Hashtag Trending – China’s using sunglasses to spy on people; 3D-printed homes for $10,000 USD; a new startup will preserve your brain

Beijing police are using AI-powered sunglasses to spy on people. A Texas company can 3D print a 650-square-foot cement home for $10,000 USD. And a new California startup is offering to preserve your brain so it can take advantage of future connected mind technology.

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From Reddit: According to Reuters, Beijing police have been testing a new security tool this week: AI-powered sunglasses that can identify facial features and vehicle license plates, instantly comparing them to a database of suspects and notifying the wearer whenever it detects a match. The CEO of LLVision, which manufactures the glasses, told Reuters that people should not be worried about privacy because Chinese authorities are using the equipment for “noble causes.” I wonder if that includes supporting the recent changes to the country’s constitution allowing “President” Xi Jinping to rule for life?

Trending on both Reddit and Product Hunt: An Austin-based startup is using 3D printing technology to build 650-square-foot cement homes for $10,000 USD. Icon revealed its first prototype, developed in collaboration with housing non-profit New Story, at its hometown’s SXSW festival on Monday. What’s remarkable about the home is how comfortable it looks: the prototype includes a living room, bedroom, bathroom, and curved porch, and was constructed by Icon’s own Vulcan 3D printer in fewer than 24 hours. The company eventually plans to print homes of up to 800 square feet, and to reduce each structure’s individual cost to $4000 USD.

And also trending on Reddit: A new startup wants to preserve your brain. For a refundable deposit of $10,000 USD, Oakland, California-based Nectome will add you to the wait list for its service, which will use a chemical solution to preserve your mind for hundreds, possibly thousands of years after you die, until someone finally creates the type of mind uploading technology seen in The Matrix and Black Mirror. Notice our use of the term “wait list” – Nectome’s storage service is not yet for sale and may not be for several years. Nor, as the MIT Technology Review notes, do we actually have scientific evidence that memories can be salvaged from dead tissue.

That’s what’s trending today. Hashtag Trending is produced by IT World Canada. Today’s episode is sponsored by Cogeco Peer 1, the company that enables businesses to unlock their IT potential. Learn more at CP1.com.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Eric Emin Wood
Eric Emin Wood
Former editor of ITBusiness.ca turned consultant with public relations firm Porter Novelli. When not writing for the tech industry enjoys photography, movies, travelling, the Oxford comma, and will talk your ear off about animation if you give him an opening.

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