Welcome to the BYTE, where we serve up the latest home and tech news from the last week for you to sink your teeth into.
This week we’re taking a byte out of Nissan’s car subscription program, edible water blobs, the future of doctor training, generating electricity from moisture, and Twitter’s new feature. Dig in!
Nissan’s Car Subscription Program
Car subscription services is not a new concept. In fact, many luxury automotive makers have bought into this idea – Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, etc. However, popular car maker, Nissan, is jumping on the bandwagon and creating a program – dubbed Switch -that involves tiers. For only $699 a month, subscribers can drive away with either an Altima, Rogue, Pathfinder, or Frontier. And for $200 more each month, subscribers can get access to even more Nissan models. The subscription fee includes insurance, delivery, cleaning, roadside assistance, and regular maintenance. The catch? It’s only available in Houston… for now at least.
Edible Water Blobs
Notpla, a startup that is changing the way we think about packaging, has developed a new way to drink water – through a blob. The package itself is made from seaweed and plant extracts and is absolutely edible. In fact, co-founder Pierre-Yves Paslier compares the experience to biting a cherry tomato – “You put it in your cheek and bite on it. It explodes, so it’s quite a surprising experience.” The company is also expanding its efforts into other uses like sachets. Will this be the future of packaging? Quite possibly.
The Future of Doctor Training
In the United States, a person spends anywhere from 11-15 years training to become a doctor. But, what if there was a way to expand a doctor’s training and knowledge through the use of technology? Level Ex, a startup that makes smartphone video games for doctors, is changing the way ongoing medical training is viewed. In fact, these games place doctors in a simulation that ranges from intubation, colonoscopies, administering anesthesia, and more. Furthermore, a study done by an international group of academics and the World Health Organization showed that gaming may improve doctors’ knowledge.
Generating Electricity Through Moisture
Scientists at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst have found a new way to generate electricity – through moisture in the air. The device itself is an air-powered generator that is hooked up to electrodes to generate an electrical current from water vapor that is found in the atmosphere. The generator does not require sunlight or wind and can even generate power in areas such as the Sahara Desert. Jun Yao, an assistant professor at the University thinks that with this small device, they can connect many of them to power up things and they could even become small wearable devices, portable electronics or remote stations.
Twitter’s New Feature
And no, it’s not an edit your tweet button (although that would be ideal). The new feature actually allows users to add to their previous tweet by seeing a ‘continue thread’ option. In fact, this feature goes far beyond the 140 character limit and can be used as a de facto edit option. The goal of this new feature is to boost threads and reduce broken threads. Whether this will be a success or a bust has yet to be determined as Twitter just rolled out this update.