Innovation Digest: UAV Delivery, Windows 8.1

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By Anshul Kumar Gupta

(Click on titles to read from the news sources)

UAV Delivery: It’s quite difficult to comprehend any benefits of a UAV drone, but people seem to have found one in Australia! A tech startup, Zookal in Sydney plans to deliver textbooks bought online using unarmed vehicles, drones! A test flight is slated for November, and if all goes according to plan, proper commercial deliveries will begin in March. The FAA will need first need to outline a clear policy for commercial drone usage before such a system can make its way to the US, something it hopes to do in 2015.

3D Scanning: 3D printing is everywhere! Considered the immediate future of technology by many, 3D printing is radically revolutionizing our perspective on seeing products take shape. Now, Makerbot is attempting to make a scanner to convert any object into a 3D computer image. The Digitizer is essentially a turntable, a webcam, and some lasers. It uses Makerbot’s conveyor app to control the motion of objects on the turntable and then scans the points generated by the laser during the rotation. It works best with light, matte objects like ceramics, clays, and non-glossy plastics, but with a little glare-reducing baby powder you can scan just about everything as long as its taller than two inches and small enough to fit on the platform. Unbelievable, don’t you think?

Windows Update: Windows 8.1, the latest iteration to the Windows 8 Operating System, was recently released by Microsoft but it failed to generate much buzz. Check out this article before upgrading your system! Windows 8.1 is an incremental upgrade to the operating system, which means it’s not a major overhaul but a tweak of the prior version. However, Microsoft added some key features sorely lacking in Windows 8. That includes a new, modified Start button, as well as the opportunity to boot the PC directly to the old-style desktop mode.

iPhone Woes? : The recent launch of iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C excited a lot of loyal users. A colorful, cheaper new iPhone does seem attractive, but market trends indicate otherwise. The iPhone 5C, unlike its advanced version 5S, has failed to find the users, especially in the developing markets that Apple intended to target. As Apple reduces iPhone 5C production going into next quarter, it remains to be seen if this not-so-radical product will move off the shelves in the manner Apple intended it to.

Google Stock Soars: As one of the fastest growing companies in the world, Google has maintained its long established reputation of an innovator and quality content provider, reaffirming the faith of investors. Google’s Q3 2013 earnings report has propelled its stock back through the $900 barrier to ~$957 in after-hours trading. This stems from the increased focus on generating Ad Revenue and diverting attention to mobile platforms. What do you think about Google’s latest technical developments – are you surprised by this?