TIME Innovation

This Ambitious Startup Plans to 3D Print a Bridge in Amsterdam

"This bridge will show how 3D printing finally enters the world of large-scale, functional objects"

A robotic 3D printer that exudes cords of molten steel will soon trace out the scaffolding for the world’s first 3D printed bridge, according to the Amsterdam-based inventors of the device.

The project was conceived by Dutch 3D printing company, MX3D, along with the engineering software giant, Autodesk, in order to showcase a new generation of 3D printers that can trace out sturdy yet graceful lines of steel in midair.

“This bridge will show how 3D printing finally enters the world of large-scale, functional objects and sustainable materials while allowing unprecedented freedom of form,” said bridge designer Joris Laarman.

An artist’s rendering shows the robotic printers inching along a partially constructed span, while gradually tracing out the path ahead. Construction will take place over two fateful months in 2017, the designers told Fast Company.

TIME Autos

You Can Drive This New Truck With Your Phone

Jaguar says the life-sized remote controlled car offers a new way to maneuver out of tight spots

Jaguar has unveiled a new vehicle that can be remotely controlled with a smartphone app, inching out of tight spots at low speeds.

The Remote Control Range Rover Sport shows how a driver standing outside of the vehicle can maneuver through challenging terrain by tapping controls on a touchscreen, including the accelerator, brakes and a digital steering wheel. The vehicle will go no faster than 4mph when being controlled by the smartphone.

“The driver could use the smartphone to reverse the car out of a parking space if someone has parked too close for them to open the door, or allow the driver to become their own off-road spotter, to guide the car over off-road obstacles from outside the vehicle,” the company wrote in an official statement. “It could also be an invaluable aid when the vehicle is fording a stream or traversing sections made slippery by mud or snow.”

The car automatically stops if the driver stands too close to the vehicle or more than 10 meters out of range. So far, Jaguar says this is only a “research vehicle” — so don’t expect your next truck to sport this feature.

TIME Innovation

Why Women’s Soccer Is a Feminist Issue

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

These are today's best ideas

1. Women’s soccer is a feminist issue.

By Maggie Mertens in the Atlantic

2. Can community service journalism save local news?

By Steven Waldman in the Columbia Journalism Review

3. This 99¢ app connects kids to thousands of scholarships.

By Fitz Tepper in TechCrunch

4. America is more afraid of peace than war.

By Gregory A. Daddis in the National Interest

5. Here’s how the LAPD is addressing use of force on the mentally ill.

By Noelle Swan in the Christian Science Monitor

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Innovation

Why Bank Branches Still Matter

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

These are today's best ideas

1. If you’re old or poor, bank branches still matter.

By Melvin Backman in Quartz

2. Street-by-street health tracking can help you avoid the flu.

By Patrick Kulp in Mashable

3. Is the U.S. Border Patrol above the law?

By Brian Bennett in the Los Angeles Times

4. How an ex-inmate turned entrepreneur helps families of prisoners stay in touch.

By Teodora Zareva in Big Think

5. The brain’s secret link to our immune system could unlock autism, Alzheimers and more.

By Josh Barney at UVA Today

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Gadgets

Here’s When Sony’s Virtual Reality Headset Is Coming Out

Project Morpheus Sony VR E3 2015
Bloomberg via Getty Images A member of the media plays a video game using a Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Project Morpheus virtual-reality headset during a demonstration in Tokyo, Japan, on April 6, 2015.

30 games in development for Project Morpheus

Sony’s virtual reality headset for PlayStation is set to launch in the first half of 2016, according to a new report.

Project Morpheus, which will sell for “several hundred dollars,” will be one of the highlights during Sony’s presentation at this week’s E3 2015 gaming convention in Los Angeles, Calif., Wired reports. At least 20 games and experiences will be showcased during the presentation, scheduled for Monday at 6:00 p.m. PT.

Sony has a broad range of genres planned for the VR headset, according to Adam Boyes, Sony’s VP of publisher and developer relations. The company is tracking the development of 30 games for Project Morpheus, from small puzzle games to first-person exploration games.

Other VR headsets are also gearing up for their releases, including the highly anticipated Oculus Rift, which will open to pre-orders later this year for a shipping date in Q1 2016.

[Wired]

TIME Innovation

This Fashion Startup Wants to Eliminate Stains Forever

Dropel Fabrics
Dropel Fabrics

Hydrophobic textiles could soon be in your closet

To most people, stain-resistant clothing sounds like a smart buy — but only if it’s carried by their favorite brands in the styles they want.

Fashion startup Dropel Fabrics wants to close the gap between everyday clothes and wearable technology. A self-described “ingredient brand,” the six-month-old company hopes to integrate its hydrophobic textiles — which allow spilled liquids to roll right off the fabric — into the production cycles of popular retailers and up-and-coming designers.

Dropel’s goal isn’t to start its own line of hydrophobic clothes, which other startups have done, but rather to stain-proof everyday cotton fabrics, from kids’ clothes to button-down shirts. Six retailers, including menswear and home furnishing brands, have already partnered with the company.

“We live in a world full of stains, but we don’t have to,” Sim Gulati, co-founder and CEO of Dropel Fabrics, said Friday at the second annual New York Fashion Tech Lab (NYFTL) Demo Day, hosted by Time Inc. “Unlike other treatments, our fabrics maintain the plush softness of cotton we love to wear. Wine, beer, soda — not even soy sauce stands a chance.”

The ISO-certified textiles are produced by adding the stain-repelling nanotechnology into the fabric between the dyeing and knitting process, according to Dropel co-founder and President Bradley Feinstein. The cost of producing the garments with the technology rose only 5%, while retailers can see up to a 40% increase in sales, according to a client case study.

The hydrophobic clothes also promote sustainability by cutting down on water and energy used in washing processes, Feinstein says. And that adds up over time considering the number of stain-prone clothes we wear — school uniforms, business-wear, white t-shirts, nighttime outfits.

“This is everyday wear,” Feinstein said. “Just better.”

TIME Innovation

Why Religion Isn’t Good for Politics

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

These are today's best ideas

1. Religion in America is disappearing. That’s great for politics.

By Michael Shermer in Politico

2. What should we do if ISIS wins? Live with it.

By Stephen M. Walt in Foreign Policy

3. To get rid of Dengue fever, we’re modifying the mosquitoes that carry it.

By Marc Zimmer in the Conversation

4. Putin’s warlords are slipping out of control.

By Adrian Karatnycky in the New York Times

5. Don’t get a degree in a “hot” field.

By Peter Cappelli in Money

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Innovation

How Cell Phones Can End World Hunger

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

These are today's best ideas

1. How cell phones can end world hunger.

By Dan Glickman in National Geographic

2. The sharing economy could be terrible for workers. We can fix that.

By Jeff Spross in the Week

3. The Iraqi Army no longer exists

By Barry Posen in DefenseOne

4. Poor people make better financial decisions than wealthy people.

By Anuj Shah in Slate

5. Soon, your car will avoid potholes for you.

By Martin Anderson in the Stack

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Innovation

How to Fit a Medical Lab in Your Pocket

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

These are today's best ideas

1. How to fit an entire medical lab in your pocket.

By Cécilia Carron at EPFL

2. In New Orleans, the future of education is now.

By Richard Whitmire in RealClearEducation

3. The full time job is dead. Welcome to the age of microcareers.

By Kevin Maney in Backchannel

4. Forty-nine states are doing government wrong.

By Charles Chieppo in Governing

5. Tiny injectable electronics will monitor and treat brain injuries.

By Phys.org

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Innovation

Everything You Need to Know About Microsoft’s Massive 84-Inch Computer

Can this massive touchscreen computer finally bring brainstorms into the digital era?

Last week, during a press preview at Manhattan’s Westin Hotel, Mike Angiulo, corporate vice president of Microsoft devices, switched on the Surface Hub, a new 84-inch Windows touchscreen that he hopes will kickstart any work meeting. “If you blink, you’ll miss it,” said Anguilo as he tapped the touchscreen. With that single gesture, he flipped on the Surface Hub’s cameras, microphones and digital whiteboard — everything you’d need to get a teleconference going.

The Surface Hub is an all-in-one replacement for the meeting room equipment you’ve come to know and loathe: The projector, that insipid blue screen, those star-shaped speakerphones and eyeball-shaped webcams and endless cords trailing everywhere. If you’ve ever fantasized about cutting through this gordian knot of audio-visual equipment, the Surface Hub is for you.

But odds are you’re not the one who has to write the check. Microsoft unveiled the price of the Surface Hub Wednesday, and it falls well outside of the average worker bee’s budget. The 84-inch model will set an office back by $19,999, the 55-inch model by $6,999. At those prices, the Surface Hub’s sales team will have to aim their pitches high, convincing senior managers and Chief Technology Officers that a massive touchscreen won’t just kickstart meetings, but supercharge the discussions that brought all of those workers together in the first place.

“Fifty-four precent of all meetings have at least one person on a call with them,” says Anguilo. “That person, within 10 or 15 minutes, is just doing a little email, and 10 minutes later is building a ship in a bottle because they’ve lost track of the meeting and it’s hard to hear what’s going on in the room.”

Microsoft_Surface Hub 4153_A
Amos Morgan—Microsoft

The Surface Hub’s multiple sensors aim to get all those wandering workers back in the conversation. Wide angle cameras on the left and right hand side of the screen track the presenter’s face, automatically switching angles as the presenter turns. Microphones aim a concentrated beam at participants near and far, while voice-detecting algorithms scrub out background noise.

But the groundbreaking technology around which all of these sensors are arrayed is the market’s largest capacitive touchscreen, which can detect upwards of 100 fingers on the screen simultaneously. Normally, big touchscreens like the Hub are subject to freezing and jittering. Microsoft ironed out those kinks via its 2012 acquisition of Perceptive Pixel, the touchscreen startup behind CNN’s “magic wall,” which anchors have used to pinch and zoom in on electoral maps. Microsoft immediately sensed broader applications for the technology.

“Meetings are being increasingly driven right from live data instead of a canned picture from last week,” says Anguilo, “so you could have a tool that would let you zoom in on any kind of part or drawing or data.” There are other use cases, too: a Chicago law firm told Microsoft that it wants to roll the screen into a courtroom and play videos of a crime scene, tracing ink circles over key moments in the action. And sales teams could drill down on live, regional data to better focus their calls.

Teleconferencing, in other words, isn’t Microsoft’s only hook for the Surface Hub. Its purpose is to redefine the computer as a workplace social hub, where teams can gather, brainstorm and bounce ideas off of an interactive, 4K resolution display. If the general drift of devices over the past four decades has been towards more personal computing — from the PC to the smartphone to the smartwatch — the Surface Hub marks an about face toward communal computing.

Still, the Surface Hub may only take off among niche users at first. “They’re trying to build essentially a new market,” says Forrester analyst J.P Gownder. “There will be organizations that take to it right away, such as product designers or engineers, but for a broader audience it’s going to take some convincing and that will take some time.”

Microsoft begins taking pre-orders on the Windows 10-running Surface Hub July 1; the first units will ship from a factory in Wilsonville, Oregon to more than 24 countries this September. While you might not find one under the Christmas tree this year, you could spot the gargantuan machine in your meeting room when you’re back from the holiday break.

Read next: This Is Microsoft’s Big Secret Windows 10 Feature

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