Week in Tech (5 – 11 Feb 2021)

Weekly Tech News related to 5G Applications At 300 GHz, Tesla Buying $1.5B In Bitcoin, Machines Predicting the Function of DNA Sequences, Soft Robots Using Camera and Shadows to Sense Human Touch, Robotics and Technology Leading to Better Buildings in Less Time, Virtual Reality Helping to Treat Fear of Heights, Wearable Device Turning the Body into A Battery, Silicon Chip to Help Machines See the World Clearly, BharatPe Valued At $900 Million, Epic Showing Off Unreal’s Nearly Real ‘MetaHuman’ 3D Character Creator

Note: None of the news bits (and cover picture) given here are written/owned by NewAnced's authors. The links on each of the news bits will redirect to the news source. Content given under each headline is a basic gist and not the full story.

*Cover picture credit: Epic*

1. Pushed to The Limit: A CMOS-Based Transceiver for Beyond 5G Applications At 300 GHz

Source: Tokyo Institute of Technology 5 Feb 2021

Scientists have developed a novel CMOS-based transceiver for wireless communications at the 300 GHz band, enabling future beyond-5G applications. Their design addresses the challenges of operating CMOS technology at its practical limit and represents the first wideband CMOS phased-array system to operate at such elevated frequencies.

2. Tesla Buys $1.5B In Bitcoin, May Accept the Cryptocurrency as Payment in The Future

Source: TechCrunch 8 Feb 2021

Monday, in an SEC filing, Tesla disclosed that it has acquired $1.5 billion in bitcoin, the popular cryptocurrency. Moreover, the company noted that it may also accept bitcoin in the future as a form of payment for its cars, though it did allow that there is some regulatory uncertainty around that effort.

Original written by: Alex Wilhelm

3. AI Researchers Ask: What’s Going on Inside the Black Box?

Source: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory 8 Feb 2021

Researchers have reported a way to train machines to predict the function of DNA sequences. They used “neural nets”, a type of artificial intelligence (AI) typically used to classify images. Teaching the neural net to predict the function of short stretches of DNA allowed it to work up to deciphering larger patterns. The researchers hope to analyze more complex DNA sequences that regulate gene activity critical to development and disease.

Original written by: Jasmine Lee

4. Soft Robots Use Camera and Shadows to Sense Human Touch

Source: Cornell University 8 Feb 2021

Soft robots may not be in touch with human feelings, but they are getting better at feeling human touch. Researchers have created a low-cost method for soft, deformable robots to detect a range of physical interactions, from pats to punches to hugs, without relying on touch at all. Instead, a USB camera located inside the robot captures the shadow movements of hand gestures on the robot’s skin and classifies them with machine-learning software.

Original written by: David Nutt

5. Emerging Robotics Technology May Lead to Better Buildings in Less Time

Source: Purdue University 9 Feb 2021

Emerging robotics technology may soon help construction companies and contractors create buildings in less time at higher quality and at lower costs. Researchers have developed and are testing a novel construction robotic system that uses an innovative mechanical design with advances in computer vision sensing technology to work in a construction setting.

Original written by: Chris Adam

6. Virtual Reality Helping to Treat Fear of Heights

Source: University of Basel 10 Feb 2021

Researchers have developed a virtual reality app for smartphones to reduce the fear of heights. Now, they have conducted a clinical trial to study its efficacy. Trial participants who spent a total of four hours training with the app at home showed an improvement in their ability to handle real height situations.

7. New Wearable Device Turns the Body into A Battery

Source: University of Colorado at Boulder 10 Feb 2021

Researchers have developed a new, low-cost wearable device that transforms the human body into a biological battery. The device is stretchy enough that you can wear it like a ring, a bracelet or any other accessory that touches your skin. It also taps into a person’s natural heat—employing thermoelectric generators to convert the body’s internal temperature into electricity.

Original written by: Daniel Strain

8. Silicon Chip Provides Low-Cost Solution to Help Machines See the World Clearly

Source: University of Southampton 10 Feb 2021

Researchers have developed a new, integrated system, which uses silicon photonic components and CMOS electronic circuits in the same microchip. The prototype they have developed would be a low-cost solution and could pave the way to large volume production of low-cost, compact and high-performance 3D imaging cameras for use in robotics, autonomous navigation systems, mapping of building sites to increase safety and in healthcare.

9. India’s BharatPe Valued At $900 Million In New $108 Million Fundraise

Source: TechCrunch 11 Feb 2021

India may soon have another fintech unicorn. BharatPe said on Thursday it has raised $108 million in a financing round that valued the New Delhi-based financial services startup at $900 million, up from $425 million last year.

Original written by: Manish Singh

10. Epic Shows Off Unreal’s Nearly Real ‘MetaHuman’ 3D Character Creator

Source: TechCrunch 11 Feb 2021

One of the most difficult tasks in the increasingly high-fidelity world of gaming is making realistic-looking people — especially faces. Epic, on Thursday, showed off a new character creation tool in Unreal Engine that lets you make a near-infinite variety of near-photorealistic digital people with far less effort than it might have taken before.

Original written by: Devin Coldewey

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