Weeknotes 159

End of September entering the last quarter of 2021. Nice to have you all reading the weekly update. To compensate for last week’s late arrival I thought to do an earlier delivery today.

Looking back at last week, next to the usual supervising of students, writing proposals, and working on the field lab, I attended a few presentations. I forgot about NEXT in Hamburg that had a livestream too as part of the new reality of hybrid experiences. I saw a conversation with Francesca Bria on the tech development of Europe compared to US And China. She ended with a catchy statement that I tweeted too: “The dystopia is what we are living now, the preferred future is what we have to build.” There was also a lot of mentioning of the metaverse in other talks what made me add “Hope it is not an escape into the metaverse :)” Not as a joke but with a serious feeling. I believe in the impact of mixing of digital and reality for some time for sure, but the danger is that it is more a marketing term than a concept to reflect on the world.

As I did not plan to view the conference I did not have time to follow other talks with full attention which is a pity and a consequence of tapping in livestreams. From the inaugural talk of Bregje van Eekelen that was at the same day, I like to share one of here premises: “If we are not humans but ecosystems, how does that change design, human-centered design”.

There are some things to explore here.For this week I will try to follow a bit of The Next Web. It will be the first time since their 2nd edition that I will not visit the conference on-premises (not counting last year’s full online edition). There is a hybrid option and both the location as the program do not urge me to spend the registration costs tbh. Still curious enough to watch a couple of talks.

I am curious to experience the General Seminar format from Near Future Laboratory for the first time. Heard good things about it.

The inevitable Metaverse frame

Dimension Studio: How fashion is being brought to the metaverse | Vogue Business

See, there you have it :-) fashion in the metaverse:“A London-based startup has worked with Balenciaga, Jean Paul Gaultier and H&M on avatars, VR, AR and virtual production. Here’s why all fashion brands should take note.”

Robots small and smaller

Winged microchip is smallest-ever human-made flying structure – Northwestern Now

“Inspired by the aerodynamics of wind-dispersed seeds, researchers developed microfliers, which could be broadly dispersed to monitor pollution and airborne disease.” Micofliers, or the birth of artificial insects.

Why there won’t be a robot uprising any time soon – BBC Science Focus Magazine

The title is a bit clickbait, the book that is introduced looks at how we work together with robots. Robots need us also “We tend to underestimate how our intelligence links to our physical interaction with the world through our body and its senses. When we look at a camera image, we understand what we see: the objects in it, and also their context and meaning.”

Living with technology

Kids who grew up with search engines could change STEM education forever

“Modern college students aren’t organizing their files into folders and directories, forcing some professors to rethink the way they teach programming.”This process has been developing for years, and is mentioned often; the next generations have a different relationship with information and knowledge gathering. Nothing wrong, just evolution. Still good to think about the consequences of course.

Telling the computer what to think about

It is a nice example of the human-machine collaboration as Matt Webb the new iOS focus-function describes.

Building a collaborative relationship with a travel buddy for multimodal journey planning 

Yeonju Jeon graduated end of August. In this post, she describes her project. For those busy with developing of future mobility as a service, this might be useful.

Entirely new materials unearthed with AI tool 

“A new artificial intelligence tool, developed by researchers at the University of Liverpool, has already led to the discovery of four new materials.”Feels like another example how good collaboration of humans and technology deliver the most valuable results.

The word for web is forest

“What trees tell us about the internet”?

The Future of Work – How automation will force us to…

“We are not in a second industrial age. That may be the dream of those who really want to double down on the dehumanizing legacy of the past few hundred years of employment. ”Douglas Rushkoff is always addressing the attention points for new technology development in a responsible way.

And specifically autonomous cars

‘Self-Driving’ Cars Begin to Emerge from a Cloud of Hype 

“Although some observers may perceive that “the bloom is off the rose” for automated driving in the current posthype environment, the current situation actually marks a sign of progress. More realistic views of the opportunities and challenges for automated driving will motivate better-focused investments of resources and alignment of public perceptions with reality.”

E-lead positive outlook for 2022 driven by autonomous vehicle systems

“Head-up displays (HUD), advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), and on-board computers are the three main axes of E-lead Electronic.”We might apparently expect some serious steps in the development of autonomous support services. Would it be possible that we can drive on highways autonomously in the next decade?

And other things

EU proposes mandatory USB-C on all devices, including iPhones

A lot to do about this regulation proposal of the EU “The European Commission has announced plans to force smartphone and other electronics manufacturers to adopt a common charging standard.”I saw (and listened to in podcasts) different visions; is this necessary or not? My feeling is that it might be better to have principles to follow and not literally a specific technology.

Apple Is Working on iPhone Features to Help Detect Depression, Cognitive Decline

More news on Apple. “Apple is working on technology to help diagnose depression and cognitive decline, aiming for tools that could expand the scope of its burgeoning health portfolio.”Not sure. I trust the company more than others, but it is a bit dangerous to give all kind of personal information to a commercial organization.

We Need Software Updates Forever 

Manufacturers should maintain their software and firmware indefinitely” Interesting view on the consequences of the right to repair.

Till next week!

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I am a design director at Structural. I curate and organize ThingsCon Netherlands and I am chairman of the Cities of Things Foundation. Before I was innovation and strategy director at tech and innovation agency INFO, visiting researcher and lab director at the Delft University of Technology coordinating Cities of Things Delft Design Lab.