Tide Tips: Technology, Innovation, Patents and Startups C2: Volume 7


Tide TIPS C2: Volume 7

You are reading Tide TIPS, a weekly round-up of all things Technology, Innovation, Patent, and Startup related.


No wallet? No problem

Now, you may not have to beg your friends to come let you into the dorms because you forgot your wallet. Last Monday, Apple came out with their new next-generation operating systems for the iPhone and Apple Watch. One of the new features that will arrive this fall is the addition of student ID cards to the Apple Wallet. Six schools will be participating in this new program when it comes out: Duke, Johns Hopkins University, University of Oklahoma, Santa Clara University, Temple University, and our very own University of Alabama. This way, payments and secure building access can happen in one place. With some states already pushing for digital driver’s licenses (looking at you, Iowa), it wouldn’t be surprising if our driver’s licenses and passports were soon accessible within our smartphones. (One World Identity)

Make The Pacific Great Again

Chances are, you’ve heard of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. If you haven’t, it’s the largest chunk of ocean plastic, made up of 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic and spanning 617,763 square miles. Many people have tried to come up with a way to tackle this growing mass, and finally a solution has arrived. The Dutch non-profit, Ocean Cleanup has launched an ocean cleaning machine, made up of huge floating nets held by giant tubes to suck the trash out of the water and bring it back to ships that will take the plastic to be recycled. It will first be launched in the San Francisco Bay in July, with plans to keep expanding the system. Not to worry about fish getting caught, they will be able to escape the screens by passing under them. (NY Post)

Imagine a world without GPS

With all of the new technologies coming out daily, it’s easy to forget about the ones that set the stage for the advances in technology we see today. Here are some of the patents that helped shape the world. To start, the iPhone is the signature device of the 21st century. This invention, written as simply an “electronic device” on it’s patent, has influenced how we communicate, navigate, and think. With it’s patent issued in 1986, the 3D printer was a little ahead of its time. It’s true value was only really noticed as computing technology advanced. Another one of the greats was the Global Positioning System, or GPS. Only available to the military for many years, now Google Maps is used by billions of people. (Popular Mechanics)

Gmail’s got a new ‘do

Gmail has long been a frontrunner in email platforms, but it’s been a while since it was ever updated. Well, Google is starting one of Gmail’s biggest updates in years. The new features include a Snooze button and a sidebar with a task-management system. So, if you’ve ever gotten an email that you know will require a long response that you just don’t have time for that second, you can put that email on snooze and have it come back into your inbox when you have a little more time to spare. Another big feature coming is confidential mode, where the recipient must enter a code that was texted to them before opening your email. But, why now? Supposedly, the new updates are more about security than beating competitors, such as Slack. I’m not sure if that’s believable, but at least we get cool new features. (Wired)

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Have a tip? Let us know by sending the link to Ben, at bhbickerstaff@ua.edu