20 Dec 2019

TechBits, Dec 20, 2019

1. Anybody can now make HomeKit accessories
Subscription-based social network MeWe launches

  • Apple has released an open-source version of the HomeKit Accessory Development Kit. You can now fork it on GitHub and play around with it to integrate smart home devices in the Home app and beyond.
  • Today’s news is related to the Connected Home over IP effort, an industry-wide effort to build an open-source standard for the internet of things. Essentially, Apple, Amazon, Google, the Zigbee Alliance, and smart home manufacturers want to work together so that accessories work everywhere.
  • HomeKit is lagging behind, although Apple arrived early in the connected home space. A ton of accessories now works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, but you can control very few accessories with Siri, as HomeKit adoption has been slow.
  • By open-sourcing HomeKit, Apple hopes that more smart home manufacturers will try to integrate HomeKit in their prototypes. Everything has been released under the Apache 2.0 license.

2. Subscription-based social network MeWe launches premium features and a business product

  • MeWe, the subscription-based social network that emphasizes privacy and bills itself as the anti-Facebook, is launching a premium tier of its service and spinning up a business-focused product to take on enterprise networking and communication tools like Slack.
  • Founded by Mark Weinstein, a gregarious serial entrepreneur who credits himself with being an early developer of the social media concept, MeWe has amassed several million users in its drive to be the alternative to Facebook.
  • Launching after Ello, Weinstein says the challenges he witnessed that company going through provided some invaluable lessons for how he wanted to build out his own challenge to Facebook’s social media dominance.

3. IBM partners with the University of Tokyo on quantum computing initiative

  • IBM Corp. said today it’s teaming up with the University of Tokyo to create a new Japan-IBM Quantum Partnership that will focus on advancing the adoption of quantum computers in order to benefit science, industry and society.
  • IBM said the partnership would have three areas of focus, including the development of quantum applications for industry and the development of quantum computing hardware, with an aim to advance the state of quantum science and education.
  • The initiative will also see an IBM Q System One (pictured) installed at one of the company’s facilities in Japan. The system was launched in January and is said to be the world’s first-ever circuit-based commercial quantum computer.

4. VR glove maker HaptX raises $12M and announces the partnership with Advanced Input Systems

  • Provider of realistic haptic technology for virtual reality controls HaptX Inc. announced today it has closed a funding round for $12 million from existing investors NetEase and Amit Kapur of Dawn Patrol Ventures.
  • The company also announced a partnership with human-machine interface specialists Advanced Input Systems. Funding from the Series A round will be used to enhance the next generation of HaptX Gloves produced by the company, claimed to be the world’s most realistic haptic glove controllers for VR and robotics.
  • With HaptX gloves, designers can have greatly increased control over VR environments and simulations in a way that directly mimics human interaction with the world. The gloves not only translate finger and hand gestures into the virtual environment but also can translate “touch” based experience back to the hands using what is called haptic feedback.

5. Beyond Moore’s Law: 3D Silicon Circuits Take Transistor Arrays Into the Third Dimension

  • Silicon integrated circuits, which are used in computer processors, are approaching the maximum feasible density of transistors on a single chip—at least, in two-dimensional arrays.
  • Now, a team of engineers at the University of Michigan has stacked the second layer of transistors directly atop a state-of-the-art silicon chip.
  • They propose that their design could remove the need for a second chip that converts between high- and-low voltage signals, which currently stands between the low-voltage processing chips and the higher-voltage user interfaces.
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Philomathes (pronounced as fillo-MAY-thus) is a fictional character at VAYUZ (https://www.vayuz.com), who is on a never ending journey called “LEARNING”. In a way, Philomathes embodies VAYUZ - Way of life, which is if you are not learning then you are not breathing. The word Philomathes, comes from the Greek roots philo and philein meaning "to love" and the Greek roots mathos (MAH-thos) and mathesis (muh-THAYSIS) meaning “learning”. Philomathes through his Blogs and Vlogs (Video Blogs) will share his experience, learnings and thoughts. In his tryst to learn and understand, he would also seek answers to questions. So if you would like to join him in this incredible journey called “ life” then feel free to write to him on philomathes.jigyasu@vayuz.com. Always remember, knowledge is all around us, we just need to keep our guards down and senses on.

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