On Wednesday night, 100 drones took to the sky to perform a synchronized “ballet” to live music played by the Sydney Youth Orchestra.After a coordinated ascent to 105 meters, the 100 LED-equipped quadrocopters performed a series of intricate formations, creating three-dimensional figures above the water at Sydney harbor.

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Computer scientists at the University of Basel have developed a new method for conducting image and video database searches based on hand-drawn sketches. The user draws a sketch on a tablet or interactive paper, and the system searches for a matching image in the database. The new method is free to access for researchers.



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From Gene Roddenberry in Star Trek to Douglas Adams in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, anyone who spends much time forecasting the future comes to realize that language has simply got to go. In a connected world, it’s one of the only things remaining that truly separates us — it’s what keeps keeps us from being able to directly consume and understand one another’s film and literature, and what keeps occupying soldiers from being able to effectively make alliances with local peoples. It’s a primitive relic of a bygone age — if we can convert MP4 to AVI, certainly we ought to be able to convert Mandarin to German. Now, a new device called Pilot could make that dream (mostly) a reality.


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As you may know, the MetaWear platform is a wearable, sensor, and beacon development board that uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BTLE) for wireless communication. We decided to use BTLE over other protocols such as Bluetooth Classic, WiFi, and WiFi Direct because BTLE:

  • Has lower power consumption.
    • Can be powered by a coin cell battery
    • Battery can last for months or even years depending on use case
  • Is a less complex protocol.
  • Costs less to implement (unit costs, layout, firmware, etc.).

While the other protocols offer some nice pros, namely higher data throughput and farther range, we believed in the end, BTLE is the best choice for wearables, sensors, and beacons. Now, you may be thinking that it is silly to sacrifice superior data throughput and range however, none of the aforementioned use cases justified trading the power, complexity, and cost benefits of BTLE.

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