Future Tech: Drones collect whale snot mid-air

June 2, 2016 Tom Connon

This week we're excited about cool innovations featuring two of the biggest creatures on the planet: whales and Google.

 

Google and Levis team up to create the "smart jacket"

From engadget: "Google and Levis announced a partnership at Google I/O last year that would bring "smart clothing" to the market using a technology codenamed Project Jacquard. The tech, which is basically composed of conductive fabric woven into the garment to create an interactive patch that senses touch, pressure and even your hand's position before you touch the fabric. It's a wild idea, and this year Google's Advanced Technology and Products (ATAP) group is showing it off in an upcoming product: the Levis Commuter jacket with Jacquard technology built right in."

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Google patent: Sticking humans to cars?

From engadget: "Self-driving cars are pretty smart, but it's inevitable that one will eventually hit a pedestrian. To avoid any nasty injuries, Google haspatented a simple but crazy solution: an adhesive coating that would stick humans to the hood like flypaper. There's no guarantee that such a system will be used -- Google stressed this to the San Jose Mercury News -- but it does hint at the company's crazier, off-the-wall thinking. The patent describes an "eggshell-like" coating that would protect the adhesive layer during normal driving conditions. Only the force dealt by a collision would be enough to break it, catching the pedestrian near-instantaneously."

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Google self-driving car flypaper engadget

 

"Snotbot" catches whale sneezes mid-air to help save the oceans

From Motherboard: "Whale “blow” is exactly what it sounds like. To us, it’s that warm blast of snot, vapor, and biological material that comes rocketing out of a whale’s blowhole. But to marine biologists, it’s a matter more precious than gold.

"Getting snot bombed by a whale—while messy and moist—can allow scientists to analyze the mammal’s DNA, microbiome, stress and pregnancy hormones. However, as you can imagine, situating a petri dish above a 40-foot leviathan’s head as it surfaces can be quite a doozy, even for the most intrepid of ocean explorers.

"The particular challenges of harvesting whale blow were what inspired the conservation and research nonprofit Ocean Alliance to create the Snotbot: a custom-built drone that’s not only capable of collecting samples but is also completely non-invasive, or so the organization alleges."

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See more Future Tech articles in our IT & Tech section. Have a cool innovation story you want featured? Tell us in the comments below.

About the Author

Tom is a previous small business owner/operator and now has over 17 years of telecom experience. As a Portfolio Manager he specializes in product/service development, managing technical workforces and Customer/Segment Marketing. Outside of the office, Tom can be found shuttling his kids around from Lacrosse, hockey and ringette practices at a rink near you.

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