Trends of the Week 2018 – CW 21

Trends of the Week 2018 – CW 21

THE ARM AS A TOUCHSCREEN

With "LumiWatch", researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have developed a prototype of a Smartwatch that can be operated via a touch screen projected onto the arm. A 15 lumen laser projector enables a 40 square centimetre interaction area to be displayed. It is operated by gestures or by pressing the projection. The position detection of the fingers can be adjusted to the own arm by means of a 3D calibration. The "LumiWatch" can be connected to devices via WLAN and Bluetooth, and its lithium-ion battery allows the watch to be used continuously for one hour.

FULLY AUTOMATED BANK BRANCH WITH ROBOTS

China Construction Bank has opened a fully automated bank branch in Shanghai. Instead of employees, there is a robot equipped with face and speech recognition, artificial intelligence and a touch screen. He can communicate with customers and help them with their concerns and problems. Customers have access to ATMs and money exchange machines via face recognition or their bank cards and also receive help with real estate investments via virtual reality glasses. However, there are also security guards and human advisors available to VIP customers.

MEANS OF TRANSPORT FOR EMPLOYEES

The German automotive group BMW has developed the "Personal Mover Concept" electric means of transport for its employees. It has five wheels, a handlebar and a 60 x 80 cm base plate that can carry one person or heavy objects. The "Personal Mover Concept" is manoeuvrable, can reach speeds of up to 25 kilometres per hour and can be used both indoors and outdoors. It is intended to relieve those employees who have to cover long distances during work. Up to 30 kilometres can be covered per battery charge, so that one charge is enough for a complete shift.

SOLAR-POWERED FLYING DRONE

The British aircraft manufacturer Prismatic and the armaments group BAE Systems are developing a solar-powered flying drone for use at great heights. The "PHASA-35" will be used in remote sensing and environmental research and can remain in the air for up to one year without interruption. It is located at an altitude of 17 to 21 kilometres and is a cheaper alternative to satellites. The device has a wingspan of 35 meters and weighs 150 kilograms. A smaller prototype of the "PHASA-35" is now being tested for the first time.

INFINITELY RECYCLABLE PLASTIC

Researchers at Colorado State University have developed a polymer that has similar properties to conventional plastic and is infinitely recyclable. It is manufactured without solvents at room temperature and is therefore suitable for mass production. Unlike conventional plastics, the material can be returned to its original molecular form at a later stage with the aid of a catalyst without complicated processes and without toxic chemicals. It shares properties such as strength, durability, lightness and heat resistance with common plastics.