technology

Microsoft checkout-free system tipped to take on Amazon Go

Microsoft checkout-free system tipped to take on Amazon Go

Microsoft is developing its own automatic checkout technology similar to the kind used by Amazon Go stores, according to sources. With this, retailers can equip stores with a system that monitors what consumers put into their basket and automatically bills them for it, eliminating the need to go through traditional checkout lines. Walmart is reportedly interested in Microsoft's platform.

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Smart luggage-maker Raden unexpectedly shuts down: Goodbye warranty

Smart luggage-maker Raden unexpectedly shuts down: Goodbye warranty

Another smart luggage company has closed its doors, with startup Raden blaming the change in battery policies for air travel for the decision to shut up shop. The news makes Raden the second bag-maker to cease operations this month, each citing the tougher rules applied by airlines last December.

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Wikipedia will be printed on tiny metal plates and sent to the moon

Wikipedia will be printed on tiny metal plates and sent to the moon

A non-profit called Arch Foundation is hoping to send millions of Wikipedia pages to the moon, only with a twist: they'll be "written" on small metal plates. The pages will be sourced from the English version of Wikipedia, and assuming everything goes according to plan, the content will be on the lunar surface within the next couple years. The total archive size will be similar to a CD.

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Inexpensive touch-sensitive paper instantly digitizes written notes

Inexpensive touch-sensitive paper instantly digitizes written notes

Researchers have introduced a new touch-sensitive paper that can track input and automatically digitize it. The system involves conductive film and a carbon-loaded paint applied to paper, among other things. The end result is a type of paper that detects touches from both fingers and writing instruments, transforming the process of digitizing handwritten content.

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HD Vinyl coming next year to capitalize on nostalgia

HD Vinyl coming next year to capitalize on nostalgia

Who said you can't teach an old dog new tricks or old media new features. Austrian startup Rebeat is certainly trying to prove it isn't the case. Making use of European patent filed way back in 2016 and a $4.8 billion investment, the small company is starting to turn the gears to produce what it labels as "High Definition Vinyl". Why? Because sales of physical media such as CDs and vinyl, for the first time in 7 years, just eclipsed digital sales.

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Walmart Pickup Tower deployment expands

Walmart Pickup Tower deployment expands

This week the folks at Walmart announced the arrival of a whole bunch more "high-tech pickup towers" at a number of stores across the United States. These giant towers appeared at just under 200 Walmart stores in the past year. Now the store is aiming to expand the program to "more than 500" stores by the end of this year. You might see this massive machine at your Walmart soon... very soon.

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Trade Wars in Tech: consumers are the real casualties

Trade Wars in Tech: consumers are the real casualties

It’s almost too easy to start a war. All it takes is for someone in power (after all, those without power can’t start wars) to say something that offends another person in power who, in turn, says something back. It’s not easy, however, to end the war or to pick up the broken pieces. In the case of a trade war like the one brewing between the US and China, those pieces are the consumers from both sides. Because in a clash of titans, it’s the little humans below that get stomped on.

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Epic Games’ Siren demo is both amazing and super-creepy

Epic Games’ Siren demo is both amazing and super-creepy

Epic Games is no stranger to incredibly detailed motion capture technology. 2017's Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice was based on Unreal Engine's motion capture capabilities, and it received a lot of praise for just how detailed the in-game character of Senua was. Now Epic is looking to take what it learned with Hellblade one step further, creating a new digital personality called Siren who is as impressive as she is unsettling.

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Japan IT Week Spring 2018: Here’s what to expect

Japan IT Week Spring 2018: Here’s what to expect

Almost all of the major annual tech shows, like CES, MWC, and IFA, happen in the West, though, of course, their audience and exhibitors come from all over the world. There are, however, other equally big IT gatherings on the other side of the globe that also give important insight on the trends and developments in those regions. In two months’ time, Japan will be holding the country’s and one of the region’s largest trade show, Japan IT Week Spring, and its lineup shows just how much AI and IoT have spread throughout the world.

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What is MicroLED: 5 key facts about Apple’s secret display tech

What is MicroLED: 5 key facts about Apple’s secret display tech

Apple is making its own displays, but just what is MicroLED and why is it better - and more problematic - than OLED and LCD? The revelation that Apple has been working on replacing another aspect of its problematic supply chain relationship with rivals such as Samsung and LG has sent ripples through the display industry, not to mention reawakened interest one of the more intriguing technologies out there. Question is: why is cracking the MicroLED problem such a big deal?

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Future Tech: what’s coming based on what’s already here

Future Tech: what’s coming based on what’s already here

It’s fun to think of what the future holds, especially in tech. Presuming you don’t have apocalyptic visions or homicidal computers in your mind. But technology, unlike fiction, doesn’t just spring up out of ideas and minds fully-formed and ready to use. They will always have roots in reality and history. Here are just some of the cool things we expect to see in the future, both near and not so near, based on what’s already in development today.

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The problem with patents in tech

The problem with patents in tech

Patents are everywhere, and of course not just in the US, but there are particular industries where they show up more often than not. In our not so small corner of the world, we see dozens of patents on interesting technologies and potential products. Emphasis on “potential” because most of the time, they never come to be. Sometimes not from the party that filed the patent. More often than not, patents only surface when media get whiff of them or when used in a lawsuit. Because while patents were initially conceived to foster innovation, they run the risk of suffocating that very same thing instead.

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