This week on WDD’s HotSpot, brought to you by National Instruments:

  • To help cut back on the 100,000 car chases that occur in the U.S. each year, StarChase has created a system that contains a miniature GPS module encased in a tracking projectile/tag and a launcher mounted on a police vehicle. The compressed-air launcher, which is similar to the t-shirt launchers you see at sporting events, uses a laser to target the fleeing vehicle. Once the GPS module is discharged, it adheres to the suspect vehicle and transmits coordinates back to dispatch. The location and movements of the tagged vehicle are recorded in real-time on a digital roadmap via a secure Internet connection.Through the efficient use of technology, a high-speed chase has been replaced with a safer interdiction strategy. The StarChase mapping platform is a secure, scalable Web-based solution that does not require special hardware to operate. It is compatible with existing CAD and AVL systems.
  • Samsung is harnessing the sun’s energy to provide a complete solution for a rural village. With the launch of its first digital village in South Africa, Samsun is attempting to integrate African communities’ hospitals, schools, lighting systems, and energy infrastructure using solar power. According to Samsung, the project will provide comprehensive support to improve health standards, bolster education opportunities, and increase the potential for people to lead economically independent lives.
  • A new indiegogo campaign from Design Innovations Hong Kong, is promoting the new Keep Bluetooth Anti lost alarm, which is a GPS tracker, Bluetooth alarm, and remote for a phone camera all in one. The Keep not only tacks your valuables, keys, mobile phones, and luggage, it also keeps your kids near, your pets close, and tracks your car within a 30 and 50 meter radius, which is about 98 to 164 feet.
  • The holidays are fast approaching and play-i has developed the perfect gift that not only looks like a lot of fun to play with, but it also introduces computer programming to kids as young as 5. The play-I robots include Bo, who is an explorer that learns new skills and becomes a more capable robot the more you play with him; and Yana, who plays off of kids’ imaginations to tell stories. The bots feature a visual program interface that weaves in music, stories, and animation; drag-and-drop interfaces created by MIT and Google that help teach programming; a path to actual coding that allows children to write their own code for the robots when they are ready; and am online repository of programs where children can share their customized programs with others. 

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