Weekly IT Digest #1: Finger instead of a Credit Card and Etsy vs WordPress
April 12th, 2016
Last week, Japan began testing payments using fingerprints, the Nest company, acquired by Google recently, discontinued Revolv hub, and Brave browser drove another nail into the business media. Read further for more.
$300 Refund for the Revolv Hub
One of the main IoT (Internet of Things) discussions of the last week was the closure of Nest’s Revolv division. Revolv division was engaged in the development of the “smart home” hub with the same name. The decision has angered many and even caused protests because the devices sold last year were disconnected from the Nest’s API. This means that those who bought the Revolv hub to control their “smart” homes, not just lost the ability to control their home, but all of its elements are now useless because now they are just gadgets not connected to each other. The buyers’ indignation wasn’t even stalled by the fact that Nest promised a $300 refund for the hub. Obviously, this story will undermine the hope of users for truly “smart” homes and IoT in general, at least until the market does not offer a unified standard for the hardware and software.
Artificial Joints and Lenses with Monitors
It’s not the first year than 3D-printing attempts has been used in medicine. There were both successful attempts of organs’ and tissues’ 3D-printing as well as dramatic fails. Besides, main challenges are the price and bulkiness of the printers able to print human tissues.
Last week, however, Australian scientists presented their new invention - BioPen - “smart” pen that allows to “print” cartilaginous tissue. At the heart of the BioPen are stem cells and the printing process resembles drawing the desired object in the air. The developers promise that the pen would cost only $10,000. However, at the moment, the BioPen exists only as a prototype, not yet approved for the medical tests.
After the rise (and, really, fall) of the “smart” glasses called Google Glass, IT companies are still brave enough to engage with the human body on a deeper level, for example, embedding small displays not into the glasses, but into the eye lenses. This is exactly what Samsung, the Eastern giant, is working on. Contact lenses from Samsung will get a display, antenna (we’re left to wonder whether it would stick out?) and the information will be shown when the person would be blinking. Besides that, the lenses will get a camera. Its main task would be to provide the user with the ability to use augmented reality with the help of such lenses.
In addition, the camera will receive such lenses. Their main task - to provide the user with the ability to use augmented reality with the help of such lenses.
Fingers Instead of a Credit Card
Japan began testing the use of fingerprints as a payment instrument instead of the usual credit cards. This way, the authorities want to save people from having to carry cash or credit cards. Payment will be done by a simple fingerprint scan. Right now, the experiment takes place at the souvenir shops, hotels, and restaurants located in the Tokyo’s tourist areas. The plan is to have the system up and running in full mode by 2020, the year of the Olympic Games in Japan.
"Brave" Brave Browser Went Further Than AdBlock
Etsy Has Decided to Compete with WordPress
Etsy, the e-commerce platform for handmade items, has decided to allow more freedom to its users. The sellers now can create their own sites, which will be associated with Etsy. All the data from the seller’s profile on Etsy will be imported automatically - products’ lists, prices, descriptions, reviews, etc.
The website has an adaptive design, convenient for viewing on mobile devices. This decision has been done due to the rising demand for a marketplace of their own. This solution provides an opportunity for building a personal brand, but without having to invest a lot of time and money in its creation and execution. The new Etsy tool will compete with other CMS websites - Squarespace, Wix, WordPress, and Weebly. Etsy platform will be responsible for payments, goods’ delivery, and the resolution of various disputes.
Such a website, connected with Etsy, will be free for the user for the first month and afterwards will cost $15/month.
Programming the Cell
Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have created a programming language that can create new DNA sequences and thereby add new functions to live cells. The language is based on Verilog - electronic circuit description language. Using this language, scientists can create biological circuits and diagrams, which can be used, for example, for illnesses’ diagnosis and medicine development. In agriculture, this technology will be utilized to create bacteria programmed to detect pests that might harm plants. The bacteria programming principles are the same as in the programming of a controller or computer. Easy! (Not.)