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 Amazon’s new home, a solar-powered apartment complex, mosquito-resistant clothes, AI for appliances, and pasta straws. Dig in!
Amazon Sells What Now?
Amazon has taken over the online market with the variety of products they sell through their website. But did you know that they now sell houses too?
That’s right! Amazon produces real estate, but you’ll have to supply the land the house will sit on. Their newest product, The Cliff, is a three-bedroom, two bathroom home, sized at 774-square-feet, for the price of $105,000. Once purchased, they’ll deliver the home in two pieces that can be put together by skilled workers.
Solar-Powered Apartment Complex
This apartment complex, residing just outside of Salt Lake City, is the next big thing to help the environment. All of the apartment units run on solar-powered energy that is gathered from the solar power on the roof, and then is stored inside a large battery in each unit. The solar power and battery work together to make their own power plant. Each battery is about the size of a refrigerator and were created by a company called Soleil Lofts. These buildings are also energy efficient so tenants will save money on their utility bills.
Most people get pestered by these insects, but what if you could protect yourself from mosquitos sucking your blood? There are some products like DEET, which help protect you from mosquitos right now, but they’re not the safest resources. DEET was originally used as a pesticide, and is linked to some cases of brain disease. Graphene, however, is a material made out of carbon atoms that have peeled off of graphite, and recently, researchers said it can protect you from mosquitos. Researchers have asked volunteers to cover their arm in graphene material and stick their arm in a space filled with mosquitos. The results from this test concluded that the mosquitos couldn’t break through the material and pierce skin. Clothes made out of graphene are currently being developed and are said to be inexpensive.
AI For Appliances
AI is will soon be used for household appliances like your fridge. LG plans to introduce their new feature, called “Proactive Customer Care”, at the IFA Tech Showcase located in Berlin. This feature will alert you on their app if there is a maintenance problem with your appliance, such as a temperature decrease or bad air flow. This feature will also be applied to LG’s washing machines and bottom-freezer refrigerators, and will help you expand your appliance’s lifespan.
Straws Made From Pasta
Plastic straws are about to be banned in the U.K so they will either have to deal without straws or suffer the taste of the paper straws? A startup company, called Stroodles, may have found an unusual material that works as well as a straw. The material they are using is… you guessed it – pasta! Users have confirmed that this straw doesn’t get soggy and it doesn’t make the drink taste any different.
Book a One-Night Stay Inside a Sandcastle
In honor of this year’s Coney Island Beach Sand Sculpture Competition, Booking.com created a life-size sandcastle that you can sleep in. The downside? There’s no bathroom. The upside? Bragging rights to say you stayed overnight in a sandcastle.