Tech Today

Ryan Boyd
Tech Today

What do you get when you team Cirque de Soleil and drones dressed and lampshades? How fast will Samsung’s new Wi-Fi really be? And who will win in a battle between a hawk and a drone?

All are answered in this week’s tech round-up.


Paging Dr Googlegoogle logo3

Doctors worldwide having been cursing the internet’s ability to give hypochondriacs needless worries with misleading diagnoses for years.

To combat this, Google is trialling a new feature that detects when you’re searching symptoms and gives you the option to connect you to a doctor right then and there via webcam.

It’s not yet know when or even if this feature will be live to everyone, but a Google spokesman has said: “When you're searching for basic health information — from conditions like insomnia or food poisoning — our goal is provide you with the most helpful information available. We're trying this new feature to see if it's useful to people.”


Super-fast Wi-Fiwifi lg

Samsung have announced that they will have super-fast Wi-Fi technology available commercially next year.

How fast? The current maximum speed can reach 108MB per second, and Samsung reckon their new 60GHz Wi-Fi technology will increase this five-fold, up to 575MB per second.

The tech giant say the faster Wi-Fi would be particularly useful when applied to smart home, Internet of Things, audio/visual, and medical devices, as well as telecommunications equipment.


Meet Alibaba’s payments guruAlibaba

Heads were turned earlier this year when a company most westerners had never heard of became the world’s largest initial public offering, raising $25billion.  

Alibaba accounts for 80% of all Chinese online retail sales, their founder, Jack Ma, is the richest man in China, and their Alipay app (think the Chinese PayPal) has more than 800 million Chinese accounts.

Steve Forbes recently sat down with the man in charge of Alipay, Jingming Lim, to talk about how they are signing up American companies, opening them up to the affluent Chinese shoppers.

A fascinating watch.


Private connectionAnonabox

An open source internet router promising anonymous browsing has blasted its Kickstater goal of $7,500, with over $375,000 pledged in just a few days.

Anonabox directs internet data through the Tor network, software designed to allow anonymous web browsing, concealing the computer’s current logged-in user name and the last-visited URL, IP address and other information disclosed through regular browsing.

However this does not mean you can get one and start downloading movies illegally, as download speeds are slowed a good amount by Tor.


Drone vs HawkHawk

Drones are having to battle regulators, privacy advocates, and now, it seems, birds of prey.

This clip shows a pilot flying their drone above a park in Cambridge, Massachusetts, when a hawk takes umbrage at its presence, so decides to show it a thing or two.

SEE ALSO: TechCrunch’s top 5 drones you can own

App of the week: ShuvShuv

Ringback tones that replace the boring ring-ring you hear when calling someone have been around for ages. But what about ringforward tones?

Shuv is one of many free messaging apps, but unlike its competitors, it lets you choose the ringtone your contacts will hear when you call or message them, whether it’s a song or a noise or even something you recorded yourself.

Availability: iOS and Android

Cost: App and some tones are free but access to the bigger Sony library will cost a couple bucks a month.


Dancing dronesCirque

What do you get when you combine drones with Cirque de Soleil? Beauty, that’s what.

The performance art legends paired up with ETH Zurich, a Swiss tech institution, to create a mesmerising video with drones disguised as lampshades dancing in unison around an engineer’s workshop.

The choreography is the result of algorithms that capture data from the robots and a motion capture system that acts like an indoor GPS. 

ETH Zurich researcher Markus Hehn says, “We believe it is inevitable that flying machines will find their way on major stages. We are just getting started.”


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