The robots are coming

By The Week on 21st of February 2015

Nao robots: helping out at banksIt’s 58cm tall, can speak 19 languages – and could soon be helping you open a new bank account, reports The Guardian. Nao, a humanoid robot, has been recruited by Japan’s biggest bank to help greet customers at its high street branches on a trial basis. Equipped with two cameras on its forehead, and directional microphones instead of ears, it can read, and assess emotions by analysing people’s facial features and tones of voice. In a presentation last week, Nao welcomed customers to the bank, and asked them which service they required.

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Upsetting the Apple car

By The Economist on 19th of February 2015

APPLE’S ability to make desirable iGadgets designed for easy portability is beyond question. Reports emerged this week that it is planning to make a mobile device that will instead carry its users—an electric car. Apple’s plans are unclear and unconfirmed. By some accounts it has put a few hundred people to work developing cars to match Tesla, another Silicon Valley firm that makes fast and luxurious battery-powered saloons. Others reckon that it is working on a self-driving car.Plenty of other tech firms are turning their attention to cars.

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Batteries suit offers clues to Apple’s car ambitions

By Financial Times on 19th of February 2015

A maker of electric car batteries is suing Apple for poaching some of its best researchers, providing further evidence of the iPhone maker’s plans for a big push into the automotive market.In court filings this week, A123 Systems accused Apple of “systematically hiring away [its] high-tech PhD and engineering employees, thereby effectively shutting down various projects/programs” at the Massachusetts-based company.“They are doing so in an effort to support Apple’s apparent plans to establish a battery division that is similar if not identical to A123’s,” the lawsuit states.The company is al

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