Author Archives: Remigiusz Charlet

The Swedish way to deliver

We all have heard about different ways to deliver products that we order on the internet. Amazon wants to deliver your orders with drones, Google Express picks up your purchases in the store and uses route optimization to deliver it in the shortest time, or Starship technologies that makes a robot capable of delivering autonomously.

Those solutions have a big chance to appear in the next decade, but in Sweden, Volvo has its own idea of the future in delivery. Here is how it looks like.

The principle is simple, according to Johan Maresch, the manager of innovation at Volvo, once the order is placed, the buyer receives an SMS from the delivery company, which indicates for example: ‘We will deliver tomorrow, do you agree to give us access to the trunk of your car between 15h and 17h?’.

The customer accepts and Volvo generates a temporary virtual key that will only be active during this time slot and will allow the delivery person to open the trunk. When the time comes, the deliveryman looks for the car via his license plate in the dedicated application of his tablet. It locates it in real time on a map, as well as all other vehicles connected to the system. The application tells him the model and the color of the car, but the driver can also make the honk or operate his headlights to recognize it more easily when approaching.

He realizes the action that indicates the application to him: to pick up the linen to bring to the laundry, to deposit a package, to recover an order that the customer returns … It closes the box, the virtual key ceases exist and the system sends an SMS to the buyer to inform him that he has been delivered.

Thanks to this method, there is no more waste of time in queues to pick up your purchase, or to have to go to the warehouse of the delivering company that is always located on the other side of your city. Volvo is looking for more partners in order to develop this service. For the moment it is more based on Sweden where there are many Volvos.

I my opinion, this is a very good move from Volvo to improve the delivery’s user experience, nevertheless, I am not sure that I reassured about leaving my purchases in the trunk if the car is parked in a city. Imagine that someone sees the delivery man putting your purchase in the trunk, he will already know that there is something to steal. So it might work in some countries, but definitely not in all of them.

https://www.engadget.com/2016/05/10/vovlo-in-car-delivery/

https://www.computerworld.com/article/3126349/robotics/why-the-future-of-package-delivery-is-better-than-drones.html

https://www.media.volvocars.com/fr/fr-fr/media/pressreleases/190579/volvo-cars-lance-son-service-avant-gardiste-de-livraison-itinerante-en-deux-heures-en-partenariat-av

Volvo to Disrupt Package Delivery

 

 

 

Velux, your roof window is now connected.

Velux, does it sound familiar to you? It is normal, this year, the company that makes roof windows has passed its 75th anniversary. This Danish firm is well known all around the globe, so much that it has become an eponym, in other words, when we talk about roof windows, we don’t say “roof window” but “Velux”. This situation naturally creates a monopoly and often can be understood as a must have even if there is no real improvement (compared to competing brands). This last part was the case for Velux for a long time, because a roof window is a roof window, but this year, at the 2017 CES in Las Vegas, new technologies allowed them to offer something that will change this monotony.

Our homes are becoming more and more connected thanks to new technologies. Heaters, shutters, sockets, lights are now “connected”. Velux Active with Netatmo, is the Velux part in those products. The Danish company has been working with Netatmo, a French company specialized in new technologies, to develop a new, efficient and healthy roof window. All of that is possible thanks to 3 sensors.

One for the humidity that will know when to open windows to evacuate humidity, the second one is for the temperature to keep the right temperature in every room during day and night and the last one is for Co2 and particles to reduce the pollution inside the living place if there is a need for it.

According to Velux’s Vice President “In a close future, your home will take care of your health providing you the quantity of natural light and fresh air that you need, when you need it”.

Here is how it looks like on video :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7m93zxQmpA

Interesting, don’t you think? Moreover, it will be possible to connect it to your smartphone or tablet and to control all of it :

In addition to that, it will in integrate with all the features that you can find in Velux products like the automatic window closing when it is raining, and others.

VELUX ACTIVE with Netatmo was awarded two prestigious CES 2017 awards in the Smart Home and Eco-design & Sustainable Technologies categories.
We don’t have the price at the moment, but the availability is expected during the 1st semester  of 2018.

Nevertheless, the increasing popularity of connected devices at home can be scary for many people, because today, everything can be in your house, your alarm, your TV, your cooling system, even your washing machine. Companies claim that all the systems are protected and secure, but what if a situation like in Mr.Robot happens?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAj8zHOEfiI

Here it is less interesting to have all of this because you cannot even use your house normally.

And the problem is, that many people are not aware of the power of the internet and how easy it can be to hack. Here is a survey of the cybersecurity knowledge in the US from a 1055 people sample.

If you don’t trust surveys and you live in an apartment where you can connect to numerous wifi networks, just have a look at how many of them have the name that is on the router, which by consequence means that they probably haven’t changed the password as well.

To conclude, in my opinion, it is good to have all those features in our houses, it can definitely increase the comfort in our life, but if you are not into technology, you are not friendly, your neighbours don’t like you, and you don’t know how to change your wifi password, you should probably stay with the classical way of using those products. If you want this, then you have to be attentive and aware of what you are doing and what are the risks.

 

Sources :

What the Public Knows About Cybersecurity

http://www.velux.fr/a-propos/innovation/velux-active-with-netatmo

https://www.netatmo.com/en-US/partners/velux

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

Hybrid, is the future in the sky?

Hybrid, Electric, these are terms that we are going to hear more and more. For a few years now, companies in charge of transportation are working on this trend with the aim of fighting against pollution and global warming.  More often used in the car industry with brands like Toyota, Tesla, what if those words were also used for planes?
Zunum Aero, a Seattle based start-up, has every reason to think that it is possible. Thanks to  financial support from Boeing, this little company is preparing a Hybrid plane that will be delivered for the first customers in 2022.

It is based on the same technology as some hybrid cars, in other words, there is a small fuel generator that charges  2 batteries that allow the plane to flight up to 700 miles (1130km) at the speed of 340mph (544km/h). The latter is planned to transport up to 12 people and will be able to fly from smaller regional airports that cannot be used by most bigger planes because of noise issues and pollution. Moreover, the company is promising that tickets will be less expensive than the price we know to date.
This model takes all its sense in the US where there are more than 13500 little airports from which this plane could fly and transport people effectively from one point to another without any controls. Zanum Aero doesn’t want to stop here, it is planning a bigger plane in the future that will be able to transport 50 people up to 1000 miles (1600km).
However, other companies are thinking about other means of transportation. The Hyperloop is the perfect example, it consists on a capsule that moves in a tube at the speed of 760mph (1200km/h) between cities. A safe and fast way to travel between cities.

 

Nevertheless, the advantage that Zanum Aero has on others, is the existence of all the infrastructure. Creating the same infrastructure for another mean of transportation would be a cost of trillions of dollars and this is why the future of transportation might be in Hybrid or Electric planes.

 

sources :

Zunum Aero

https://www.sciencesetavenir.fr/high-tech/transports/la-start-up-zunum-aero-veut-lancer-des-avions-de-ligne-hybrides-electriques-des-2022_117168

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperloop

iPhone updates, your old iPhone is still the same

In today’s society, when we talk about technology, Apple is in most of cases, the company that is the most linked to this word. It is defined as an innovative, fashion and top of the range brand. According to Apple, for iPhones, and MacBooks, more than 90% of customers are enjoying their products and don’t want to change them. Thanks to these numbers, Apple is the most profitable company in the world.

 

I am one of these happy Apple customers, but since I bought my first iPhone in 2009, a 3GS, I’ve been thinking that my smartphone is slowing down every year, most of the time after a system update. What could be the reason of that? Is it Apple who was reducing performance of the phone after an update, or if it is because of my usage, or other components inside the phone?

Futuremark, a company based in Finland, specialises in benchmarking of hardwares and softwares since 1997. They have been testing iPhone 5S, 6, 6S and 7 in order to analyse the performance of the GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) and CPU (Central Processing Unit) to answer to the question “is Apple reducing performance of older devices?”.

Here are the results for the iPhone 5S, 6, 6S and 7

We can see that every iPhone, whichever iOS (Apple’s Operating system), has always the same result whether it was GPU or CPU, in other words, the phone have the same performance regardless of iOS version. Sometimes a little difference can be noticed, but it isn’t possible to feel this difference when you use the phone.

So where is this feeling of slowness coming from?

It can be explained by the development of the operating system that has more functionalities, or functionalities that need more energy. More energy means less performance for the rest. Moreover, when you buy a new iPhone, it is new, and has almost the full capacity, but after one year or two, every application on the phone are becoming bigger and more demanding.

To conclude, the feeling of slowness isn’t because of Apple who is reducing the performance of our dear iPhones, but because of extra applications or functionalities that are using more energy for the same thing with a phone that is more filled up.

Sources :

https://www.igen.fr/iphone/2017/10/les-performances-des-iphone-ne-se-degradent-pas-avec-le-temps-101520

https://www.futuremark.com