#1 | Amazon asks FCC approval to launch 3,236 internet satellites

Amazon has reached out to the Federal Communications Commission asking for the permission to deploy 3,236 communications satellites in low-Earth orbit, according to a recently revealed filing. This move is part of Project Kuiper, a tech giant’s plan to establish the satellite network that will offer broadband-speed connectivity to billions of people globally.  Amazon claims that this initiative will also provide reliable internet access to 21.3 million Americans that are without any access to ground-based broadband. Aircraft, maritime vessels, and land vehicles will also benefit from improved mobile connectivity. Other companies such as SpaceX are also looking to deploy similar networks of broadband satellites. But scientists warn that these projects lead to debris and crowding in the low-Earth orbit area and impact astronomers’ views of the night sky. Read more here: http://bit.ly/2L3SlRa https://politi.co/2RYuinw


#2 | Fast-food drive-thrus are testing voice-automation and AI

Drive-thru average times at fast food restaurants have grown from 190 seconds in 2003 to more than 230 seconds in 2018. This doesn’t bode well for the industry faced with growing competition, diminishing profit margins, and declining customer satisfaction. Due to that, a number of companies such as 5Thru, ZIVELO, Dynamic Yield, and Valyant AI have developed tech-based solutions to improve drive-thru experience. From automated payments based on license plate recognition to conversational AI that process orders, fast food chains are embracing various solutions to gain a competitive edge and ensure that people don’t have to wait too long for their morning caffeine fix or favorite cheeseburgers. Read more here:  http://bit.ly/2L6hw5B

#3 | THE RAISE OF NOOTROPICS: PEOPLE CHASE BRAIN-BOOSTING SUPPLEMENTS LIKE NEVER BEFORE

From various vitamins and juices to pills and nutrients, the brain supplements industry is set to reach $10.7 billion by 2025. More than a quarter of this business is expected to come from “memory enhancing products” alone. The marketing language used by this industry plays with customer emotions by portraying the consumption of a few pills as a shortcut to improved focus, clarity, and intelligence. Medical professionals are not impressed and they point out that most of the ingredients used in the nootropics won’t benefit healthy people. In fact, some ingredients can have severe side effects if used without talking to doctors first. Instead of chasing magical elixirs, it’s time for many to accept the fact that our brains too can simply have a bad day. Read more here: http://bit.ly/2KtS4qq

#4 | ICE and FBI used facial recognition to search driver-license database

Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Federal Bureau of Investigation reportedly use facial recognition technology to trawl through millions of driver’s license photos. Officials access images held by the state department of motor vehicles in order to identify criminal suspects as well as witnesses, victims, and innocent bystanders. And the searches were sometimes used even for minor crimes such as petty theft. But the facial recognition is a controversial tech with some systems showing bias against people of color. That prompted some cities such as San Francisco to take more active measures and ban its agencies from using facial recognition tools. Read more here: http://bit.ly/2ZDngHs http://bit.ly/2XY4jig


#5 | Google Translate’s camera now supports over 100 languages

Google Translate users can now point their camera’s lens at a total of 88 languages and get street signs, text, and images translated into more than 100 different output languages. These and various other capabilities have been added to the popular service as part of Google’s recently announced update. Users can now translate from Catalon to Polish or from Bengali to French as English no longer needs to be one of the languages used. Also, the company has incorporated neural machine translations into the instant camera and that should reduce translation errors by more than 55 percent. The camera’s interface has been redesigned and new features will be rolling out to users in the next few weeks. Read more here:  http://bit.ly/2L3hHOl

Sign up for the latest trends from Silicon Valley!

Once a week Detecon delivers the latest news from Silicon Valley directly to your mailbox 

Thank you for signing up! Stay tuned for the latest trends.