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Virtual reality makes presidential debate virtually unwatchable

Since Richard Nixon sweated and scowled his way through the first televised presidential debate with John Kennedy in 1960, TV’s importance in American politics has been well established: Being a successful politician, or at least getting elected, requires knowing how to look good on camera.

But if the first debate for president streamed live in virtual reality is any guide, it’s doubtful that this burgeoning technology will have much impact on politics whatsoever.

On Tuesday night, NCC partnered with virtual reality startup NextVR to make the Democratic presidential debate in Las Vegas available in real time in virtual reality to audiences anywhere, as long as they had a Samsung Gear VR headset.

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Tokyo technology show introduces aerial origami and ping-pong robots

Named after an indigenous word meaning ‘two’, the two-seater can run for up to 60 km on a battery that charges in three hours. The brainchild of industrial mechanic Daniel Pavez, it is an updated version of a previous model. Despite being bigger it weighs 20 percent less and has been improved in terms of energy efficiency, safety and engineering.

“At first it started as personal project but later it turned into a technical challenge that we tried to resolve by developing a mode of transport that would offer both the same safety and comfort as a traditional car, combined with the agility of a motorcycle and the efficiency of a bicycle, plus trying to make it as economical as possible,” he says.

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Social networks: taking the law into your own hands

Vevey, on the shores of Lake Geneva. This quiet town was recently shaken by a violent robbery attempt against one of its jewelry stores. The owner managed to catch one of the thieves but two others escaped. When the owner’s son arrived at the store, he found his father injured. His first reaction was to retrieve the CCTV video in order to identify the robbers and inform the police. He also decided to share the images using the social networks.

“The idea was to provide assistance on a broad scale and in record time to the police forces who were working to defend us,” says Yannick Meylan. The suspects’ description was rapidly shared by thousands of social network users and led to their arrest: just five hours after the attempted robbery, the pair were located and arrested.

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Cracked screens: the smartphone makers’ challenge

More than 1 billion smartphones are sold in the world each year and manufacturers all face the same challenge: how to make the touchscreen glass more resistant. Screen breakage is now the leading type of phone damage. Consumers want phones that are both bigger and thinner, offsetting strides made in strengthening glass

At New York based glass-maker Corning, researchers are working on ways to make smartphone screens stronger. Corning manufactures the touchscreen glass for smartphones by leading brands like Apple and Samsung. Screens are tested to see how they respond to pressure, to being dropped and to falling objects. The researchers even test how phones fare when they bump against keys, coins and other items inside users’ pockets and purses.

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The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider’s web.

– Pablo Picasso
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3D scanning makes choosing lingerie easier, says Hong Kong store

A high-end lingerie shop in Hong Kong is promising clients a whole new shopping experience thanks to its 3D-assisted made-to-measure service. A 3D scanning mirror at Rigby and Peller’s takes accurate measurements of a client’s bust in less than a minute, supplementing the tape measurements taken by the lingerie stylist, who can then recommend the most suitable styles and colours for each figure and shape.

The aim is to combine modern technology with a stylist’s expert knowledge to reduce the time it takes to chose an item.

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Fashion and technology merge to improve consumer experience

With the Internet revolutionising the way we shop, customers are increasingly avoiding dressing rooms, opting instead for the comfort of online shopping that usually offers liberal return policies. In a bid to entice customers back, some shops have been testing various amenities including so-called intelligent dressing rooms that allow users to “try on” different items without having to actually change clothes.

Going one step further, the recent Fashion Tech in Tel Aviv aimed at bringing together the worlds of fashion and technology to see how the two can work together.

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Frankfurt Motor Show: the coolest and craziest cars of tomorrow

Getting a lot of attention at the Frankfurt auto show was the Porsche Mission E, a futuristic, sleek, fully electric sports car from the German luxury car maker. Unlike anything on the road at the moment, it has no rear view mirrors, but instead relies on cameras to cover the blind spots. Capable of travelling 500 km on a single charge, it can replenish its batteries within minutes.

A taste of the car of the future according to its maker: “Since with a concept car you would like to really give a glimpse of the future, you have as a designer much more freedom. You can dare to do things that at least nowadays are not yet legal, but you hope that they will become legal in the future. So we have more freedom,” says chief designer Michael Mauer.

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Australian technology transforms how farmers will manage fields

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