Trends with Benefits: Escaping robots, laser bazookas, smart billboards, and more

Owning a laser gun is probably something we have all dreamed about as some point. YouTube personality Drake Anthony, known as Styropyro, is someone who has actually done it. He’s posted several videos of homemade laser contraptions and his latest does not fail to impress. He created a laser bazooka, made from re-purposed blue laser diodes, among other parts from various components bought off of eBay. The video demonstrates his laser in action, as he tears through everything from a computer case, to a block of wood. We may be witnessing the origin story of a real-life Iron Man.

From lasers to phones, there is always speculation about what Apple is up to. The iPhone 7 is one of the most anticipated phones in years and we cover many of the rumors currently circulating about the new device. It’s possible they drop the metal case, make the phone waterproof and get rid of the Touch ID button. One of the biggest rumors, is that they may be getting rid of the headphone jack altogether. While this would make the phone thinner, it would also force everyone to purchase new headphones. Is that something you’d be willing to do, in order to have the latest in phone technology?

Caleb Denison recently returned from Consumer Electronics Week in New York. CE Week is designed to be a bridge between the annual CES, in January. He participated in the “King of TV” competition, between the highest end televisions on the market. While the current models are impressive, he also let us know about what could be coming in the future. Tune in to find out about what “Q”LED technology is all about and why it may revolutionize the industry.

Personalized advertising is about to go to the next level in Japan, with plans to launch “smart” billboards on highways. They will have the ability to scan cars before they pass by a digital display, gathering information about their make, model, etc. Custom ads up to 5 seconds will then be broadcast to target the drivers as they pass by. This is surely only the start to a new form of marketing. How do you feel about advertisers gathering so much information about you?

Finally, we head back to Russia for it’s now famous escaping Robot. The AI-enhanced droid, named the Promobot IR77 made the news a couple of weeks ago, by escaping it’s lab and rolling into traffic on it’s own. Apparently not learning from their mistakes, the robot was somehow allowed to escape again! This time it went on a 45 minute cruise through the city of Perm, before it’s battery died, in the middle of the street. There are rumors that it will be “put down”, which will clearly be a provocation to our future robot overlords.

Today’s episode features Caleb Denison, Drew Prindle, Rick Stella and Greg Nibler.

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