Qualcomm XR2 - 5G Ready AR Glasses

At a special event in Maui, Hawaii, Qualcomm announced its new AR platform - XR2 5G, which succeeds the company’s older XR1 platform that still powers a number of VR and AR experiences. According to Qualcomm, the XR2 is the world’s first 5G-supported extended reality (XR) platform and that this new device would open up newer, never-before-seen experiences. The new platform takes advantage of the company’s advancements in 5G and AI to reduce latency and improve the accuracy of environmental mapping. Further, the headset supports up to 8K 360 degree videos at 60 frames per second. The real highlight, however, is the 5G aspect; with the rest of the world slowly adapting to this new, emerging technology, it’s great to see that this device is already somewhat future-proof and can already handle high-resolution video streaming. The global rollout of 5G in the next two years will dictate how these wireless mixed reality platforms evolve.

CIMON Returns To Space

The Crew Interactive Mobile Companion was the first ever autonomous free floating robot in space and the first astronaut assistant. To think of it, it’s more like Google Assistant or Siri for astronauts. Anyway, one of CIMON’s purposes is to help astronauts actively cope with the lack of social interaction over extended periods of time. This seems to be an important aspect of the robot’s job specification as living in space, thousands of kilometres away from home, friends, and family, can be pretty daunting. Furthermore, CIMON documents everyday life in space; to put it simply, CIMON does a lot of vlogging. CIMON-2, the next version, was delivered to the ISS with the hope to carry out more tasks aimed at helping astronauts tackle daily life from both a practical and emotional standpoint.

Reused Capsule Launched Third Time By SpaceX

As a part of the resupply mission that delivered CIMON-2 to the ISS, SpaceX has, for the third time, reused it’s Dragon capsule. With this launch marking the company’s 19th resupply mission, it looks like SpaceX is somwhat like an Uber for NASA. In addition to reusing the cargo modules, SpaceX has successfully recovered the first stage rocket booster, which was a part of this launch.

The New CEO Of Alphabet

Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google has been appointed as the new CEO of Alphabet following the unexpected depart of Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin from the company. Alphabet, for those who don’t know, is a collection of companies, including Google, Waymo, Calico, Loon, and many more. The two founders would continue to be actively involved as board members and shareholders. With this new transition, coupled with Pichai’s interesting approach to products, we may soon see Alphabet’s experimental projects come alive in the real world.

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865 & 765

At the same special event, Qualcomm unveiled it’s new flagship Snapdragon 865 as well as the lower-end Snapdragon 765. Both processors have a focus on 5G and AI and are expected to rollout along with 5G enabled smartphones early next year. According to Qualcomm, the new 865 is “the world’s most advanced 5G platform, delivering unmatched connectivity and performance for the next generation of flagship devices.” It certainly looks like 2020 is going to be a big year for 5G.

Nikola Tre

In late 2017, Elon Musk unveiled the Tesla Semi, an all-electric, futuristic-looking semi truck. It’s the same event where the updated Tesla Roadster was unveiled. According to Tesla, the Semi is “the safest, most comfortable truck ever.” Over the years after the Semi’s unveil, a number of electric trucks have been unveiled, but one stands out - Nikola Tre. Nikola is a company that specialises in vehicles, mainly semi trucks, that operate on hydrogen fuel cells. The company announced it’s third semi — Tre, which is completely battery-powered and aimed at European markets. Tesla’s Semi is already in production and Nikola’s Tre is set for production next year. In addition to an all-electric battery powered Tre, Nikola is also set to produce a hydrogen fuel cell variant as well. With the Tesla’s Roadster and a number of other electric vehicles set to release in the coming years, 2020 looks to be a big year for technology, let alone electric vehicles.