DMA TECH WATCH: The Electric Batmobile, Droneport & Remembering Bowie

By Phill Powell

Welcome to DMA Tech Watch, where we review the biggest news events and tech trends now on the radar. Here’s what we’re watching as of January 11, 2016:


Sorry, cats. Spoke too soon last week. You’re still Number 1…

Last week we reported that Star Wars: The Force Awakens was well on its way to challenging Avatar for the all-time box office crown. Now, however, it looks less certain that Force will overtake James Cameron’s 2009’s smash.

Although Force did have a record-breaking opening in China this weekend (with $53 million), the movie appears to be settling into a groove domestically, which means we may have seen the peak of this film phenomenon.

It achieved $800 million on only its 23rd day of domestic release, but now many experts are doubting whether the latest installment in the world’s most beloved film franchise will be able to rise any higher than second on the all-time list, probably replacing another Cameron epic, Titanic.


Who needs company? Faraday’s FFZERO1 concept car only has room for one pilot…er, driver.

The 2016 Consumer Electronics Show wrapped up in Vegas on Saturday, but attendees are still gasping at the show’s biggest hit: an ultra-modern electric vehicle called the FFZERO1, which looks like it could have been driven by Batman or Speed Racer.

When we say this creation from Faraday Future is high-performance, you gotta believe us: The car can rocket from 0 mph to 60 mph in less than three seconds, thanks to its 1,000-horsepower engine.

It’s not exactly street legal, either, since the vehicle only has a seat for the driver and the car can top out at over 200 mph. But it’s more proof that automobile manufacturing is the new frontier for tech development, with many companies beyond Tesla staking their claim on the lucrative future market.


Before too long, the Eldorado Droneport will be operating in Boulder.

Well, it was really only a matter of time until somebody had the idea to give drones their own airport. The remote-controlled wonders have been undergoing a revolution in functionality and sparking an explosion in popularity.

Now Aerodrome, which already operates drone-testing facilities in Detroit, Mich. and Henderson, Nev., is working on the Eldorado Droneport, to be located in or near Boulder, Colo.

The new facility will be dedicated to all things drone, with plenty of room scheduled for drone testing, as well as drone maintenance and drone pilot training. The Eldorado Droneport should be operational in two to three years.


Transform your 3D printer into an Internet-connected device with MatterControl Touch.

3D printing is the coolest. But tired of your 3D printer not being hooked up to the Internet? MatterControl Touch can help with that. Billed as “the ultimate upgrade for your 3D printer,” it’s an (Android-based) touchscreen controller.

With it you can make, tweak and prep models right on your printer, using MatterControl Touch’s touchscreen-based interface. You’ll need a powered connection, but if you have one, MatterControl Touch can streamline your 3D printing processes.

Also comes with an onboard camera, wireless Internet capabilities and a simple interface.


On the cover of his Diamond Dogs album, Bowie was part man, part beast – like a carnival attraction.

Seems impossible to not comment on the untimely death of Rock legend David Bowie, who passed away yesterday at age 69. In addition to being a musical icon and trendsetter, Bowie also had deep ties to technological innovation. His 1977 album Low, for example, was an early masterpiece of electronic music production.

Furthermore, during the 90s he created one of the first and best interactive music CD-ROMs (for the album Black Tie White Noise). He also supplied the music for the 1999 computer game Omikron.

Were this not enough to spark fanboy allegiance, Bowie left behind a string of interesting performances in quirky Sci-Fi movies, such as 1986’s Labyrinth (where he played Jareth, the Goblin King) and 1976’s The Man Who Fell to Earth, where he starred as an alien to great critical acclaim. He also portrayed inventor Nikola Tesla in Christopher Nolan’s 2006’s The Prestige.

Bowie was of course known first and foremost as a musician and during a career that spanned six decades, he energized the world, selling a whopping 140 million albums. His hits included “Fame,” “Let’s Dance,” “Suffragette City,” “Young Americans,” and countless others.

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