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Sunday, September 17, 2017


The Brand Equity Apple enjoys, is due to its positioning in the minds of people as an “alien” when it comes to technology. Apple if personified will be like Iron Mans’s “JARVIS”. November 3, will be a big day for tech savvy and hardcore loyalists of Apple as I-PHONE X (pronounced as I-PHONE 10) is going to be released worldwide.
Apple with its consistent drive towards excellence has become synonymous to innovation, with each new release it gets a new unique feature or the most upgraded features. Coming to I-PHONE X, it is packed with some best features at their highest upgraded level.

The Super Retina display screen, a 5.8 inches screen with 458 PPI &1000000:1 color ratio. It automatically adjusts its temperature and color based on the lighting you are in at any given time. I-phone X ditched the Home Button, it is all screen front phone with no buttons. The most exaggerated feature this time The Face Id, it’s not unique but Apple claims it to be the most secure and advanced version of the above. It features 8 different cameras and sensors that work in combination to recognize the owners face. If you wear glasses, grow a beard there’s no issue because of the infrared. This feature will be used for unlocking the phone, the third party apps and is a replacement to the Touch ID.

Coming to cameras, I-PHONE X has the same camera specifications as in I-phone 8, a 12 MP wide-angle primary camera with optical zoom and 4k video upto 60 FPS with ton of enhancements to improve color and reduce noise. Now the true depth camera allows to take selfies in portrait modes. Some how Apple managed to increase its battery life by 2 hours compared to I-phone 7. The best part for me is The Wireless Charging, I-phone X has Qi wireless charging, now Apple has a new charging mat capable of charging an I-phoneX, apple watch and Air Pods all at the same time. The build is entirely of sturdy glass and stainless steel, to match the color of the phone.The A11 Bionic processor with a M11 motion co-processor and GPU (Graphics processing Unit)makes it 30% more faster than A10’s GPU.

It is available in 64 GB and 256 GB configurations with £999 and £1,149 respectively in UK and starts at $999 in US. In India it is expected to be priced at 89,000 and 1,02,000 respectively. The pre-orders begin from 27 October.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8, with mostly common features with I-PHONE X and priced at ₹67,900.
Technology is at its peak and will reach its saturation soon, but the question here is, Are we using our technology productively?? Is this technology helping us to grow?? well that’s completely upon you, take it as a boon or it will be a bane.

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Note: The views expressed here are those of authors and not necessarily represent those of DOT Club as whole.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Autonomous vehicle

An autonomous vehicle is a one that is capable of sensing its environment and navigating without human input. Many such systems are evolving, but as of 2017 no vehicles permitted on public roads are fully autonomous. They all require a human at the wheel who must be ready to take control at any time. Think of it as a car with an auto pilot.

Driver error is the most common cause of road accidents in India. Cell phones, music systems, flashing lights are some of the common causes of distraction for drivers. Driverless vehicles, will hopefully prevent accidents by concentrating on the roads and environment for us.
The potential benefits of autonomous vehicles include reduced mobility and infrastructure costs, increased safety, increased mobility, increased customer satisfaction and reduced crime. Specifically, a significant reduction in traffic collisions; the resulting injuries and related costs, including less need for insurance. 

Autonomous vehicles are predicted to 

  1. Increase traffic flow; 
  2. Provided enhanced mobility for children, the elderly disabled and the poor; 
  3. Relieve travellers from driving and navigation chores; 
  4. Lower fuel consumption; significantly reduce needs for parking space;
  5.  Reduce crime and facilitate business models for mobility as a service, especially via the sharing economy. 
Essentially, the objective of autonomous vehicles on the roads are to save human lives, reduce costs and lessen resource consumption.
These vehicles use a variety of technologies like radar, laser, GPS, odometry, computer vision etc to detect their surroundings. Advanced control systems interpret sensory information to identify appropriate navigation paths, as well as obstacles and relevant signage. These vehicles also have the ability to distinguish among various objects on the roads.
Some of the most common technologies used in making a system fully autonomous are Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning System, Automated Guided Vehicle System, Night Vision and Hands-Free Parking.
Major players working towards achieving this modern wonder are Fiat, Apple, BMW, Audi, Intel, Google, Volvo, Bosch, Uber, Tesla & Ford. However, we are still far from achieving the target objective.
Now, there are levels of driving automation as well.
  1. Level 0 - No Driving Automation
  2. Level 1 - Driver Assistance
  3. Level 2 - Partial Driving Automation
  4. Level 3 - Conditional Driving Automation
  5. Level 4 - High Driving Automation
  6. Level 5 - Full Driving Automation

Most of the companies mentioned above are not even close to the finishing line. The maximum we have seen till now is Level 4 autonomy, and companies working towards achieving Level 5 in next few years.
We need just two eyes and two ears to drive. Those remarkable sensors provide all the info we need to, say, know that a fire engine is coming up fast behind you, so get out of the way. 

Autonomous vehicles need a whole lot more than that. They use half a dozen cameras to see everything around them, radars to know how far away it all is, and at least one lidar laser scanner to map the world. Yet even that may not be enough.
Possible technological obstacles for autonomous vehicles are:
Software reliability.
Artificial Intelligence still isn't able to function properly in chaotic city environments.
Susceptibility of the car's sensing and navigation systems to different types of weather or deliberate interference, including jamming and spoofing.
Avoidance of large animals requires recognition and tracking, and Volvo found that software suited to different animals needed to be made separately.
Autonomous vehicles may require very high-quality specialised maps to operate properly. Where these maps may be out of date, they would need to be able to fall back to reasonable behaviours.
Cost (purchase, maintenance, repair and insurance) of autonomous vehicle as well as total cost of infrastructure spending to enable autonomous vehicles and the cost sharing model.
A direct impact of widespread adoption of autonomous vehicles is the loss of driving-related jobs in the road transport industry. There could be resistance from professional drivers and unions who are threatened by job losses. 

In addition, there could be job losses in public transit services and crash repair shops. The automobile insurance industry might suffer as the technology makes certain aspects of these occupations obsolete.
Potential loss of privacy and risks of automotive hacking. Sharing of information through V2V (Vehicle to Vehicle) and V2I (Vehicle to Infrastructure) protocols. There is also the risk of terrorist attacks. Self-driving vehicles could potentially be loaded with explosives and used as bombs.
The lack of stressful driving, more productive time during the trip, and the potential savings in travel time and cost could become an incentive to live far away from cities, where land is cheaper, and work in the city's core, thus increasing travel distances and inducing more urban sprawl, more fuel consumption and an increase in the carbon footprint of urban travel.
There is also the risk that traffic congestion might increase, rather than decrease. Appropriate public policies and regulations, such as zoning, pricing, and urban design are required to avoid the negative impacts of increased suburbanization and longer distance travel.
Research shows that drivers in autonomous vehicles react later when they have to intervene in a critical situation, compared to if they were driving manually.

Even though we have so many disadvantages mentioned, we see that top companies in the world are gearing up to reach the level 5 of automation and make driving human free. However, it may be at least 5 more years till we see an autonomous vehicle on public roads.


Note: The views expressed here are those of authors and not necessarily represent those of DOT Club as a whole.

Sunday, September 03, 2017


he globe is filled with 75% of water but is the water all consumable? No, it is majorly saline. This is no article on geography or chemistry for the middle school readers. In this age of pollution, pure water and sanitation has become a challenge for many round the globe.
Soon, whole world will extract water from the air!!, No! This is no magic. Instead it is the magic wand of technology.
As we all know it is the basic need of life extracting the same, directly from the air, filtering all sorts of pollutants, would be a boon for people.

Existing technologies in this sector today either consume high electricity and/or require very high moisture content in the air from which, it extracts water. The problem now seems to be traceable. Robust systems are  developed that rely on readily available energy from the sun that is solar energy; and such machines can even work with utmost efficiency in arid regions.

Researchers are also behind systems which do not require electricity at all. The team intends to overcome the sole issues of the substance used to suck up moisture (for example, zeolites): aside from needing high humidity, they give up the trapped water only when heated, which consumes energy.

Researchers have designed  a systems around a class of porous crystals known as the metal organic frameworks(MOFs). By using specific combination of metals and organics, scientist select the chemical properties of each MOF. This customizes its uses. 1g of MOF crystal is the size of a marshmallow cube and has an internal surface area approximately equal to a football field (This is the one of the latest forms of technology used).

In April this year, engineers reported on a new device incorporating MOF-801 (made of zirconium fumarate) which has a high affinity towards water. It pulls moisture from air into large pores and explicitly transports the water into a collecting membrane in response to low-grade heat from natural sunlight. The device can extract 2.8 litres of water daily for every kg of MOF even at relative humidity levels as low as 21%. This can be of great use to Western and Central India.

Taking thoughts on a different note, a start-up called Zero Mass Water Dale, has begun selling a solar-based MOF system that does not have to be plugged into an electricity supplying grid. A solar panel gives energy that gulps air through a proprietary water-absorbing material and powers condensation of the extracted vapour into liquid. A small lithium-ion battery is also connected to the device when the heat from the sun is not intense enough. A unit with one solar panel, can produce 2-5 litres of liquid a day, which is stored in a 30-litre membrane that adds nutritious metals like calcium to it. It also adds magnesium to the water. This is done for the purpose of better taste and nutrition.

The future of this technology should be cutting cost to make it more popular in the market. Today, zirconium costs approximately $140-$150/kg.

The researchers have developed the system aiming to have it working significantly and easily anywhere in the world. An installed system with one solar panel sells in the U.S. for about $3,700. Over the past years, systems have been installed in the parts of U.S. and several other countries—such as Mexico, Jordan, Dubai and Lebanon, with funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development, to donate water to refugees of Syria. The demand for the same is projected to increase as far as the middle-east is concerned. It can be said:

“When most people think about solar, they think about electricity. In the near future, people will think about water abundance.”

Note: The views expressed here are those of authors and not necessarily represent those of DOT Club as a whole.