone, who has ever heard about her. According to Hanson Robotics website, this newly emerged robot is created to assist people in daily life like help the children study, entertain people, provide companionship and serve people in general.

But what is so special about her?

It seems to be the most advanced robot that is created to have human-like appearance and have several features of the human character and abilities.

However, she is not a human. Sophia is a robot, powered by AI. While being extremely similar to people and having so close to us expressions and mimics, Sophia is still having hundreds of cords, wires and is operating due to specific program. In fact, this program makes her so special. According to Quartz Media, Sophia’s software is composed of three main pillars:

  • Research platform – to research and cumulate the context and semantics of the dialogues
  • Speech-reciting robot – due to this software, Sophia is able to match her facial expressions to the context of the words that she is saying
  • Robotic chatbot – sometimes Sophia’s speech is run by pre-written responses, chosen due to analysis of the speech of the people that she is talking to

In fact, Sophia is built in such a way to use a machine learning to educate herself and to become a more consistent companion in the dialogue.

The other factor that makes Sophia outstand from other AI based creatures is that Sophia operates due to decentralized AI, specifically SingularityNET. According to Forbes, “Until recently, the contemporary AI industry had been built around a centralized distribution paradigm where machine learning solutions are delivered as a part of cloud-based APIs and software packages deployed on remote servers of AI providers”. This means that the data and information provided to the machine learning had been stored and created straightly at the providers of this information. However, now, as well as Sophia, the information can be cumulated from various sources, which would allow AI to be trained in decentralized way, like a blockchain.

Nevertheless, the event that made Sophia so popular and unpopular at the same time is that she is the first robot, who received the citizenship. The country that was ready to adapt such changes is Saudi Arabia. As a result, this event has caused a lot of noise around Sophia. According to The Verge, many people complained about the rights that might be further given to the robots, especially in such countries where even the rights of a human are at the critical debate. Moreover, it has caused a huge discussion upon the ethical issues and the technological advancements of the near future.

In fact, this has become the first step to introduce completely new technologies to the society and to allow such technologies to live and act among people and with people.

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Drones to reduce traffic violations?

According to WTO (World Health Organisation), 1,25 million died by road traffic related accidents globally in 2013. Not to mention the several millions of serious injuries. Either these numbers tells us that people do not take the regulations and restrictions regarding road traffic as serious as they should, else road traffic is dangerous itself. Nevertheless, with this in mind, it is a pleasure to present to you a solution that is currently occurring on trials in Bordeaux, France. This is the story about flying drones – an innovation that might be able to catch drivers that are violating the traffic regulations.

Basically, it is a flying machine that is equipped with a camera that provides police officers with a live-stream of a wide area, which makes the whole process of catching crazy drivers more efficient. When a driver, who’s for instance driving like a complete maniac, is spotted, the drone will keep track of him until a cop easily can pull him or her over. Unfortunately, it is not possible for the drone to detect if a driver is breaking a speed limit, but it most certainly has the possibility to spot a drunk driver driving that’s struggling with the matter of keeping the vehicle steady.

The article mentions some criticism against this idea, with the concern that some motorists might take their eyes of the road just to spot the drones, thus causing more accidents. Nevertheless, the government is reported to be interested in further expansions within this system. In my opinion, this is probably the most accurate argumentation against such an innovation. If this drone actually works, it might save the police a lot of time in their fight against traffic violations. On the other hand, if the statistics later on can show that the drones sometimes actually is the cause of some accidents, then this investment will be a total waste of money. In addition, I suppose some violators might even just blame the drones, even though it was entirely the driver’s fault, just as an attempt to get more excused.

Even though I mentioned that road traffic is reason of millions of peoples deaths, my opinion is that the police has more important tasks to do than chasing bad drivers. If an innovative product like this might allow the officers to spend their time within other crime areas, it’s definitely worth giving a shot. Like in business life, one can compare the police resources to a company’s resources. An innovation that can relief the pressure of a certain department within an organization is considered beneficial. The environment is constantly changing and one can assume that the police officers also faces changes in their daily works. With implementation of new technology into their tasks, they might be able to cope with these changes. Thus, the conclusion is that this innovation is considered being of high value, even though it probably needs to be more developed. I mean, some additional features is necessary, for instance the ability to catch speed violations, since I suppose these violations are the ones causing most of the deaths.

https://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/drones-help-french-traffic-cops/http://www.who.int/gho/road_safety/mortality/number_text/en/

 

Keecker – The robot which will revolutionise your home (and your life)!

Who has never dreamt about having a cinema room at home? Or about listening to music without bringing the speaker wherever you go? And what about falling asleep under a “sky full of stars” inside your bedroom? In addition, are you fed up with all the cables of your TV screen connected to all the devices? This 38-centimeter tall egg-shaped globe isn’t a dog but can follow you as a dog. Moreover, this strange robot is the solution to the desires and problems mentioned above.

Keecker is a multifunctional robot designed by a former French Google employee, Pierre Labeau – he was one of the developers of Google Analytics. Instead of being a pet robot, this breakthrough device can be used in several ways:

  • Thanks to its 360° camera placed at the top of the robot, Keecker could be used as a security device when you’re not at home. You can always have an eye on what is happening at home when you’re at work, when you’re travelling, …
  • Keecker also includes an adaptable video projector. Thanks to its connectivity with a wide range of electronic devices, you can watch your YouTube videos or your favorite movies at home as if you were at the cinema. Another amazing feature of this device is that the LED projector can be used on any surface and oriented by 90°: it is now possible to project your content on the ceiling. Amazing, right? Moreover, by combining the camera and the projector, you could make live videoconference with your co-workers or family for example.
  • In order to make the cinema experience at home complete, the robot comprises a 4.1 audio system. This means that there are 4 speakers of 10 watts in addition to a 50 watts subwoofer, which can produce up to 117 decibels – tell your neighbors when you’re using it, because it’s equivalent to a concert or a plane! This robot can also wake you up at the right time by playing your favourite music.

This robot is able to move around in the whole house thanks to wheels located below the subwoofer. In order to not hit obstacles, Keecker has a lot of sensors around its “body” and has a 5-megapixel front camera and a 3D depth sensing camera in addition to the 360° 13-megapixel fisheye camera, which helps its “brain” to memorise and map your house. You won’t have to move the TV screen with all the cables from the living room to your bedroom anymore to resume your video game or your movie.

Concerning the battery life, the lithium-ion battery has a capacity of 300Wh, enough to power Keecker for:

  • 6 hours at full use (with projection, sound and movement)
  • 3 days of non-stop music (with sound only, no projection)
  • 7 days of surveillance in patrol mode (depending on the size of the house)

In addition, Keecker is autonomous and smart enough to go back to its charging station when it feels that it needs energy. The only thing you have to do is to show Keecker – during the setup – where its charging base is in the house and the robot will memorise the location.

Regarding to the connectivity of this device, Keecker works with Wi-Fi network and with Bluetooth. Keecker has its own operating systems – Keecker OS1 – which is based on Android 7 TV (Nougat) operating system – and works under a powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor. This OS allows Keecker to download videos in its hard drive or to stream live videos.

You can use your smartphone as a remote control thanks to an app available both on the Apple Store and on the Google Play Store (supported OS: iOS 10 and up, Android 5 and up). There are 3 ways to give orders to Keecker:

  • Carrying it – he only weights 8 kilograms
  • Control it with your index finger through the mobile phone application
  • Giving it an spoken instruction – Keecker is equipped with a voice recognition system

If you prefer using your computer instead of your smartphone, there is a remote-control web application for all PC, Mac, Windows Phone or other browsers (Linux, …).

Keecker has a 3GB RAM and is available in two versions of flash memory: 32GB or 160 GB storage capacity. Thanks to its operating system, you can interact with Keecker just by saying “Hey Keecker” – like “Ok Google” for Android devices or “Say Siri” for Apple devices. Keecker also includes other features, like:

  • A thermometer
  • A humidity sensor
  • A GPS
  • An accelerometer
  • A gyroscope
  • A compass
  • An ambient light detector

To get one of these outstanding robots, you’ll have to spend minimum 1790€ (for the 32-gigabyte version). The 160-gigabyte version is worth 1990€. The number of robots is limited, so don’t hesitate to order yours as soon as possible (if you’re obviously interested in it and if you can afford it). I might probably get one of these robot later because Keecker is like a gathering of every connect object we might have at home.

In my opinion, it has always been a dream to have a cinema room in my future home. This robot will completely change the experience of teleworking from home, of listening to music and of watching to TV/movies. Thanks to it, instead of sitting on an awkward chair at your desk, you could have videoconferences comfortably sit in your sofa, without bringing all the stuff (webcam, computer, …) into the room where you want to move. I think this device could be useful for a lot of things, like projecting a nursery rhyme or listening to a fairy tale for kids going to sleep, looking at your virtual coach while doing yoga or searching for a tutorial on YouTube while cooking without having to wash your hands (thanks to the voice recognition feature). The only bad thing is that this device isn’t available to everybody due to its limited quantity and its price. But, maybe, after several months, the company will grow and produce more robots with probably more features. But, nevertheless, this is a great beginning.

If you want more info, check these websites and articles:

http://www.keecker.com/eu-en

http://www.20minutes.fr/high-tech/2144223-20171013-video-dites-bonjour-keecker-robot-multimedia-mange-televiseur

https://www.challenges.fr/entreprise/une-start-up-francaise-lance-keecker-un-robot-capable-de-gerer-tout-le-multimedia-a-la-maison_503788

https://www.theverge.com/2014/10/14/6974457/keecker-robot-home-pod

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From the failure of the innovative “Triton” respirator to the imminent success of the Airbuddy float compressor. Divers are eagerly awaiting some news.

For many people, there’s no better feeling than that of diving into the ocean without a care in the world and swimming with some of the most beautiful creatures on the planet. Some of the views you get when diving are absolutely spectacular and like nothing else, you will ever experience.  But, for some people, it’s the thought of having to put on all the gear and lug the equipment around with you that takes some of the fun away and inevitably puts some of them off before they’ve even tried it. However, that could all change very soon.

In 2014, Jeabyun Yeon, a designer from South Korea, Saeed Khademi, a former account, marketing and sale manager and his broter John Khademi, a marketing expert, real-estates agent launched an ambitious project that would allow people to spend up to 45 minutes underwater without ever coming back and, above all, without the unconfortable sub-equipment.
It is a particular respirator,  very compact, called Triton. Essentially, Triton would be able to extract oxygen from sea water allowing us to go underwater without cylinders as if we had gills. A dream that is hard to resist.

Indeed, four years after the initial idea, and despite the over $ 800,000 collected on Indiegogo, the enthusiasm around the project has disappeared and even sometimes has been labeled as fraudulent. 

This is because the team had several problems in the implementation phase.

In fact theoretically the mechanism of Triton is really possible and perhaps genial. This respirator uses two specialized filters to extract oxygen from water. Allegedly, these filters use microporous hollow fiber, a (real) material comprised of billions of super-small holes that are “smaller than water molecules, so they keep water out and let oxygen in,” according to Triton. From there, a “micro compressor then extracts and stores the oxygen,” allowing users to breathe naturally and remain underwater for about 45 minutes. In theory, this is totally possible. The question is whether or not such a small device would be able to extract enough oxygen to keep a human being alive under water.

One of the most thorough estimates found that the Triton mask would need to filter about 90 liters per minute (about 24 gallons) to keep someone alive under water, and doing so would require a fairly large pump — one that’s far too big to fit inside such a compact mask.

Next is the issue of storing the gas in a chamber – this would require a compressor and battery “order of magnitude more efficient than anything on the market today.Let’s say they’ve managed to crack those two issues the next one is the ability to deliver the oxygen to you in the right amount at the right pressure to be able to breathe.  This is possible as we see it in some particolar diving equipment but  again, there is no technology on the market right now that can achieve such a feat in such a small design.

Lastly, the company has never provided sufficient evidences to suggest a positive evolution of the product, and even the three founders have always avoided interviews justifying their behavior by not having received any patent that could protect them from any competitors.In this climate of mistrust of the Triton project, the video published by the company with which the respirator was promoted has also been criticized.

In fact on close inspection you can see that it is made up of several short clips where the person seems to be getting progressively more negatively buoyant (probably due to expelling air from their lungs to create the “bubbles” from the device) and no clip ever shows a person underwater for longer than one minute.

There has been no progress in recent years and perhaps the  encountered problems by society are impossible to solve.

After a couple of years of inactivity in this industry, it was another company trying to overthrow the world of diving. This is an Australian company founded in 2013 by a group of friends and has taken the same name as the amazing product it is about to launch into the market: Airbuddy. The founders have a lot of “water-love” between them. Managing director Jan Kadlec is a regular diver and marketing manager Lucy Palusovais an underwater enthusiast. Mechanical engineer Juraj Kadlec and manufacturing professional Ivan Maturkanic have a lot of snorkeling experience.
Airbuddy is a small floating electric compressor that can pump air up to a depth of 12 meters (one dispenser) or 6 meters (two dispensers) for 45 minutes. This means that the user – and this is especially true for two users at the same time – always takes a dive abundantly within the so-called safety curve, that is, the time / depth ratio within which you can trace the surface without having to make decompression stages.

The weight of the entire complex (9.5 kg that is up to 75% less than standard diving equipment) and the dimensions (407 x 540 x 315 mm) allow you to carry the AirBuddy in a normal traveling suitcase, which, being not a container under pressure, can be safely carried in the hold of an airplane. Also Airbuddy will be easy to use, just recharge the batteries that power the compressor for about 3.5 hours using a charger similar to that of a laptop.

This system will not replace scuba diving in any form, it won’t offer the same control, precision, and depth you get with scuba diving, it will offer a solution that’s much more convenient and flexible in shallow waters. 

In diving all takes time and costs money. So a simple 45min fun dive can easily turn into a half day, $50 activity. AirBuddy was created to eliminate all these hassles.

Currently Airbuddy is still a prototype but has already passed all the tests of functionality and security and the company that in the Kickstarter campaign had claimed $ 169,000 has even raised $ 200,000 in just 22 days and so the release in the market is scheduled for June 2018 (it will be sold at $ 1,600).

In conclusion, to immerse ourselves we still have to rely on the classic uncomfortable cylinders  but perhaps this time we are close to a futuristic innovation. We just have to hope it’s the right time.

Let’s hold the breath.

 

REFERENCES:

  • https://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/triton-scuba-mask-indiegogo-possibly-hoax/
  • https://www.deeperblue.com/triton-underwater-breathing-gill-scam/
  • http://www.airbuddy.net/about.html
  • https://www.businessinsider.com.au/an-australian-invented-underwater-diving-system-just-raised-200000-on-kickstarter-2017-5

 

THE FLYING TAXI WILL SOON BE REAL: THE IDEA OF A GERMAN STARTUP

Drones are tired to fly just to take photos and videos. Lately also want to bring the humans on board and they do so thanks to Volocopter VC200. Electric, steering and autonomous driving. It is the taxi produced by the german startup Volocopter, from which the invention is also named. It is a robot helicopter as a giant drone named AAT, acronym for Autonomous Air Taxi. It wants to “make every man’s dream of flying and helping cities solve their mobility problems”.

Real debut for AAT was not far from Jumeirah Beach Park in Dubai. A new page of mobility history has been written. It is the first test of a non-pilot helicopter designed to transform tomorrow’s movements has been completed. The giant drone-like vehicle has two seats, 18 rotos, and is powered by nine batteries. It has a 30-minutes autonomy and reaches a maximum speed of 100 kilometers per hour. The vertical take-off model will serve as a taxi, and can be booked through a simple app.

It looks like a vision from the future but Volocopter is already a reality. Last September, the first flight test was conducted in Dubai thanks to an agreement with the local transport authority (RTA). The helicopter flew for 5 minutes, about 200 meters high, without passengers, waiting for all safety measures to be completed. The automated electric drone takes off as a standard consumer drone: vertically, like a helicopter would. This allows it to land in tight spaces, as opposed to requiring a runway. In this first phase, the drone is only running low-altitude flights at a maximum speed of 13 knots (25 km / h), but they are already studying how to take it to higher altitudes and up to 54 knots (100 km / h).

 

The Crown Prince of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan, was on hand to press the launch...

The first taxi of the future, according to forecasts, could come on the market already next year. It is not yet known how much a “run” on Volocopter will cost. To date, the company has raised 25 million euros in investment. Investors include Intel and the Daimler automotive company.

The investor Lukasz Gadowski has already successfully founded and financed numerous enterprises. Gadowski has enormous experience in the fast and global scaling of tech start-ups. “I have been interested in flying cars and following their development for a while. When I saw the Volocopter I got it: ‘‘the flying car has no wheels! What is exciting at Volocopter is not just the magnificent vision but also that which has already been tangibly implemented. Huge ambition with both feet on the ground – a unique combination! In the coming years we can expect a revolution in manned aviation. We at Volocopter will significantly contribute to shaping it!”

CEO of Volocopter, Florian Reuter, claims that the current model is capable of flying based on GPS tracks, and that the company aims to “implement full sense capability” moving forward. Basically this would allow for sophisticated obstacle avoidance and anti-collision measures to be in place, further strengthening the argument for safety. However could result from this invention problems such as regulation of air traffic, identification of areas forbidden to such vehicles and mapping of vehicles. It is also important to ensure the safety of the flights. All this will be not a simple work. In addition, the incompatibility with the current transport market has to be noted. These could claim because a large number of customers might prefer the new market to the traditional one. Currently Volocopter is not yet ready for use. This is due to reliability issues, battery autonomy, low speeds that would lead to preferring the traditional taxi. It’s important to note also the high costs of ‘‘taxiplane’’ installations. How many cities will be able to install and take advantage of this service in a short time? It’s hard to say but surely only a few big cities will be ready to adopt this solution in a shortly time.

The Volocopter in its current form can fly for 30 minutes at a time

However already in 2030 in the most famous of the seven emirates that make up the rich gulf state, the authorities aim at 25% autonomous mobility, between road and air. The price of a vehicle is not very low. The Wall Street Journal reported that the initial price of the Volocopter will be €250,000, the price for the 18-Rotor Electric Helicopter is €600,000 in Crowdfunding and the ultimate goal is for the price to go down. The era of personal flight is only at the beginning but the premise is more than good.

Sources:

https://www.volocopter.com/en/

http://www.businessinsider.com/dubai-flying-taxi-drone-volocopter-test-pilot-unmanned-2017-9?IR=T

https://www.wired.com/2015/06/18-rotor-volocopter-like-flying-car-better/

http://www.thedrive.com/aerial/14642/volocopter-passenger-drone-successfully-takes-dubais-crown-prince-on-5-minute-flight

https://www.engadget.com/2017/09/26/dubai-volocopter-passenger-drone-test/

iPhone X, was it worth to stand in this huge queue?

It is not suprising not at all that for new iPhone as everytime new iPhone come out Apple is gathering huge amount of people in queues all around the world for the new model of their phone.

As the Guardian said “thousands of people formed queues outside stores in London, Tokyo, Sydney and around the world on Friday as eager buyers tried to get their hands on Apple’s most expensive smartphone to date, the hotly anticipated £999 iPhone”. iPhone 10 as it is also described as X in Rome language means 10. In Guardian  Ben Wood, chief of research at CCS Insight said very important thing that “Apple has taken the potent ingredients of the iPhone brand and technology to once again position this new iPhone as the must-have device of the moment. And it’s all the more remarkable given it’s the highest price we’ve seen for a mobile phone, which makes it a representation of the importance people place on their phone as the most valuable, most loved and used gadget in their lives.” This whole iPhone X thing also convinced my friend who decided to stand in the queue in one Warsaw shopping centre, he waited 50 min for the new phone, he skipped work just to get new iPhone X as the vision of not getting this phone was so depressing for him because as for now Apple produced only limited amount of phones and as you would like to have iPhone X later you would have to wait almost one moth to get is as it would be produced and be back in stores. Moreover he said he would not stand if he would not get it, it seemed to me as his life dependend in this time of if he would have this new Iphone or not, this is the example how material thing, technological innovation is changing people thinking, as it is just a thing, nothing more. As he got his new iPhone I asked him what is great about it if it was worth to wait almost one hour for it and to skip the work, for this question he did not answer but he was so excited about face reading feature and that was it basically.. However he was so happy about the design, size and camera but he could not tell me more about it because this iPhone X has nothing special about it, what? I should be impressed of talking to emojis? Yeah that could be great for lonely people ale it will allow them to be unhappy and lonely still. For me it was not forth his time, money and excitement, this phone is nothing special for me.. How do you thing guys? Which side of view would you choose mine or my friend?

 

 

Bibliography:

https://www.google.pl/search?q=iphone+x&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjN1sGW07bXAhUJJJoKHSosA84Q_AUICigB&biw=1440&bih=826#imgrc=GDWF9V-O1bcW-M:

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/nov/03/iphone-x-apple-thousands-queue-overnight-fans