THE BEST Technology

How Smart Home Technology Makes Life Better

Smart home gadgets can make controlling your home easier, from turning on lights when you walk in the door, to seeing who’s at the door from your phone, to keeping your place secure. Our friends at batteriesplus.com and Batteries Plus Bulbs stores offer an array of smart home tech, including these great products from Geeni.

How CRTs Are Made

How CRTs Are Made

Pretty much every display you can buy today is either LCD or OLED. But for decades, the cathode ray tube was the only way to watch video. This older clip from How Its Made show the process, including filling the tube with phosphors, adding conductive elements, and installing an electron gun to create images on the tube.

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AI Video Object Removal

AI Video Object Removal

If you’ve used Photoshop’s content-aware fill, you know that it’s gotten easier to remove objects from still images. Doing the same in video is much trickier, but as Two Minute Papers explains, there’s new AI-based tech that’s really good at removing objects from moving images. It can also expand content into missing areas.

IronMan AR Firefighter Mask

IronMan AR Firefighter Mask

Firefighters need every advantage they can get. Sam Cossman of Qwake Technologies met with Adam Yamaguchi of The Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation to show off the mask his company has developed which can overlay high-contrast outlines and heat signatures of objects even when they’re obscured by smoke or darkness.

15 fps to 60 fps Stop-motion

15 fps to 60 fps Stop-motion

Stop-motion animator LEGOEddy ran one of his 15 fps animations through a tool called DAIN, which converted his original video to a buttery-smooth 60 fps. The software not only interpolates frames but is able to properly handle depth-of-field and occlusion (objects hidden behind others.) Learn more on Two Minute Papers.

Roombots Modular Robots

Roombots Modular Robots

Developed by engineers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL), these compact robots can work together and assemble themselves into various structures, allowing them to not only to move large objects like furniture, but to become furniture themselves.

The AI That Can Cry

The AI That Can Cry

UK tech company Sonantic has developed an AI-driven text-to-speech system that can generate digital voices with much greater expression than others. In this clip, you’ll hear “Faith” a completely artificial voice character act out a story with tremendous emotion. Look out voice actors, the robots are coming for you!

Drone Swarm AI

Drone Swarm AI

Flying multiple drones near each other can lead to accidental collisions. Now, engineers at Caltech have developed an data-driven method that can safely control the movement of multiple drones in crowded spaces, without pre-mapping the space or knowing what patterns the other drones will fly in.

The Origin of Digital Communities

The Origin of Digital Communities

Before the Internet we know today, we had standalone services like AOL. And before that, we had Bulletin Board Systems. These homebrew hangouts let people with similar interests congregate via their computers. Off the Cuf looks back at the first BBS and its creators, and how they laid the groundwork for much to come.

Why Dark Video Sucks

Why Dark Video Sucks

It doesn’t matter if you’ve got the most expensive display you can buy, gradients of color in dark scenes often look like a blocky mess. Tom Scott offers a great explanation of the technological limitations that cause these issues, and the visual mechanisms that make them less noticeable in brighter scenes.

All-at-once 3D Printing

All-at-once 3D Printing

Typical 3D printers build up objects one layer at a time. This new technology is capable of printing an entire, highly-detailed object at once. The one big caveat of EFPL and Readily3D’s volumetric printer is that it can only print really tiny objects. Since it can print in a sterile container, it could be used for biomedical applications.

Infinite 3D Printer

Infinite 3D Printer

One of the limitations of cheap desktop 3D printers is their small print bed size. But this nifty hack by Swaleh Owais incorporates a conveyor belt print surface that can eject parts and then move on to the next one without human intervention. By angling its print head, it can also print very long objects.

Google Translatotron

Google Translatotron

Károly of Two Minute Papers explains how Researchers at Google have devised an AI-backed translation tech which maps speech to speech without an intermediate translation to text. What’s really amazing is that it can synthesize the voice of the original speaker into the other language. Listen to some of its voice samples here.

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Faking Talking Heads

Faking Talking Heads

Scientists from Samsung’s Moscow-based AI Research Center recently showed off “Few-Shot Adversarial Learning” tech, which can generate talking head videos from just a handful of still images, and a source video of another head. It’s so impressive, they even made the Mona Lisa talk.

Cyber Security Certification Bundle

You might know web development or systems administration, but do you know how to harden your systems against hackers and other security threats? Name your price and up your skills with this extensive series of cybersecurity training in The Awesomer Shop.

Festo BionicSoftHand

Festo BionicSoftHand

Robotics firm Festo shows off its impressive design for a pneumatic hand with flexible fingers that can grip things like humans do. It uses AI tech to learn to grasp objects, and has sensors to help it model the shape of the object it’s holding.

High Capacity Battery Charger

High Capacity Battery Charger

Stop shuffling batteries between remotes and just invest in a battery charger already. This handy 2600 mAh battery charger from RavPower comes with 8 AA batteries, and it’s on sale today in The Awesomer Shop.

Lyrebird Voice-cloning AI

Lyrebird Voice-cloning AI

Bloomberg journalist Ashlee Vance sat down with the founders of Lyrebird, a startup developing artificial intelligence tech that can learn the sound of any human voice, then make it say anything. Amazing, yet creepy stuff. Try an early version here.

Fooling Image Recognition Tech

Fooling Image Recognition Tech

Modern image recognition technology is getting really good at identifying objects. But engineers at MIT CSAIL show us how simply playing with their textures can confuse the AI into thinking an object is something completely different than what it actually is.

Cruising with Cadillac Super Cruise

Cruising with Cadillac Super Cruise

The world’s first hands-free interstate cruising system is here, and we were one of the first to test it out on a trip from Cleveland to Memphis via Chicago. We were left thoroughly impressed by this “Super Cruise” setup, and what it means for the future of highway travel as we know it.

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3D Nano Printing

3D Nano Printing

Most desktop 3D printers have difficulty handling individual layers thinner than 50 microns, so it’s pretty mindblowing to think that engineers have managed to 3D print a castle on the tip of a pencil, with a resolution of 0.1 micron, using multiphoton lithography.

The Five Stages of Machine Telepathy

The Five Stages of Machine Telepathy

Mice, keyboards, touchscreens. Siri, Alexa, Google. All these input methods could be replaced by simply thinking, if the tech exurb1a describes ever becomes mainstream. But the stuff that really gets us thinking is the idea of the real world Borg collective.

Lexus x Mark Levinson

Lexus x Mark Levinson

We went behind the scenes with Mark Levinson to learn about the audiophile grade sound systems they make for Lexus vehicles. There’s no way to convey how amazing they sound without listening in person, but read on to get a sense of just what goes into making these systems so good.

Roomscale Wireless Power

Roomscale Wireless Power

Scientists from Disney Research are working on tech which uses something called “quasistatic cavity resonance” to emit magnetic fields that can safely deliver up to 1900 watts of wireless power to devices placed anywhere in a room. It’s still in its infancy, but the result is awesome.

How Do Machines Learn?

How Do Machines Learn?

Ever wanted to know how the algorithms that drive modern computer systems and robots actually work? CGP Grey provides a pretty solid layperson’s primer to the concepts of machine learning and artificial intelligence in this informative video.

Casually Explained: The Future

Casually Explained: The Future

“Check when Elon Musk says it’ll happen on Twitter… and it’s not that.” Casually Explained looks at some of the many things we’re hopeful for in the future, and does his best to predict new products and when we can expect them.

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