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Will telepresence drones take off?

This week’s Question: According to a recent application made public last week, Google is hoping to patent a "mobile telepresence system." The proposed drone is designed for collaboration with colleagues from remote locations. The technology will fly indoors and move from room to room, adjusting to unpredictable floor plans. What do you think? Will telepresence drones take off?

Posted in: Question of the Week, Robotics

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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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