The future always starts now and at the same moment turns into the past. But there are places where you literally feel like a hero of “the Fifth element”: a robot wakes up in the morning and like a weather forecast; to grow vegetables directly in the refrigerator; and an electronic mirror guess the age, mood, and along with the breed of pet that best get along with you. “MK” visited the largest international competition of technological developments and see what the world want to build current students from Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa and the two Americas.
photo: Elena Dobryuha
Smart hand prosthetic limbs for patients who have lost one or several fingers.
Competition Imagine Cup (can be translated as “Cup creative thinking”) for 14 years, has traveled almost the whole world: the finals were held in Spain, France, Portugal, Japan, Korea, Egypt, Brazil, Australia… In 2006 in India it was perhaps the most important scientific event of the year, which was welcomed by senior figures in the state; and three years ago, when the Cup reached St. Petersburg, it at different stages was attended by 25 thousand people from 71 countries (compared to 1 thousand of the 25 States at the start). This year’s final meeting of young inventors was appointed U.S. near Seattle, in the small town of Redmond, however, is highly symbolic for those associated with the world of innovation.
On the way from the airport taxi drivers, mostly of Indian origin, happy to tell tourists what technological oasis for those lucky enough to be. Three region-enterprises are the manufacturer “Boeing”, the world’s largest online store plus Corporation for software development. Even in the departure hall you can find the reception on the flight, dedicated employees… Drivers confidently nod in the direction of the large lake Washington: there he lives bill gates, founder of Microsoft. His house — mansion of three interrelated pine and glass pavilions with a total area of almost 4 thousand square meters — literally stuffed with electronics, and often supposedly given an electronic pin, which recorded their preferences: cinema, painting, music, TV shows.
However, for several years, gates has conceded the armchair of the head of the IT corporations — first, Steve Ballmer, and after (to this day) the company is headed by a native of India, Satya Nadella. The computer genius lately is a stronger philanthropic activities. So, on his Facebook page, you can find a series of posts about the problems of the poorest people in Africa, in particular, a billionaire calls to do the electrification of the Black continent. And he preaches the idea of healthy vegan food and invested more than one million dollars to support the production of meat and cheese for plant-based. However, the developments in the Corporation’s bill gates continues to follow, is an Advisor on technology and is directly related to the birth of the main innovators of the competition Imagine Cup.
Smart sensors for zucchini
Before the direct protection of their projects at the young inventors have the opportunity to meet with the “future technology”, which from the laboratories already working your way to the counters, however, is available mostly to the wealthy or advanced users. In a special demo-center visitors, “hang” in front of the exhibits not worse than boa in front of the fakir’s flute.
photo: Elena Dobryuha
One of the programmers recently have grown zucchini, watering and weeding which was monitored by smart sensors.
One of the global new products, which began to reveal last year, is a computer holographic glasses that embeds in our ordinary world of holograms: two-dimensional and three-dimensional weightless objects from light. They can be moved, to take apart, viewed from different angles, etc. At will the so-called HoloLens can be tied to computer games, calls via Skype and other applications. For example, for the first time in life you have to fix the electrical outlet. Call the master on the wall near the broken device appears its exact copy and projection specialist, who sees the same as you, and with the help of the hologram explains how to proceed. With a wonderful sense of authenticity in the glasses can “walk” on the surface of the moon or take the first steps on Mars. The glasses are controlled with gestures and voice, the system also detects movements of the eye and builds a hologram in the appropriate direction.
Another “modest” wearable device is a bracelet with Internet access, which shows the letters e-mail, weather, passed the day distance, reminders business calendar and a bunch of other useful information.
A whole series of exposed services on the recognition of age, emotions, taste preferences. Come to the monitor, the system scans your face and gives how old are you, happy are you at this moment or puzzled about something, what kind of dog best suits your personality and why… you can Also test virtual visage Studio and fitting room clothes: the mirror replaces a huge screen with the built-in camera; choose the fields the color of lipstick, eyeshadow, blush, earrings, necklace, various styles of clothes — all automatically overlaid on your moving picture.
No less interesting in the Garage (as is the case where people come to create something crazy-fancy-helpful staff IT corporations in his spare time). Tell one of the programmers recently have grown zucchini, watering and weeding which was monitored by smart sensors. In the kitchen — glowing glass post, through which the nutrient axis, completely covered with overgrown juicy lettuce, homemade mini greenhouse and refrigerator at the same time.
In Redmond is also home to the Centre for combating cybercrime, who works with the FBI, Interpol and intelligence agencies of different countries. Visitors can learn that the most common in the world of cybercrime are promoting child pornography (daily in the unloaded Network of more than 700 thousand illegal images), and financial fraud. And becoming a victim of cybercrime is much easier than many people think. “Every second 12 people in different countries become targets of cyber attacks (identity theft, hacking devices, sending out malicious spam, etc.), there are just over 1 million victims of cybercrime every day, the average of the annual losses to the world economy $3 trillion”, — quoted the expert.
“Today’s youth has become more responsible”
Every time young inventors are encouraged the main theme of competition — for example, “a world where smart technology makes everyday life easier”, “destroy the boundaries between us, allow you to live a healthier life”, “open the way to better education”, “support the environment”. The last few years, the participants give a global task — to think about the technologies that will allow us to solve the most difficult problems of our time.
photo: Elena Dobryuha
The robot assistant to the elderly can remind you of medication, to specify the time, date, weather forecast.
In a huge tent pavilion for trade fair of high technologies. The guys from Singapore brought a cute desktop robot Ruth (“Compassion”). “We wanted to create a friend and helper for elderly people who need a caregiver, or just for lonely old people”, — told “MK” inventors. The robot can move my hands, to blink, to smile, to make conversation with a host of different languages, in particular, to remind you of medication, to specify the time, date, weather forecast, monitor the work of household appliances: air conditioner, lights, TV etc in addition, through Ruth, you can make a Skype call, play a computer game or ask to take a photo. The amazing thing is that table perceive the robot as mundane as a plaster bust on the bookshelf.
The team from Tunisia came with the project “smart hands” (smart hand) — prosthetic limbs for patients who have lost one or several fingers. A significant advantage compared to similar — price: only $1500 with the potential to reach $ 300. The team was awarded the prize in the category social projects that can change people’s lives. The inventor with a congenital defect of the right hand for yourself shows the principle of operation of the device. Just below the elbow is put on the bracelet that reads muscle movement, leading to the phalanges. After the prosthesis is worn with a metal brush and soft fingertips. When the patient strains the muscles, as if to make a fist, the pulses from the bracelet via Bluetooth transmitted to the prosthesis and a metal brush is compressed. Specially for “MK” the student does the trick — gently takes off the table and picks up a fresh egg: “At the tip of each artificial finger has a sensor that detects the pressure on an object and tells the system how hard can it be to compress”.
On the table in front of Croatian students fell funny plush big head with glasses Juvo (Latin: “to help”). The main part of the project — e-application that helps to track the movement of a small child at home, in the high-risk areas (near the entrance to the kitchen, patio doors, bedrooms, sockets) are mounted smart sensors, and every time the kid touches via Bluetooth sends a signal to mobile parents. “In the future, we also install it in the microphone plush toy Juvo, to the approach of children to a dangerous place Juvo started singing or spoke with the voice of the parents: “OK, I see you, don’t go there” — says the programmer. — This will distract the child for a few moments and will allow parents to come back.”
Near the French team music plays. Their project is called “Octave” and is dedicated intuitive and learning to play piano. In stores now sell synths, allowing Amateurs to touch the musical keys due to alternate illumination. What is the innovation?! “The market has tools with built-in backlight function, and we have created a program attached to the projector. Thus, our kit is portable and can be used with any piano, even the old” — says “MK” guys.
Almost 2/3 of designs that aim to change people’s lives, this year was a medical slant: a mobile application for a quicker mastering of Braille for visually impaired people; the program for training with a virtual speech therapist; a game that allows you to diagnose the syndrome of “lazy eye” in children, etc. Although in General the range of projects is vast — from computer games to systems that can use the security service: for example, the program is able to analyze concentration of people and memorize the movement of each individual. As noted by the organizers, the students-innovators is very passionate about creating socially-useful technologies — 20 years ago their peers were not so responsible. Even computer games go beyond entertainment features. Thus, the Russian team brought home the game one of St. Petersburg schools will test as a tool in chemistry and physics: the main characters are elementary particles, they can push each other, receiving different reactions.
Inventors of all countries, unite!
“MK” asked one of the “evangelists,” Microsoft’s Kurt Stec to tell what direction IT may soon turn the world upside down, as in the time of the advent of the Internet and smart things.
photo: Elena Dobryuha
A whole series of exposed services on the recognition of age and emotions.
One of the main phenomena — the rapid development of cloud technologies. In particular, the platforms where engineers from any country can get free access to IT-solutions is a leading manufacturers and use them to develop their own products. In fact, it leads to the cooperation of the inventors of all countries.
If we talk about specific areas, certainly the future development of artificial intelligence, cognitive services: speech recognition, visual images, analysis of big data, enabling people to make the best decision. Now top IT companies are paying a lot of time to improve bots (robots) — computer programs that can mimic human behavior. In the future it will make user interaction with the device even more “human”.
By the way, according to us media reports, the Silicon valley is now sharply increased the demand for writers, psychologists, and other leaders of the humanitarian front, which hold the secrets of the human soul.