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The DeanBeat: The best of CES 2021 as seen from afar

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Last year at CES 2020, I walked more than 37.45 miles (over 84,385 steps) to scout for the best ideas and products of the show. This week, for CES 2021, I walked about 20 feet to the fridge and 20 more feet to the bathroom and back to my home office repeatedly as I covered the all-digital event.

The pandemic sucks. But the event had more than 1,900 exhibitors (down from 4,000 last year), and I got a good look at them, in between all of my duties to get ready for our own digital event (GamesBeat Summit on January 26 to January 28). I missed walking all over the place and hitting parties at Las Vegas nightclubs that would otherwise not let me in.

But I looked at products with a different lens this year, shaded by the coronavirus. I couldn’t use most of the products on display. But I thought about how they could help people at a time when we could use a lot of help. So I favored products that could help us relax, improve our health, help us weather the isolation in our homes, and take us into the future just a little. I love it when tech fades into the woodwork, as you see in the main image of this story, which depicts the Gardyn indoor gardening system. I hope you enjoy these picks and find something useful.

Gardyn

Gardyn lets you grow vegetables indoors.

Above: Gardyn lets you grow vegetables indoors.

Image Credit: Gardyn

Gardyn is a fully-automated vertical indoor growing system. It lets you grow 30 large plants in 2-square feet of space, with no direct sunlight or water line required. You can follow instructions for growing plants via the Kelby personal growing assistant app, and then you get to eat the results. It’s based on Gardyn’s “hybriponic” tech that recirculates water in a closed loop, reducing water consumption by 95%.

Gardyn lets you grow up to 10 pounds of produce per month, said CEO FX Rouxel in an interview with VentureBeat. The vertical configuration lets you grow a high density of plants. The roots are contained and not messy. The system is connected to the internet. Two high-resolution cameras capture the details of the plant growth for Kelby to analyze with its AI system.

Gardyn’s LED lights provide the right amount of light the plants need for optimal growth, even if the plants are indoors and in a cold climate. Rouxel said it might cost you $16 to operate it a month, but it can save you at least 30% a month on your grocery bill. Since the food is ready to eat, you don’t have to store it in a refrigerator.

You can’t grow things with big roots, like carrots or potatoes. But tomatoes, lettuce, spinach, and herbs are all fair game. It costs $800.

“If you think about the Impossible Burger or Beyond Meat, we want to do the same thing for produce,” Rouxel said. “We provide people with healthy food in an inexpensive way that is convenient and tasty.”

Illuminarium

Panasonic's cool imagery, projected from its latest tech.

Above: Panasonic’s cool imagery, projected from its latest tech in an Illuminarium.

Image Credit: Panasonic

I’m waiting to try out the holodeck from Star Trek. But while I wait for that ride, maybe the Illuminarium “massive entertainment spectacle” is a near-term substitute. Using Panasonic laser projectors, the Illuminarium creates a 360-degree immersive experience. It puts you in the center of an African safari, and it will be interactive.

Illuminarium Experiences hopes to open its first location in Atlanta in mid-2021, followed by Miami, and Las Vegas. The idea is to tell interactive stories in a 30,000-square-feet venue where physical reality blends with immersive imagery. The place uses Panasonic’s advanced large venue native 4K laser projection technology, the Panasonic PT-RQ50k with 50,000LM brightness, 4K resolution, and vivid color. You can’t buy one of these places, but someday you’ll be able to buy a ticket and go inside.

SenseGlove Nova VR haptic glove

The Senseglove Nova helps you feel things in VR.

Above: The SenseGlove Nova helps you feel things in VR.

Image Credit: SenseGlove

SenseGlove created a motion-tracking haptic glove, which is a force-feedback exoskeleton that you can use to move and feel things in virtual reality. It can simulate sensations, like feeling shapes, stiffness, and resistance when you touch something in a VR world. It costs $5,000, and that’s why it’s targeted at companies. It’s mainly envisioned for professional training, like handling complex machinery or hazardous materials.

I didn’t get to feel this one, but it supposedly lets you feel the soft touch of a pillow. It produces the feedback using mechanical wires attached to friction brakes on each finger. More than a hundred companies are trying it out, and it should ship in March.

Kohler Stillness Bath

The Kohler Stillness Bath

Above: The Kohler Stillness Bath

Image Credit: Kohler

I think Joe Biden should buy one of these for every American so we can relax in the stillness of life. But the Kohler Stillness Bath will probably drive up the deficit, as it costs $6,198 to $15,998.

It’s a square tub that dazzles you with a combination light, fog, and aromatherapy. (Lady not included.) It’s based on the practice of Japanese forest bathing, or shinrin-yoku. I had plenty of this experience in Sony’s Ghost of Tsushima video game, but I could use this spa-like experience in my home in real life.

When the water overflows, it spills out the side into a wooden moat.

Razer Brooklyn

Razer's concept art for a future gaming chair.

Above: Razer’s concept art for a future gaming chair.

Image Credit: Razer

This is another one of those products that isn’t coming to the market soon. But it’s inspiring. The Project Brooklyn gaming chair concept design is designed to convert a gaming chair into an immersive experience for both PC and console gaming. It’s a crazy design, and it’s something that only Razer’s game-crazed designers would think of creating.

The centerpiece is a 60-inch display that rolls out in front of your eyes. It has both carbon fiber and RGB lighting. It is a gaming station with panoramic visuals. It also has tactile feedback built into the seat, and 4D armrests that roll out into adjustable peripheral tables.

The adjustable platform on which the chair sits is complete with cable-routing and takes design cues from the Razer Raptor monitor. Mounted from the chair’s backbone and deployable with the touch of a button is a 60-inch full surround OLED display. Folding into the chair back when not in use, the roll-out display assembly gives you a panoramic experience.

The fully modular 4D armrests neatly tuck away collapsible tables with flexible ergonomics, allowing you to switch easily between PC gaming with a mouse and keyboard, and console gaming. Separate panels in each armrest allow for different keyboard and mouse ergonomics, and each half folds away when not in use.

Quantum Operation blood glucometer

Above: Quantum Operation’s wearable glucometer.

Image Credit: Quantum Operations

I’ve learned the value of noninvasive continuous glucose monitors, having tried one out to test my blood sugar levels. They’ve gotten pretty small, but now a Japanese startup, Quantum Operation, has put a glucometer into a watch.

The device has a spectrometer which scans your blood to measure glucose. It can also measure vital signs like your heart rate and ECG. After activating it, the device shows you the results in 20 seconds.

Diabetes affects more than 34 million Americans and is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. Making glucometers smaller is a big accomplishment for companies like Dexcom and Abbott. Now they are beginning to integrate the glucometers in a closed loop with with insulin pumps so that the process of pumping insulin into the body of a diabetes patient can be automated. That can save lives and vastly simplify the life of patients. For now, Quantum Operation’s device could be quite useful, and maybe a little fashionable.

Samsung Solar Remote

Above: Samsung Solar Remote

Image Credit: Samsung

Let’s face it. We’ve killed the earth with disposable batteries for devices that don’t need them. So I can fully get behind the intentions behind the Samsung Solar remote. This solar-powered TV remote can be charged by indoor lighting, getting rid of the need for replaceable batteries.

It’s part of Samsung’s “Going Green” goal for its TV business. Samsung said using it could eliminate roughly 99 million batteries from waste over seven years.

Moflin

Above: Moflin may cheer you up.

Image Credit: Vanguard Industries

Vanguard Industries showed off a pet that looked like a furry worm, dubbed a Moflin. It’s designed to can give you emotional relief. The palm-sized pet has no eyes but it makes cute sounds like a small animal, and it shows affection.

I’m sure a lot more cute robots were at CES 2021. This one is designed to have emotional capabilities, with black eyes and soft fur. The company says its algorithm lets Movlin learn and grow, using sensors to evaluate its surroundings. It has accelerometers with gyroscopes, touch sensors, and microphones.

Moflin has Bluetooth wireless connectivity, and an app for iOS and Android. You can get one for $400 with delivery by June.

Panasonic AR HUD

Above: Panasonic’s AR HUD highlights a biker.

Image Credit: Panasonic

This product was just a concept, and perhaps it’s nothing more than a doctored video. I couldn’t tell. But it painted a nice picture of what driving should be like, with your car windshield serving as an augmented reality display. As you get behind the wheel, the AR HUD activates and shows which direction you should be driving, based on your map destination. It guides you turn by turn, and it points out hazards. A garbage can rolling into the street is flagged in red lights, as is a car pulling into an intersection in front of you. A bicyclist is highlighted in yellow, and blue colors indicate the direction you should be driving. In contrast to past HUDs I’ve seen, this one appeared sharp and seamless. Maybe it’s a fantasy, but it sure looks attractive.

Smarter doorbells

Above: Ettie can take the temperature of a visitor at your door.

Image Credit: Plott

I considered opting for Level’s home door look, which detects your smartphone and lets you open your door by tapping your doorknob with your finger. But in the age of the coronavirus, touching things isn’t cool. Kohler had a bunch of kitchen and bathroom fixtures that you can operate with the wave of a hand, rather than touching a handle. Alarm.com had a video doorbell that you could ring by waving your hand in front of it, rather than touching it. Ettie is a video doorbell that combines tracking, image recording, real-time alerts, and capacity management. It senses the guest’s temperature and decides if the person should be admitted. And it will say when the capacity of the place has been reached. It can also handle contact tracing if necessary. I suppose no single product has all of these features, so the kudos here go to the whole category for trying to beef up the innovation.

Oticon More AI-based hearing aids

Above: Oticon uses a deep neural network on device to improve directional hearing in its hearing aids.

Image Credit: Oticon

Oticon has more than a hundred years of experience making hearing solutions. But it’s jumping into the modern tech era with its first hearing aid with on-board deep neural network. The Oticon More is one more example of AI at the edge of the network.

Our crew has heard this story before, as hearing aid companies have been saying for years that they’re using AI. But I probed into this with Don Schum, vice president of audiology, in an interview. Oticon trained its deep learning neural network on 12 million real-life sounds so that it could identify the sounds of people speaking and separate them from background noises. The device analyzes the scene around the hearer about 500 times per second.

“We wanted to improve our ability to separate speech from noise,” he said “That’s one of the holy grails in hearing aids. Patients with hearing loss are at a significant disadvantage in noisy situations. We use our 12 million samples to train a system to identify speech.”

Based on this BrainHearing extensive experiential learning — not on a limited set of man-made rules — it processes speech in noise more like the human brain. This results in a more natural representation of sounds that improves wearers’ speech understanding, reduces listening effort and enables people with hearing loss to remember more of what is being said, even in noisy environments.

Most hearing aids have noise cancellation these days. But Oticon is going high-end with this device, which debuted this week for as much as $6,000. Oticon has rivals, but it has 2,000 employees and is one of a half-dozen big hearing aid makers around the world. Schum said Oticon More provides 30% more sound to the brain and improves speech understanding by 15% from the prior generation.

Lasso

Above: Lasso home recycling

Image Credit: Lasso

Lasso Loop Recycling has created a machine that collects, cleans, and sorts your garbage so that you can easily recycle it. It automates a process that can prevent a lot of garbage from winding up in landfills, according to the United Kingdom startup.

It’s a kitchen appliance that is still in the works. You deposit items into a slot. Then cameras and sensors analyze the packaging and it tells you if you can recycle it. If it can’t, then it returns the item to you so you can put it in the garbage. If not, it goes to work and eventually grinds the device down and puts it into a compartment. Then you use a smartphone app to schedule a driver pickup.

The hope is that one day this will cut recycling centers out of the process, and that can remove costs and other barriers. It is targeting seven materials, including aluminum, steel, two types of plastics, and three types of glass. The device will hit the market in 2022 or so and it could cost $3,500. But you could theoretically get that money back in five years through recycling payments.

Biospectal OptiBP blood pressure monitor app

Blood pressure monitors have made a lot of progress in recent years. They’re able to transfer your vitals directly to your doctor, who can analyze them from afar. But they require dedicated devices and they’re not that comfortable.

Biospectal has created its Biospectal OptiBP, which lets you use a smartphone camera to measure your blood pressure. The company said a recent independent large-scale clinical study from Scientific Reports in Nature validated Biospectal’s OptiBP ability to measure blood pressure with the same degree of accuracy as the traditional blood pressure cuff.

It uses the smartphone’s built-in optical camera lens to record and measure a user’s blood flow at their fingertip in half the time it takes with a traditional cuff (about 20 seconds). By optically measuring blood flow through the skin, OptiBP’s proprietary algorithm and optical signal capture methods turn light information into blood pressure values.

The captured blood pressure data can connect with clinicians to support remote patient monitoring. The device is now in its public beta. The Swiss company is backed by grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Grand Challenges Canada, and Innosuisse.

According to the CDC, hypertension affects nearly 46% or 100 million U.S. adults.

CEO Eliott Jones said in an interview with VentureBeat that “if we could just reach these people, it would be fantastic.” And the way to do that is to make blood pressure testing more convenient. He showed how it worked to me on a video call. The good thing about this is that it can help collect a lot more data on more people to help the understanding of hypertension, or high blood pressure. The company was started in 2017 and it has raised some funding in private rounds.


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Source: https://venturebeat.com/2021/01/15/the-deanbeat-the-best-of-ces-2021-as-seen-from-afar/

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Ethereum Rises on NFT Boom

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Ethereum has been rising for the past two days, increasing by $150 yesterday (10%) to $1697 with it currently trading at $1640.

The ratio reversal coincides with the approval of EIP1559, a cryptoeconomics change that burn fees and will increase capacity both by doubling it as well as by removing miner’s incentives to play with capacity through spamming the network.

Momentum then was added by that tokenized Jack Dorsey tweet, which can be taken as the debut of NFTs because even the BBC covered it.

This space has now seemingly grown considerably from pretty much non existent to about $10 million in trading volumes.

The most expensive NFT, excluding Jack Dorsey’s tweet, is the Formula 1 Grand Prix de Monaco 2020 1A that went for 1,079 eth, worth about $2 million.

That’s the actual race course used in F1® Delta Time, a blockchain game running on Ethereum.

That’s one of quite a few games now running on eth. You can see some footballers’ cards if you browse by recently sold, Decentraland plots of lands, Gods Unchained cards, then there’s an actual planet.

Bitcoin will not be measured against the dollar anymore. “You’d measure it against whatever you’d buying with it, such as planets or solar systems,” said Jesse Powell, Kraken’s founder.

Well, for now these planets are being bought with eth on this 0xUniverse that describes itself as “a revolutionary blockchain-based game. Become an explorer in a galaxy of unique, collectable planets. Colonize them to extract resources and build spacecrafts. Keep expanding your fleet until you’ve uncovered the final mysteries of the universe!”

One mystery they might discover is why is a bull gif worth 112 eth? Apparently this was made prior to the election and changed based on who won it, but $200,000 for that?

Then there’s actual art, like the featured image we’ve chosen above called American censorship.

We’re no art critics, but it’s an image that made us stop for a bit and look at it. Now you can look at it too, and since this is a news article and the image is part of the news, they can’t file copyright complaints as far as we are aware.

So why is someone willing to pay 0.2 eth for this, or $330? Well, because he or she likes it of course, and because it is an original piece of work and he is the owner of it and if he wanted to, he could enforce copyrights where it concerns for business use like selling a print version of this or a card version.

He could sell licensing rights and if the artist of this work becomes famous, he has a proof that it is by this artist and more importantly a proof that this is the original by the artist him/her self.

We could have modified that featured image and obviously we saying we haven’t has plenty of credibility, but having proof of the original itself perhaps has as much value as having the original Mona Lisa rather than a copy.

In any event, the mysteries of art speculation we don’t profess to know, but what seems to be happening is an art experimentation, and many artists must be looking to see just what is going on.

Some of those ‘normie’ artists may well Tik Tok about it and they may even go viral in this day and age where any of us can sometime be the show.

So that frothiness should translate to eth not least because all of this is being priced in eth. The son’s and daughters of traditional art collectors, therefore, may well turn some of their dady’s fiat into eth to speculate on what may well become a new world for art.

Whether it will, remains to be seen, but there’s something new and clearly people seem to be excited about it.

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Source: https://www.trustnodes.com/2021/03/07/ethereum-rises-on-nft-boom

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Source: https://coingenius.news/ethereum-rises-on-nft-boom/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=ethereum-rises-on-nft-boom

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Newsletter: Elon Musk’s genius + Surgical robots

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  • FDA greenlights Memic’s breakthrough robotic surgery
  • Elon Musk’s genius is battery powered
  • Webinar, Mar. 10: Making families affordable
  • D-ID drives MyHeritage deep nostalgia animation
  • Rewire banks $20M, led by OurCrowd
  • Consumer Physics’ SCiO lets you wake up and taste the coffee
  • Medisafe raises $30M for AI that helps people take medication
  • Arcadia guides companies on homeworking energy costs
  • Volvo unit teams with Israel’s Foretellix on autonomous safety
  • Tmura: Startup options help those in need
  • Introductions
  • 1,000 high-tech jobs

FDA greenlights Memic’s breakthrough robotic surgery


The FDA has granted De Novo Marketing Authorization for the breakthrough Hominis robotic surgery system developed by Memic – a notable first. The patented technology allows the surgeon to control tiny, human-like robotic arms that enables procedures currently considered unfeasible, and reduces scarring. “This FDA authorization represents a significant advance in the world of robot-assisted surgery and fulfills an unmet need in the world of robotic gynecological surgery,” said Professor Jan Baekelandt, MD, PhD, a gynecologist at Imelda Hospital in Bonheiden, Belgium, who performed the first hysterectomy using the Hominis system. “Research shows vaginal hysterectomy provides optimal clinical benefits to patients including reduced pain, recovery time and rates of infection. Hominis is the only robot specifically developed for transvaginal surgery and is therefore small and flexible enough to perform surgery through a small incision.” Memic’s strong management team is led by Chairman Maurice R. Ferré MD, who founded Mako Surgical, a surgical robotics company that was sold for $1.65B.

Learn More.

Elon Musk’s genius is battery powered


In 2004, PayPal co-founder Elon Musk took what appeared to be a huge and perhaps reckless gamble. Departing from the seamless technology of the booming online payments business, Musk sank $30 million of his newly-minted internet fortune into a year-old startup that dreamed of transforming a century-old global industry mired in heavy industrial plants, expensive freight and complex global supply chains. Musk’s startup, of course, was Tesla, and the dream was an all-electric car. Today, the electric car is a mass-market reality and Musk’s gamble has sent him powering past Gates and Bezos straight to the Forbes top slot – at least for a while. Musk’s winning bet was not on automobiles, but on energy. The heart of Tesla is not mobility or cars, it is power and battery storage. In 2004, Musk was way ahead of the curve in foreseeing the transformation of energy from fossil fuels to renewables. Today, the signs are everywhere. Read more in my regular ‘Investors on the Frontlines’ column here.

Webinar, Mar. 10: Making families affordable

A key pandemic-driven trend is the acceleration of the fertility tech sector, including egg freezing and IVF, with a market predicted to be worth $37+ billion in less than 10 years. Hear from:

  • Claire Tomkins, PhD, founder and CEO of Future Family, startup veteran who was formerly an Investment Bank advisor and director of Richard Branson’s Carbon War Room accelerator, who will speak on the category potential and her startup’s disruptive solution
  • Angeline N. Beltsos, Chief Medical Officer and CEO, Vios Fertility Institute, on the challenges and progress represented by fertility issues
  • Ashley Gillen Binder, Future Family client, on her life-changing experience with the company

Future Family is the first company to bring together financing, technology, and concierge care in an easy-to-use online platform. With established revenues and growth, Future Family is a leading example of next-gen FinTech, which will provide customized solutions for specific verticals. Moderated by Richard Norman, Managing Director, OurCrowd.

Wednesday, March 10th at 9:00AM San Francisco | 12:00PM New York | 7:00PM Israel 
Register Here. 

D-ID drives MyHeritage deep nostalgia animation


Jimmy Kimmel didn’t get much work done on Wednesday. He said he was too busy using technology developed by OurCrowd portfolio company D-ID to bring a photograph of his great grandfather to life. Genealogy platform MyHeritage released a feature that animates faces in still photos using video reenactment technology designed by D-ID. Called Deep Nostalgia, it produces a realistic depiction of how a person could have moved and looked if they were captured on video, using pre-recorded driver videos that direct the movements in the animation and consist of sequences of real human gestures. Users can upload a picture regardless of the number of faces in it. The photos are enhanced prior to animation using the MyHeritage Photo Enhancer, USA Today reports. MyHeritage tells the BBC that some people might find the feature “creepy” while others would consider it “magical”. It’s been a good few days for MyHeritage, which was acquired by Francisco Partners last week for a reported $600M.

Rewire banks $20M, led by OurCrowd


OurCrowd led a successful Series B $20M round for Rewire, a provider of cross-border online banking services for expatriate workers. The finance will be used to add new products to its platform, such as bill payments, insurance, savings, and credit and loan services. New investors included Renegade Partners, Glilot Capital Partners and AME Cloud Ventures as well as previous investors Viola FinTech, BNP Paribas through their venture capital fund Opera Tech Ventures, Moneta Capital, and private angel investors. Rewire has also secured an EU Electronic Money Institution license from the Dutch Central Bank to support its European expansion plans, PitchBook reports. Rewire was also granted an expanded Israeli Financial Asset Service Provider license. Acquiring these licenses is another major step for the FinTech startup in its mission to provide secure and accessible financial services for migrant workers worldwide, Globes reports.

Learn More.

Top Tech News

Consumer Physics’ SCiO lets you wake up and taste the coffee

  


Israeli and Colombian agriculture tech startup Demetria emerged from stealth with $3M seed round to support its artificial-intelligence-powered green coffee quality analysis system. Demetria has added AI to the SCiO technology developed by OurCrowd portfolio company Consumer Physics to enable fast sampling and quality control for coffee. “We use this sensory fingerprint in combination with complex AI and cupping data to discern ‘taste,’” Felipe Ayerbe, CEO and co-founder of Demetria, tells Daily Coffee News. “Demetria is an accurate predictor of cupping analysis. We have conducted the same process that is required to train and certify a ‘cupper,’ but instead of using human senses of taste and smell, we use state-of-the-art sensors that read the biochemical markers of taste, and couple that information with AI.” The technology “has pioneered the digitization of coffee aroma and taste, the most important quality variables of the coffee bean. For the first time, quality and taste can now be assessed at any stage of the coffee production and distribution process, from farm to table,” says Food and Drink International

Medisafe raises $30M for AI that helps people take medication
Medisafe, an OurCrowd portfolio company developing a personalized medication management platform to help patients stay on top of their prescriptions, raised $30M in a round led by Sanofi Ventures and Alive Israel HealthTech Fund with participation from Merck Ventures, Octopus Ventures, OurCrowd and others. About 20% to 30% of medication prescriptions are never filled, and approximately 50% of medications for chronic disease aren’t taken as prescribed, causing approximately 125,000 deaths and costing the U.S. health care system more than $100B a year. “Medisafe can email and text patients to remind them to take their medications on time. Moreover, the platform can target ‘rising-risk’ patients with analytics and insights based on real-time behavioral assessments, boosting adherence up to 20%”, VentureBeat reports.

Arcadia guides companies on homeworking energy costs
With millions of staff working from home, who should foot the bill for heating and other energy costs? Biotechnology company Biogen and financial giant Goldman Sachs are both working with alternative energy firm Arcadia to help employees switch their homes to wind or solar power – just a couple of the companies assisting staff to explore renewable energy sources for residential use. Alexa Minerva, Arcadia’s senior director of partnerships, says the offering is just one of many new kinds of employee benefits that may arise as work becomes more geographically flexible in the pandemic era and beyond, and perks like an office cafeteria become less of a draw. “It says something not just about…how you value a person, but it also says what you value as a company,” Minerva tells Time magazine. “It’s a great hiring strategy and retention tactic.”

Volvo unit teams with Israel’s Foretellix on autonomous safety
Volvo Autonomous Solutions has formed a partnership with OurCrowd portfolio company Foretellix to jointly create a coverage-driven verification solution for autonomous vehicles and machines on public roads and in confined areas such as mines and quarries. The technology will facilitate testing of millions of different scenarios, which will validate autonomous vehicles and machines’ ability to deal with anything they might encounter. Foretellix has developed a novel verification platform that uses intelligent automation and big data analytics tools that coordinate and monitor millions of driving scenarios, to expose bugs and edge cases, including the most extreme cases. “The partnership with Foretellix gives us access to the state-of-the-art verification tools and accelerating our time to market,” Magnus Liljeqvist, Global Technology Manager, Volvo Autonomous Solutions tells Globes.  

Tmura: Startup options help those in need
The sale of MyHeritage to Francisco Partners for a reported $600M will directly help Israeli nonprofits working in education and youth projects through the sale of options the startup donated in 2013 to Tmura, an Israeli nonprofit, The Times of Israel reports. OurCrowd has supported Tmura since its inception, encouraging all our startups to donate a percentage of their options. If they have a big exit, it benefits those who need help. A total of 718 Israeli companies have made donations to Tmura, with a record number of 62 new donor companies contributing in 2020, as nonprofit organizations struggled to raise funds elsewhere during the pandemic. Exit proceeds in 2020 totaled $1.9 million, the second-highest year ever, after 2013, when Waze was sold to Google for some $1 billion. Waze’s options,

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Your portfolio gets stronger when the OurCrowd network gets involved. Visit our Introductions page to see which of our companies are looking for connections that you may be able to help with.

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Source: https://blog.ourcrowd.com/elon-musks-genius-surgical-robots/

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How I’d Learn Data Science If I Were To Start All Over Again

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@santiviquezSantiago Víquez

Physicist turned data scientist. Creator of datasciencetrivia.com

A couple of days ago I started thinking if I had to start learning machine learning and data science all over again where would I start? The funny thing was that the path that I imagined was completely different from that one that I actually did when I was starting.

I’m aware that we all learn in different ways. Some prefer videos, others are ok with just books and a lot of people need to pay for a course to feel more pressure. And that’s ok, the important thing is to learn and enjoy it.

So, talking from my own perspective and knowing how I learn better I designed this path if I had to start learning Data Science again.

As you will see, my favorite way to learn is going from simple to complex gradually. This means starting with practical examples and then move to more abstract concepts.

Kaggle micro-courses

I know it may be weird to start here, many would prefer to start with the heaviest foundations and math videos to fully understand what is happening behind each ML model. But from my perspective starting with something practical and concrete helps to have a better view of the whole picture.

In addition, these micro-courses take around 4 hours/each to complete so meeting those little goals upfront adds an extra motivational boost.

Kaggle micro-course: Python

If you are familiar with Python you can skip this part. Here you’ll learn basic Python concepts that will help you start learning data science. There will be a lot of things about Python that are still going to be a mystery. But as we advance, you will learn it with practice.

Link: https://www.kaggle.com/learn/python

Price: Free

Kaggle micro-course: Pandas

Pandas is going to give us the skills to start manipulating data in Python. I consider that a 4-hour micro-course and practical examples is enough to have a notion of the things that can be done.

Link: https://www.kaggle.com/learn/pandas

Price: Free

Kaggle micro-course: Data Visualization

Data visualization is perhaps one of the most underrated skills but it is one of the most important to have. It will allow you to fully understand the data with which you will be working.

Link: https://www.kaggle.com/learn/data-visualization

Price: Free

Kaggle micro-course: Intro to Machine Learning

This is where the exciting part starts. You are going to learn basic but very important concepts to start training machine learning models. Concepts that later will be essential to have them very clear.

Link: https://www.kaggle.com/learn/intro-to-machine-learning

Precio: Free

Kaggle micro-course: Intermediate Machine Learning

This is complementary to the previous one but here you are going to work with categorical variables for the first time and deal with null fields in your data.

Link: https://www.kaggle.com/learn/intermediate-machine-learning

Price: Free

Let’s stop here for a moment. It should be clear that these 5 micro-courses are not going to be a linear process, you are probably going to have to come and go between them to refresh concepts. When you are working in the Pandas one you may have to go back to the Python course to remember some of the things you learned or go to the pandas documentation to understand new functions that you saw in the Introduction to Machine Learning course. And all of this is fine, right here is where the real learning is going to happen.

Now, if you realize these first 5 courses will give you the necessary skills to do exploratory data analysis (EDA) and create baseline models that later you will be able to improve. So now is the right time to start with simple Kaggle competitions and put in practice what you’ve learned.

Kaggle Playground Competition: Titanic

Here you’ll put into practice what you learned in the introductory courses. Maybe it will be a little intimidating at first, but it doesn’t matter it’s not about being first on the leaderboard, it’s about learning. In this competition, you will learn about classification and relevant metrics for these types of problems such as precision, recall, and accuracy.

Link: https://www.kaggle.com/c/titanic

Kaggle Playground Competition: Housing Prices

In this competition, you are going to apply regression models and learn about relevant metrics such as RMSE.

Link: https://www.kaggle.com/c/home-data-for-ml-course

By this point, you already have a lot of practical experience and you’ll feel that you can solve a lot of problems, buuut chances are that you don’t fully understand what is happening behind each classification and regression algorithms that you have used. So this is where we have to study the foundations of what we are learning.

Many courses start here, but at least I absorb this information better once I have worked on something practical before.

Book: Data Science from Scratch

At this point, we will momentarily separate ourselves from pandas, scikit-learn ,and other Python libraries to learn in a practical way what is happening “behind” these algorithms.

This book is quite friendly to read, it brings Python examples of each of the topics and it doesn’t have much heavy math, which is fundamental for this stage. We want to understand the principle of the algorithms but with a practical perspective, we don’t want to be demotivated by reading a lot of dense mathematical notation.

Link: Amazon

Price: $26 aprox

If you got this far I would say that you are quite capable of working in data science and understand the fundamental principles behind the solutions. So here I invite you to continue participating in more complex Kaggle competitions, engage in the forums, and explore new methods that you find in other participants’ solutions.

Online Course: Machine Learning by Andrew Ng

Here we are going to see many of the things that we have already learned but we are going to watch it explained by one of the leaders in the field and his approach is going to be more mathematical so it will be an excellent way to understand our models even more.

Link: https://www.coursera.org/learn/machine-learning

Price: Free without the certificate — $79 with the certificate

Book: The Elements of Statistical Learning

Now the heavy math part starts. Imagine if we had started from here, it would have been an uphill road all along and we probably would have given up easier.

Link: Amazon

Price: $60, there is an official free version on the Stanford page.

Online Course: Deep Learning by Andrew Ng

By then you have probably already read about deep learning and play with some models. But here we are going to learn the foundations of what neural networks are, how they work, and learn to implement and apply the different architectures that exist.

Link: https://www.deeplearning.ai/deep-learning-specialization/

Price: $49/month

At this point it depends a lot on your own interests, you can focus on regression and time series problems or maybe go more deep into deep learning.

I wanted to tell you that I launched a Data Science Trivia game with questions and answers that usually come out on interviews. To know more about this Follow me on Twitter.

Also published at https://towardsdatascience.com/if-i-had-to-start-learning-data-science-again-how-would-i-do-it-78a72b80fd93

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Fetch.ai (FET) hits a 2-year high after DeFi integration and Bosch partnership

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As some brand-name decentralized finance (DeFi) tokens sputter, a crop of new projects have emerged that are catching strong bids on the back of aggressive yield farming programs, generous airdrops, and significant technical advances. 

It’s a set of outlier projects pushing forward on both price and fundamentals that has led one crypto analyst, eGirl Capital’s mewny, to brand them as DeFi’s “Gen 2.”

Mewny, who in an interview with Cointelegraph pitched eGirl Capital as “an org that takes itself as a very serious joke,” says that Gen 2 tokens have garnered attention due to their well-cultivated communities and clever token distribution models — both of which lead to a “recursive” price-and-sentiment loop. 

“I think in terms of market interest it’s more about seeking novelty and narrative at this stage in the cycle. Fundamental analysis will be more important when the market cools off and utility is the only backstop to valuations. Hot narratives tend to trend around grassroots projects that have carved out a category for themselves in the market,” they said.

While investors might be eager to ape into these fast-rising new tokens, it’s worth asking what the projects are doing, whether they’re sustainable, and if not how much farther they have to run.

Pumpamentals or fundamentals?

The Gen 2 phenomena echoes the “DeFi summer” of last year, filled with “DeFi stimulus check” airdrops, fat farming APYs, and soaring token prices — as well as a harrowing spate of hacks, heists, and rugpulls

However, mewny says that there’s a population of investors that emerged from that period continuously looking for technical progress as opposed to shooting stars. 

“There are less quick “me too” projects in defi. An investor may think that those projects never attracted much liquidity in the first place but they overestimate the wisdom of the market if that’s the case. They did and do pull liquidity, especially from participants who felt priced out or late to the first movers.This has given the floor to legitimate projects that have not stopped building despite the market’s shift in focus. ”

One such Gen 2 riser pulling liquidity is Inverse Finance. After the launch of a yield farming program for a forthcoming synthetic stablecoin protocol, the Inverse Finance DAO narrowly voted to make the INV governance token tradable. As a result, the formerly valueless token airdrop of 80 INV is now priced at over $100,000, likely the most lucrative airdrop in Defi history. 

Another Gen 2 star is Alchemix — one of eGirl Capital’s first announced investments. Alchemix’s protocol also centers on a synthetic stablecoin, alUSD, but generates the stablecoin via collateral deposited into Yearn.Finance’s yield-bearing vaults. The result is a token-based stablecoin loan that pays for itself — a new model that eGirl thinks could become a standard.

“eGirl thinks trading yield-bearing interest will be an important primitive in DeFi. Quantifying and valuing future yield unlocks a lot of usable value that can be reinvested in the market,” they said.

The wider markets appears to agree with eGirl’s thesis, as Alchemix recently announced that the protocol has eclipsed half a billion in total value locked:

Staying power?

By contrast, governance tokens for many of the top names in DeFi, such as Aave and Yearn.Finance, are in the red on a 30-day basis. But even with flagship names stalling out, DeFi’s closely-watched aggregate TVL figure is up on the month, rising over $8.4 billion to $56.8 billion per DeFi Llama — progress carried in part on the back of Gen 2 projects. 

The comparatively wrinkled, desiccated dinosaurs of DeFi may have some signs of life left in them, however. Multiple major projects have significant updates in the works, including Uniswap’s version 3, Sushiswap’s Bentobox lending platform, a liquidity mining proposal working through Aave’s governance process, and Balancer’s version 2.

These developments could mean that DeFi’s “Gen 2” phenomena is simply a temporary, intra-sector rotation, and that the “majors” are soon to roar back. It would be a predictable move in mewny’s view, who says “every defi protocol needs at least 1 bear market to prove technical soundness.”

What’s more, according to mewny some of the signs of market irrationality around both Gen 2 tokens as well as the wider DeFi space — such as triple and even quadruple-digit farming yields — may be gone sooner rather than later.

“I don’t think it’s sustainable for any project in regular market conditions. We are not in regular conditions at the moment. Speculators have propped up potentially unsustainable DeFi protocols for a while now.”

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Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/defi-summer-2-0-gen-2-tokens-on-a-tear-amid-wider-market-slump

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