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DT Daily: Earthquake alarm, 3D VR sculpture, Apple market cap

Today on DT Daily: crowdfunding an earthquake early warning system, sculpting in VR 3D, and some truly astounding numbers from Apple.

For many people, the 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami are horrifying memories. But, it could have been much worse. Japan’s earthquake early warning system activated as planned, giving people a few extra minutes to get to higher ground and saving many lives.

Since then, there’s been a push for expanding earthquake warning systems, and now there’s one you can back. Called the Grillo, which is Spanish for cricket, this tiny box links into a growing automated seismic detection system and sounds an audible and visible alarm when a warning is triggered. How much warning you get depends on your distance from the quake, so it could be minutes or seconds, but that’s better than nothing if the Big One hits.

You can get a Grillo for just 50 bucks, but make sure to check first if it will work where you live. Grillo is hoping their funding will eventually help develop a worldwide warning system.

So what happens when virtual reality headsets, sculpting software and 3-D printing intersect? The weird and wonderful world of virtual sculpture!

Still in it’s nascent stages, the software allows users wearing an Oculus Rift headset to use Razer Hydra controllers to virtually sculpt items in 3D. It really gets wild when outside observers can see what the person is sculpting. And once the sculptor is finished with their creation, it can be saved and sent to a 3D printer to bring the virtual masterpiece into the real world.

Really, the possibilities for both art and more practical creations, such as prosthetics or even artificial organs, is pretty much endless.

Apple has another hit on its hands with the hugely popular iPhone 6 smartphones, and the Apple Watch is waiting in the wings. So hey, Tim Cook, how about a smile? Because congrats, Apple’s market cap is now over $700 billion, according to their most recent stock price.

And try these numbers on for size: Apple only recently edged out Exxon-Mobil for the title of world’s most valuable company, now it leads by over $300 billion. Also, market experts estimate it has about $180 billion in cash, which is nearly four times what the entire U.S. Government has socked away! So with Apple trading at $120 a share, should you buy? Believe it or not, investor Carl Icahn says Apple is actually undervalued, and many top analysts are saying it’s headed for a trillion dollar market cap.

How soon? When you see Apple stock hit $167 a share, you’ll know it’s happened.

Your host today is Holly Resnick. Miss a day? Watch all the episodes of DT Daily right here. And be sure to catch our latest podcast.