DMA Tech Watch: Drones Controlled by Brain Power!

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 April 25, 2016:


Drone flight just became telepathic…

We talk a lot here about drones – but that’s only because they’re one of the coolest things to appear in tech.

Fresh drone developments include a new MIT-created control algorithm that causes groups of drones to fly in cool and precise formations.

And recently, the world’s first brain-controlled drone race took place at the University of Florida! Participants wore electroencephalogram headsets and “linked” specific neuron activity to drone navigation moves.

Expect to see more brain-computer interface (BCI) technology to be developed in conjunction with other tech applications.


A new tool for doctors? Several major healthcare providers believe in the idea.

When last we discussed Google Glass, we were recalling its bumpy journey as a consumer product. Now, however, its creators are finding a number of clever and beneficial new uses for it.

For example, Google Glass is currently generating a lot of interest from the healthcare industry. A San Francisco startup called Augmedix just received a major round of investment from several of the nation’s largest healthcare providers. Those providers represent more than 100,000 U.S. physicians.

The idea is to have these doctors wear Google Glass. That way, vital date from a patient’s electronic “chart” could be represented in Google Glass heads-up display. With Glass, the doctor could consult additional information, while still maintaining eye contact with the patient.


SEP technology could take NASA’s deep-space missions further, with greater fuel efficiency.

It’s called Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) and though it’s been on the drawing board since the 1950’s, it’s still so under-the-radar that many have never heard of it. But they know it plenty over at NASA, which is sinking big coin into solar electric investments.

NASA has just awarded a $67 million contract to Aerojet Rocketdyne, which will produce an SEP system to be used on Mars journeys and other deep-space missions. Space-industry analysts consider this a major step forward in rocket science.

SEP captures solar energy from the sun and converts it to electricity that’s used to create a space vehicle’s thrust. NASA hopes the contract will yield up to four electric propulsion systems, which are ideal for longer journeys requiring less general thrust.


Imagine 10 billion pieces of wearable tech clothing and footwear. They’ll be available to consumers soon.

If you weren’t sure that wearable tech was worth its hype, consider this: A loT startup called EVRYTHNG has just inked a humongous deal with Avery Dennison.

The terms of the deal call for some 10 billion pieces of clothing (including footwear) to be engineered with data profiles and digital IDs, so they can be linked up with smartphones.

No word yet on which clothing makers will be taking part in the deal, or what specific apps the clothing will work with. Still, this marks a huge investment in wearable tech and fashion design.


The last time Carmack and Romero developed a game, it ended up redefining the shooter genre…and selling 10 million copies.

It’s been 23 years since id Software released one of the biggest shooters of all time: Doom, which has sold more than 10 million copies since its release. Now comes word that the game’s creators, Adrian Carmack and John Romero, are back together again and back at work on a new shooter, to be called Blackroom.

The project is currently trying to raise $700K through a crowdfunding campaign during the coming month. If that goes well and the game releases according to estimates, Blackroom will be wreaking havoc on console screens by December 2018. Will this new game be a benchmark in game design?

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