Future tech: Robot cars, smart shirts and real-time translation

A robotic car with no steering wheel from Google. A 3D-printable robotic kit from Intel. Here are some quick hits on talk about the future of tech.

• Google has a prototype self-driving electric car with no steering wheel or pedals, as Brandon Bailey wrote. The company is testing the cars, whose top speed is 25 mph,  but has no plans to sell them soon. Google co-founder Sergey Brin said at the Code Conference Tuesday that the autonomous car “project is about changing the world for people who are not well-served by transportation today.” He reportedly brought up Uber as a possible partner.

• Could Intel get in early on a tech trend instead of having to play catch-up like it has with mobile? CEO Brian Krzanich, who said “we missed the tablet, we missed that transition,” talked today at Code about both a robotic kit and a smart shirt.

People with about $1,600 to spare could 3D print a robot named Jimmy, and customize it by downloading apps that allow it to perform certain tasks. “It’s like a smartphone with legs,” Intel futurist Brian David Johnson reportedly said.

As for the wearable shirt — aren’t they all — it has sensors that can detect heart rates and other vital signs. It will be available starting this summer.

• And from Microsoft, real-time language translation when talking on Skype. It’s a small world after all, and Microsoft’s Gurdeep Pall, corporate vice president of Skype and Lync, refers to the offering as part of the company’s “journey to break down another barrier to human productivity and connection.” New Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said Tuesday at Code that Skype Translator will be available in beta sometime this year.


Photo: An artistic rendering of Google’s self-driving car. (Google via Associated Press)


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  • matthew nosar

    These are the kinds of things we as a race of beings need to work on. We don’t NEED new weapons and harm causing items. We need more items that will help us communicate with each other and further our society.

    • MotoSavant

      Well said bro! No war ..Only Peace!

      • matthew nosar

        But it isn’t even peace. We just need cooperation between everyone. We don’t have to all live in harmony people just need to realize we are all humans and tolerate each other.

  • MotoSavant

    how far do you guys think the self-driving cars are safe? IMO there should be some manual control in the peaks moments atleast when the robot cannot take a decision. @ http://goo.gl/JrJ1hC

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