Project Sunroof works by using high-resolution aerial imagery from Google Earth to help calculate a roof’s solar energy potential. Potential customers simply need to enter their address, and in roughly one second the program analyzes factors such as shade, roof orientation and local weather patterns to calculate how many hours of sunlight hit that roof in a typical year. All of this information is combined to create an estimate for how much the household could potentially save by going solar over the term of a 20-year lease.
Users can fine-tune the estimate by entering their electricity bill information. They can also view savings estimates for different financing options, including a loan and direct purchase. Potential customers can then click to see solar providers in their area.
Project Sunroof currently hosts a mix of solar companies, including major players like SunPower, local installers like Verengo Solar and new players like Pick My Solar. Interested customers can choose to share their contact information with selected providers on the Sunroof platform or contact them directly.
Google's Project Sunroof now extend to most of the United States. I wonder if Elon Musk's Solar City will join the project :)
If they did, it certainly won't be with a standard deal.
As usual with Google, what is interesting is the machine learning aspect of the project, the more you feed it, the more accurate it will get:
"'We’re never done [...] We are constantly helping to train the neural network behind this' said Nicole Lombardo, head of business development and partnerships at Project Sunroof, in an interview"
Phinergy is a leading developer of zero emission, high-energy density systems, utilizing Metal-Air energy technologies, namely Aluminium-Air and Zinc-Air.
Phinergy, an Israel-based company, has been experimenting with Metal-Air energy production for quite a while. And it seems they did make some interesting findings and succesfully prevented CO2 to enter their batteries, and therefore improving their efficiencies
V3Solar has developed a cone-shaped solar energy harvester that is claimed to generate over 20 times more electricity than a flat panel thanks to a combination of concentrating lenses, dynamic spin, conical shape, and advanced electronics.
I wonder why no designer thought of this earlier :) cone shape seems way more organic and natural than flat surface
The lamp is as simple as it is inexpensive. A cable hangs from a gear mechanism holding onto a plastic bag filled with dirt or rocks. The energy created by gravity pulling the bag downwards is enough to power an LED bulb for up to half an hour.
It looks like a process simple enough so it can be mass produced and distributed at very limited costs. And if it is simple, it is fixable. With LED light havong great longevity, this makes this lamp a great tool for those who need it, but cannot afford much.
Lian Pin Koh, a pioneer in the field of drone-driven conservation, advised the team in Guyana. But the closest parallel to Guyanese project can be found halfway around the globe. Irendra Radjawali, who describes himself as a “researcher-activist,” helped the Dayak community in Indonesia map their forests—and to take that evidence to the government, becoming the first community to win a land rights case based on drone imagery, Radjawali told Quartz.
Digital Democracy, along with Lian Pin Koh from Conservation Drones, the community at DIY Drones, and MyGeekShow "spent hours on Skype patiently explaining everything from battery technology to the best material for a launcher bungee."
The world is facing some huge problems. There’s a lot of talk about how to solve them. But talk doesn’t reduce pollution, or grow food, or heal the sick
"Billions in Change" is funded with the money generated by a popular energy drink. What's interesting is the approach the founder took once he became a billionaire.
He actually decided to work in the field of energy, power and health in order to improve the conditions of people who have been left out by industrial revolution - amon others. Because it turns out that we would all benefit from this kind of innovations.
As he began to see it, disability wasn’t a limitation of his, but rather a mismatch between his own abilities and the world around him. Disability was a design problem. As we spoke in his office, secluded in a quiet corner of a colorful new design studio built on Microsoft’s sprawling Redmond, Wash., campus, de los Reyes’s eyes widened: "That's what radicalized me." The question was: Radicalized him to do what?
This article isn't really matching my editorial line for this ScoopIt blog, but it is a topic that touches me, and as stated in the article:
"Disability is an engine of innovation simply because no matter what their limitations, humans have such a relentless drive to communicate that they’ll invent new ways to do so, in spite of everything."
And in that sense, it does make sense. 21st century is a period of accelerating change thanks to both disruptive technological innovations and a growing empathetic drive throughout the world.
The course will also introduce participants to TensorFlow, the open-source deep learning platform Google unveiled back in November. Deep learning, a division of machine learning through which machines detect and classify patterns in data, is the driving force behind Google Photos' search engine and the company's speech recognition technology.
It's great to see GAFAs opening up to share some knowledge. They might have realized that if they want to find the 5-legged sheep they're looking for, they must train them temselves :)
Scientists say they have taken a step towards making the dream goal of nuclear fusion more achievable, by identifying the location of energy in a process known as fast ignition.
" As mentioned, fast ignition is – as its name states – just the ignition process that gets the nuclear fusion process going. Actually containing and utilizing any resulting high-temperature plasma remains difficult.
But progress is being made. Towards the end of last year, German scientists successfullyfired up their experimental Wendelstein 7-X (W7X) nuclear fusion reactor, which took 19 years to build. This so-called stellarator can only produce a plasma for a tenth of a second – but it’s a start.
And over in France, there’s the continuously delayed International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), which is expected to produce its first plasma next decade. Both W7X and ITER would benefit from this more efficient fast ignition process to spark their plasmas. "
Professor André Füzfa, from the Universite de Namur in Belgium, thinks we have the technology to create and manipulate weak artificial gravitational fields. The claim is bold but grounded. Füzfa has calculated that by using very strong magnets, it’s possible to create tiny distortions in the space-time [...] Our ability to manipulate fundamental forces, especially electromagnetism, has had a huge impact on our way of life, so learning to create small gravitational fields could have long-lasting consequences for our technological development.
A hand-worn robotic device is being developed that will help millions of blind and visually impaired people navigate past movable obstacles or assist in their ability to pre-locate, pre-sense and grasp an object.
The researchers say that their solution is a "lightweight form-fitting device that attaches to the hand using key locations for cameras and mechanical and electrical sensors [...] The technology will combine vision, tactile, force, temperature and audio sensors and actuators to help the wearer pre-sense an object - telling its location, feeling its shape and size - and then grasp it."
The input - feedback will be triggered through haptic and audio cues.
Not sure if this would greatly improve the life of blind people as they develop senses to "make-do"... like feeling the density of obstacles.
But this technology could also benefit the robotics research in many ways!
Despite the drawbacks, scientists are confident that Apple ResearchKit’s open source framework, which reveals the code used to create the research apps, will inspire Android developers to create tools to reach their users.
It's a good example of how it is increasingly important to have real conversations on the costs / benefits of personal data records. If there could be a trustworthy framework, this could truly boost relevance in everything - from healthcare to many other fields.
But when it comes to trusting an institution, Google and Apple aren't making the top of the list.
In a new paper published in Science, engineer Amin Salehi-Khojin and colleagues describe the new system, which can turn CO2 into fuel at a cost that’s comparable to producing gasoline.
"To make it work, the researchers used a photosynthetic cell, as opposed to a conventional photovoltaic cell. So instead of converting sunlight into electricity and then storing that energy in batteries, the new device converts atmospheric carbon dioxide directly into fuel. In essence, it does the work of plants. But instead of turning fuel into sugar, the “artificial leaf” delivers synthetic gas, or “syngas,” which is a mixture of hydrogen gas and carbon monoxide. This solar-produced gas can be burned directly, or converted into other forms of fuel, like diesel."
SO yes, it would encourage the use of diesel which is not a "clean" energy, but it would do so in a much cleaner way than most energy production means - so I guess it is good news.
At any given time, the transparency, color and shading potential of the canopy will be the product of the interrelationships between climate, micro-algae, visitors and digital control systems.
A very interesting proto project which, fully develop could create a 'living" canopy that would react appropriately (more sun = more shade) while producing biomass and generating oxygen. Promising.
“It is now time to overcome the segregation between technology and nature typical of the mechanical age, to embrace a systemic understanding of architecture,” concludes Claudia Pasquero of ecoLogicStudio.
Piñatex™ is a natural and sustainable non-woven textile made from pineapple leaves fibres. It was created by Dr Carmen Hijosa after 7 years of R&D and no extra land, water, fertilizers or pesticides are required to produce them.
great innovation as long as it doesn't make farmers deforest in order to produce more pineapples because of the business potential.
The blockchain will be very useful for registering large corporate capital markets and making cross-border banking transactions, but as a system for the development of everyday applications on the Internet, it's a danger to the distributed structure of the network.
the author argue that rolling out bockchain tech demands big infrastructure, therefore centralizing "power" in the hands of very few players.
The Internet distributed network of servers, on the other hand, has very low costs of infrastructure, making it more "fair' to average users while blockchain will likely be for large corporations to use.
University of California, Irvine researchers have invented nanowire-based battery material that can be recharged hundreds of thousands of times, moving us closer to a battery that would never require replacement.
breakthrough in electricity storage that could uncap have fantastic potential
Daniela Rus and Robert MacCurdy, two roboticists at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab, have a dream. One day, they want you to be able to download a robot, 3-D print it at home, and have it walk right off the print bed when it's done.
That dream is still a little ways off, but Rus and MacCurdy have just taken a big step toward making it happen. Working with Ph.D. candidate Robert Katzchmann and Harvard undergraduate Youbin Kim, the pair have developed a new method of 3-D printing that makes it possible to create half-solid, half-liquid robots.
This is one big step for 3D printing capabilities.
While teleportation is still in the realm of science fiction, Microsoft has introduced 'holoportation' - a 3D, real-time hologram of someone who is a world away, but still interacts with you.
Hololens is still an expensive ecosystem to get into, but with every new demo, new potentials arise. Here you get glimpse at Holoportation, a breakthrough in communications, technology and very likely - entertainment.
And you can playback the whole thing miniaturized in a doll house. And make sure to watch the TED Talk by Alex Kipman, head of Hololens to see him go from a magic mushroom forest to holographic conversation with his NASA friend.
Use engaging videos on TED-Ed to create customized lessons. You can use, tweak, or completely redo any lesson featured on TED-Ed, or create lessons from scratch based on any video from YouTube.
I just found out about TED-Ed. I love the 8min animation format.
You can filter by video duration, student level and indeed, topics.
There are also a "Clubs" and "Series" sections that looks promising, but there isn't much details on those. The Series are curated spaces, but beside the titles, there isn't much background info on the editorial lines and the very reason why the series' topics is relevant for the student.
The Artistic Direction is not consistentn but since topics are very diversified, this doesn't prevent an enriching experience - on the contrary, it can potentially renew the vanishing attention of students where a RSA Animation might set too much of narrative constraint.
Digital Displacement [...] merges a computer with a more traditional hydraulic engine and allows the engine to shut parts of itself off as needed. It's granular enough to disable certain pistons the instant before they fire, if they're not necessary at a particular moment. Specifically, if the engine isn't running at full load, Digital Displacement prevents unnecessary piston strokes from robbing the engine of energy, thereby increasing the efficiency of the whole engine
This might give wind power a boost in productivity.
"The tech is already being put to use in 7 megawatt turbines off the coast of Glasgow and Fukushima, the world's largest floating wind turbines. You can bet there are more to come."
Blackmarket for Useful Knowledge and Non-Knowledge is a concept conceived and developed by Hannah Hurtzig and Mobile Academy Berlin in which experts from diverse fields (natural scientists, craftsmen, artists, philosophers, and neighbors) partake in a series of parallel one-on-one dialogues with members from the audience. The audience (rather a customer on this evening) can book an expert and his or her offer of knowledge for half an hour. Learning and unlearning, knowledge and non-knowledge, and strategies of living and surviving change ownership in a non-institutional way. Blackmarkets have been staged in Berlin, Warsaw, Vienna, Riga, Tallin, Liverpool, Jaffa and other places. For its 18th edition and for the first time in France it comes to Musée de l`Homme in Paris.
interesting initiative where experts in various fields meet "regular" folks and share ther knowledge for 30min. - assuming the latter do not know anything about their field.
Hannah Hurtzig first "select" the experts acording to their ability to vulgarize teir knowledge, their openess and other social skills.
For experts, it is also a unique opportunity to gather with other high level people and share their views.
LEGO has announced a plan to develop sustainable manufacturing materials that would allow the toy company to ditch plastic forever. The Denmark-based company is investing millions to create a Sustainable Materials Centre to employ over 100 people who will carry out the search for a better building block. The company aims to identify a sustainable plastic alternative by 2030.
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