Technology Tuesday: November 13th

Welcome to Technology Tuesday! Every week The Job Shop Blog will bring you our 5 top science and technology news stories from around the web.

This week: Going to work in augmented reality, bioprinted corneas, a battery that can be stitched right into your clothes, Space-X’s Falcon 9 rocket earns NASA’s highest rating, and a smart phone that can fix its own broken screen.


AR DEMO SHOWS OFF GHOSTLY IMAGES OF YOUR COWROKERS

An augmented reality startup called Spatial popped out of stealth mode Wednesday with an incredible AR demo that shows how its service can populate an empty room with ghostly — yet bustling — versions of your coworkers.

“We think the future of work is going to be increasingly distributed,” CEO Anand Agarawala told TechCrunch. “When you put on Spatial, [your coworkers] are in the room with you. It feels like they’re all sitting at the table, and they feel like they’ve been teleported into the space with you.”

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BIOPRINTED CORNEAS ARE ALMOST READY FOR HUMAN TRIALS

The world’s need for donor organs and tissues far exceeds our supply — but that might not be the case for long.

Researchers across the globe are exploring way to 3D print everything from hearts to lungs. These artificial organs have thus far remained relegated to labs, but one startup claims it’s almost ready for human trials of what could prove to be the first 3D-printed body part to go mainstream: the cornea.

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A NEW BATTERY CAN BE STITCHED INTO CLOTHES TO POWER WEARABLES

A bendable, thread-like battery could power next-generation wearables — and you can sew it into an item of clothing like any other piece of embroidery.

One use for the battery system, which is the brainchild of University of Massachusetts Amherst chemist Trisha Andrew: giving people with diabetes a discreet way to power devices that monitor blood sugar levels.

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NASA CERTIFIES SPACE-X’S FALCON 9 ROCKET AS A CATEGORY 3 ROCKET

Break out the champagne.

On Thursday, SpaceX representatives announced that NASA’s Launch Services Program (LSP) certified its two-stage Falcon 9 as a Category 3 rocket. That’s the categorization needed to handle expensive or sensitive missions, such as the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope and the Mars Curiosity rover.

The LSP is responsible for choosing the launch vehicles that will carry out NASA missions focused on science and exploration. It categorizes vehicles on a scale of 1 to 3 based on their reliability.

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YOUR FUTURE SMART PHONE COULD FIX ITS OWN SCREEN WITH CARBON PULLED FROM THE AIR

Carbon-fixing materials — substances powered by the sun that use atmospheric carbon dioxide to grow and repair themselves, just as plants do — don’t yet exist outside the lab. But scientists are getting tantalizingly close to making them a commercial reality.

When they become available, they likely initially will enjoy widespread use as “self-healing” coatings, such as in car trims, cells phones, and fabrics. When their surfaces become cracked or scratched, they will easily be able to fill in the gaps with exposure to air and sunlight, without requiring additional action. Also, transporting them will be more cost and energy efficient, as they could first be shipped to manufacturers and builders in a lightweight size. Once at their destination, they would then be exposed to air and sunlight, where they would expand, solidify, and harden.

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