Tuesday, July 23, 2024

BY KATO MURRAY

Microsoft Founder Bill Gates once said that the advance of technology is “based on making it fit in so that you don’t really even notice it.” Little did he know, “fitting in” also meant accepting the sheer number of AI-generated images shared daily by your relatives on social media. If Grandma’s Facebook posts aren’t your thing, fear not! With an abundance of exciting tech updates in 2024, you might need to borrow a few AI-generated fingers just to count them all. From updates in 6G, evolution in the in-car experience, sustainability, and more, there’s still plenty to look forward to as we approach the midpoint of the year.

6G Wireless Network Updates
A team of leading Japanese telecom companies, including DOCOMO, NTT Corporation, NEC Corporation, and Fujitsu, recently unveiled the world’s first 6G prototype device. Reports indicate that the prototype device can transmit data at an incredible 100 gigabits per second, 20 times faster than current 5G devices. While won’t be until 2030 before 6G devices are commercially available, it’s anticipated that these 6G-powered devices won’t just be faster but will revolutionize the passenger experience, enabling innovations such as real-time holographic communication and immersive virtual and mixed-reality experiences.

Kato Murray SDVs and Other Vehicle Technology
Earlier this year at CES 2024, the spotlight was on the software-defined vehicle (SDV) as an emerging trend in the automotive industry. This innovative approach to vehicle design promises to redefine the automotive industry by shifting control from hardware to software, enabling greater flexibility, customization, and upgradability in vehicles. Leading the charge in SDV-related AI technologies, companies like NVIDIA (which is bigger than Google and Amazon) have garnered significant attention. Li Auto, Great Wall Motors, Zeekr, Xiaomi, and Polestar have all embraced NVIDIA’s platforms for intelligent automated driving systems. For example, Polestar’s integration of NVIDIA’s DRIVE Orin platform enhances safety features like driver monitoring systems (DMS), ensuring real-time alerts to mitigate risks. Similarly, Mercedes-Benz is harnessing NVIDIA’s technology to advance SDV capabilities in models like the Concept CLA Class, paving the way for autonomous driving and over-the-air updates.

❱ Continental’s “Face Authentication Display”
Continental recently unveiled the automotive industry’s first facial recognition system, the “Face Authentication Display.” The system employs biometric user recognition, utilizing external B-pillar cameras and discreet console-mounted sensors. Once a registered user is detected, the vehicle seamlessly opens and starts, thanks to biometric face authentication. The interior camera also ensures only authorized individuals can activate the vehicle, and integrated sensors provide reliable attention and fatigue detection. Note: Similar technology is already available on vehicles like Lucid.

❱ Kia PBVs
Kia unveiled its Platform Beyond Vehicle (PBV), targeting business customers seeking user-focused electric vehicles (EVs). The PBV lineup adopts a modular design approach, offering customized solutions for various operator needs, from cargo vans to compact hatchbacks. Leveraging Hyundai Motor Group’s software-to-everything strategy, PBV integrates advanced software solutions to enhance mobility. The rollout is expected to occur in three phases, catering initially to major business operators like ride-hailing and package delivery, evolving into AI-based mobility platforms in phase two, and offering customizable solutions in phase three.

❱ MBUX Virtual Assistant
Vehicles have been more than just a way to get from one place to another for a while now. More and more, our vehicles are integrating with other parts of our daily life as well. Mercedes-Benz introduced the MBUX Virtual Assistant, powered by MB.OS, offering a human-like interface with natural interaction and proactive intelligence. Evolving from the VISION EQXX, this assistant utilizes generative AI to simplify life, providing personalized suggestions based on learned behavior. With four key characteristics—Natural, Predictive, Personal, and Empathetic—it seamlessly adapts to user preferences and fosters empathy through an emotional neural voice. Integrated with advanced 3D graphics from the Unity game engine, the assistant’s “living” star avatar enhances visual communication, while MBUX Surround Navigation enhances route guidance with real-world views and enhanced situational awareness. The technology is expected to debut in the upcoming CLA Class EV.

Kato Murray ❱ Goodyear ElectricDrive2
Expected to be available sometime in Q2 2024, Goodyear’s ElectricDrive 2 represents their latest stride towards achieving 100 percent sustainability in tire manufacturing by 2030. Anticipated to be launched in 17 sizes, the tire has been designed to accommodate a diverse range of EV sedans and CUVs, including popular models like the Audi Q4 e-tron; Chevy Bolt; Ford Mustang Mach-E; and Tesla Models Y, 3, and S.

Workplace Technology
When it comes to technological advancements, who says that vehicles should get to have all of the fun? Transitioning from the roads to the office, here are some workplace apps for the desk jockeys among us.

❱ Loom
If you’ve ever found yourself wondering whether a meeting should have been an email, Loom allows you to do both. Loom is a video messaging tool that lets you record your camera, microphone, and desktop simultaneously to share instantly, cutting down on endless emails and live meetings. Plus, it’s perfect for collaborative moments when everyone can’t be online at once.

❱ Miro
Miro is a visual collaboration tool where teams can virtually gather around a digital whiteboard to brainstorm ideas, jot down notes, or bring concepts to life without having to fight with dried out markers.

❱ Project Management
One of the best things you can invest in for you, your company, and your entire team is a project management platform. Whether you’re wrangling tasks, coordinating deadlines, or brainstorming ideas, these tools keep your projects organized and your team on track. From the simplicity of Trello, to the robust features of Asana, Monday.com, and ClickUp, there’s an option out there for everyone to make your Mondays just a little less manic than the ones Susanna Hoffs sang about.

❱ Koalendar
I’m still not sure what koalas have to do with calendars, but Koalander takes out all the back-and-forth of figuring out when everyone’s free for client meetings, intake calls, and employee one-on-ones by comparing against your calendar availability, so you don’t have to worry about double bookings or conflicting appointments. If you’re seeking an alternative to Calendly, it’s worth a look.

❱ One Sec
As a former “leash baby,” focus hasn’t always been my strong suit. That’s where One Sec comes in. Available for your phone and desktop, it helps break the cycle of distraction and regain control of your time, curbing the amount of social media doomscrolling and TikTok breaks throughout the day.   [CD0624]


Kato Murray is the operations associate for the LMC Groups. He can be reached at kato@lmc.group.