We have sent men and machines to the moon but now a German space firm is heading into truly uncharted territory. As part of PTScientists’ mission to send a pair of Audi-powered lunar rovers to the Apollo 17 landing site in 2019, it has teamed up with Vodafone and Nokia to establish a 4G mobile network on the lunar surface. The technology will give space enthusiasts here on earth the ability to live stream HD video straight from the moon. “In order for humanity to leave the cradle of Earth, we need to develop infrastructures beyond our home planet,” said PTScientists founder and CEO Robert Böhme. “With Mission to the Moon we will establish and test the first elements of a dedicated communications network on the Moon.”
Silicon Valley firms have been leading the way when it comes to autonomous vehicle technology. And it may sound strange, but up to now the driverless cars being tested on the streets of California were prohibited from being just that, driverless. Regulations stipulated that a human always be behind the wheel to take over in case of an emergency. But a new law approved this week by the California Department of Motor Vehicles paves the way for driverless cars to simply have a remote operator capable of taking over. So don’t be alarmed if that car next to you going over the Golden Gate Bridge is empty.
Disney fans across Europe got some good news this week with the announcement that the entertainment company is investing $2 billion into its French theme park. Disneyland Paris is set for a multi-year expansion process, including areas dedicated to Marvel superheroes, the animated film Frozen and the Star Wars series. French President Emmanuel Macron hailed the investment, saying it “shows that France is back.” Disneyland Paris is Europe’s most-visited theme park, and accounts for a whopping 6.2 percent of the country’s tourism income.
Tech enthusiasts from across the globe have converged on Barcelona this week for the Mobile World Congress. The annual event showcases the very latest in cell phone technology, and this year’s edition hasn’t disappointed. Samsung grabbed headlines by unveiling its new Galaxy 9 handset, which features a multi-lense camera that offers improved low-light photography and the ability to capture slow-motion video. Deutsche Telekom also made a splash by “flying” in Bayern Munich football star Manuel Neuer via video stream from a plane as part of a demonstration for its advances in 5G technology.
For many innovators in the retail fashion industry, the future is not in brick and mortar locations, but online customization. Instead of heading to a store, Australian startup InStitchu allows customers to order suits online precisely to their needs and measurements and then ships it to your front door. If things aren’t right, the company offers alterations at no charge. In an effort to keep up its rapid growth, InStitchu said this week it had secured a $2.4 million strategic investment from Chinese clothing manufacturer Dayang Group. The deal will see the startup move its production to China. “The Dayang team shares our vision that the future of menswear is made-to-measure and in the belief that a meticulously crafted suit should be affordable,” said InStitchu co-founder and co-CEO James Wakefield.