Daily Briefing: Lancashire duo win Dyson's UK award
Two university students who have developed a ‘spinning’ turbine that can capture wind from any direction have won this year's UK James Dyson Award.
Nicolas Orellana and Yaseen Noorani from Lancaster University have developed a method to generate electricity from wind generated by buildings in city centres.
The pair's 'O-Wind Turbine’ is designed to harness urban air as a source for renewable energy.
Orellana and Noorani will receive £2,000 for winning the national award to help kickstart their product development.
The international winner will be selected from hundreds of applications later this year.
Orellana, who first became interested in the challenge of multidirectional wind after studying NASA’s Mars Tumbleweed rover, says he hopes the O-Wind Turbine will improve the usability and affordability of turbines for people across the world.
He added: “Cities are windy places, but we are currently not harnessing this resource. Our belief is that making it easier to generate green energy, people will be encouraged to play a bigger role in conserving our planet.”
Sir Kenneth Grange, chair of judges, said he was “captivated” by the simplicity of the design.
"Whilst the project, is still at the beginning of a long and gruelling journey of iterations and frustrations, the James Dyson Award exists to reward young engineers with vision," he added.
Amazon hits $1 trillion market value
Amazon has become the second publicly listed company in the US to reach $1 trillion in market value.
The eCommerce giant's stock surged on the Nasdaq, reaching the milestone when the price hit $2,050.50 per share.
The news comes just a month after Apple won the race to become the first company with a $1 trillion valuation.
Founded by CEO Jeff Bezos, Amazon started life in 1994 as a bookseller before expanding to become the world's largest internet retailer.
The company's market value has since dropped back below $1 trillion.
Bad ratings could get you kicked off Uber
Uber riders who are consistently rated poorly by drivers will risk being banned from the service under new ground rules which the company plans to introduce this month.
Uber's new community guidelines come into effect on 19th September and will affect riders in Australia and New Zealand - for now.
They state that accounts will be deactivated if a user’s average rating sits below a certain minimum "after multiple notifications".
The ride-hailing giant said its minimum rating for drivers and riders varies from city to city.
The new policy will affect riders in Australia and New Zealand with plans to roll it out internationally.
AI for your face?
A Swedish 'beauty-tech' brand has launched an artificial intelligence-powered beauty gadget.
FOREO unveiled what it described as "the world’s smartest and smallest beauty coach" in the form of an AI-enabled smart facial cleansing device.
The LUNA fofo device has reportedly clocked up 700 years' worth of intelligence and almost one million skincare consultations since its Beta launch in the US two months ago.
According to FOREO founder and CEO Filip Sedic, the device is "capable of self-learning and is differentiated from other skincare products by its ability to advance day after day".
He said: "Our future products plan to detect air quality and the user's skin condition in real time. Based on all the data, the device could come up with a mode of treatment that is most suitable at that very moment.
"The device will soon be able to predict what kind of treatment, products or tools are best needed for the days ahead."
Headspace calmly buys AI company
Headspace has acquired Alpine.AI (previously known as VoiceLabs) to bring more voice interaction into its main app.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the acquisition includes both the team and the technology.
The meditation app boasts more than 30 million users around the world and has a valuation of $320 million.
Headspace's new CTO Paddy Hannon, who will lead the Alpine team joining the company's San Francisco offices, told TechCrunch: "There are a few meditation apps out there right now…but the ability to react to where you are in your journey with specific advice through voice applications will be [far ahead] of where our competitors are."