Want an impressive opening ceremony? 2020 Olympics may include man-made meteor shower

Call it the world’s best idea or worst idea, but it’s sure to be something special. The Olympics may be all about athletic prowess, but its opening ceremonies have always been about showmanship. And what could be more spectacular than a man-made meteor shower?

A startup called Star-ALE is bidding for the right to create a meteor shower over the Japanese capital city of Tokyo, which will serve as the highlight of the 2020 Olympics opening ceremony. Because why use fireworks when you can create a light display visible across 120 miles of the country?

Star-ALE has dubbed the ambitious feat “Sky Canvas.” It would rely upon a microsatellite that would shoot up to 1,000 pellets of various gasses and elements back toward Earth from outer space. Apparently, the company has tested this concept on Earth, placing pellets into a vacuum and hitting them with gas moving at supersonic speeds, creating an artificial environment similar to that of re-entering Earth’s atmosphere. When the pellets come in contact with the heated gasses, the startup says, they burn and produce different colors. Theoretically, when these pellets are launched from outer space, they’ll ignite when they’re about 35 to 50 miles above our heads, and will be visible to around 30,000,000 people in Tokyo and its nearby areas.

“It is artificial but I want to make really beautiful (meteors) that can impress viewers,” Lena Okajima, CEO and founder of ALE, said to AFP.

But being impressive comes at quite the cost. Each meteor (or pellet) will cost $8,100, which means that creating a full-blown shower for any extended period of time could cost millions of dollars. And that doesn’t take into consideration the cost of launching the microsatellite itself. But hey, for an event that only happens once every four years, maybe creating a meteor shower of your own is worth the cost.

Emerging Tech

Watch China’s moon mission touch down on the planet’s far side

Video has been shared of a lander's-eye view of China's Chang'e 4 mission touching down in the Von Kármán Crater on the far side of the moon. The craft captured footage of the descent with a camera which was attached to the probe.
Mobile

The LG G8 ThinQ may arrive at MWC 2019 with an on-screen speaker

LG is expected to release a successor to the LG G7 ThinQ, possibly called the LG G8 ThinQ, this year and rumors about it are already spreading. Here's everything we know about it so far.
Mobile

Samsung's advanced folding phone needed 'total reconfiguration' to make it real

Samsung has been showcasing bendable display tech for a few years and now a folding smartphone might finally arrive. The Galaxy X, or perhaps the Galaxy Fold, may be the company's first example. Here's everything we know about it.
Virtual Reality

Think virtual reality is just for games? These awesome apps will change your mind

Virtual reality isn't all about gaming. Swim with turtles, paint in 3D, and immerse yourself in some unique experiences the platform has to offer with our curated list of the best VR apps.
Mobile

The Mi Mix 3 is coming to the U.K. on January 16 for a bargain price

Xiaomi announced the Mi Mix 3, a smartphone with a massive screen, a cool slide-up camera module, up to 10GB of RAM, and in the future, a 5G connection. Here's everything you need to know about it.
Emerging Tech

SpaceX nails its first launch and landing of 2019, but job cuts loom

SpaceX has nailed its first launch and landing of 2019 with a mission that deployed more satellites for Virginia-based Iridium Communications. But the success was soured somewhat by reports of upcoming job losses at the company.
Emerging Tech

The enormous ‘Flying Bum’ moves toward a commercial design

A prototype of the world's largest aircraft is being retired as the company behind it prepares to build a production model. The new Airlander 10, also known as the "Flying Bum," could be ready for commercial use by 2025.
Emerging Tech

Sick of walking everywhere? Here are the best electric skateboards you can buy

Thanks for Kickstarter and Indiegogo, electric skateboards are carving a bigger niche than you might think. Whether you're into speed, mileage, or something a bit more stylish, here are the best electric skateboards on the market.
Emerging Tech

The best 3D printers for 2019

On the hunt for a new 3D printer? We've got your back. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned veteran, this list of the best 3D printers has what you're looking for.
Emerging Tech

Wish you could fly? You totally can with these top-of-the-line drones

In just the past few years, drones have transformed from a geeky hobbyist affair to a full-on cultural phenomenon. Here's a no-nonsense rundown of the best drones you can buy right now, no matter what kind of flying you plan to do.
Emerging Tech

Face-scanning A.I. can help doctors spot unusual genetic disorders

Facial recognition can unlock your phone. Could it also be used to identify whether a person has a rare genetic disorder, based on their facial features? New research suggests it can.
Emerging Tech

Lasers and bovine breathalyzer help determine how much methane cows produce

Cow farts and belches don't sound like catastrophic threats, but they contribute to the massive amounts of methane in the atmosphere. Recently, scientists set out to establish the numbers.
Emerging Tech

Researchers discover a way to make 3D printing 100 times faster using light

Researchers at the University of Michigan have invented a new method of 3D printing which is up to 100 times faster than conventional 3D-printing processes. Here's how it works and why it could prove a game-changer for 3D printing.
Emerging Tech

Why wait? Here are some CES 2019 gadgets you can buy right now

Companies come to CES to wow us with their cutting edge technology, but only a few products are slated to hit the market right away. Here is our list of the best CES 2019 tech you can buy right now.