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From driverless cars to smart speakers, ieDecode demystifies new technology

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The first edition of ieDecode, India’s first exclusively online techknowledge summit organised by indianexpress.com in partnership with Airtel 4G, saw some of the best minds in the tech industry try to demystify everything from autonomous cars to AI-powered smart speakers. Thousands of indianexpress.com readers viewed the two-hour long event to learn more about the new technologies that are slowly becoming a part of our lives.

In her welcome address, Durga Raghunath, CEO, Indian Express Digital said it is clear now that users are maturing based on the trends we see on IndianExpress.com, the second largest newspaper website in India. “They are comparing more before buying, they are reading and watching more reviews – the deeper the better. We believe that the mature user has moved beyond the single vector of price,” she said.

In the opening keynote, Rajiv Gupta, Partner & Director, The Boston Consulting Group said M-commerce, omnichannel, use of predictive analysis, voice and chat bots and personalisation will be key to the growth of digitisation of India.

 

In what was a masterclass on autonomous cars, Jeff Schneider, Engineering Lead at Uber, said the car of the future will take advantage of machine learning and artificial intelligence and will end up replacing the driver itself. “Uber has already driver 3 million miles in autonomous mode and given 50,000 trips,” he said, on the pilots that are going on in the US with self-driving cars. Schneider hoped someday Uber would be able to bring its self-driving cars to India.

Speaking on how India is dictating the smartphone product development, Pranav Shroff, Global Director, Portfolio Strategy & Planning, HMD Global said his company saw India as an important market and phones like the Nokia 2 and Nokia 7 Plus have been designed keeping the Indian user in mind. He said network conditions and other peculiar factors here ensure India becomes a test bed for companies like HMD Global.

Giving an insight into how artificial intelligence can help improve creativity, Shanmugh Natarajan, MD, Adobe Systems said Adobe was combining art and technology to bring digital experiences to life. He said artificial intelligence and machine learning will prove disruptive in nature in all segments. “We believe that when we put art and science to work, magic will happen.”

In the only AMA segment of the event, Manu Jain, Global VP and Country Head of Xiaomi answered questions from customers and smartphone users. He said Xiaomi’s aim was to bring more people online through its affordable smartphones, but also wanted to move beyond smartphones with TVs, Air Purifiers, smart fitness bands, etc. Asked how Xiaomi was dealing with supply shortages in both offline and online markets for budget offerings like Redmi Note 5 Pro, Jain said: “The demand for Redmi Note 5 Pro is significantly higher and we are doing everything possible to ramp up the production.”

Explaining the relatively new concept of AI-driven smart speakers to the Indian audience, Puneesh Kumar, Country Manager, Alexa said the Echo range has been customised for the Indian market and there are already over 12,000 skills live for this new geography.

Explaining how air purifiers work, Sudhir Pillai, General Manager at Honeywell, said air Pollution has become the biggest environmental health risk and one should acknowledge it as a public health concern.

Speaking on things to keep in mind while designing a product or a service for India, US-based Internet entrepreneur Soujanya Bhumkar said beautiful and intuitive design was a priority for our ancestors.

“In today’s world I am surprised to see that while India provides tremendous back end support to a lot of applications, how few of the top engagement or top grossing apps are made or rather designed in India. We collectively need to change that,” he added. The sessions are now viewable on ieDecode.com.


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Novel microscope can non-invasively diagnose, treat diseases:Study

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Scientists have developed a specialised microscope that has the potential to diagnose diseases like skin cancer as well as perform precise surgery without making any incisions in the skin.

According to the study published in the journal Science Advances, the microscope allows medical professionals to pinpoint the exact location of an abnormality, diagnose it and treat it instantly.

“Our technology allows us to scan tissue quickly, and when we see a suspicious or abnormal cell structure, we can perform ultra-precise surgery and selectively treat the unwanted or diseased structure within the tissue – without cutting into the skin,” said Yimei Huang from the University of British Columbia in Canada.

 

It could be used to treat any structure of the body that can be reached by light and requires extremely precise treatment, including nerves or blood vessels in the skin, eye, brain or other vital structures, researchers said.

“For diagnosing and scanning diseases like skin cancer, this could be revolutionary,” said Harvey Lui, professor at the University of British Columbia.

The study shows that the device allows imaging of living tissue up to about one millimetre in depth using an ultrafast infrared laser beam.

Researchers said that this microscope, however, is different from previous technology due to its capability to not only digitally scan living tissue, but also treat the tissue by intensifying the heat produced by the laser.

“We can alter the pathway of blood vessels without impacting any of the surrounding vessels or tissues,” said Lui.

The researchers also said that their aim is to make multiphoton microscope technology more versatile while also increasing its precision.

“We wanted to be able to identify what was happening under the skin from many different angles and to have the capability of imaging different body sites,” said Haishan Zeng from the University of British Columbia.

Developments of a miniature version of the telescope that could be used to perform microscopic examinations and treatment during endoscopy are also underway, researchers said.

“We are not only the first to achieve fast video-rate imaging that enables clinical applications, but also the first to develop this technology for therapeutic uses,” said Zeng

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Black Shark 2 gaming smartphone coming to India on May 27:Report

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After Asus and Nubia, Black Shark is set to launch a high-end gaming smartphone in India. According to BGR India, Black Shark has already started sending invites for the launch of Black Shark 2. The gaming phone will reportedly launch in India on May 27.

Black Shark 2 was launched in March and is already available for sale in China. The phone is the second-generation gaming smartphone and a follow-up to the Black Shark Helo.

This will be the first ever gaming smartphone from Black Shark to launch in the country. In case you are not aware, Black Shark is a sub-brand of Xiaomi.

 

As expected, this is a premium smartphone with top-of-the-line specifications. The device boasts a 6.39-inch AMOLED display with a 2340 x 1080 and a 19.5:9 aspect ratio. The entire display, according to the company, is pressure sensitive. This means gamers can map onto the display that reacts to different levels of pressure
Under the hood, it is powered by a Snapdragon 855 processor coupled with either 6GB RAM and 128GB of storage or 12GB RAM and 256GB of storage. There’s also a 4,000mAh battery with 27W fast charging support, a 48MP/12MP rear camera setup, and a 20MP front-facing camera.

It also features an in-display fingerprint scanner, similar to the OnePlus 7 Pro and Galaxy S10+. Black Shark 2 also comes with Liquid Cooling 3.0, a vapor cooling system similar to what the Razer Phone 2 uses. The company also plans to sell optional accessories with the Black Shark 2 in India.

The launch of Black Shark 2 comes at a time when the popularity of mobile games like PUBG and Fortnite at the all-time high in India. The gaming smartphone will take on the likes of the Asus ROG Phone and Nubia Red Magic. Interestingly, ZTE’s sub-brand Nubia is also expected to launch the Red Magic 3 in India in the coming days.

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Tara Sutaria obsessed with makeup

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Actress Tara Sutaria, who has wooed the audience with her stylish and glamorous looks in her debut film ‘Student of the Year 2’, says she loves to do makeup. “I am completely obsessed with makeup. I love to experiment different cosmetic products.

I even check social media to have a look at trending makeup and fashion styles…So that I don’t miss out anything,” Tara told IANS. She has also shared her own makeup style.

“During day time, I prefer to have a natural look…So I opt for minimal makeup. At night, I like to go a little bold,” added Tara, who has been appointed brand ambassador for the global brand, Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, in India. Ater putting on makeup, the 23-year-old makes sure to keep herself hydrated as much as possible.

 

“The most important thing to do is to keep youself hydrated. So when I apply makeup, I make sure to drink ample amount of water. And it is very much important to take off your makeup from your skin completely before heading to sleep. Cleansing, toning and moisturising is my skin care ritual.” On the work front, Tara will next be seen in ‘Marjaavaan’.

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