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Hey Fivers!

We're back!! After an incredibly long hiatus, I've decided to bring back Fives. In the last year, I've moved to San Francisco and settled into a new life. Now that I'm smack dab in the middle of the tech scene, I hope I can share even more of the interesting tech I stumble upon every day. Plus, I've even got some guest posts lined up from some of the people I've met.

More soon!

Love,
Rohan
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1. 3D Printed Housing
While 3D printing still hasn't become quite as popular as the home desktop printer, engineers are still finding interesting applications for it in other industries. Apis Cor joined forces with Pik to develop an 3D printing system to build an entire house. Ok, well, it's not exactly a luxury villa but the concept itself is promising -- a repeatable, automated, and flexible system for laying out concrete walls for small buildings. The result looks pretty good! [Source]
2. Solid State Batteries
Batteries: the best and worst part about technology. Although battery technology has been improving, it's been doing so at a much slower rate than the devices that need them. We're in dire need of a breakthrough and this solid state alternative to lithium-based batteries just might be it. They're inexpensive, manufacturable, higher capacity, and have a much longer lifespan. There are some weight and voltage kinks to work out but given the fact that it was created by the inventor of the original lithium ion battery, I'd say it's pretty promising. [Source]
3. Gaze-based Home Control
Here's a quirky little interaction project that has interesting implications. What if you could control the lights or devices in your home just by looking at them? Almost like the house was reading your mind, it would know when you the difference between just looking at the light switch and looking at it with the intent to turn it off. These HCI researchers tried out an interesting experiment that tracks the motion of the eye using smart glasses in order to understand your intent to toggle the switch. Just you follow the moving circle and the glasses let the lights know that you want them off! [Video]
4. Shared Reality
What's missing from VR? How about real multi-player. Not virtual multi-player, but a multi-player that allows you to see where neighboring VR headset users are in relation to you in the physical environment, even though you're wearing an opaque headset on your face. This is the VR we all imagine in our heads but, surprisingly, doesn't exist yet. These guys made an interesting demo of what it would be like to collaborate in a mixed physical/virtual environment using a pair of VR headsets (does that make it AR)? [Source]
5. AI-based Realistic Coloring
Ever wonder if you could draw a black and white line drawing of a cat and have a computer automatically fill in realistic looking fur, eyes, ears, and more based on how you drew the outline? Never wondered this? Yea, me neither, but turns out that AI can do it with enough training data! The online demo is super fun and the results are rather impressive (and/or creepy) -- the AI figures out what you've drawn to find the right colors/textures/images to use for "coloring it in." [Source]
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Fives is written by Rohan Puri






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