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 North’s smart glasses, Ford’s lighting trick, Neighborhood Goods, a t-shirt that generates electricity, edible coffee cups, and pop cultural babies. Dig in!
Smart Glasses, the New Eye Tech
You’ve heard of smart phones, but what about smart glasses? North, a smart glasses maker, has recently announced its improved version of the company’s smart glasses product. The first product, dubbed Focal, was recently discontinued.
The company promises that the new version will be 40 percent lighter and will have a much better display and resolution than the first version. North’s new product will be called Focals 2.0, and is said to look indistinguishable from a normal set of glasses. Which poses another question – will contact lenses be the next thing to become smart?
Lighting Affects Body Temperature
Winter is among us. For electric car users, that means having to use extra energy to warm up in their car, subsequently draining their car battery quicker. Fortunately, Ford Motors has been experimenting on how to solve this problem. They started testing with lighting hues and concluded that the color of lighting manipulates our body temperature – red lights make humans feel warmer and blue lights have the opposite effect. Shockingly enough, the actual temperature is not changing, but our body is tricked into thinking that the temperature has drastically changed. Keep an out on these warmer and colder color hues in future ford models!
A New Kind of Department Store
Online shopping has taken over the consumer retail space. In fact, most people prefer online shopping and who can blame them? Why leave the comfort of your home when you can do it all from the comfort of your own bed? Unfortunately, because of online shopping, a lot stores are having to close down their business. One New York-based store in particular has figured out how to evolve and thrive in the shopping world. This startup, called Neighborhood Goods, is opening up a space in the Chelsea Market in the Meatpacking District. What makes this store different from the other department stores? Instead of having one company’s products, it’s inhabiting several different online startups and established companies. Some of the brands involved include Dollar Shave Club, Fossil, and Wild One. The brands can be adaptive in how much space they occupy depending on what they are using the space for. As a result, this helps them maintain how much space they need to invest in using to sell their products.
Generate Energy Using the T-shirt on Your Own Back
People are always trying to figure out ways to save money. Did you ever think you could save money from your shirt? Well, thanks to the University of Málaga in Spain and the Italian Institute of Technology, you can! Researchers from these schools have figured out a way to make electricity from your t-shirt when you exercise. Electricity is then produced from a body temperature contrast between the person who wears the t-shirt and the temperature of the surrounding environment. The difference between temperatures is then converted into thermal energy. And the best part? This thermal energy is enough to charge your batteries or even charge your phone!
Edible Coffee Cup
One way of reducing the amount of waste you use is to make the waste edible. A New Zealand airline, Air New Zealand, has recently transitioned from using paper coffee cups to edible coffee cups, therefore reducing the amount of waste they produce. The airline’s previous cups were compostable, but they wanted to remove them from landfills completely. The airline teamed up with a local family-owned company, Twiice, to test out their edible biscotti coffee cups in hopes of reducing the waste from the 8 million coffee cups they serve per a year. These cups are one of the many changes the airline has contributed to become more eco-friendly.
The Battle of the Baby Pop Cultural Icons
There’s been a lot of buzz about baby Yoda from The Mandalorian series. One of the questions that’s circling around is whether or not baby Yoda is the “cutest” pop cultural baby? Other pop cultural babies in the running include baby Groot (Guardians of the Galaxy) and our Christmas favorite, baby Grinch. The choice is up to you – which one do you choose?