Every month, Maxwell Barna rounds up the best new drops and innovations in the tech world. Check out last month’s installment here.
It’s kind of mind-boggling to see how technology advances the way that it does. Just in the past month alone, it seems like we saw some developments so groundbreaking that we aren’t really sure how to put our utter amazement into words.
Just this week, it was announced that the famous—and free—“DoNotPay” service, an Artificial Intelligence Chatbot attorney, has helped people get out of over 160,000 traffic tickets in London and New York.
It was also discovered this month that Apple has been awarded a patent that will block iPhone users from recording certain events. Apple and news media outlets are saying it’s a way to keep bootleggers out of concerts, theaters and museums, and we get that, but the other potential implications here—blocking civilians from recording emergency situations, altercations with police or any other politically inconvenient event—seem downright horrific.
But it was also revealed just this past week that Microsoft will finally begin giving people the option as to whether or not they want to upgrade to the crash-and-burn Windows 10 update—fucking finally!
Naturally, we’re just getting started. Tech and gadgets truly abounded this past month, but here are 10 of our absolute favorites:
These Crazy Targeted Advertising Billboards
As if targeted banner ads weren’t creepy enough, a company in Tokyo announced that it has developed a billboard that will use surveillance technology to screen the exact make and model of vehicles driving by and display targeted ads to each vehicle’s “preference.”
It’s like a Jason Bourne movie got a Google Adwords account, and then decided to ruin our lives just for fun. The billboards will begin to run as early as this coming fall. Terrifying.
Google Maps Gets a 700-Trillion-Pixel Facelift
More than a billion people use Google Maps every single month to find out where they’re going, check out interesting places in the world or find top-secret military bases by complete accident.
And now, thanks to a 700-trillion-pixel update released this week, users will be able to see all those things with crystal clarity like never before. The new maps will provide images with more detail, higher contrast and—most importantly—fewer clouds!
The World's First-Ever 3D Printed House is Also Earthquake-Proof
Guns, bionic ears, human body parts—the possibilities for 3D printing so far have seemed pretty limitless, but that doesn’t mean the world wasn’t shocked this week when a Beijing architecture firm announced that they’d built the world’s first 3D-printed house.
The two-story, 4,300-square-foot structure boasts walls that are in some areas six feet thick, and according to Huashang Tengda, the firm responsible for it, the structure would withstand an earthquake up to an 8 on the Richter scale. The best part? The house, which was printed using massive specialized printers, took just 45 days to build.
A Micro Camera That Can Be Injected Via Syringe
News also broke in the past month that an engineering team from Germany have created cameras no bigger than a grain of salt that can be injected into a person’s skin using a syringe. The mere thought of it tickles our gag reflexes, but according to the team, the 3D-printed cameras have three camera lenses and are tiny enough to fit on the end of an optical fiber line the width of two human hairs.
The team says the potential for the cameras are endless, ranging in scope from medical applications to military and surveillance operations to drone technology. The point is, we should all probably start running away from the planet, now.
Fuji’s Cool New Photo Printer That Syncs up With Your Phone
The minute you start talking about “mobile smart phone photography,” most people start snoozing. But, with Fuji’s release of the Intax Share SP-2 printer this month, we’re intrigued.
Using Fujifilm’s 2-inch-by-3-inch Instax Mini instant film, the little printer can pump out images in 10 seconds or less, and even allows users to edit the photos for things like brightness, contrast, saturation or even apply Fujifilm’s creative filters to photos before printing. We’d like to see where this one goes.
Boston Dynamics Released Their Latest Robot: A Dog That Does The Dishes
For years, the crew at Boston Dynamics has invented products that truly scare the shit out of us and look like something you’d see in a terminator movie about the militarized robots of the future. Things that can creep silent as a church mouse, take an incredible beating in the streets and sprint through all-terrain like a wild hydraulic-hooved gazelle—every single one of their inventions is more ridiculous than the last.
The latest “creature” from the Google-owned tech lab is the SpotMini, a fully electric “dog” that can help with chores around the house by utilizing a hydraulic arm, a ton of sensors and cameras and a solid state gyro (IMU) that helps it stay balanced. So there’s that.
Sandisk’s New iPhone Expanded Memory Case
Holy shit. SnapChatters, Instagrammers and Tinder swipers rejoice! FINALLY, someone has answered the iPhone’s storage problems. The new iXPand case from Sandisk gives you everything you need to turn your 16-gig lame-ass iPhone 6 or 6s into a 32GB, 64,GB or even 128GB powerhouse!
Using your iPhone’s standard lightning port, the memory plugs right in and protects your phone like any other standard durable case. The iXpand also comes with an add-on battery pack that’ll help keep you charged on days when you’re out on the trails or just not near a power supply.
Razer’s New Open-Source VR Headset Is Just Like the Rift, But $200 Cheaper
The race to VR space is officially on, and Razer, a California-based company known for its gaming computers and accessories (and its God-awful logo) recently announced the release of its highly anticipated HDK2 headset, which utilizes an open-source platform in order to offer literally the same shit as the Oculus Rift, but at a price point that doesn’t make us throw up in our mouths at the mere thought of it.
The headset debuted at the highly anticipated E3 Expo this past month, and the company announced that it’ll also be working with Steam in order to ensure that the headset will work seamlessly with the gaming platform.
Perfect Memory Wireless Pro Camera
Brand new this month and freshly funded on Indiegogo, the Perfect Memory Camera is a high-tech camera nerd’s dream. The camera offers pretty standard features—a 140-degree wide angle f2.8 lens, an external MicroSD slot that takes up to 128GB cards, a sturdy metal outer body, along with WiFi capability, video and photo options and even a live-streaming capabilities that go straight to your phone.
But where the Perfect Memory shines is with its tap-to-save feature. You can set the camera to record continuously, but if something interesting and memorable happens, all you have to do is tap the body of the camera twice, and it’ll automatically save the last five minutes worth of film. The project was funded in less than 24 hours and its backers have almost doubled in less than a couple weeks, and it’s pretty easy to see why.
PornHub Created Porn for Visually Impaired People
Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve finally arrived in the 21st Century. This month, the folks over at PornHub, the internet’s most popular porn site, announced a new category of content called “Described Video,” geared toward helping people who are visually impaired enjoy porn.
Videos come complete with “special narrations” that are tailored to help the user—every user—enjoy a particular scene to the fullest extent. What a time to be alive.
Once you've checked out all the new tech above, take a look at this amazing new floating hotel and bar in Paris.