Light Start – Mini space-boxes, Volocopter, Talkband B3, and Bentley’s butler

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Soon we could all have our own (tiny) satellites in orbit

Space InternetOkay, so you know how a bucket of Lego scattered on a thick carpet will inevitably wind up with a few pieces going where they shouldn’t? Like into the softest part of your foot or, in extreme cases, your forehead? Imaging that Earth’s orbital space is the carpet and a mass of FemtoSats, new mini-satellites, are the Legos just waiting to wreak havoc in a rocket engine. Okay, it’s not that bad. The SunCubes, recently announced by Arizona State University, are actually just a little bigger than actual Lego blocks, being cubes measuring 3cm to a side and weighing 35 grams. The stated purpose is to reduce satellite costs and also for science, but the development could make satellites in space affordable enough for it to one day be part of a high-school science project. That would be an amazing day to see.

Source: via Ars Technica

What do you get when you cross a drone with a helicopter?

That’s not a childhood joke, it’s more in the line of a serious question. When you cross a drone with a helicopter, you get the Volocopter, an eighteen-rotor flying vehicle that owes most of its DNA to the drones that you see flying about video-taping things. The Volocopter has been years in the making, the brainchild of German company e-volo. The last time we checked in on them was 2013, when they were doing unmanned tests, but as you can see from the video above, they’ve moved on to human test pilots. And the ride looks as smooth as you’d like. Could be we’ll be using this to get to work one day.

Source: e-volo

In all the P9 excitement, we forgot about Huawei’s Talkband B3 

Talkband B3We were thrilled to see the reveal of Huawei’s new P9 flagship and its nifty cameras but in the excitement we completely passed over their new Talkband B3 wristwear. Huawei have, as with previous models, tried something different. The B3 works as an activity tracker but you can also extract the watch face from its band and use it as a Bluetooth headset, for some reason. Huawei have made it smarter, so it can detect what you’re doing (activity-wise, don’t panic. It’s not watching you go to the bathroom) and they’re adding in smartwatch features. Our only question is: Will we be getting it here? It starts at €169 (around R3,000) so we’d like to check it out, at the very least.

Source: Huawei

Bentley is considering a holographic butler for your incredibly expensive vehicle

Bentley-Future-of-LuxuryIf you’re well-heeled enough to afford a Bentley, you probably have the cash to pay someone to drive it for you. And now the luxury car manufacturer has more in mind that a mere chauffeur, they’re hoping to develop and create a full-on holographic butler for their customers. According to the company the butler will form part of how “…yet-to-be-invented connectivity and technologies… are integrated into the cabin”. There’s nothing to see, yet, beyond a concept image but Bentley could be onto a good thing, especially if they’re making a self-driving car. If it’s not nicknamed Johnny Cab, we’re going to be very upset.

Source: via The Verge

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