In the metaverse, who governs the governor?
You may like the metaverse, but will it like you?
Metaverse: what can go wrong when computers rule?
Facebook: “AI does creepy things and must be shut down”
Metaverse: “Hold my beer.”
The metaverse conversation has spiked. It’s on every digital wall and circles most conversations about innovation, the future, and immersive digital reality. It is also a layered and nuanced concept that asks the world to hit pause before it steps inside the digital walls, before people become half unicorn-mermaids, and every asset and sale is digitised in a wholly virtual realm, because the world isn’t ready. The technology isn’t ready. The hardware necessary to create the virtual worlds that people are imagining doesn’t exist yet, but it will soon. The bigger problem, which can’t be solved with technology, is that these systems contain inherent bias – bias built into algorithms and systems that will fundamentally impact how people experience and live in the metaverse.
In his article Colin Thornton, chief commercial officer at Turrito, unpacks the essential considerations that have to govern the use of artificial intelligence and algorithms in the burgeoning metaverse.
Simplify a USB-C PD design using a standalone PD controller
The USB power delivery (PD) market continues to grow in portable, battery-operated, electronic devices like cell phones, laptops, wireless speakers, power tools and much more. USB PD provides a great benefit to consumers because it can provide up to 240W (in the USB PD Revision 3.1 specification) from the same USB Type-C connector. USB PD poses new power requirement challenges because of the variety of voltage and current combinations available – 5V, 9V, 15V, 20V, 28V, 36V, 48V and 1.5A, 3A, 5A, etc. – to supply the wide range of power the USB PD standard can provide.
Sagar Khare, Business Manager, Battery Power Solutions Business Unit at Maxim Integrated explore the design of a standalone PD controller
Is there a future for TV White Spaces?
With so much focus on the broadband spectrum auctions and the TV digital migration making more spectrum available, the question that arises is: “Is TV White Spaces (TVWS) technology still worth considering as an option to provide more people with affordable access to the internet?” South Africa was an early innovator in piloting internet access on the unused frequencies between TV channels but while technical trials have been carried out in the Western Cape and Limpopo, the commercial and economic aspects were not investigated until two years ago, when the Wireless Access Providers Association (WAPA) embarked on a large-scale commercial trial in association with a consortium. The consortium of South African and US partners included Stadia Capital, Adaptrum, International Data Corporation (IDC), Microsoft, Project Isizwe and the United States Trade Development Agency (USTDA). The project, which was aimed at demonstrating the technical, socio-economic and commercial benefits of TVWS, ended recently and a detailed report is expected to be published on the WAPA portal within a few weeks.
Upturn in component order books, but long lead times
While the manufacturers and suppliers of electronic components have seen a high surge in their order books, lead times have been increasing. In 2021, the component manufacturing industry showed a growth in sales of 20%, and they are predicting a further 11% increase this year. However, little has happened to reduce the lead times and for some devices, this can be longer than a year. On the back of these solid sales figures, the book to bill ratios have also been very positive. For interconnect, passive and electro-mechanical components, the book to bill has been 1.4. For semi-conductor components the book to bill ratio has been around 1.8. This is an indicator that demand will continue to grow in the foreseeable future and possibly result in even longer lead-times. EngineerIT explores the issue and their impact on the industry with Hannes Taute, MD of TRX Electronics.
Breaking energy utilisation with 5G
From self-driving cars that communicate with one another, to remote healthcare which treats patients from the comfort of their homes to an immersive virtual and augmented reality, which lets users experience learning and gaming in an entirely new way, 5G comes with a promise to create a never-before-seen world for people and businesses. While the promise of 5G will transform the world as we know it, a big question that the industry experts currently grapple with, is 5G’s roll out and its subsequent energy consumption.
Ayub Osman - Head of sustainability and corporate responsibility at Ericsson Middle East and Africa explores this problem and ventures in suggesting solutions.