Trending December 2023 # Ghost Bat Drones Could Fly Alongside The Next Generation Of Air Force Fighter Jets # Suggested January 2024 # Top 21 Popular

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The US Air Force is looking for a new way to win fights in the sky, and is turning to drones that can escort crewed fighters to do so. To explore the concept, the US Air Force is eyeing the idea of using a drone called the Ghost Bat, which was built for the Royal Australian Air Force. Speaking at an August event with the head of the Royal Australian Air Force, US Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall suggested that the MG-28 Ghost Bat, or a variant, may fly into combat alongside future US fighters. The remark was first reported by Breaking Defense and hints at a future of international design for the loyal wingmate aircraft of tomorrow.

“I’m talking to my Australian counterparts in general about the [Next Generation Air Dominance] family of systems and how they might be able to participate,” Breaking Defense reports Kendall saying. In that context, Kendall continues, the Ghost Bat “could serve ‘as a risk reduction mechanism’ for NGAD’s drone capability.”

Next Generation Air Dominance is a long-in-development Air Force program and concept for designing aircraft that will fight in the skies of the 21st century. Historically, the Air Force has invested a great deal of effort into developing generations of fighter jets, with each wave flown alongside fighters from the previous and succeeding eras until deemed fully obsolete and phased out. 

The MQ-28A Ghost Bat naming event in March in Queensland, Australia. LACW Emma Schwenke

Generations of jets

Consider the F-4 Phantom, a third-generation fighter that first entered military service in 1958, where it flew alongside the second-generation F-100 Super Sabre. The US retired the F-4 Phantom in 1996, after it flew alongside fourth-generation planes like the F-15 and F-16. Today, those fourth generation fighters fly alongside fifth-generation planes like the F-22 and F-35.

That pattern of development, which matched the pace and limits of aircraft development in the 1950s through 1990s, meant planes being flown for decades, despite becoming more and more obsolete as newer aircraft entered service at home and abroad.

“The Next Generation Air Dominance program is employing digital engineering to replace once-in-a-generation, mass-produced fighters with smaller batches of iteratively-upgraded platforms of multiple types,” declares an Air Force acquisition report from 2023-2023. 

Ghost Bat is a product of the Loyal Wingman program, which set out to design a dependable drone escort for fighters. This program is a way for the Air Force to iterate on plane design without committing to decades of service from the drones. 

Loyal wingmate

In the 2023-2023 report, the Air Force described Next Generation Air Dominance as a way to achieve air superiority in challenging conditions. At present, the air superiority mission is performed by crewed fighters like the F-22 and F-15, whose pilots risk their aircraft and their lives when fighting against enemy aircraft and anti-air weapons. Instead of building a single new fighter to replace F-15s and F-22s, the Air Force wants to borrow from the iterative design of the automotive industry, making drones with open architecture that can be more quickly developed, all in the name of improving the Air Force’s ability to survive, kill, and endure in the face of enemy aircraft and weapons. 

This survival will come as part of a mixed fleet of drones and crewed aircraft. Under the Loyal Wingman program, the Air Force has worked for years to develop a drone that can fly and fight alongside a crewed aircraft. Loyal wingmates, as envisioned, will fly alongside F-22s and F-35s, and any crewed aircraft that replaces the stealth jets may be designed with loyal wingmates in mind. 

What is the Ghost Bat?

The Ghost Bat is an uncrewed plane that is 38 feet long, with a flight range of 2,300 miles. Boeing, which makes it, says that the drone will incorporate sensor packages for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, and expects it to perform scouting missions ahead of other aircraft, as well as being able to detect incoming threats. In addition, the plan is for the Ghost Bat to employ “artificial intelligence to fly independently or in support of crewed aircraft while maintaining safe distance between other aircraft.”

When the Royal Australian Air Force announced the Ghost Bat in March, they said it was the “first Australian-built aircraft in more than 50 years.” 

The name, selected from a pool of over 700 possibilities, is a tribute to the only carnivorous species of bat in Australia; they are hunters that use both eyes and echolocation to hunt prey. As the announcement from the RAAF explained, Ghost Bat was chosen as a name because ghost bats are the only Australian bat that can prey on both terrestrial and flying animals. In addition, the RAAF pointed to the drone’s possible use in electronic warfare, a mission already carried out in Australia by a unit with a ghost bat symbol. 

None of this offers a wealth of information on what the Ghost Bat actually does, but that’s sort of the point. What the Ghost Bat most needs to be able to do is be an uncrewed plane that can fly safely with, and receive orders from, crewed aircraft. To meet the goals of Next Generation Air Dominance, the Air Force wants planes that can be easily adapted to new missions and take on new tools, like sensors or electronic warfare weapons, or other tech not yet developed. 

Boeing built the Ghost Bat for the Loyal Wingman program, but it’s not the only loyal wingmate explored. The Kratos Valkyrie, built for the Air Force and tested as a loyal wingmate with the Skyborg autonomous pilot, has already seen its earliest models retired to be museum pieces.

While these are distinct aircraft, the flexibility of software and especially open-architecture autopilots means that an autonomous navigation system developed on one airframe could become the pilot on a different one. It is this exact modularity and flexibility the Air Force is looking at, as it envisions a future of robots flying alongside human pilots, with models numbered not in generations but years.

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Decoding The Next Generation Of Ai

Robotics brings together a wide range of different machines including Pepper partnering with soft-bank; the Boston Dynamics humanoid robot Atlas, which can do backflips in movies and television and a plethora of humanoids and Bots that leave the human mind with awe and inspiration to achieve new tech heights. Much that the technology that powers robotics continues to achieve new pinnacle; people not familiar with the developments tend to hold polarized views, ranging from unrealistically high expectations of robots with human-level intelligence, or an underestimation of the potential of new research and technologies. Over the past years, questions have been asked about what is actually going on in deep reinforcement learning and robotics industry. How are AI-enabled robots different from traditional ones and their underlying potential to revolutionize various industries, what is the new excitement the robotics industry holds for the future. These questions point towards the challenging world of robotics and how difficult it can go to understand the current technological progress and industry landscape, to enable tech giants and newbies alike to make predictions for the future.  

The Uniqueness Behind the AI powered Robots

So what is about the robot evolution from the automation to autonomy? What started off as a quest to make routine work easy through automation has come a long way towards full robot autonomy? AI brings a game changer approach to robotics by enabling a move away from automation to true self-directed autonomy. When the robot needs to handle several tasks, or respond to humans or changes in the environment, it essentially needs certain levels of autonomy. The path from autonomy has been an uphill but a truly worthwhile change. According to a source, the evolution of robots can be explained by burrowing case studies from the autonomous car space. For an easy explanation of the process underlined below, robots are defined as the programmable machines capable of carrying out complex actions automatically. •  Level 0 stage is also called as the No automation stage where people operate machines, there is no automation without any robotic involvement. •  Level 1 stage is the driver assistance level, where a single function or task is automated, but the robot does not necessarily use information about the environment. Traditionally, robots are deployed in automotive or manufacturing industries programmed to repeatedly perform specific tasks with a high precision and speed. •  Level 2 stands for partial automation where a machine assists with certain functions, using sensory input from the environment to automate some operational decisions. Examples include identifying and handling different objects with a robotic vision sensor. In this stage, robots lack the ability to deal with surprises, new objects or changes. •  Level 3 is the Conditional autonomy where the machine controls the entire environment monitoring, but still requires a human’s intervention and attention for unpredictable events. •  Level 4 is the high autonomy stage where the machine is fully autonomous in certain situations or defined areas. •  Level 5 is the complete autonomy level powering the machine with full automation in all situations.  

The Current Stage of Automation

Today, a majority of robots deployed in factories are non-feedback controlled, or open-looped implying that their actions are independent from sensor feedback as that happens in level 1 stage as discussed above. Few robots in the business act and take commands based on sensor feedback as that happens in Level 2. A collaborative robot, or co-bot, is designed to be more versatile empowered to work with humans; however, the trade-off is less powerful and happens at lower speeds, especially when compared to industrial robots. Though a co-bot is relatively easier to program, it is not necessarily autonomous to handle. There is often a need of human workers to handhold a co-bot every whenever there is any change in the environment or the task. Pilot projects integrated with AI-enabled robots, have started to become a regular feature incorporating a Level 3 or 4 autonomy, like warehouse piece-picking. Traditional computer vision cannot handle a wide variety of objects like that in e-commerce because each robot needs to be programmed beforehand and each item needs to be registered. However reinforcement learning and deep learning has enabled robots to learn to handle different objects with minimum human assistance. In the times to come, there might be some goods that robots have never encountered before which would need a support system and a demonstration from human workers bringing the level 3 of automation. In the times to come, improvements will be seen into algorithms to get closer to full autonomy as the robots collect more data and improve through trial and error in Level 4. Taking a clue from the autonomous car industry, robotics startups are additionally taking different approaches to autonomy for their robots. Some aspects believe in a collaborative future between robots and humans, and focus on Level 3 mastery. While in a fully autonomous future, skipping Level 3 and focusing on Level 4, and eventually on Level 5 will be difficult to assess the actual level of autonomy.  

The Age of AI-Enabled Robots in Industries

Taking the brighter side, robots are being used in a lot more use cases and industries than ever before. AI-enabled robots are running warehouses, in a semi-controlled environment, picking up critical pieces that are fault-tolerant tasks. On the other hand, autonomous home or surgical robots will be a reality of the future, as there are uncertainties in the operating environment, where some tasks are not recoverable. With the change in time, the human eyes will see more AI-enabled robots being used across industries and scenarios as reliability and technology precision improves. The world has seen only about 3 million robots, most of which work on welding, assembly and handling tasks. There have been very few robot arms being used in varied industries like agriculture, industries or warehouses apart from electronics and automotive units, due to the limitation of computer vision.

Robotics brings together a wide range of different machines including Pepper partnering with soft-bank; the Boston Dynamics humanoid robot Atlas, which can do backflips in movies and television and a plethora of humanoids and Bots that leave the human mind with awe and inspiration to achieve new tech heights. Much that the technology that powers robotics continues to achieve new pinnacle; people not familiar with the developments tend to hold polarized views, ranging from unrealistically high expectations of robots with human-level intelligence, or an underestimation of the potential of new research and technologies. Over the past years, questions have been asked about what is actually going on in deep reinforcement learning and robotics industry. How are AI-enabled robots different from traditional ones and their underlying potential to revolutionize various industries, what is the new excitement the robotics industry holds for the future. These questions point towards the challenging world of robotics and how difficult it can go to understand the current technological progress and industry landscape, to enable tech giants and newbies alike to make predictions for the chúng tôi what is about the robot evolution from the automation to autonomy? What started off as a quest to make routine work easy through automation has come a long way towards full robot autonomy? AI brings a game changer approach to robotics by enabling a move away from automation to true self-directed autonomy. When the robot needs to handle several tasks, or respond to humans or changes in the environment, it essentially needs certain levels of autonomy. The path from autonomy has been an uphill but a truly worthwhile change. According to a source, the evolution of robots can be explained by burrowing case studies from the autonomous car space. For an easy explanation of the process underlined below, robots are defined as the programmable machines capable of carrying out complex actions automatically. • Level 0 stage is also called as the No automation stage where people operate machines, there is no automation without any robotic involvement. • Level 1 stage is the driver assistance level, where a single function or task is automated, but the robot does not necessarily use information about the environment. Traditionally, robots are deployed in automotive or manufacturing industries programmed to repeatedly perform specific tasks with a high precision and speed. • Level 2 stands for partial automation where a machine assists with certain functions, using sensory input from the environment to automate some operational decisions. Examples include identifying and handling different objects with a robotic vision sensor. In this stage, robots lack the ability to deal with surprises, new objects or changes. • Level 3 is the Conditional autonomy where the machine controls the entire environment monitoring, but still requires a human’s intervention and attention for unpredictable events. • Level 4 is the high autonomy stage where the machine is fully autonomous in certain situations or defined areas. • Level 5 is the complete autonomy level powering the machine with full automation in all situations.Today, a majority of robots deployed in factories are non-feedback controlled, or open-looped implying that their actions are independent from sensor feedback as that happens in level 1 stage as discussed above. Few robots in the business act and take commands based on sensor feedback as that happens in Level 2. A collaborative robot, or co-bot, is designed to be more versatile empowered to work with humans; however, the trade-off is less powerful and happens at lower speeds, especially when compared to industrial robots. Though a co-bot is relatively easier to program, it is not necessarily autonomous to handle. There is often a need of human workers to handhold a co-bot every whenever there is any change in the environment or the task. Pilot projects integrated with AI-enabled robots, have started to become a regular feature incorporating a Level 3 or 4 autonomy, like warehouse piece-picking. Traditional computer vision cannot handle a wide variety of objects like that in e-commerce because each robot needs to be programmed beforehand and each item needs to be registered. However reinforcement learning and deep learning has enabled robots to learn to handle different objects with minimum human assistance. In the times to come, there might be some goods that robots have never encountered before which would need a support system and a demonstration from human workers bringing the level 3 of automation. In the times to come, improvements will be seen into algorithms to get closer to full autonomy as the robots collect more data and improve through trial and error in Level 4. Taking a clue from the autonomous car industry, robotics startups are additionally taking different approaches to autonomy for their robots. Some aspects believe in a collaborative future between robots and humans, and focus on Level 3 mastery. While in a fully autonomous future, skipping Level 3 and focusing on Level 4, and eventually on Level 5 will be difficult to assess the actual level of autonomy.Taking the brighter side, robots are being used in a lot more use cases and industries than ever before. AI-enabled robots are running warehouses, in a semi-controlled environment, picking up critical pieces that are fault-tolerant tasks. On the other hand, autonomous home or surgical robots will be a reality of the future, as there are uncertainties in the operating environment, where some tasks are not recoverable. With the change in time, the human eyes will see more AI-enabled robots being used across industries and scenarios as reliability and technology precision improves. The world has seen only about 3 million robots, most of which work on welding, assembly and handling tasks. There have been very few robot arms being used in varied industries like agriculture, industries or warehouses apart from electronics and automotive units, due to the limitation of computer vision. Over the next 20 years, the world will witness an explosive growth and a changing industry landscape which will bought by the next-generation robots as reinforcement learning, cloud computing and deep learning unlock the robotic potential.

A Psa On How Not To Fly Drones

Yep, that’s me crashing a quadcoptor on live national television last week. Hovering one moment, careening into an innocent cameraman the next.

At Popular Science we talk, read, and write a lot about drones. We put them on our magazine covers and a few of us fly them. We see huge promise in the devices, and the communities that use them. So when Fox & Friends invited us on last week to talk drone safety, I agreed to help.

Here’s how it went down.

The night before the segment, a producer gave me a ring. Could I fly a drone in the studio for visual effect, she asked? Yes. I’m not a professional pilot, but I’m no slouch, either. I’ve flown a number of drones over the years, and–after a polishing up in the office the night before–I felt confident I could levitate one while answering a TV anchor’s questions. That was my first mistake.

The next morning, I arrived at the studio, DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ in hand, and walked the show’s engineer through the specifics. As I screwed in the propeller guards, I told him it’d create a lot of noise and wind. So, we’d need plenty of room, and I’d hover it for maybe 20-30 seconds before touching down. I also showed him the drone’s live video feed from a tablet. Could he film this? Yes, I said. Call that my second mistake.

Then came the segment. All was going well: I hovered the drone off the ground and Steve Doocy, one of the anchors, held my tablet for the cameras. Then things started going… not so well. Over the years, I’ve grown accustomed to a first-person flying view. By giving Doocy the tablet, I seriously compromised my flying abilities. After a few seconds of hovering, the drone started drifting toward a camera. I tried to rotate and move away, but instead sent it hurtling out of the studio lights and into the darkness. Not my best moment.

The cruel irony of crashing a drone during a TV segment about drone safety hasn’t escaped me. (Thanks for being kind, Gizmodo and CNET.) What’s worse: The DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ is essentially the same model a government worker crashed on the White House lawn in January. And he was drunk.

Regardless of how you feel toward government regulation of drone use, the reality is that safety is an issue, and we need to talk about it. Should we go on live TV and crash drones while doing so? Of course not.

In hindsight, I would have been wise to practice what I preached and study, for example, the “Know Before You Fly” campaign, which the AMA, AUVSI, Small UAV Coalition, and FAA pulled together last year in anticipation of everyone becoming a drone pilot after Christmas. It’s not the final word on safe drone operation–practice makes perfect–but it’s a good place to start before you even think of picking up a drone, much less fly one in front of millions of viewers.

Dave Mosher is the online director of Popular Science.

Coinfluence Announces Ico To Empower The Next Generation Of Influencer Marketing

Take the example of Elon’s Musk’s infamous support for Dogecoin. The latest tweet recovered the 10% drop it witnessed a day earlier. One tweet can be the difference between the life and death of the next breakthrough in the digital asset space. Such is the power of influencers in crypto. 

Coinfluence: The Crypto Influencer Platform of the Future 

Coinfluence solves the crypto influencer marketing problem by connecting upcoming projects with a wealth of high-level influencers. The outcome is an environment where

projects get access to high-quality social media influencers that can attract the right crowd and increase the chances of a successful launch while the influencers get to be a part of the next breakthrough in crypto, creating fantastic win-win situations. And of course, a good project doesn’t necessarily translate into a successful one if it remains under the radar. Access to a wide range of influencers means that it will get the right exposure, putting it on the map where it truly belongs. 

Coinfluence achieves this with a tight-knit set of strategies. First, any project that wishes to be listed must go through a stringent quality check that is based on a multitude of factors, allowing only thoroughly vetted projects to be listed. This creates a cleaner and better option for investors, whilst protecting the market from scams, rug pulls, and bad actors. 

At the centre of this whole ecosystem is the CFLU token, designed to assist projects and influencers to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes. Approved projects get to hold their token sales through the launchpad, where the community can acquire their tokens using CFLU. Each transaction gets taxed, with the amount being distributed for liquidity, staking rewards, and marketing. At the same time, the deflationary token model should push the CFLU price upwards. 

CFLU Token Sale Event 

Driving the economics behind Confluence’s ecosystem is the Binance Smart Chain-based BEP-20 compliant CFLU token. Based on the principles of deflation, there are a total of 1 billion CFLU, of which 650 million are already available in the currently ongoing token sale. The event is phase-based, with each of the 100 successful phases making the CFLU progressively more expensive (currently phase 1 has a price of 0.0056 USD per 1 CFLU). 

Out of the 650 million CFLU, 100 million have been set aside for financing the platform developers. To give confidence to projects, influencers, and users of CFLU, a vesting schedule will allow the team access to 20% of the funds, with the rest being released periodically. This ensures that rugpulls are guaranteed against. 

An innovative tax system is also a unique approach, by which 10% of all transactions are deducted, with 4% going to the liquidity pools, 4% to token holders, and 2% for marketing and expansion. Along with this, every 10th transaction in the first 1000 transactions will receive 5000 bonus tokens as a reward. Visit the Coinfluence ICO platform to get your CFLU tokens today.

The Present and the Future 

The Coinfluence concept materialized at the start of 2023. Alongside this, the Coinfluence team has achieved onboarding a large number of influencers and it has set a target of 100,000 top influencers under its Enrolment Program.

Coinfluence is also building towards global collaborations and getting CFLU listed on major exchanges, to provide increased liquidity and access for the everyday user to the CFLU ecosystem. Confluence is also looking to list CFLU on major coin monitoring platforms such as CoinMarketCap and CoinGecko, plus portfolio tracker Blockfolio, to raise awareness and increase information transparency. 

Further down the road, Coinfluence will be launching its mobile app for access on the go. Confluence will be also roll out their own launchpad, giving projects a one-stop solution to top influencers and the many intricacies involved in project setup and launch, all at the same time. Finally, Coinfluence will create its own news platform, the Coinfluence News Network to inform its users and the public on the latest happenings in the industry. 

Visit the Coinfluence ICO platform to get your CFLU tokens today. 

Media Contact 

Contact Email: [email protected]

A Flu That’s Infecting Thousands Of Dogs Could Move To Humans Next

The newest outbreak of canine influenza has almost reached epidemic proportions; last month, more than 1,000 dogs in the Chicago area were infected, and cases have popped up in a dozen states around the country. Viruses like the flu often move between animal species, and humans are no exception, especially because we live in such close quarters with our canine companions.

Flu symptoms in dogs are surprisingly similar to those in humans: They have runny noses, coughs, and are lethargic. And like humans, dogs can only transmit the flu to one another. Death from the disease is rare, but in dogs with weakened immune systems–if they’re old or already sick–it can sometimes be fatal. Places where dogs congregate, like dog parks, shelters, or daycare and boarding facilities, become opportunities for the virus to spread to a new host.

Traveling in an infected dog is likely how this particular strain of the flu, called H3N2, came to the U.S. in the first place. “The genetic fingerprint of the virus isolated in Chicago is nearly identical to a virus that was circulating in Korea and other parts of Asia,” says Edward Dubovi, a professor of virology at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University. His guess is that a dog sick with the flu was brought into the country. Though border patrol often requires some paperwork to show that animals have received the proper vaccinations, these mostly pertain to animals used in agriculture, not companion animals like dogs and cats. “Individuals from state to state who deal with companion animals admit that there is a highly porous border; companion animals are fairly unregulated and ignored to a certain extent,” Dubovi says.

Before it moved to dogs, H3N2 was only found in birds. Viruses are amazingly plastic, Dubovi says, and able to infect different species, because the virus is constantly mutating and changing. Eventually, one of these mutated versions found its way to a dog and, against sizable odds, was able to infect it. This frequent mutation is part of the reason you have to get a new flu shot ever year; the virus changes so quickly that sometimes we have trouble mounting our defenses to keep up with it.

Frequent mutation is part of the reason the virus could also move to humans. A dog living in close quarters with his owner might have just the one strain of the mutated virus that could take hold in humans. But the flu has another scary quality that may help it make the jump: The flu not only mutates, but can jumble up the order of its genes, like a game of genetic Boggle. “So, hypothetically, you could have a dog with H3N2 [a different strain of canine flu], and the owner of that dog could have H1N1 [which started in swine]. If the owner sneezes on the dog, then the dog could get a dual infection, and out of that could come something truly nasty,” Dubovi says.

It’s not really likely that this flu strain will make the leap to humans, Dubovi emphasizes. But it could happen. “It’s like buying a lottery ticket. It’s a theoretical possibility, and there’s no way of predicting. The influenza virus has the ability to produce tremendous surprises.”

Dog owners are already taking the right steps to slow the outbreak of canine flu: keeping them away from places where dogs congregate, at least for a short while. With any luck, this strain might even disappear, Dubovi says.

Synaptics And Pilotfish Collaborate To Develop Next Generation Mobile Phone Concept

Synaptics and Pilotfish Collaborate to Develop Next Generation Mobile Phone Concept

SlashGear has received a press release and an internal document about Onyx, a collaborative cellphone project by touch-sensor specialists Synaptics and industrial design wizards Pilotfish. Unlike many concepts, where a sleek, headline grabbing shell either runs standard software or nothing at all, or a new platform runs on bland reference hardware, part of the charm of Onyx comes from the harmony of the software/hardware interface. In fact it’s this interface – and your interaction with it – that potentially makes Onyx the product of 2006.

“The real meaning of this product is about opening up the channels between hand, eyes, and device, and giving people access to actions and information in a way not possible with conventional buttons” [Brian Conner, Pilotfish]

To call the Onyx touchscreen-based is to do it a disservice; in fact, it uses Synaptics innovative ClearPad technology, the first transparent touch-sensitive capacitive sensor. ClearPad is capable of recognizing not only points and taps but also shapes and complex movements, together with multi-point input. At 0.5mm thick, the sensor layer can recognize touch and gestures through up to 1.6mm of plastic, making it far more durable and optically clear than traditional multi-layer touchscreens. And above and beyond those touchscreens it can recognize one or two finger contact, a finger used on its side, or even different body parts; a phone call to Onyx can be answered by simply holding it to your cheek, messages sent by swiping them off the screen with the whole finger.

Clever stuff, but the joy of Onyx comes from the cutting-edge industrial design and user interface design package provided by Pilotfish. Working closely with Synaptics to eke out the best of ClearPad’s capabilities, Pilotfish have followed the philosophy that hardware and software are not two separate fields but rather interrelated parts of the overall experience of a product.

“The design statement of the physical product itself is very simple: it’s all about the living, interactive surface that presents itself to the user and everything else is secondary. The main display and interaction surface is a curved optical panel over the large LCD display. The life underneath the surface is housed in a one-piece aluminum housing” [internal document]

A system of simultaneously running, dynamically inter-communicating applications that, rather than being static menu-based, are task-oriented, the joy of gesture control is that it removes the unnecessary interruption of buttons and icons. Tasks can be closed by gesturing an “X” over them, for instance, and blowing a kiss to the screen can speed-dial your partner (or lover).

Synaptics and Pilotfish see Onyx as a tool assisting OEMs in visualizing a fundamentally new form of user interface. They might not put it in so many words, but they’re part of a new breed of technology company that recognizes that as functionality in mobile devices expands then the interface by which we access it must evolve too. The pool of power-users willing and capable of deciphering endless menus and sub-menus remains a minority amongst normal consumers, and if the latter are to be persuaded to upgrade for reasons other than “world’s thinnest” then it’ll take more than redesigned iconography to do it.

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