Friday Five

Hola Amigos and Happy Friday! Cinco de Mayo is upon us this weekend, so crack out the tacos and margaritas and let’s celebrate! I hope everyone can enjoy this wonderful rise in temperature and spend time outdoors. While you’re on your lawn chair, hammock, or suspended cozily by four quadcopters I hope you enjoy this week’s articles.

You may be used to hearing these words before your flight takes to the sky: “Please turn off your cellular devices for the duration of the flight”. However, this classic line may be a phrase of the past, as airlines develop their wireless connectivity. With connected aircrafts becoming more prevalent, passenger expectations for in-flight connectivity has soared in recent years. Nearly one quarter of all passengers choose an airline solely based on the fact that they have inflight Wifi. The benefits to in-flight connectivity extend to personalized customer service, improved situational awareness for pilots, and information regarding the plane’s maintenance prior to landing, leading to quick turn around times.

Tesla will soon offer a ridesharing network that will act as a defacto combination of Uber and Airbnb. Users will be able to call autonomous vehicles to their location, and have 100% ownership of the vehicle for a certain period of time. By using a mixture of tracking and automation technology, the car will be able to drive to your location and pick you up and continue the trip. Hopping into a moving, driverless car is bound to make you look and feel like James Bond. But don’t hold your breath – Tesla still needs to develop their autonomous vehicles, and software for a ridesharing network before this project can hit the roads.

For some people, watching a live event is about the experience of being in the crowd. Feeling the rush of adrenaline when you see favourite team score, or the when the artist plays your favourite song and the whole crowd goes wild. But how can you get that same experience in the comfort of your own home? Oculus, the company behind the famous Oculus Rift, has developed an app to allow viewers to watch live sporting events, comedy shows, and concerts through the use of Virtual Reality. The platform is built around those who are passionate being apart of the live experience, but are unable to go to the physical venue.

“Hey, let’s cut a deal! I’ll give you three windmills – but, contract will only last for two years and have an additional fee of $100,000.” As blockchain becomes more prevalent in online transactions, it will begin to be used in a variety of different ways. Consumers will soon be able to use blockchain technology to buy and sell renewable energy between one another, thereby creating a transparent, automated record of energy generation and consumption. Ultimately this could prove to be extremely cost-effective way to generate electricity, and help reduce strain on the environment.

Friday Favourite

Marvel released its new Avengers title “Infinity War” last weekend, and it quickly shot to the top of the box office. It’s quite the spectacle, but also it has many people including me wondering if any the technology or ideas shown can be possible in real life. As technology continues to develop and allow new and amazing feats, it appears that scientists are close to developing a way to modify the genes of a living person. In many ways, this bioengineering is allowing scientists to take control of evolution through gene therapy and other technologies that could create the next “Captain America”.