The Dubai authorities are looking to embrace disruptive innovation as a fundamental mantra to ‘actively shape’ the future and place itself 10 years ahead of all other cities. The government reckons its new Dubai 10X initiative will deliver on that objective – the ‘X’ is a symbol for experimental, out-of-the-box, ‘future-oriented exponential thinking’ that will transform Dubai into ‘the world’s largest laboratory for the governments of the future’.
The world’s smartest cities? They would be Barcelona, London, New York, Oslo and San Francisco when measured in terms of sensing infrastructure, according to Unacast’s latest Proximity.Directory report. And here we are talking about ‘proximity technologies’ aimed at tackling mobility challenges to support public safety, optimise traffic flow and create better tourism experiences, etc.
Mini has turned a former Brooklyn warehouse into a new design centre as part of the car maker’s move to develop its own take on the challenges of the urban environment (owner BMW has been busy in this space for a while with its BMW Guggenheim Lab). A/D/O kicked off proceedings last month with its first programme, Utopia vs. Dystopia: Designing Our Imagined Futures, which aims to investigate the role design plays in a world of rapid change.
San Francisco-based R&D laboratory Otherlab has picked up a wad of DARPA funding and has been tasked with developing the world’s most advanced industrial paper airplane. That’s because DARPA, the US military’s experimental technology unit, says it wants to get its hands on vehicles able to make precise deliveries of critical supplies and then capable of disappearing into thin air.
London’s Saatchi Gallery is on the lookout for the world’s most creative selfies with the #saatchiselfie contest. The gallery is seeking entries that are experimental and innovative and that ‘take the selfie in exciting new directions’. The competition will be judged by a panel of artists and “forward-thinkers”.
Kenyan incubator m:lab is partnering with a number of East African tech hubs to host Traction Camp, a six-month accelerator initiative. Onboard the effort are Buni in Tanzania, Ugandan outfit Outbox, Rwanda-based kLab and iceaddis in Ethiopia. “The hubs will help to reach out and create opportunities to a larger group of growth-oriented digital entrepreneurs, so that the impact of the programme is felt across the region,” says m:lab.
Chinese tech giant Tencent, which runs leading social media mobile apps WeChat and QQ, is following in the footsteps of Baidu with investments in artificial intelligence. Tencent already has an AI Lab up and running with around 50 scientists and researchers onboard. It is looking to expand as the unit pushes into machine learning, computer vision, speech recognition, and natural language processing territory.
The Royal Shakespeare Company is partnering with Intel and The Imaginarium Studio for a new production of The Tempest featuring virtual reality. That means a role for live motion-capture performance – aka that of Gollum in The Lord of the Rings – with the character of Ariel the sprite rendered as an animated character on stage via a an avatar powered by motion-sensor control.