This Week In Digital

James Stanley

This week in digital

Google’s D-Wave 2X Quantum is 100 million times faster than your computer

On Tuesday, Google and NASA engineers announced that the D-Wave 2X quantum computer in Silicon Valley had solved a complex optimisation problem within only a few seconds. This news means that potentially, development of everything from self-driving cars to human robots could be rapidly sped up.

In maths and computer science, an optimisation problem is the problem of finding the best solution from all feasible solutions. Only a quantum computer has the capacity to solve these unfathomably large problems down to a quirk in quantum mechanics. While classical computers use bits in 0 or 1, quantum computers use “qubits” that can exist in 0,1 or a superposition of 2. This allows the computer to work through possible solutions much quicker.

d-wave-two-quantum-computer‘The D-Wave took about a hundredth of a second” to solve the problem, Google director of engineering Hartmut Neven said. A classic computer in comparison would take around 100 days to solve the same problem.

Speaking to Fortune, Rupak Biswas, deputy director of exploration technology at Nasa Ames, compared the current state of quantum computing to the early development of conventional computers during the 1930s and 1940s.

‘If quantum computing were to work, it is truly a disruptive technology and it could change how we do everything, almost,’ Biswas said. 

Adidas Unveils First Automated ‘Speedfactory’

In an effort to bring manufacturing back to the firm’s home country of Germany, Adidas has announced its new revolutionary green manufacturing facility. With the majority of Adidas products man-made in Asia, and the home market being the biggest in Europe, this new prototype manufacturing process aims to get the latest products to the consumer quicker and massively cut freight emissions.

465258084The new ‘Speedfactory’ uses automated, intelligent robotic technology to speed up manufacturing whilst reducing the use of adhesives. The group said that the first concept shoes comprising of 500 pairs will be revealed in the first half of 2016, with large-scale commercial production set to launch in the near future.

Speedfactory is just the beginning in the Adidas vision to offer consumers a holistic high-tech experience using revolutionary technologies, in-store customisation and interactive digital experiences. The shift in production strategy comes as sourcing costs are set to rise “significantly” over the next five years as well as labour. 

The new factory will still use humans for parts of the assembly process, but Adidas are working towards full automation in the not too distant future.

Apple’s ‘ugliest’ product ever?

Just when we all thought Apple was done for the year with new product announcements, a new official iPhone accessory appeared online on the apple store this Tuesday, taking many tech consumers by surprise.

smartbatterycaseApple have finally entered the battery case market! In what appears to be their first effort to combat the ever-recurring consumer issue of iPhone’s poor battery life, the design of the case has been dubbed their “ugliest product ever”. Apple is renowned for their innovative approach to style and design, but this product looks and feels like a big step backwards. The new battery case is designed exactly like the existing silicon one, but with a bulging rectangle sticking out the back. Michael Rundle of WIRED, said that the product looked similar to “the pack of cigarettes underneath Snake’s t-shirt” which is both pretty funny and very true. 

In a response to the feedback, company chief Tim Cook said on Thursday “if you’re charging your phone every night, you probably don’t need this at all. But if you’re out hiking and you go on overnight trips… it’s kind of nice to have.” Mashable

Practically, Apple has developed a solid product. Unlike third party battery cases, it’s fully integrated with iOS, you can see the case charge separately in the charging widget on the iPhone’s home screen, as well as in the notification centre when unlocked. Another smart touch is the ability to charge both the case and internal battery through the lightning port, removing the necessity of carrying round a second charging cable. Not to mention it also has an extra antenna to improve reception.

Case tech specs: 25 hours talk time, or 18 hours LTE use, capacity of 1,877mAh (not quite enough to get your iPhone from 0-100%) and it comes in a choice of  either white or charcoal .

And Finally… Viral News


YouTube uploaded their “2015 rewind” advert on Wednesday, encouraging people to visit their #YouTubeRewind channel to enjoy all the viral success vids of the past year. See below!

Elders react to star wars

It’s only a week away! We’ve covered the new Star Wars film a fair bit in This Week in Digital over the past few months, we’re just that excited, and who can blame us? It looks awesome. With the premiere nearly here and Christmas on the horizon too, here’s a galactic festive edition of Fine Brothers Entertainment popular “Elderly People React to…”