Innovation

Space tourists could ride this cosmic balloon to the edge of space

Competition in the space tourism industry is heating up, and a new company is taking a unique approach to near-space exploration.

IMAGE: Space Perspective

The prospect of space travel has long-since enchanted humanity. Now, as competition heats up across the burgeoning spaceflight industry, this sci-fi fantasy may soon become reality. The company Space Perspective is offering a unique transport twist on the standard spacefaring business model. Rather than harnessing the latest propulsion technology or rocket busters, the company is using a pressurized cabin and a high-altitude balloon to chauffeur tourists to the cusp of the final frontier. But how much will it cost? Also, why balloons?

Space Perspective was founded by co-CEOs Jane Poynter and Taber MacCallum. While a balloon may not immediately strike some as the ideal mode of transport for such an undertaking, the “serial entrepreneurs” behind the company have a rich history of lofty ideas

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Flexible battery market to hit $500 million in 2030

A new IDTechEx report predicts a heated market race to meet demands of more than 1,500 GWh for electric vehicles, residential and grid applications.

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As advancing tech requires power, innovative printed, flexible, and thin-film batteries will be essential to fuel everyday tech. It’s big business with potentially big financial rewards. Enormous investments are being put into the fast-changing industry of battery tech, as organizations vie to sprint ahead of the competition. A new IDTechEx report reveals growth from $22 million in 2020 to $109 million in 2025, and $500 million in 2030. After all, it’s expected that electric vehicles, residential and grid applications will command more than 1,500 GWh by 2030.

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SEE: The most battery-draining apps of 2020 (TechRepublic)

Recently developed or developing “applications require new features and battery designs that traditional battery technologies simply cannot provide,” the report stated. “This has opened the

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Interior design startup gets boost from back-end tech

The online service Modsy kicks off a partnership with Oracle NetSuite for a new phase of business growth.

Image: Modsy

Online interior-design service Modsy has partnered with Oracle NetSuite, which will function as a cloud-based ERP (enterprise resource planning) solution to help accelerate the five-year-old company’s growth. Modsy will now avail of NetSuite’s core business customizable system. 

“In order to scale key processes within both finance and operations, Modsy determined that an ERP solution was needed to support our next level of growth,” said the founder Shanna Tellerman. “Modsy vetted a number of potential ERPs, and ultimately decided on NetSuite as a best fit.”

As 3D technology becomes increasingly available, Tellerman said Modsy looked at its competition and, “We invested in building our own proprietary tools and systems to make this process faster, more efficient, and less expensive.”

It’s also greatly contributed to the company’s financial success. “The customer and

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Walmart lessons: Leveraging your “lazy assets” for more profit

The giant retailer is using its parking lots to host drive-in movies. What assets does your IT department have that could be used?

Image: J. Michael Jones / Getty Images

A few short years ago, most pundits had written off Walmart, the giant retailer that revolutionized commerce but was being threatened and seemingly bested by Amazon. In the past few months, however, Walmart seems to have rekindled its competitive spirit, and has gained ground on Amazon in areas from providing a unique data center offering leveraging its stores, to local grocery delivery that has made a significant impact as millions stay home due to COVID-19.

SEE: How to cultivate an inclusive workplace for LGBTQ employees (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Recently, Walmart announced the rather brilliant concept of turning its parking lots into drive-in movie theaters. Initially, this might seem like an odd offering for a retailer, but on closer

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Microsoft announces new Azure AI capabilities for apps, healthcare, and more

The latest announcements will help companies enhance their voice-enabled application experiences and provide critical data management across healthcare industries.

Image: Sompong Rattanakunchon / Getty Images

In the era of digital transformation, more organizations across industries are looking to leverage artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance day-to-day operations. In recent weeks, a number of organizations have tapped AI to help mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. These applications range from using AI systems to monitor social distancing and contact tracing to identifying potential treatments for COVID-19. Earlier today, Microsoft announced a series of updates to the Azure AI system to help with everything from enhanced healthcare data management to leveraging the latest voice-enabled technologies for enhanced customer engagement experiences.

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In partnership with the Allen Institute of AI and other research groups, Microsoft developed the COVID-19 Open Research Dataset. Utilizing nearly 50,000 scholarly articles, the

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Facial recognition market to surpass $12 billion by 2026

To enhance tracking and security in public spaces, the facial recognition technologies market is expected to surge in the years ahead.

IMAGE: iStock/primipil

In the era of digital transformation, more organizations are utilizing facial recognition technologies for a host of applications in public spaces. These systems have also been implemented to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus pandemic as the technologies can be plugged into larger surveillance networks to monitor mask compliance and more. Studies have shown that facial recognition systems are prone to false-positive identifications. In recent weeks, major players in the tech industry including IBM, Microsoft, and Amazon recently made waves by pulling their facial recognition systems from the market altogether or banning law enforcement agencies from using the technologies. Despite these moves by titans in tech, the future of facial recognition systems seems bright according to a new report from Global Market Insights.

By 2026, the organization

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