Best Tech Stories around the web #174

On the program this week: contactless payment scheme for street performers, HoloLens acts as eyes for blind users, Adidas reveals the first 3D-printed shoe it’ll mass-produce, and the iX Symposium in Montreal.

INNOVATION

London launches world’s first contactless payment scheme for street performers via TheVerge.com
Here’s a casualty of the cashless society you might not have previously thought of: the humble street performer. After all, if more of us are paying our way with smartphones and contactless cards, how can we give spare change to musicians on the subway? London has one solution: a new scheme that outfits performers with contactless payment terminals. Read more

HoloLens acts as eyes for blind users and guides them with audio prompts via Techcrunch.com
Microsoft’s HoloLens has an impressive ability to quickly sense its surroundings, but limiting it to displaying emails or game characters on them would show a lack of creativity. New research shows that it works quite well as a visual prosthesis for the vision impaired, not relaying actual visual data but guiding them in real time with audio cues and instructions. Read more

DESIGN

Adidas reveals the first 3D-printed shoe it’ll mass-produce via TheVerge.com
Adidas has been playing around with 3D printing as a manufacturing method for a while now, but its latest sneaker — the Futurecraft 4D — might be its most ambitious creation yet. The mid-sole of the shoe is created using a process known as Continuous Liquid Interface Production, in which the design is essentially pulled out of a vat of liquid polymer resin, and fixed into its desired shape using ultraviolet light. Read more

EVENT

iX Symposium, The Conquest of Reality

The iX Symposium is an initiative of Montreal’s Society for Arts and Technology (SAT). Every year, iX welcomes artists, designers, researchers, developers, producers and all those who are curious and passionate about immersive experiences ! The « Reality Race » is picking up speed with the growing successes of the VR platforms, the commitment of tech giants behind XR authoring and delivery workflows and the expansion of the fulldome network. They are accelerated by progress in sensory expansion, deep machine learning, immersive computing, and ubiquitous cloud technologies rapidly transforming the World as we have known it. « Reality » in every sense of the word, is gaining depth, growing in complexity, and expanding the time-space horizons. More info