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The latest 360-degree cameras are vying for differentiation with tweaks and nifty features at every price point. Most have two lenses and sensors plus software to stitch their output into a spherical image. Some offer weather-sealing and shock absorption, and many take memory cards. A few features once reserved for ultra-high-end cameras, such as stereoscopic 3-D, have made their way into consumer models; 4K video is becoming standard. Here are a few of the newest.
A chip that can diagnose a potentially fatal condition faster than the best lab in the country, a camera that can see so deeply into a pill it can tell if its molecular structure has more in common with a real or counterfeit tablet, and a system that can help identify if a patient has a mental illness just from the words they use: IBM is betting that a mix of AI and new hardware can make all three possible within the coming years.
IBM’s research labs are already working on turning these concepts into fully-fledged healthcare tools, combining the company’s existing machine learning and artificial intelligence systems with newer kit including revamped silicon and millimetre wave phased array sensors.
Last December, Amazon announced its new concept store, Amazon Go. The store is powered by sensors, deep learning artificial intelligence (AI), and computer vision, giving customers the ability to browse through the store, take what they want off shelves, and literally go — no need to queue to pay for the items. The only added step to the shopping experience is swiping the free Amazon Go app from their phones once when they enter the store. Their Amazon account automatically gets charged for their purchases when they leave.
The store concept eliminates labor costs incurred by cashiers and is ideal not only for Amazon, but for customers as well. No lines or checkouts? From a shopper’s point of view, it’s the ideal shopping experience, offering a level of convenience that could be game-changing for the retail industry. However, Amazon Go also raises concerns about potential ramifications on employment and the economy.
“With Amazon, it’s not just about reducing labor costs at all — they’ve come up with something disruptive,” says Martin Ford, author of “Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future,” in an interview at CNBC.