New cycling system powers America’s Cup win

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The radical move to cycle-style grinding stations let New Zealand take advantage of superior leg-power, rather than arm-power, to fuel the crucial on-board hydraulics system and win the 35th America’s Cup. The successful system yielded other benefits since it left hands free to tackle other on-board duties, including the intricate business of foil-trimming. http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-27/new-zealand-reclaim-americas-cup-with-win-over-oracle-usa/8654286?

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A pool made from a shipping container

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A Canadian company has converted standard, metal shipping containers into pools and jacuzzis that can be installed above or below ground. A portion of one wall is cut away to make room for a viewing window. The pool also comes equipped with an interior partition made of sturdy, heat-resistant plastic that is used to separate it from a jacuzzi. https://www.dezeen.com/2017/05/03/modpools-repurposes-used-shipping-containers-swimming-pools-hot-tubs/

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New tool to stop illegal fishing

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CSIRO has developed a world first web-based reporting tool that alerts authorities when offending vessels arrive in port. Countries will be able to sign-up to receive notifications, or directly access the portal, to search for vessels and then be provided with a report which highlights the suspicious behaviours involved so they can reverse the tide of illegal fishing and help rebuild depleted fish stocks. Illegal fishing is the third most lucrative crime in the world, after weapons trafficking and drug smuggling. https://www.csiro.au/en/News/News-releases/2017/Science-tackles-illegal-fishing?

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A self-flying plane

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Boeing plans to test self-flying technology in a cockpit simulator this year, before using it on a real plane next year. It wants to develop autonomous aircraft, which would be capable of navigating themselves without any input from a human pilot. Planes can already take off, cruise and land with minimal human assistance, but Boeing wants to go a step further. It wants artificial intelligence to start making some of the decisions pilots are trusted to make. This will mean fewer pilots per plane are needed in future-instead of five pilots on a long haul flight down to three or two, taking two pilots down to one in a freight situation, or in some cases going from one to none. http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/boeing-start-testing-self-flying-planes-autonomous-aircraft-no-pilot-artificial-intelligence-a7798901.html

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An unmanned shop on wheels that can move from location to location.

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Moby Store, launched by Wheelys, a Stockholm-headquartered startup, is now testing a model of a 24-hour store run entirely by technology that can be moved from one spot to the next. The Wheelys cofounders decided to test in China rather than Sweden in part because of China’s large population, but even more so because of the country’s near-ubiquitous adoption of paying with your phone. Purchases are made using an app to scan a barcode and paying over the phone. https://www.technologyreview.com/s/608104/in-china-a-store-of-the-future-no-checkout-no-staff/?

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3D printed tyres that never need replacing

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Most tyres will need to be replaced about every five years, however a new 3D printed tyre from Michelin may one day outlast your vehicle. While traditional rubber tyres gradually lose their tread as a result of friction, the prototype uses 3D printers to replenish this tread as needed. A series of sensors built into the tyre monitor the tread wear and provide information about performance and maintenance. This information is relayed to you via an app, and you can then order 3D printed tread replacements. https://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/3d-printed-tire-michelin-concept/

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Simple experiment to prove free energy device

Simple experiment to prove free energy device

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Paying with your face

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Facial recognition has existed for decades, but only now is it accurate enough to be used in secure financial transactions. The new versions use deep learning, an artificial-intelligence technique that is especially effective for image recognition because it makes a computer zero in on the facial features that will most reliably identify a person. Technology from Face++ is already being used in several popular apps. It is possible to transfer money through Alipay, a mobile payment app used by more than 120 million people in China, using only your face as credentials. Meanwhile, Didi, China’s dominant ride-hailing company, uses the Face++ software to let passengers confirm that the person behind the wheel is a legitimate driver. https://www.technologyreview.com/s/603494/10-breakthrough-technologies-2017-paying-with-your-face/

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Will local businesses WIN THE WEST? – David Pring

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PARRAMATTA Square and the cultural infrastructure currently underway will deliver a Smart City and core CBD to greater Sydney. Expansions at Westmead will create a world class health precinct, as well as opportunities for nearby hospitals to expand their services to an ageing population. Rail, light rail and road infrastructure, intermodal facilities at Moorebank, expansion of the higher education sector and new high school campuses, all point to new developments that will accommodate the rapid growth of Western Sydney’s population in future decades. The Federal government’s decision to directly invest in the development of Western Sydney’s airport at Badgery’s Creek is a milestone. By providing a gateway for lightweight freight, domestic and international travellers, Western Sydney will not only have better access but more competitiveness on the world stage. Innovative businesses, local councils and not-for-profit service providers will all benefit from this growth. The current job and entrepreneurial opportunities in Parramatta and the growth corridors in Western Sydney are distinctively different from the region’s blue-collar heritage. Knowledge-based employment and business opportunities will require digitally savvy, customer-centric and flexible workers who are able to constantly learn and adapt. Western Sydney’s new-found accessibility will create export opportunities but this will also open us to increased global competition. Automation of routine physical and clerical tasks will take away many of the jobs employing people today. New digital and easy-to-use technologies can lead to more knowledge based jobs for those businesses investing in human capital and innovation to improve their agility and profitability. Automation of low-value added activities will become the norm with intuition and customer-centric thinking keys to enabling sustainable growth. Success isn’t a given though, and local businesses will need to work hard to reap the benefits. KPMG Enterprise’s R&D and incentives Partner, Paul van Bergen, who is based in Parramatta, advises businesses on the best way to maximise opportunities. “Think about what customers will demand in the future,” he says. “The winners in the West will be companies which strategically invest in developing products and services that customers want and need, creating alliances to leverage skills to provide world class solutions from local suppliers. “Some of this investment will be in the form of R&D, some in trialling innovative business models. For many, this might involve encouraging entrepreneurial behaviours to create, accelerate and commercialise new business models. “Increased funding from NSW and Federal governments is available for collaborative R&D and developing digital technologies for established businesses.  “Through the Western Sydney University LaunchPad accelerator, companies can access expertise and leading-edge technologies subsidised by the NSW government technology vouchers. “For example, the School of Engineering Computers and Mathematics has assisted traditional manufacturing companies in developing solutions that apply the Internet of Things to create new service lines. “This enables closer relationships with technologically demanding customers. Partially funded by R&D tax offsets, this reduces the after-tax cost of transforming a business to become a global player.” Cloud technology has changed the way we work, how health and social services are delivered and how businesses provide goods and services in the future. For businesses looking to capitalise on Western Sydney’s growth, this means that the need to invest in and embrace cloud technology is no longer a choice. It’s an imperative. It’s important to keep tabs on the cost effectiveness of all business activities. Understanding what cloud technology can contribute to improve profit margins, better decision making and ensuring businesses deliver a unique and consistent customer experience. Gordon Irons, KPMG Enterprise’s Partner – Technology Advisory, says: “Cloud-based solutions make it possible to get more value out of existing data and IT services.  The mid-market can now access user-friendly business systems at a fraction of the cost of the amounts historically paid by their larger competitors. “This increased flexibility will enable Western Sydney businesses to become more nimble, responsive and entrepreneurial. “The ability to harness accurate, meaningful and real-time information from systems that can be accessed via a mobile device or any internet connection will help all these Western Sydney businesses to become more competitive, agile and profitable.” David Pring is Partner-in-Charge at KPMG Enterprise Parramatta. First published in Western Sydney Business ACCESS.

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A selfie that estimates how long you will live

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Artificial intelligence is being trained to estimate your health status and how long you will live-all from a selfie. With Chronos technology, you can take a selfie and scan your driver’s licence photo, against which your selfie is compared, to assess your premium for life insurance. http://www.smh.com.au/money/super-and-funds/a-selfie-could-become-the-new-way-to-obtain-life-insurance-20170616-gwsl2m.html

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Wearable tech that can help detect diseases

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Engineers have invented a new kind of chip that’s a biosensor and can be fixed to wearables. It performs multiple functions that have traditionally required the use of a laboratory. It can analyze sweat or blood in order to detect multiple biomarkers linked to several diseases. The cells and the metallic layer of the chip work together to generate digital signals in the same way that cellular telephone networks keep track of each caller’s identity. This allows for the automatic detection of cancer cells, bacteria, and viruses. https://futurism.com/lab-on-a-chip-wearable-technology-could-help-detect-disease/

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A startup that only hires seniors

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While people usually assume that seniors are slow or at a loss when it comes to technology EverYoung employs 420 seniors over 55 across Seoul from a range of backgrounds – some were engineers and some had been unemployed for a long time. Their staff display a high level of attention to detail, which is a trait that is not so common in younger employees. Phones are kept away in lockers. http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/cnainsider/this-south-korean-tech-start-up-hires-only-seniors-over-55-to-8940876

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Packaging that changes colour when food spoils

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A Brazilian company has partnered with universities in the U.S. and Brazil to create food packaging that will change color to alert you when it spoils. The package uses PH indicators to determine whether the food has spoiled. The first prototype of the technology was released last year–if successfully incorporated, it could help with problems of food waste and prevent consumers from navigating confusing labels. https://www.psfk.com/2017/05/packaging-changes-colors-to-alert-shoppers-when-food-spoils.html

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A robot that can deal with lawn, leaves and snow

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The world’s first 3-in-1 autonomous robot can mow the lawn, clean up leaves, and remove snow. It cuts and mulches the lawn a fraction of an inch every time, picks up the leaves before they pile up, and removes snow a few inches at a time while it’s still falling. It has a rechargeable battery and will automatically dock itself in its charging station when it needs a power boost. www.thekobi.com

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Sensors in collars protect wildlife from poachers

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A new system uses ballistic shockwave sensors embedded in tracking collars to help save endangered African elephants. The system sends coordinates to authorities immediately after the sensors detect gunshots. Although elephant poachers attempt to minimize the sounds their weapons produce, high-powered gunshots produce an acoustic shockwave that poachers cannot suppress. This technology can be used to protect more wildlife via detect tracking devices. https://news.vanderbilt.edu/2017/06/07/sensor-detects-shooting-at-elephants-helps-authorities-catch-poachers/amp/

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A device that lets you add items to your cart by scanning or saying their name

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The Dash Wand is a handheld device with a microphone and a barcode scanner. When you want to purchase any of the household items, you can say the name into the Dash Wand or use the barcode scanner on it. This means you can add items that you may be running out of in your house as soon as you notice them. https://www.google.com.au/amp/m.gsmarena.com/amazon_dash_wand_lets_you_add_items_to_your_cart_by_scanning_or_saying_their_name-amp-25629.php

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A new luxury train trip in Japan

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This new 10-car luxury train is designed to take just 34 passengers at a time between Tokyo and the northern island of Hokkaido. It comes with massive windows, sleeping quarters, a traditional wooden bath, piano room, fireplace and an observation car, where you can sip champagne and take in the view of the countryside and coast. Michelin star chefs are also on board to prepare your meals. The Shiki-shima took its maiden journey on May 1 and seats have already been booked up until April 2018 https://www.jreast.co.jp/shiki-shima/en/

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A medical device that draws energy from your body

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Researchers have created a battery-free medical device that can be implanted in your body and charged using your body’s fluids. Despite advances in technology, batteries are still used within medical devices such as pacemakers, which are potentially harmful and need to be replaced throughout your lifetime via surgery. https://www.springwise.com/battery-free-implantable-medical-device-draws-energy-human-body/?

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A tattoo that monitors your health

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Researchers have developed a tattoo ink that could provide real-time updates on your body’s health. You would have the ink tattooed onto your body and the tattoo would then change color according to the amount of the activating agent present. A tattoo using the ink designed to respond to glucose levels, for example, would change color from blue to brown your blood sugar level rises. https://futurism.com/color-changing-tattoos-could-help-millions-monitor-their-health-in-real-time/

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Magic wallpaper for your child’s bedroom

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This new Magic Wallpaper is designed to encourage your child’s imagination. It’s covered in characters, each of which is a digital marker that when scanned using the Magic Wallpaper app, unfolds a digital story on mobiles and tablets. The app lets you choose between audio storytelling or a reading mode, which has sound effects embedded in certain words. http://creativity-online.com/work/castorama-the-magic-wallpaper/51901

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Australian plumber invented an earpiece that can translate 8 languages in real-time using AI.

Australian plumber invented an earpiece that can translate 8 languages in real-time using AI.

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