Our top picks for what is newsworthy, disruptive, and just plain cool from from the Silicon Valley this week.
Your personal interpreter
Are you a highly ranked UN diplomat? Then you’ve probably got your own interpreter. For all other people, Google is helping out. With their updated Translator App you just point your phone (in camera mode) to any foreign word or sentence and the translation appears.
As with Google Translator, the result is sometimes far from perfect. And for now it only works for English, German, French, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. But the technology is phenomenal and it definitely helps prevent ordering brain in a restaurant when you really wanted a salad.
Facebook at work—okay again?
In Switzerland, a lot of companies have blocked employee access to social sites like Facebook recently. This could change with Facebook at Work, a network on which employees of companies with 100 workers or more could communicate, plan meetings, and share documents.
The product is still in trials—only a few companies around the world are testing it—but Facebook has basically been working on the program for the last 10 years. It’s very similar to what employees there already use amongst themselves.
One for all
Neeo, a Swiss startup, is raking in financial support on Kickstarter right now for their multi-use remote that’s nothing short of a complete home automation system that controls TV, Hi-Fi, lighting, heating, and more. It’s compatible with all major AV products produced in the last 10 years and, with its hand recognition, even knows who is picking up the remote for customization.
“Precrime” in real life
If you have seen Minority Report with Tom Cruise (or read the book it was based on), you may be aware of what the future of crime prevention could look like.
Now, a company based in Switzerland is developing a real life program based on artificial intelligence that would prevent crimes before they happen—or at least warn people about possible danger based on data. As of now their IndieGogo campaign is only around 14 percent funded with nine days to go, but it’s definitely an interesting approach to eradicating crime.