Lightform raises $5M to turn old projectors into augmented reality machines

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In Blade Runner 2049, one of the more interesting stylistic choices was how the film imagined futuristic augmented reality. While the Microsofts and Googles of our real dystopian world are currently approaching AR tech with headsets and smart glasses, Blade Runner 2049 relied entirely on external projection to augment its world and the people in it. This vision of the future may still seem a tad concerning, but it’s good news for San Francisco-based AR startup Lightform. Lightform isn’t a hologram startup, but by capturing structured light, their projector-mounted computer…

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Managing software complexity through intent-based programming

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Software is losing its magic. We simply demand too much from the current approaches. As a result, software developers are losing the battle with complexity, often without realizing it. More often than not, little failures pile on top of other little failures, and life for the consumer, as well as the business, becomes more frustrating rather than easier. For example, Apple’s products have become buggy, travel is still a nightmare and call center experiences make us doubt both artificial and human intelligence. To bring the magic back into software, developers…

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Apple Watch Can Detect Hypertension and Sleep Apnea According to Study

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A new study out from health startup Cardiogram and the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) suggests wearables like the Apple Watch, Fitbit and others are able to accurately detect common but serious conditions like hypertension and sleep apnea. Cardiogram and UCSF previously demonstrated the ability for the Apple Watch to detect abnormal heart rhythm with a 97 percent accuracy. This new study shows the Watch can detect sleep apnea with a 90 percent accuracy and hypertension with an 82 percent accuracy. Sleep apnea affects an estimated 22 million adults…

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LightStep emerges from stealth with a tool for application performance monitoring

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LightStep, a company which has developed a new tool for application performance management, has emerged from stealth with a $29 million dollar war chest. The company, founded by ex-Google engineer Ben Sigelman, has developed a group of software tools to track the how well applications are working across enterprises. At Google, Sigelman was responsible for the creation and operation of Dapper, a distributed monitoring system that could analyze 2 billion transactions per second, according to a LightStep statement. Sigelman also was one of the developer behind the OpenTracing standard, part…

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Saving the Rainforest with Old Cell Phones

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Rainforests have some of the most complicated soundscapes on the planet. In this dense noise of insects, primates, birds, and everything else that moves in the forest, how can you detect the sounds of illegal logging? The old cell phone you have sitting in your desk drawer may have the answer. How do you go about saving the rainforest with old cell phones? After a visit to the rainforests of Borneo, physicist and engineer Topher White was struck by the sounds of the forest. In particular, he noises he couldn’t…

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Reinvention of the alarm clock in the age of smartphones

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The alarm clock has existed in a weird place since the advent of the smartphone — after all, why have a separate device on your nightstand for telling the time or waking you up in the morning when your phone already does that? That hasn’t stopped companies from trying to reinvent the alarm clock for the connected era, and Circa, a new Kickstarter project from Circa Labs, seems like one of the nicer attempts at the idea. Unlike some of the other smart alarm clocks out there, Circa doesn’t include…

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Self-driving shuttle bus in crash on first day

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A self-driving shuttle bus in Las Vegas was involved in a crash on its first day of service. The vehicle – carrying “several” passengers – was hit by a lorry driving at slow speed. Nobody was injured in the incident which city officials say was the fault of the human driver of the lorry. The man was subsequently given a ticket by police. The shuttle is the first of its kind to be used on public roads in the US. The collision comes a day after Waymo – owned by…

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Aluminium foil increases your wireless speed

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Researchers at Dartmouth University have found that a 3D printed shape covered in aluminum foil can improve wireless range and increase Wi-Fi security. The project, which appeared on Eurekalert, involves placing a reflector on and around a Wi-Fi router’s antennae to shape the beam, increasing range and preventing it from passing through to unwanted spaces. “With a simple investment of about $35 and specifying coverage requirements, a wireless reflector can be custom-built to outperform antennae that cost thousands of dollars,” said Xia Zhou, a Dartmouth assistant professor. In their paper,…

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New startup that helps you scan, send and print yourself

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Kat Kinkead and Peter Weijmarshausen met at their old company, Shapeways. Weijmarshausen recently stepped down as CEO and was looking for something cool to do when he and Kinkead realized that the most popular application of 3D scanning and printing was in 3D figurines. These tiny action-figure-like representations were wildly popular print subjects back at Shapeways but they were notoriously difficult to capture and print. Now, thanks to improvements in scanning, color printing, and software, they’re surprisingly easy. Thus Beheld was born. Kinkead, the CEO, has an MFA in industrial…

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Flying cars: Future of transportation or an inflated expectation?

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It seems like flying-car startups are finally taking over the “140-character” kinds of tech companies we are used to. With EU-based startup Lilium working on an all-electric autonomous flying taxi, garnering a $90 million Series B led by Tencent and supported by a number of well-known VCs (including Atomico), it’s clear that flying cars are transitioning from a fascinating concept to a quite-mature technology and promising investment thesis. But will we see flying cars out in the world? And how will the market environment evolve? The ecosystem is maturing. There are…

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