Elon Musk believes Tesla cars will be fully autonomous by 2018, and have an all-electric range of more than 1,000km, double what it is today. He also predicts that by 2035 all new cars will not require a driver. A renowned futurist and CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, Musk predicts that the range of the Model S can be increased by between 5% and 10% every year, as battery technology improves. He also claims the AutoPilot self-driving feature currently being beta tested by Tesla will be rolled-out to all compatible Model S vehicles by the end of October. AutoPilot provides automatic steering, accelerating and braking on motorways, but only in countries which have updated their road laws to allow it. In an interview on Dutch television, Musk said: "My guess is that we could probably break 1,000km within a year or two. I'd say 2017 for sure...in 2020 I guess we could probably make a car go 1,200km. I think maybe 5-10% a year [improvement], something like that." A Model S was recently driven 452 miles (723km) on a single charge, but drove at an average speed of just 24mph. Musk says his predictions account for driving at a more realistic speed.
Via Philippe J DEWOST
Google-owned smartphone maker Motorola has applied for a patent for an "electronic tattoo" on people's necks that doubles as a mobile microphone, lie detector and digital display.
The tattoo would capture vibrations, or sound, directly from a user's throat, thus eliminating background noise that so often mars conversations over mobile phones.
The sound would then be transmitted from the electronic tattoo, which has its own power supply built-in, to a nearby smartphone via Bluetooth, near-field communication, also known as NFC, or the wireless technology ZigBee.
"Mobile communication devices are often operated in noisy environments ... Communication can reasonably be improved and even enhanced with a method and system for reducing the acoustic noise in such environments and contexts," reads the patent.
"The system comprises an electronic skin tattoo capable of being applied to a throat region of a body."
According to the patent, the device could also be used as a lie detector by measuring the skin's electrical conductance or "galvanic skin response" – the level at which electric current passes through something.
"A user that may be nervous or engaging in speaking falsehoods may exhibit different galvanic skin response than a more confident, truth-telling individual," reads the patent.
The tattoo could even be fitted with a display and user interface for inputting commands, such as muting the device and joining a group conversation.
The device also has the potential to communicate with tablets and other mobile computing devices.
The patent, titled ''Coupling an electronic skin tattoo to a mobile communication device'' was filed in May 2012, and was published on Thursday in the US.
The neck tattoo is by no means the first foray into creative uses of technology for Motorola, which was bought by Google for $12 billion in 2011.
The company revealed its work with digital tattoos and password pills in May this year, and just last week Motorola unveiled Project Ara – a modular smartphone users can build and add to themselves.
It has focused on a new wearable tech unit since July, according to TechCrunch, while its parent company is hard at work on Google Glass, and is rumoured to be releasing a smart watch next year.
The Johannes Keppler Universität in Linz announced today that it developed a revolutionary new image sensor – the first image sensor in the world that is both transparent and flexible. The new technology should make it possible to develop touchscreens that you don’t actually have to touch anymore.
Interesting new attempt at online help by Google. This was tried several times already by various companies, and it did not stick so far. But maybe Google has enough critical mass that they can make work. I am doubtful but curious to watch this unfold.
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