07 Oct 2019

TechBits, Oct 7, 2019

1. The winner of the Startup Battlefield at Disrupt SF 2019 is – Render

  • In the very beginning, there were 20 startups. After two days of incredibly fierce competition, we now have a winner.
  • Startups participating in the Startup Battlefield have all been hand-picked to participate in our highly competitive startup competition. They all presented in front of multiple groups of VCs and tech leaders serving as judges for a chance to win $100,000 and the coveted Disrupt Cup.

2. AN IOS DEVELOPER BUILT AN ALTERNATIVE APP STORE FOR THE IPHONE

  • Riley Testut has spent the better part of the last decade trying to sneak in through the side door of the iPhone. Since he was a teenager, the Dallas-Fort Worth native has been fascinated with app development — in particular, with emulation technology that allows modern computing devices to run the video game software of decades-old game consoles.
  • Yet Testut, a longtime Apple fan, was disheartened when he came to realize that classic video games from developers like Nintendo would never make their way onto the official iOS App Store. Nintendo has no interest in porting its games to iOS — it has since opted to make mobile-specific versions instead — and Apple has always had strict policies against apps that can be used for piracy. So Testut decided to try to build the emulation technology that would let you do it yourself.

3. New System Helps Smart Devices Find Their Position in Places GPS Fails

  • Connected devices can now share position information, even in noisy, GPS-denied areas.
    A new system developed by researchers at MIT and elsewhere helps networks of smart devices cooperate to find their positions in environments where GPS usually fails.
  • Today, the “internet of things” concept is fairly well-known: Billions of interconnected sensors around the world — embedded in everyday objects, equipment, and vehicles, or worn by humans or animals — collect and share data for a range of applications.

4. Beyond GPS: Millimeter-Scale Location Tracking

  • Professor’s startup brings millimeter-scale location tracking to factories, ports, and other industrial environments using an interdisciplinary approach to accelerating human-machine collaboration.
    David Mindell has spent his career defying traditional distinctions between disciplines. His work has explored the ways humans interact with machines, drive innovation, and maintain societal well-being as technology transforms our economy.
  • And, Mindell says, he couldn’t have done it anywhere but MIT. He joined MIT’s faculty 23 years ago after completing his Ph.D. in the Program in Science, Technology, and Society, and he currently holds a dual appointment in engineering and humanities as the Frances and David Dibner Professor of the History of Engineering and Manufacturing in the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences and professor of aeronautics and astronautics.

5. Hand-Held Microwave Imaging – To See Through Walls or Detect Tumors – Possible With New Chip

  • Researchers shrink bulky imaging systems down to millimeter-sized chip that could be used to see through walls or detect tumors.
    Washington — Researchers have developed a new microwave imager chip that could one day enable low-cost handheld microwave imagers or cameras. Because microwaves can travel through certain opaque objects, the new imagers could be useful for imaging through walls or detecting tumors through tissue in the body.
  • In Optica, The Optical Society’s (OSA) journal for high-impact research, the researchers describe how they used a standard semiconductor fabrication process to make a microwave imager chip containing more than 1,000 photonic components. The square chip measures just over 2 millimeters on each side, making it about half the width of a pencil eraser.

6. This Flat Structure Can Morph Into the Shape of a Human Face

  • The new structural design could lead to self-deploying tents or adaptive robotic fins.
    Researchers at MIT and elsewhere have designed 3-D printed mesh-like structures that morph from flat layers into predetermined shapes, in response to changes in ambient temperature. The new structures can transform into configurations that are more complex than what other shape-shifting materials and structures can achieve.
  • As a demonstration, the researchers printed a flat mesh that, when exposed to a certain temperature difference, deforms into the shape of a human face. They also designed a mesh embedded with conductive liquid metal, that curves into a dome to form an active antenna, the resonance frequency of which changes as it deforms.

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