World first – an AI news reader

China’s state news agency has debuted a virtual anchor, an AI news reader, designed to be able to deliver the news 24 hours a day. Developed by Xinhua and Chinese search engine company Sogou, the anchor has been designed to simulate human voice, facial expressions and gestures. It learns from live broadcasting videos and can read texts naturally. www.cnn.com/2018/11/09/media/china-xinhua-ai-anchor/index.html

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A mirror that tells you how to improve your skin

HiMirror Mini Premium is a smart mirror that not only shows you your reflection, it can also analyse your appearance, and advise on how to improve it. The mirror includes a camera and an ‘analysis engine’. This can detect elements such as wrinkles, fine lines, dark circles, dark or red spots, rough skin, large pores, complexion issues and dryness. https://www.springwise.com/smart-mirror-recommends-products-for-users-skin-type/

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Controlling a drone by looking where you want it to move

Controlling a drone by looking where you want it to move

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Wearable skin to monitor health conditions

Australian engineers at Monash University have developed a stretchable skin that can be used to monitor a wide variety of medical conditions. The electronic skin contains sensors that send signals to smartphones. The thin bandaid-like ‘wearable skin’ is made from gold and is highly stretchable. The wearability of the electronic skin means it can be used to track a range of health issues, including blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels. www.sbs.com.au/news/australians-develop-new-wearable-skin-to-monitor-health-conditions?

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North Sydney to become Non Smoking- NS

North Sydney Council has passed a recommendation to make its CBD the first smoke-free business district in Australia. The ultimate aim is to make North Sydney the first smoke-free municipality in Australia. There are about 72,000 residents and this means all shared public spaces – streets, plazas and parks – will become no-go zones for smokers. It includes outdoor seating areas in front of restaurants and cafes. Smoking prevalence in the Northern Sydney local health district is 9.5 per cent, lower than the state average of 15.2 per cent. https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/north-sydney-set-to-become-australia-s-first-smoke-free-cbd-20180925-p505xn.html

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Cities running on car batteries

The idea, known as “vehicle-to-grid”, is to have millions of drivers become mini electricity traders, charging up when rates are cheap and pumping energy back into the grid during peak hours or when the sun is not shining. We need storage to make better use of wind and solar power, and electric cars could provide it. Today, fewer than 1 per cent of the world’s vehicles are electric, but by 2040 more than half of all new cars will be electric. The first company to offer a product that allows drivers to both buy and sell power is San Diego-based Nuvve, which has succeeded by focusing on business customers in Denmark. www.inkl.com/newsletters/morning-edition/news/cities-running-on-car-batteries-idea-so-crazy-it-might-just-work?

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A robot as your housekeeper

An Aeolus Robot can clean your home and even bring you a drink from your fridge. It can assign objects to specific individuals whose faces it has memorized, so that, for example, a child’s toy picked up off the floor doesn’t end up in an adult’s closet. It’s the first multi-functional robot that can act like a human being. Currently it’s like a child, but its capability will grow from a child to an adult with more use. Each robot will be connected to a network that allows it to share information using artificial intelligence to make it increasingly intelligent over time as it adapts to your home and your routines. www.washingtonpost.com/news/innovations/wp/2018/01/11/this-robotic-maid-takes-us-one-step-closer-to-the-jetsons/

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Clothes that grow with your child

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Petit Pli creates advanced technical children’s clothing . Children grow 7 sizes in their first 2 years and this equates to wasted clothing. The versatile waterproof clothes made by Petit Pli are pleated in such a way that they can grow bi-directionally to custom fit a range of sizes. The continuous size adjustment is a new way of approaching garment design, one suitable to high growth rates and discrepancies in children’s sizes. Petit Pli uses technical materials that are ultra-lightweight, waterproof and breathable because children are very active. http://petitpli.com/

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An office under a bridge

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With space at a premium, particularly by the water, this is a novel solution. A designer in Spain has built a minimalist office between the girders of a large, concrete bridge. At one end of the rails there are items that adorn a typical office — shelves, plants, framed pictures, a desk and a chair. Doors fold outward, giving you the option of opening up the office to the outside world. At night, the doors can be closed and bedding stored on the shelves above you to spend the night. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/innovations/wp/2017/09/08/this-man-created-a-mysterious-office-suspended-underneath-a-bridge/?

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