Ivan Poupyrev, the technical projects lead at Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects division, just gave a TED talk that was simultaneously a presentation and a demo of new technology.
Poupyrev was showing off Jacquard, a device that allowed him to use the sleeve of his jacket as a controller for his presentation slides. Google has talked about this work before, and there’s even a $350 Levi’s jacket available for purchase.
But today, Poupyrev actually used Jacquard to control his presentation, and laid out the vision behind the project. Although it didn’t quite work at first, once Poupyrev fixed things backstage and restarted his presentation, he could swipe forward on his sleeve to advance the presentation, or swipe back and revisit the previous slide.
Poupyrev didn’t offer many details about the Jacquard device itself, but he said it can be connected to clothing and other objects with just “a few electrodes,” and that it can recognize the object and then “reconfigure itself” to offer the right kinds of interaction.
The device he held up onstage was small and grey — I could have mistaken it for the key fob that I used to swipe into my old apartment. According to Poupyrev’s website, Jacquard also involves a conductive thread that can be woven on a standard loom.
Why would you want to control a presentation from your jacket sleeve? Poupyrev (who’s also worked as a researcher for Walt Disney Imagineering and Sony) described our current options for computer interaction as “disappointing,” so he’s been looking to “hack into the things you use every day and make them interactive.”
“We need to make technology that changes makers of things into makers of smart things,” he said.
As these everyday objects become more interactive and connected, Poupyrev said it’s important to avoid fragmentation: “We have to create a single computing platform, which powers all those things.” In his view, the cloud is that platform, with Jacquard serving as the connection between everyday objects and the cloud.
Poupyrev suggested that Google could give Jacquard tags to manufacturers to incorporate into their products. It’s rolling out first through the aforementioned partnership with Levi’s, and Poupyrev was wearing a Jacquard-powered Levi’s jean jacket onstage.
“This jacket I’m wearing can control my mobile phone and presentation, but it remains a jacket,” he said. In other words, you can add new interactivity to clothing or furniture without interfering with their core function — just as a smartphone can now browse the internet, take photos, install apps and more, while still allowing you to make phone calls.
“We would like to let people who make those things — artists and engineers, brands and craftsmen — to imagine and create this new world where things are connected, where you don’t need keyboards and screens and mouses to interact with a computer,” he said.
After the presentation, TED’s Chris Anderson joined Poupyrev onstage. Anderson sounded impressed by the demo, but he also pointed out that it could “terrify some people,” since it potentially creates “the biggest ever surveillance network” for Google or another company.
When asked why Google would bring such a device to market, Poupyrev said, “I’m not a businessman, I’m a researcher.” Anderson pressed him on whether there needs to be “some kind of contract” ensuring that this data isn’t abused, to which Poupyrev replied, “I completely agree.” He said that in Google’s initial partnerships, “the data is completely locked in.”
“We’re trying to figure out what exactly are we going to do with this data,” he said. “We’re sensitive to this particular concern.”
A Capable, Complicated Answer To Going Electric
Regular Sorento ownership starts at $30,090 (plus $1,325 destination), with Kia’s 2.5-liter four-cylinder gas engine. Step up to the Sorento Hybrid, however, and Kia adds electrification and takes away engine capacity. Priced from $36,690 (plus destination), there’s a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gas engine that — with the assistance of an electric motor — nudges up power while also improving fuel economy.
In fact, you get 227 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, reasonable if not excessive, compared to the non-hybrid’s 191 horsepower and 182 lb-ft of torque. Rather than the continuously variable transmission we’re used to seeing in mild hybrids, Kia instead relies on a six-speed automatic. The non-hybrid Sorento gets two more gears in its auto.
With both engines, front-wheel drive is standard on the lower trims and all-wheel drive is an option. Kia’s system has a center-locking differential, too, though it’s hard to imagine Sorento owners venturing too far off-road with their SUVs. It’s a $2,300 upgrade on the Sorento Hybrid EX and standard on the Sorento Hybrid SX Prestige (from $42,490 plus destination).
Google Pixel 8 Pro Gets A Serious Upgrade: Here’s What’s New
The front camera doesn’t change from the previous model, and clicks selfies at 10.5MP with a 95-degrees-wide field of view. Unlike the rear cameras, aperture values also remain the same on the front camera. But even with the same underlying hardware, the Pixel 8 Pro can now click sharper selfies thanks to the valuable addition of autofocus.
Speaking of other improvements, the Pixel 8 Pro gets better video recording capabilities with improved HDR+ recording, powered by what Google calls “Video Boost.” The Pixel 8 Pro is also the first to extend Night Sight to videos. In addition, the Tensor G3 chip has been reported to bring support for AV1 encoding at resolutions up to 4K at 60fps.
That means the Pixel 8 Pro will be more efficient at compressing raw video footage to web-compliant formats without much loss in quality. Further, the Audio Magic Eraser will eliminate distracting background noise and unwanted sounds from the audio.
Besides video, the Pixel 8 Pro also gets a horde of software features for photography. First, as previewed at Google I/O 2023, Magic Eraser is expanding new AI-based editing features that can create and fill portions of an image, and this tool is now called “Magic Editor.” Secondly, “Best Take” will help you fix or replace any unpleasant parts of a photo, ensuring you always have the best possible pictures.
These Are The Cheapest Places In America To Buy A Car
Before we list the cheapest cities across the U.S. to buy used cars, it is important to know that the national average price for a used car stands at $34,227. However, if you happen to shop in Cleveland-Akron (Canton), the average price of used cars sold in the area is $2,769 lower than the national average, with the typical used car costing just $31,458.
Buyers in Cincinnati, Ohio, come in at a close second with an average used car priced at $31,622. There isn’t much difference between the rest of the cities in the top 10, with Norfolk-Portsmouth-Newport News, Va., coming in at as the third least expensive city with an average used car costing $31,901 there.
The rest of the list includes cities like Fresno-Visalia, Calif. ($31,912), Orlando-Daytona Beach, Fla. ($31,971), Detroit, Mich. ($31,990), Columbus, Ohio ($32,177), Pittsburgh, Pa. ($32,286), Indianapolis, Ind. ($32,418), and Oklahoma City, Okla., ($32,443).
There are a few reasons why these cities are cheaper places to buy a used car. One is that the cost of living in these cities is generally lower than in other parts of the country. Another reason is that these cities have a lot of competition among used car dealerships. This competition drives down prices and gives buyers more bargaining power. Finally, these cities are all located in the Midwest and Northeast, which are two regions of the country that are known for having more used cars on the market. Having a larger selection of used cars to choose from means you are more likely to find a good deal.
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