Monthly Archives: March 2021

Say hello to Mesh!

Reading Time: 3 minutes

A preview version of the virtual reality platform for effective communication and collaboration was freshly introduced by Microsoft [1]. Let’s look behind the scenes as the future of collaborative telecommuting is coming!

The very concept was originally introduced by Microsoft at the Ignite 2021 conference. It consists in the users interaction with each other and with digital 3D models in a single virtual space, that is superimposed on the real world.

The virtual space can be connected to using a wide range of devices. The platform supports most VR headsets, tablets, smartphones, PCs, and, besides, Microsoft’s mixed-reality headset called the HoloLens 2.

The company claims that Mesh feels like “you’re really in the same room with someone and sharing content.” People in Mesh will be represented by virtual avatars from the social network AltspaceVR, which Microsoft acquired back in 2017. But eventually, the company wants to arrive at holoportation (virtual 3D teleportation in real-time), where people will be able to appear in a virtual environment as themselves.

According to The Verge editor Tom Warren, who participated in an hour-long demonstration of the technology, it’s similar to working through Microsoft Teams. A Microsoft representative appeared right in front of the reporter’s desk and started handing him virtual jellyfish and sharks, whose shape and colour could be changed.

According to Warren, it turned out to be “much more exciting” than the Zoom calls he participates in every day.

The platform provides community demonstrations, screenings, and shared experience in addition to traditional online meetings. For example, in this way you can hold a speech in front of an audience of listeners, said James Cameron during the Microsoft demonstration.

Mesh is not just a tool for virtual meetings, but a full-fledged platform based on the Azure cloud, which will be opened to third-party developers.

Who could benefit from Mesh you may ask, Microsoft anticipates a high demand among architects, developers, designers, and other professionals who really need to collaborate in a single space but have some troubles with that due to the pandemic. Mesh will also allow you to play Pokemon Go, which has also been affected by the pandemic.

The good news tells us the platform will be available on multiple devices from HoloLens 2 to smartphones. A preview version of Mesh is available for Microsoft’s headset since March 2, along with a preview version of the AltspaceVR social network. The company also plans to incorporate Mesh into its Teams and Dynamics 365 products.

I’m not arguing that holograms that are in the not-too-distant future are extremely convenient. Virtual conferences indeed can become a tool even more effective than offline ones, due to augmented reality tools. However, it is also true that the availability of Mesh is still far from being a mass product. The previous Microsoft Mesh was not that successful, so they shut it down [2]. Later it was replaced by already tolerable OneDrive, the same probably will be this time – they show sketches of the technology, but it does not seem that in the next few years it will be possible to seriously use it.

What do you think of that perspective? We would make an interesting dialogue if you could elaborate on that in the comments!



Bugatti Bolide’s new air scoop

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The new Bugatti full track car has some amazing new features, for example massive roof air scoop with a different and unusual design. The engineers from Bugatti were inspired to create this new scoop by a simple golf ball.

As we know golf balls are surprisingly aerodynamic. They can travel twice as much as a smooth ball because of the dimpled surface. Dimpled surface creates turbulence on the ball, allowing air to adhere and it reduces drag as a result.

Bugatti’s engineer experimented with “golf ball surface”, adding dimples to the cooling channels of a titanium brake calipers that Bugatti designed, developed and 3D printed. Bugatti’s Bolide stays smooth, but when it reaches a higher speed, the roof scoop with grow dimples. This includes about 60 individual elements that can be fully activated when the car is moving above 74 mph (miles per hour).  Their maximum height will be 10 millimeters.

Bolide will have 8.0-liter quad-turbocharged W-16 engine, with 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, and all-wheel-drive system form the previous model, Bugatti Chiron. The new Bugatti will have 1,824 horsepower and astonishing 1,365 pound-feet of torque on 110-ocatne racing fuel.

Bugatti says that the Bolide can hit 310 mph which is about 499 kph. Current lap record on the La Mans’ de la Sarthe racetrack was set by Toyota TS050 Hybrid at the 2019 24 Hours of Le Mans, Bugatti says that their Bolide can do the lap 10 seconds faster which is 3:07.1. Also Bugatti claims that the Bolide would lap the legendary Nurburgring in 5:31.1, sadly the record would not be broken because the best time on this track belongs to Porshe 919 Hybrid Evo set in 2018 with a time 5:19.55.

What do you think about Bugatti? Overpriced, good, or bad? Let me know in the comments.

Android system with Google apps already built-in in ford and Lincolns

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Ford company announced that is has come to a deal which will last 6 years with Google to put in the future Fords and Lincolns, Android operating system.

As a part of the deal Google will take care of cloud services for Ford. They will provide the car company with access to Googles experience with big data, also with AI data analytics. This is not only for customer services but also to improve operations.

The first Fords and Lincolns with Android operating systems we will see in 2023.

Car companies are relaying more on other operating systems rather than their own. It would definitely be more expensive to come up and create your own system.

Ford and Lincoln are not the only ones who sign up with Android. Other brands like Audi, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Volvo and Renault Nissan Mitsubishi Alliance are also using Android in their operating systems.

Operating system will run in the back end while the brands designs are used for key apps, like the infotainment system. Sync infotainment system is a great example of that because Ford already did that. The app runs on Blackberry’s QNX operating system. Ford and Google already have plans to create a new version of Sync to be able to run on Android.

Google’s mapping and other media and voice activation apps will already come build-in. It’s also a great opportunity to add many Google and third-party apps.

Ford also announced that the company is working on new apps for client who is already using Google’s cloud. Some of them include new retail experiences, for example a new offer for a car and trade-in. It will also say in real time how much maintenance is required for your car.

How do you feel about companies like Google entering and making deals with automakers? Let me know in the comments.

Porsche: synthetically fueled cars can be as clean as EVs

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Porsche executive told British car magazine Evo that the car on synthetic fuel could be as clean as EVs.

First let’s focus what are synthetic fuels. Synthetic fuel is a liquid or gaseous fuel derived from a source such as coal, shale oil, tar sands, or biomass, used as a substitute for oil or natural gas.

Dr. Frank Walliser, Porsche vice president of GT cars and motorsport, at the launch of the 2022 911 GT3, said that synthetic fuels will deliver an 85% reduction in carbon emission. Walliser also said that the new synthetic fuel should be ready for testing in 2022, and also that this fuel can be used in all of Porshe’s current engines without any modifications.

This new synthetic fuel will come from a pilot plant in Chile named Haru Oni. Wind-generated electricity will be used to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. To produce methanol, which can be used to create synthetic gasoline, diesel or kerosene aviation fuel, hydrogen will be companied with CO2 from the air.

Porshe said that Haru Oni will produce about 130,000 liters or 34,340 gallons of fuel by 2022, raising up to 55 million liters every year by 2024, and 550 million liters by year 2026. About 40 % of the new fuel produced will be gasoline.

Porshe also adds that the use of synthetic fuels is a way to keep the classic cars on the road. About 70% of all cars that Porshe has made are still on the road.

No company has ever produced synthetic fuel on a commercial scale. Only Audi has made a small about of synthetic diesel. The worst part about this fuel is the price. Right now, the cost of synthetic fuel is 10$ per liter which is equivalent to about 37$ per gallon. Porshes CEO, Oliver Blume said that the researchers are working on reducing the price to 2$ per liter. No matter what it will still make synthetic fuel more expensive then todays gasoline.

Porshe isn’t the only car brand that is looking forward to synthetic fuels. For example, BMW is investing in startup Prometheus Fuels, and in 2022 McLaren will also be testing synthetic fuels.

What do you think about synthetic fuels and car brands heading towards them? Let me know in the comments.

Volvo plans to switch to the production of electric vehicles by 2030.

Reading Time: < 1 minute

The company believes that petrol and diesel cars have no future, so they will focus on the production of electric cars.

Swedish automaker Volvo Cars plans to switch to electric cars by 2030.

The automaker is going to achieve this goal in two stages:
2025 – half of all cars will be electric, and the rest will be hybrid.
2030 – the company will completely abandon petroleum vehicles and hybrids. The company clarifies that they are forced to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles by the rules that are adopted in Europe. For example, in the UK, diesel and gasoline cars will be banned from 2030.

“To remain successful, we need profitable growth. Therefore, instead of investing in a shrinking business, we prefer to invest in the future – electricity and online. Combustion vehicles have no long-term future,” said Volvo CEO Hakan Samelsson.