Focus on Technology

Mondays at 6:44 a.m.; 8:44 a.m. during Morning Edition and 4:44 p.m. during All Things Considered

Ann Thompson reports on the latest trends in technology and their effects on medicine, safety, the environment or entertainment.

Bastion

Cincinnati game developers are preparing to launch Match Point, an eSports-inspired party game, Thursday at 16-Bit Bar + Arcade. Not only is the team that created it local but so is the music composer who scored it, Jon Brennan. Increasingly, people are noticing these computer game composers and are finding their music on Spotify.

Duke Energy

Power companies, including Duke Energy, are putting their drones into action to survey damage from Hurricane Florence. The information they get helps develop a plan to get the electricity back on sooner.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

A Cincinnati company is pitching colleges and universities nationwide with a way to keep track of their students. It involves a long-range Bluetooth beacon and a downloadable app.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Cincinnati karaoke bar Tokyo Kitty and The Brooklyn Barge in New York City are beta testing high-tech ways to order and deliver drinks. For Tokyo Kitty, on Race near Fifth Street, your cocktail is delivered by a robot.

California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Once badly burned bears from previous California wildfires are back in their habitat thanks to the healing power of fish skins. It was a University of California at Davis veterinarian who first tried bandages made from sterlized tilapia skins on the bears, the first-ever use on animals.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Some lung cancer nodules are very small and undetectable until they grow larger, and that can signal a poor prognosis for the patient. Even if they are discovered at an early stage, finding them during surgery can be challening. But UC Health is seeing success detecting and marking the nodules with a procedure using radioactive material and a special probe that acts as a Geiger counter.

Wikipedia

Smart Cities around the world are at risk of getting hacked in everything from traffic control to flood prevention even as they spend $81 billion globally this year on data sensors to collect and integrate information. That's according to researchers from IBM Security and the data security firm Threatcare.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

A Tri-State emergency room nurse and her engineer husband are in the final stages of producing a potentially life-saving sensor and app. It would remind parents and caregivers there is a child in the backseat of a car, helping to prevent that child from potentially suffocating in the heat.

Courtesy David Blank

The Kilauea volcano has been erupting since May, after a 6.9 eruption caused an earthquake that swallowed roads and homes and sent ash spewing 30,000 feet into the air. Researchers hope to determine the stability of the ocean floor near the erupting volcano in Hawaii, and so they've put a dozen seismometers on the ocean bottom this summer, with plans to retreive them in September. 

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Procter & Gamble says it plans to ramp up the number of robots it has to a total of 5,000 in the next five years. It now has 3,000, up from 1,000 in 2013. Managers say the reason for the robotic increase is due to advances in vision and gripping, as well as robots that can work alongside people.

Courtesy Stephan Burke

Using only bitcoin, 20 homes have been sold worldwide, and that number looks to get bigger. In fact, the Miami, Fla., real estate agent that brokered two of those deals, Stephan Burke, says cryptocurrency will make up 25-30 percent of real estate sales in five years.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Finding a specific grave can sometimes take awhile, especially if you haven't been to the cemetery in a long time. Springfield Township's Arlington Memorial Gardens has a new option to help you find your way using GPS.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Clinical trials are tentatively scheduled for 2020 at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center's new Center for Stem Cell and Organoid Medicine, where researchers are making miniature livers and pancreases, called organoids.

NASA

How would you like to go to the moon for the weekend, have a romantic dinner inside the rings of Saturn or jump off ice cliffs from one of Uranus' moons where you can float for 8 to 10 minutes? A new planetary travel book helps you do that -- at least vicariously.

C. Suthorn

DriveOhio, the state's clearinghouse for autonomous vehicle testing and smart technology, plans to include Interstates I-75 between Cincinnati and Dayton and parts of I-275. It's also helping to further Cincinnati's effort to build a test track for driverless shuttles.

Provided

Creativity is key for Cirque du Soleil as it transitions tent performances of "Corteo" to large arenas, as it does this weekend when the show comes to Cincinnati's U.S. Bank Arena.

The old way of doing it involved running underneath bleachers. That doesn't work in an arena, so Cirque du Soleil commissioned the building of a machine last year that solves the problem.

provided

At the nondescript two-story brick building at the northwest corner of Elm and Ninth streets is Kroger's new Culinary Innovation Center, a state-of-the-art -- and super-secretive -- test kitchen and education center.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Physical therapist Shane Page and his company, Edge Cycle Technologies, have developed a bike seat that he says is “truly anatomical and accepts our anatomy instead of pressing against it.”

U. S. Air Force

Scientists have long known treated wastewater is safe to drink but how does it taste when compared to "conventional" groundwater and bottled water?

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Cincinnati-based Federal Equipment Company is designing a new kind of elevator for the U.S. Navy using magnets. The military is now testing it on its next aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald R. Ford.

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