How Much Hotter Is Your Hometown Than When You Were Born?

Check out this interactive feature from the NYTimes that takes you the history of the climate of your hometown, with an eye towards the future effects of climate change:

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/08/30/climate/how-much-hotter-is-your-hometown.html

Once you enter your hometown and birth year, scrolling down reveals the model of how many days at or above 90 degrees your hometown will experience in our lifetimes.

The article also compares your hometown to other major cities globally, like New Delhi and Madrid.

WHY IT’S HOT:

Besides from being, well, literally hot, this interactive feature puts climate change into the perspective of our lifespan, and the place we call home. For a phenomenon that is difficult for some people to fully grasp, this content makes it feel not only clear and personally relevant, but also immediate and urgent. When the effects of climate change are put into the context of our own lives, it is impossible to downplay or ignore.

Paper books sell a digital solution

Google Cloud wrote fictional biographies detailing the future of ten French business leaders and sent them to the executives as part of a prospecting campaign. The idea is called the Biographies of Tomorrow to help Google Cloud win the attention of French business leaders and promote the brand’s enterprise solutions services.

They researched 10 of France’s most important executives, as well as the industries in which they worked. It then commissioned authors from Cherche Midi publishing house to write short, fictional biographies detailing how these leaders digitally transformed their businesses after employing the services of Google Cloud. The nature and content of the biographies also emphasized the predictive qualities of Google Cloud’s service. Economist Jacques Attal wrote a foreword for each of the 10 biographies and artist Alix d’Anselme drew portraits of the subjects for the front covers. Google Cloud then hand delivered the biographies to the business executives.

2 of the 10 executives that received a biography have signed deals with Google Cloud

Why its hot?
Business buyers don’t go to work and forget what they want as human beings

get paid when you get delayed…


It seems solving the pain points of delayed air travelers has become one of 2018’s hottest challenges. The latest brand to take it on is insurance brand AXA, via “fizzy”, it’s smart travel insurance.

Here’s how it works – “AXA’s blockchain-powered insurance plan, called Fizzy, covers travelers for delays of up to two hours or more. When customers purchase insurance using Fizzy, all details and contract agreements are recorded publicly, on the Ethereum blockchain. The contracts, which are connected to global air traffic monitoring databases, automatically trigger compensation payouts when a delay of more than two hours is recorded.”

In otherwords, you get paid (automatically) when you get delayed.

Why it’s hot:

First, it’s one of the most simple and practical, yet smart uses of blockchain and smart contracts we’ve seen yet. There’s plenty of chatter about the potential of blockchain, but considerably fewer actual things consumers can currently do that are blockchain enabled.

But more importantly, it’s a beautiful example of human-driven innovation – and not just because it helps in a situation most of us are likely all too familiar with (delayed flights, more than 150k in the last 30 days just in the US).

One of the biggest headaches with insurance can be having to make claims and waiting to be compensated. fizzy automatically knows when you should be compensated and does so “by the time your flight lands”. So, a matter of hours instead of days.

[Source]

Audi Wants To Make it Easier to Pay Tolls

Companies like EZPass on the East Coast, FasTrak in California and TxTag in Texas have been helping people get through tolls faster with electronic tag devices for years. But soon, they’ll be in competition with cars that have electronic toll technology built in.

Starting with their new electronic vehicle e-tron, Audi is launching what they’re calling “Integrated Toll Module.” The technology leverages a toll transponder within the car’s rear-view mirror. Drivers will be able to pair their cars with wireless toll payment accounts, eliminating the need for a physical electronic tag.

audi e tron features integrated electronic toll tag technology module

The system places a toll transponder into the car’s rear-view mirror. From there, drivers will be able to pair their vehicle with their wireless toll accounts So there’s no more need to mount and deal with physical electronic tag devices on the upper portion of the windshield, or on the front license plate.

Audi says its Integrated Toll Modules are already compatible with existing toll agencies, meaning it will be easy to register new accounts and to drive cross-country between different toll authorities.

Why It’s Hot

Paying for tolls is a major hassle and source of traffic. Having technology built into cars to alleviate this problem can make many drivers’ daily commutes and longer trips significantly more pleasant.

Source: https://www.digitaltrends.com/cars/audi-e-tron-features-integrated-electronic-toll-tag-technology/ 

Have your skin checked, period.

A non-profit called Melanoma Know More partnered with content platform Popsugar to bring awareness of skin cancer Melanoma and remind readers of cancer screening.

When a reader browses health and wellness content on the site and scrolls past a period at the end of a sentence, a pop-up window will come up with information on warning signs of melanoma, a type of skin cancer.

 

Why it’s hot: Many types of cancer, if detected early, are curable. By making this information part of a reader’s reading experience can help reduce the fear or stress associated with cancer and increase the chance of the reader’s cancer screening.

Source

A new use for Google Maps: calculating a city’s carbon footprint

Looking at a city’s Google Maps data, in combination with other data, a new tool from Google can estimate the carbon footprint of all of its buildings–and the carbon footprint of all the car trips, bus and subway rides, and other transportation used by the people living there.

The Environmental Insights Explorer, an online tool that launched in beta on September 10, is designed to help cities take the first step to reduce emissions: knowing what their current carbon footprint is. More than 9,000 cities have already committed to cut emissions in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement, but more than a third of those cities haven’t yet built an inventory of emissions. The process can take months or even years, and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, making it particularly challenging for smaller cities.

The new tool, which Google created along with the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, can help cities calculate a large chunk of those emissions at no cost. “This is looking at the thousands of cities that are out there today that don’t typically have the resources to spend on digging up the data or analyzing the data,” says Nicole Lombardo, who leads partnerships for Google’s environmental insights team, which is creating the tool. “This tool helps to do some of that and reduce some of the complexities and the cost in that process, so you have more people spending less time data gathering and data crunching and more on the action planning.”

Using Google Maps data, the tool can infer whether buildings are homes or businesses, and then can use the estimated size of each building and data about the regional grid to estimate both how much energy the buildings use and the emissions of that energy use. Using location data from Google Maps, the tool can infer traffic and modes of travel, and then estimate the emissions from that transportation.

Cities can go deeper into the tool to adjust the data to estimate how the footprint would change if the amount of housing grew, for example, or if the city added a new subway line. The tool also pulls in Google’s Project Sunroof, which uses AI to analyze satellite images to determine which roofs are well suited for solar power, so cities can consider solar power as they begin to plan how to cut emissions.

Why it’s hot: This technology is saving cities major costs and letting them focus on the real issue at hand: cutting emissions.

Source: FastCo

Finally, Kids Get a Voice

Almost all of our devices are (or very soon will be) controllable by voice, and while this shift can empower some, others – specifically children – are left out of the loop. Though 1.6 billion connected devices are sold to children under 13 each year, no technology has ever been built to address the unique needs of this audience. Specifically, since speech linguistic patterns are vastly different for children, when they speak to their devices, frustration ensues.

And, while parents are not likely interested in yet another digital touchpoint, (screen time concerns highlighted here) they are indisputably concerned about their children’s privacy and security. Today, when a child tries interacts with a virtual home assistant, that information is processed online, potentially putting their security at risk.

Kidsense wants to mitigate those concerns. By building automatic speech recognition technology that helps children better communicate with voice-powered devices through an embedded platform, their service is GDPR, COPPA and parent-complaint.

KidSense can deliver peace of mind to parents, and a better, less frustrating experience for those that nag their parents (meaning, almost every single child) for the latest tech.

Why Its Hot:

Solves a consumer pain point and adds the features that would get someone else to pay for it. Also, kids are the greatest salespeople, so give them something worth peddling.

Source: TechCrunch