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News of the week selected by Impactscool – March 26, 2018

26 March 2018 | Written by La redazione

The most important news on technology and the future, selected from all over the the web for Impactscool’s readers


Sustainable bricks: “green” turn for Lego

Lego winks at the environment. The Danish company, which has been producing the famous bricks for over 60 years, has put on the market some pieces made of plant-based plastic. The first green legos will be some botanical components such as bushes, trees and leaves. This pieces represent the 1-2 percent of the whole production, but the goal of Lego is to achieve a total sustainable production by the year 2030.
These new bricks are made of polyethylene, a soft, resistant and complex plastic that, despite the plant origin, doesn’t present any differences from traditional ones. Moreover, the new pieces are identical to the standard ones and they can be compatible with the old bricks, that has been produced for decades.
In 2012, Lego announced a corporate initiative to find more “sustainable” materials for its block pieces, which the company estimates are produced to the tune of “more than 60 billion” a year. This initiative was followed in 2015 by the announcement of a corporate Sustainable Materials Center and by some recruitments for the “Research and development” sector. For Lego it’s an important step towards a 100% sustainable future.

Switzerland tests drones into its air traffic control

We are at the dawn of a new era for air traffic control and Switzerland is the leader of this revolution. Starting in June, the Swiss country will begin to merge the data and application of the current air traffic control operator, Skyguide, with the AirMap software platform. It’s a digital airspace mapping system that interacts with drones through a web interface, already used by several manufacturers, both commercial and military.
How does AirMap work? The platform will have two main components. The first is a digital register of drones and their operators, similar to the US aircraft registration system. The second is a data sharing and digital communication conduit that allows drone operators to quickly request air traffic control authorization to fly in a specific area and to receive notification of airspace areas that are geofenced and therefore offlimits to small drones. The implementation of AirMap will take place in four steps between 2018 and 2021, with levels of integration gradually increasing. The Swiss experimentation is part of a larger European initiative, U-Space, which aims to create a digital infrastructure to allow millions of drones to operate in full safety beyond the visual range in the airspace approved. This is only the first step towards a fully integrated system, but the beginning looks promising.

Augmented reality with sounds: the Bose’s challenge

Augmented reality is usually associated with sight, but can it also be applied to hearing? Bose, an American company famous for high-quality speakers and headphones, is working on a pair of glasses that provide an augmented reality experience. The Bose Ar, this is the name of the device, are not equipped with a camera but, thanks to the sound system and sensors, they are able to immerse the user in the context. Moreover using the data sent through Bluetooth by the smartphone’s Gps, the Bose Ar are able to receive all the information on the user’s position and his movements. Thanks to the speakers positioned at the ears, simply looking at a building or a restaurant, the users will be able to receive opinions, rating and other relevant information, but also listen to a higher volume conversations that occur a few feet away. The glasses are made with 3D printers and their weight is limited. But will they succeed in breaking into the market? It will depend on how much they will be able to be really useful and on the work of developers. Bose has established a $50 million fund for Bose AR developers, and it already lists 11 software partners, including Yelp, TripAdvisor, and fitness company Strava.

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