Issue 276 | 15 September 2015

What Next?

If you thought the Back to the Future self-lacing shoes were impossible, think again

Good news for Marty McFly wannabes around the world – the Air Mag self-lacing shoes are (almost) back. Nike previously sent a look-alike version to market in 2011, but the style did not have the power laces fans were expecting. Adding to the fact that it’s the 30 year anniversary of Back to the Future, October 21, 2015 was also the date McFly first stepped into the nerdy-cool Air Mags, and rumour has it that Nike are working toward this deadline. Stay tuned for Hendo hoverboard updates.

Would you rent out your spare room to refugees?

If you thought Airbnb was great, you’ll love this. A German based organisation, Refugees Welcome, works by enlisting willing owners and renters and matching them with suitable refugees through agencies. The organisation believes that through the scheme, refugees will have a smoother transition into society by living in regular dwellings as opposed to mass populated camps. So far they’ve seen over 140 successful matches in Germany and Austria, which is a great result for the not-for-profit organisation working toward better integrating refugees into society.

 

 

TV Ratings

The X Factor gives a ratings performance for the ages

National Free to Air Station Audience
The X Factor – Sun Ch 7 1,506,000
Peter Allen – Not the Boy Next Door Part 1 – Sun Ch 7 1,333,000
The Block – Sun Ch 9 1,037,000
The Bachelor Australia – Thurs Ch 10 982,000
Rugby League Final Series Pre Game – Sat Ch 9 949,000
The Block – Mon Ch 9 933,000
The Bachelor Australia – Wed Ch 10 920,000
The Great Australian Spelling Bee – Tues Ch 10 909,000
Dancing With The Stars – Mon Ch 7 883,000
Cats Make You Laugh Out Loud 2 – Tues Ch 7 869,000
07/09/15 – 13/09/15

 

This unbelievable tech lets you control your computer using only your eyes

For many sufferers of neurological conditions around the world, simple tasks like typing and clicking on a computer can be frustratingly difficult. With this in mind, software developer Julius Sweetland created OptiKey, an on-screen keyboard that pairs with low-cost eye-tracking devices. In the past, technology that sought to serve this purpose often costed $20,000+ and was almost unusable. OptiKey is set to change the lives of sufferers of debilitating conditions like ALS and other motor neuron diseases across the globe.

Viral Video of the Week

Jimmy Fallon and Ellen DeGeneres face off in epic lipsync battle

Jimmy Fallon’s lip sync battles have become so big, they now have their own television show. But you’ve never seen one quite as epic as this. Talk show legend, Ellen DeGeneres, takes on the man himself, trading blistering tributes to The Killers, Rihanna, and Silento. Jimmy has to be commended on his Whip/Nae Nae dance, which might even be better than the original. Take a look at the battle here:

This flightless drone could be straight out of the Terminator series

Over the last few years, there has been a lot of discussion surrounding the issues drones face, including unregulated air traffic, and a restrictive weight limit for flying. A radical new drone design, Transwheel, could be the solution to those problems. Transwheel is a one-wheel, self-driving drone with self-stabilising technology that could deliver goods on the ground. The drone uses GPS navigation and a host of sensors to safely deliver packages to their destination. Most of the magic is under the hood – but if you’d like to know more about this incredible tech, take a look at it below:

App of the Week

Artificial Intelligence gives sight back to the blind with this incredible app

Increasingly, smartphone apps are being developed to provide practical benefits to our everyday lives. One app in particular is set to make waves, providing “sight” back to the blind. Aipoly, a personal assistant which helps the non-sighted, uses intelligent software to analyse and tag all photos uploaded to its servers. It then reads back a description of the picture to the user, which provides context to what’s happening around them. If Aipoly could assist you or somebody you know, you can download it in beta here.

Did you catch last week’s issue of What Next? Or would you like to browse our previous issues?

Back to all issues