Airship

Innovation Lab: Pregnancy Alarms, AI Composers and Booze Vision

Tim Maytom

At Mobile Marketing we're proud to help tech companies showcase their cutting-edge solutions, whether it's on our website, in our magazine or at our Mobile Marketing Summits. Giving a platform to companies that are breaking new ground in their market brings audiences one step closer to the ideas and developments that will shape tomorrow.


In that spirit, our Innovation Lab feature takes a step beyond the world of apps, ads and handsets with slightly bigger screens, in order to share some of the tech world's innovative ideas. They might be interesting, disruptive or just outright strange, but these are the stories that have caught our eye over the past week.

South Korean Trains Get Bluetooth Pregnancy Alarm
south korea pink light
Pregnant passengers on the Busan-Gimhae Light Rail service in Busan, South Korea can now use a Bluetooth system to alert other passengers, ensuring that they can get a seat during rush hour and other busy periods.

The Pink Light campaign was tested by 500 pregnant women over a five-day period in Busan, and used Bluetooth-enabled beacons which the women carried with them. When they boarded a train, a pink light would activate next to a priority seat, alerting anyone sitting in it to vacate it for the pregnant woman.

"Consideration for pregnant women should prevail and they should be able to use public transportation more easily and conveniently with this policy," said Suh Byung-Soo, mayor of Busan. "Women should be able to use city facilities easily even when they are expecting."

The solution is certainly a lot more high-tech than the 'Baby on Board' badges that pregnant women can request from TfL when travelling aboard London transport. Time will tell whether it is any more effective in ensuring passengers who are expecting get a seat during the rush hour crush.

Plastic Shredder Recycles Rubbish for 3D Printing


Developments in 3D printing are given us a glimpse of a world where creating complex items from plastic is more efficient and accessible than ever before, but the question of where we get all this plastic from still remains, especially when so much already exists in the world as waste.

An intern at Roskilde University's FabLab RUC research lab has found a solution in the form of a shredder than breaks down plastics into small enough pieces that they can be melted and reused in 3D printing or for other purposes.

Waste materials like plastic bags and other thin plastics are inserted into the laser-cut teeth of the shredder and emerge as plastic fluff, which can be heated up in conventional household ovens to create either sheet material or filament for 3D printing.

The designs for the device have been released online with step-by-step instructions, which include a hopper safety extension to prevent anyone's fingers from getting trapped in the powerful gears of the shredder.

shutterstock_79494181Google Releases First Piece of Music Written by AI
Google's advances in AI and machine learning have been under focus recently with the release of its first virtual assistant, which it plans to integrate into a number of devices and services. The company's Brain Team, which works on the cutting edge of artificial intelligence, has a new project underway, Magenta, which aims to create AIs which can in turn create art.

The team has had an early success, releasing the first piece of music written via machine learning, without any human input. The tune, which you can listen to here, is a 90 second piano melody which the team placed a drum beat under in order to highlight the computer's use of harmonic rhythm.

"Machine learning has already been used extensively to understand content, as in speech recognition or translation," said Douglas Eck, one of the researchers from the Brain Team. "With Magenta, we want to explore the other side –developing algorithms that can learn how to generate art and music, potentially creating compelling and artistic content on their own.

Siemens Deploys Army of Team-working Robot Spiders


Livio Dalloro, head of product design, modeling and simulation research at Siemens Corporate Technology, with one of the SiSpis

Livio Dalloro, head of product design, modeling and simulation research at Siemens Corporate Technology, with one of the SiSpis



If walking into your workplace to find it overrun with a horde of robotic spiders that are working together to solve problems and carry out their objective sounds like the kind of nightmare you'd have after too much cheese, be thankful you don't work in one of Siemens' plants in New Jersey, where that's exactly what researchers are working on.

The Siemens Spiders, or SiSpis, have been designed to make it easier to repurpose existing factories for automation, and can work together to 3D print structures and parts in real time. The robots can also be easily reprogrammed to carry out other tasks, a versatility that distinguishes them from many other industrial robots and could make them incredibly useful.

Rather than installing expensive robots that can only perform one or two tasks well, the SiSpis can theoretically take on a wide range of tasks, depending on whats most important at any given time. The robots have onboard cameras and laser scanners that interpret their environment, and ensure that together they can cover complex designs with their 3D-printer arms.

The robots also have a degree of autonomy, and are capable of making their way back to their charging station when running low on power, and handing off their current task to another spider within the system. The bots communicate using Bluetooth and wi-fi to create a hivemind that means tasks are always tackled in the most efficient way.

polaroid shot glass cameraGet a Vodka-Eye View with Polaroid's Shot Glass Adapter
Polaroid's tiny action camera, the Polaroid Cube, has a wide range of accessories that make the most of the cam's compact form factor, from standards like helmet mounts and tripods to flexible magnetic grippers and fish-tank suction pads. However, the latest product goes one step further with a shot glass adapter.

The dishwasher-safe plastic shot glass has a versatile square mount in its base that can hold the cube camera for hands-free videos and photos, either angled outward for cleverly-disguised candid shots, or upwards for a unique down-the-throat perspective.

The adapter makes for a fun accessory at a party or event, or if you often wake up the next morning struggling to remember exactly how many drinks you've had, a fantastic aide for remembering the night before.