News

Will metallic hydrogen improve transportation?

This week's Question: Today's lead INSIDER story featured the development of metallic hydrogen, a technology that has a range of potential applications, from advanced rocket propellants to room-temperature superconductors. According to the Harvard University researchers, the material could support the magnetic levitation of high-speed trains. What do you think? Will metallic hydrogen improve transportation?

Posted in: Question of the Week, Materials, Metals
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Will touchscreens take over the dashboard?

This week's Question: With backup cameras now mandatory in today's vehicles, screens in cars are increasingly becoming a standard feature. At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this month, Corning Glass presented a demo of a new kind of automotive interior — one making full use of touch-based smart glass, from the windshield to the console. A head-up display built into the driver's side, for example, provided on-windshield navigation; a smart screen in the steering wheel provided access to all of the car's controls; and a full video display enabled passengers to watch videos. The maker of "Gorilla Glass," used in the latest iPhone, envisions a future a where a driver's dashboard will be entirely screen-based. What do you think? Will touchscreens take over the dashboard?

Posted in: Question of the Week, Automotive
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Would you use a flexible phone?

This week's Question: The Korea Herald reported last week that Samsung is developing a "fold-in" phone. The device's flexible display folds open into a 7-inch tablet. According to the article, the team is expected to ship more than 100,000 units during the third quarter of 2017. The paper reported that the Korea-based company had initially abandoned development out of concern that consumers would find it inconvenient to continuously unfold the phone before each use. New designs, however, could perhaps spark interest in a market that, some analysts say, has reached its saturation point. What do you think? Would you use a flexible phone?

Posted in: Question of the Week, Communications
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Will the voice become a mainstream way to control our devices?

This year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas showcased many new consumer products featuring voice control. LG, for example, introduced a smart refrigerator equipped with Amazon's Alexa voice service. Other CES technologies with voice-recognition capabilities included televisions, home lighting systems, and vehicles. Last Tuesday, Shawn Dubravac, Chief Economist of the Consumer Technology Association, said vocal computing is replacing the traditional graphical user interface, and "the ability to infuse AI into small things at relatively low cost is present." What do you think? Will the voice become a mainstream way to control our devices?

Posted in: Question of the Week, Data Acquisition, Sensors
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Is nine hours a day too much "screen time?"

This week's Question: A recent study from Common Sense Media found that parents spend more than nine hours (9:22) a day with screen media, with the vast majority of that time being spent with personal screen media (7:43) and only a little more than 90 minutes devoted to work screen media. Most parents surveyed (78 percent) believe they are good media-use role models for their kids.

What do you think? Is nine hours a day too much "screen time?"

Posted in: Question of the Week, Computers, Electronics, Electronics & Computers
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Will we be a “multi-planetary” species?

This week's Question: In recent years, hundreds of millions of dollars have been invested into space ventures. SpaceX, an advanced spacecraft manufacturer founded by Elon Musk, has completed more than 30 successful launches since 2006, delivered cargo to the International Space Station, and secured contracts with NASA and other clients. Musk envisions the colonization of Mars as soon as 2022. In September, speaking to the International Astronautical Congress in Mexico, Musk described a 400-foot-tall rocket that would send 100 colonist-passengers at a time to Mars over a period of decades.

“One [path] is that we stay on Earth forever and then there will be an inevitable extinction event,” Musk said. “The alternative is to become a spacefaring civilization, and a multi-planetary species.”

What do you think? Will we be a “multi-planetary” species?

Posted in: Question of the Week, Aeronautics
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Are you optimistic about AI possibilities?

This week's Question: Today's featured INSIDER story demonstrated a new achievement in artificial intelligence. According to a recently released Stanford University report developed by a standing group of AI scientists, the ability for robots to be self-determined and concerned with their own longevity is a leap far beyond current interest or capabilities. "I'm highly optimistic that artificial intelligence technologies are going to improve the world,” said lead author of the report and University of Texas computer scientist Peter Stone. The researchers cited autonomous transportation, healthcare data computation, and crime prevention as areas that may benefit from the use of AI. What do you think? Are you optimistic about AI possibilities?

Posted in: Question of the Week, Automation, Robotics
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Will you use "car concierge" services?

This week's Question: Automaker Volvo is inviting 300 owners of XC90 SUVs and S90 sedans to try out a new app that connects car owners with convenience services. Through the pilot program, users can receive remote fuel delivery, valet car cleaning, and maintenance from their phones. Authorized providers of the services receive a digital key – a one-time-use location- and time-specific device that allows access to the vehicle. The car can then be returned to its original location or moved to another requested area. What do you think? Will you use "car concierge" services?

Posted in: Question of the Week, Automotive
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Will virtual reality increase empathy?

This week's Question: According to a recent article in The Washington Post, a growing number of filmmakers, policymakers, researchers, human rights workers, and law enforcement officials are using virtual reality technology to make people feel as if they have experienced an event firsthand. Advocates say virtual reality can increase empathy, "transport" and immerse viewers within humanitarian crises around the world, and influence decision-making about issues ranging from policing to the environment. What do you think? Will virtual reality increase empathy?

Posted in: Question of the Week, Displays/Monitors/HMIs, Imaging, Video, Visualization Software
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Would you use drones for home security?

This week's Question: A new home security technology called the Sunflower Home Awareness System deploys a drone to patrol one’s property. The combination of intelligent outdoor sensors and an aerial drone-based camera detects motion, vibration, and sound, and provides users with a view of the home’s real-time surroundings. By analyzing the sensor data, the system can distinguish between a human, a car, and animals. The drone streams video to a smartphone, allowing homeowners to see if their property is at risk. What do you think? Would you use drones for home security?

Posted in: Question of the Week, Aeronautics
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