Week Ending: 14th August - A Roundup in I.T. & Tech News

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With a heatwave hitting the UK this week, there’s no doubt you’ve missed what’s been going on in the world of I.T. and tech whilst you’ve been out enjoying the sunshine. We can assure you, it’s been another busy week, but don’t worry, we will bring you right up to date with the most newsworthy headlines. From Google Lookout’s new update which helps the visually impaired, to the first ever test-tube baby rhino, and the launch of the longest-range electric vehicle to date, you’ll be caught up in no time.

Google Lookout’s new update

Google Lookout’s new update now enables blind people to read grocery labels thanks to the tech giant’s AI being able to identify food in supermarkets. It’s a revolutionary move that will significantly help the visually impaired.

The aim of Google Lookout is to help individuals with low or no vision identify things around them, the update has added a computer video to say aloud what food it thinks a person is holding based on its visual appearance.

Many apps available at the moment use product’s barcodes to identify what individuals are eating, however, Google Lookout is using image recognition to identify the products from its packaging.

Google Lookout possesses two million popular products in its database and its catalogue changes depending on where the user is in the world – what’s very impressive is that the app will even be able to distinguish between a can of corn, and a can of green beans!

A BBC report tested the app in a kitchen cupboard and found that Google Lookout had no issue in recognising a popular brand of American hot sauce, or another similar product from Thailand. In addition to this, the app could also correctly read spices, jars and tins from British supermarkets.

However, it was discovered that Google Lookout didn’t perform as well on fresh produce and containers with irregular shapes, such as onions, potatoes, tubes of tomato paste and bags of flour.

Never-the-less, we believe Google Lookout’s new update will help boost independence for people with sight loss and help identify many more products in their supermarket shop quickly and easily.

Read more here.

Scientists hope to save near-extinction of rhino species

This week, scientists have been trying to create the first ever northern white rhino test tube baby to save the endangered species from going extinct.

Scientists of Berlin’s Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, along with an international team of reproductive and veterinary experts, are trying to solve one of the world’s most pressing problems – they want to save a magnificent African mammal from extinction. The northern white rhino.

The northern white rhino is functionally extinct after decades of poaching, along with the wholesale loss of natural habitat. The only two remaining female northern white rhinos are unable to reproduce and the last northern white male sadly died in 2018.

But there is hope to save the African mammal, drawing on the expertise of fertility experts in Italy, scientists have managed to create three precious northern white rhino embryos, ready to implant into a less-endangered southern white rhino.

Now, scientists have tried to turn a 17-year-old female southern white rhino into a mother with the fertilised eggs that have been created in a lab in a bid to save the species.

This ‘rhino IVF’ is the first of its kind and it has the potential to prevent extinction!

Discover more here.

Lucid Motors claims its all-electric Air sedan will have a range of 517 miles

A California-based start-up, Lucid Motors, has announced that its all-electric sedan, the Lucid Air, will possess an astonishing range of 517 miles.

The Lucid Air is set to debut in September and it’s claimed that it will be the longest-range electric vehicle to date. Currently, this title is held by Tesla Model S Long Range which can travel a distance of 402 miles on a single charge.

Lucid Motors CEO and CTO, Peter Rawlinson, has stated that the Air will outmatch Tesla in terms of interior luxury and the motor will be able to accelerate from zero to 60mph in just 2.5 seconds, plus, the price of the Air will start at $100,000.

Rawlinson stated:

“A landmark in the history of EV. I believe that our 900-volt architecture, our race proven battery packs, miniaturized motors and power electronics, integrated transmission systems, aerodynamics, chassis and thermal systems, software, and overall system efficiency has now reached a stage where it collectively sets a new standard and delivers a host of world firsts.”

It was planned that the Lucid Air was going to be unveiled at the New York International Auto Show in April, however the event was cancelled as a result of coronavirus.

Now, Lucid Motors are building up to a virtual unveiling event in September by releasing bits of information about the all-electric sedan. Photos have been published of the Lucid Air’s factory construction, videos of the Air being put through winter testing, along with making the 400-mile journey between San Francisco and LA on just one charge.

This certainly sounds like some form of super car and we are excited to see its official unveiling.

Find out more here.

Those were some of this week’s biggest stories in I.T. and tech, but if you want more content, follow us across our four social media channels.