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ALI Technologies Attracts Supercar Fans With a Limited Edition Hoverbike

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A drone start-up based in Tokyo hopes to convince supercar collectors to trade their cars for a futuristic hoverbike worth $680,000 (£495,000).

A black and red XTurismo Limited Edition hoverbike went on sale in the city on Tuesday, October 26, 2021. ALI Technologies’ project is supported by Mitsubishi Electric and famous soccer player Keisuke Honda. Each hoverbike has a conventional engine and four battery-powered motors. The new toy car can fly for 40 minutes at a maximum speed of 100 kilometers per hour (62 miles/hour ) on a single charge.

ALI Technologies and its partners demonstrated the drone-like hoverbike with a short flight a few meters off the ground. The test flight was conducted at a racetrack near Mount Fuji. The company wishes to offer a new method of movement. Until now, the option has been to move on the ground or at scale in the sky, ALI Technologies chief executive Daisuke Katano said during the launching event. 

How promising is this Japan-made hoverbike? Is it worth the price tag? Let’s have a closer look at the main features of the XTurismo Limited Edition.

Features of the ALI Technologies XTurismo

  • Weight-Reduction Technologies

Xturismo has lightweight, tough, and non-corrosive Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastics (CFRP) used in almost all airframe components. It’s to significantly reduce the airframe’s weight and minimize driving energy consumption. 

The main body of the hoverbike is developed in collaboration with Toray Carbon Magic Co., Ltd., which has world-class lightweight design technology and CFRP molding technology.

  • High Efficiency Drive System

A highly efficient, tough, and lightweight drive system suitable for advanced air mobility.  Co-developed with Toda Racing, which boasts a high track record in the world of motorsports and has unique processing technology.

  • Internal Combustion Engine  

Supplied by Kawasaki Heavy Industries Group, Kawasaki Motors, Ltd., the engine has top-class engine combustion technology in the field of motorcycles and has the industry’s highest level of performance, reliability, and quality.

  • Motion Control Unit

It has a newly developed control unit that manages the movement of the hoverbike specialized for air mobility.

In addition to high performance and abundant functional safety with a strong record in mobility models, multiple RH-850 series manufactured by Renesas Electronics Corporation, which has built-in security functions required for advanced mobility applications, are installed.

  • Edge Computing Unit

Newly developed edge computing unit that oversees system control and connects to the cloud for a new era of air mobility. NVIDIA® Jetson AGX XavierTM series, manufactured by NVIDIA, includes hardware acceleration of the entire AI pipeline, has excellent scalability and flexibility, and is ideal for autonomous machines.

           Source: ALI Technologies XTurismo Catalog

The Problem XTurismo Wants to Solve

Overcrowding is a significant problem in Tokyo. Based on the 2021 World Population Review, Tokyo is the most populated city in the world. Unfortunately, current laws will not allow hoverbikes to fly over Japan’s busy roads. Mr. Katano envisions that rescue teams can use his hoverbikes to reach hard-to-access locations. 

Strict regulations in Japan regarding safety concerns prevented the growth of the transportation sector, particularly ride-sharing services. Mr. Katano also said that the pending amendment of laws could extend the hoverbike’s potential applications. ALI Technologies will manufacture a limited number of  200 units of single-rider 300-kilogram hoverbikes for delivery by the first half of  2022. They will start accepting reservations from prospective customers globally in January.

Yes, Hoverbikes Are Real! 

Flying vehicles are only seen in Hollywood sci-fi movies until recently. Since 2014, an increasing number of companies are trying to commercialize their version of hoverbikes. As for potential customers, even the US Army is looking at how to use them. 

Ben Gardner of Pinsent Masons said that vehicles that once seemed like the far-distant future were becoming more tangible every year. Soon, vehicles similar to Japan’s hoverbike will be seen in the United Kingdom. It’s not roadworthy yet under the existing laws in the UK. But, Mr. Gardner said investing in new technologies could prompt some changes soon. 

The ongoing studies intended for emerging technologies such as driverless cars, autonomous robots, and drones prove that there will be new modes of transport available. When that happens, we will move out from the sphere of science fiction into the real world, Ben Gardner added.

The Future of XTurismo Limited Edition Hoverbike

The start-up taps the engine maker Kawasaki Heavy. Commercial success for ALI technologies would strengthen Japan’s industrial capabilities amidst the shift towards new technology such as autonomous and electric cars. The only downside, though, is the reportedly loud sound of the XTurismo’s engine. It is so loud that bystanders need to use earplugs to protect them from too much noise before the hoverbike takes off. ALI Technologies plans to manufacture a limited number of the featured model. 

This hovercraft won’t enter the worldwide market anytime soon.  ALI Technologies still have to conduct more safety and regulatory testing.  Therefore, the company needs a few more months to make some modifications prior to offering XTurismo to the global market.

Funding Support

Funding is flowing to support the innovation. Venture capitalists, aviation corporations, even ride-sharing company Uber, with its Uber Elevate, are banking on the success of the promising automotive industry. Analysts say that the industry could reach as much as 1.5 trillion US dollars by 2040.

About ALI Technologies

ALI Technologies Inc. was established in September 2016 in Tokyo, Japan, led by Chairman Shuhei Komatsu and President / Chief Executive Officer Dausuke Katano. Presently, the group takes part in developing and operating manned and unmanned aerial vehicles, AI software, blockchain technologies, and cloud GPU services. Its growing clients include Hitachi Corporation, Kyocera Corporation, Mitsubishi, Kyushu Railway Company, and Misawa Homes Co. Ltd, Nagoya Railroad, Co., Ltd., TechnoPro Construction, Inc., and West Japan Railway Company. 

ALI Technologies aspires to become a leader in advanced technology that opens new opportunities for both businesses and consumers.

For other tech news, read more here at Owner’s Mag!

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Business

The Shift Towards Banking-As-A-Service

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The changing times and the pandemic have created a significant shift in how we bank. In addition, our expectations from banks have also differed through the years. The digitalization of the financial services industry has furthered the plan to get free access to banking data. This is in connection with the Open Banking initiative and the dramatic rise of fintech companies and neo-banks.

The market space that the traditional banks once dominated has now given new players the opportunities to compete alongside them. Indeed, the commoditization of bank services has inevitably begun.

A void to connect banks and these new players has been filled in the form of banking-as-as-service (or BaaS for short) providers. It’s only logical that a service such as this emerges. It’s the order next in line to streamline the customer experience and provide products that are built to engage the modern world. 

What exactly is banking-as-as-service?

The easiest way to explain what banking-as-as-service is is through a few examples, these are:

  • Bank accounts
  • Lending systems
  • Credit card payments

The digital world is changing the relationships of brands and businesses with their customers. It is rapidly shifting and improving that even non-bank companies have already integrated financial services to their customers. Established companies such as Walmart, Apple, Uber, or Amazon have already been doing this to add value to their products and services.

Why businesses should take the banking-as-as-service opportunity

To those in the know, banking technology is a complex matter. Developing it from the ground up can be laborious and expensive. Add to that the challenge of getting a bank license which turns off those trying to get in that niche. What banking-as-as-service does is to connect businesses with banks that take care of the requirements and provide the technology they need to provide financial services through a slew of digital channels.

This process will make banking services more engaging and less transactional. Businesses can now integrate services throughout the buying journey without redirecting them to a different platform. This means customers will no longer do the rigamarole of going from one channel to another. They will get what they need when and where they need it.

And statistics show that it is working. Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) services are steadily climbing at a rate of 39% per year for approximately 10 million Britons making their online purchases. 

What now for traditional banks?

Since traditional banks have little appetite for risks, they weren’t built to handle the demands for embedded finance. BaaS companies make it faster and easier for fintechs and other companies to increase their offerings by embedding digital banking services directly into the purchase. Instead of seeing this as competition, traditional banks should collaborate with BaaS to benefit from this embedding.

What can Banking-as-a-service do?

With the help of banking-as-a-service, new players in the finance industry will have the capability of targeting niche communities and coming up with slimmer product sets. Also, the solutions that BaaS offers can give valuable insights to businesses on how they can improve their products or services. They will have the much-needed data to learn about industry trends, saving and spending behaviors, and general engagement with their offerings.

All these means that businesses can have more information on how they can improve the overall customer experience. This also means companies can deliver products and services that are more targeted towards the right customers. The possibilities that banking-as-a-service offers are endless in terms of innovation in the banking and financial services market.

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Business

Playrcart Gives You What You Want – Immediately

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We’ve all watched ads and immediately thought, “I want that. Right now.” Some of us wish we could jump right into the TV and into that sexy Ford F-Series quicker than we can have a second thought. But how many of us have gone to make a purchase only to be discouraged by the needlessly complicated payment process? “Too many,” says UK-based startup Playrcart

We believe this is the future of advertising.” 

Founder Glen Dormieux, along with CTO, Richard Mason, created Playrcart born of that very frustration.

What we’re seeing right now is fairly traditional – they’re doing the same thing time and time again.

Currently, when viewing an ad, you have to go through several pages in order to complete a purchase. How many sales are lost in that time-consuming process? “Too many!” say business owners in a Mr. Krabs-esque demeanor. 

How Does Playrcart Work?

Playrcart has designed its platform to convert digital assets into instant transactions within the ad itself. How is that possible? Technology, stupid. 

You can actually make the transaction go directly within the asset itself. So you engage with the ads, you interact with the purchase within the ad without ever leaving that same piece of content.

It effectively dilutes numerous clicks that you normally have to navigate through. The average of reduction clicks is about 75 percent.

With Playrcart, you can watch the trailer for a new Spider-man movie and buy tickets before it’s even completed. You can schedule a test drive in the Ford F-Series as you’re watching a professional drive it on a closed course. 

Consumers will now have the option to purchase something when their emotional response to an ad is at its peak. You can see an ad for a major event and as you’re riding that emotional wave you click and purchase tickets. As the ad concludes, you can emotionally conclude with it – satisfied. 

You can see Playrcart’s technology in action here

Playrcart is capitalizing on our instant gratification society, and they’re doing it with modesty and innovative advances in technology. 

We want to hit them instantly while you’ve got their attention.

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Technology

Slingshot Aerospace Launches Communication Tool After Acquiring Stellatus Solutions

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On Aug 18, 2021, Slingshot Aerospace acquired Stellatus Solutions. Initially, Stellatus was a project by the Department of Defense (DOD) Hacking for Defense Program. When they learned the problems faced by satellite operators were true, Holly Highfill and Kishen Ragunath eventually founded Stellatus. But months after its establishment as a company, the acquisition helped Slingshot Aerospace build their new tool: The Slingshot Beacon.

Let’s learn more about the acquisition and what it means for Slingshot Aerospace and the space industry.

The Stellatus Solutions- Slingshot Aerospace Acquisition: A Background

Before Stellatus Solution became part of Slingshot Solutions, Stellatus was a project by University of Chicago students to make communication easier between operators. This project aims to minimize the number of collisions among the 400 satellites in orbit. The number will be 200x more by 2030, with an expected number of 115,000 satellites in space.

At first, the students believed it was a theoretical project. But when they learned that satellite operators had communication issues, this motivated them to create the startup. It didn’t take them a year to get acquired by Slingshot. After all, their tech would be critical for one of their Slingshot Aerospace’s products, the Slingshot Beacon, announced by the startup in Aug 2021 as well.

The launch of the Slingshot Beacon was possible with the data and intellectual property Slingshot obtained from Stellatus. Holly Highfill and Kishen Raghunath, co-founders of Stellatus, are onboard Slingshot Aerospace. Highfill will have the position of Director of Customer Engagement and Strategy, while Raghunath will be Director of Finance and Strategy.

What is Slingshot Aerospace?

Founders Melanie Stricklan and Thomas Ashman know that space-related ventures have boomed over the past few years. Plus, they’re also Air Force vets, so they have more intelligence on the matter, especially satellites.

Not only that, there are communication issues in space. And it’s a problem. For one, it can be difficult to obtain data due to conflict. Plus, satellite operators may face challenges in analyzing data. Moreover, with high competition, the operators can’t get real-time and comprehensive information due to the number of satellites above. And it’s crucial they have relevant and complete information to determine the location of a satellite. Hence, satellites won’t crash.

To solve this problem, they collaborated with David Godwin. He’s a satellite architect, and with his knowledge of satellites, the trio can respond to the current communication problems faced by operators.

What does the acquisition mean for them?

The Slingshot Beacon, the product released in Aug 2021, is their new communications platform. The cutting-edge tech will help detect collisions and provide centralized communication and coordination. Plus, operators will know about maneuvers and other satellite-related functions.

Slingshot Aerospace has also collaborated with Numerica Corporation to help them with data and analytics.

The company got inspiration from the guard channels, which is a frequency monitoring only maydays and calls for help. With this in mind, they can aid organizations in monitoring their space objects and orbits. In addition, it has a few functions:

  • Operator contact info
  • Environmental anomalies reports
  • Alerts for planned maneuvers
  • Ephemeris sharing
  • Conjunction data messages

OneWeb, Orbit Fab, Spire Global Inc., and other companies will have the privilege to try their tool first. With the Slingshot Beacon, operators can communicate in one platform, which will allow them to access data easily. Based on the press release published by the startup, it ensures safety and transparency. Not only that, but it will prevent possible collisions.

Moreover, their tool ensures that data is digestible, accelerating decision-making and helping the public and governments build confidence.

Orbit Fab, in particular, has expressed its excitement over the use of Slingshot Beacon. They’re the Gas Stations in Space, and the tool will help streamline communication for them.

Features of the Slingshot Beacon launched Q3 2021:

  • File sharing
  • Live and historic data processing
  • Collaboration (internal and external)
  • Workflows with automation tools for risk screening
  • Third-party plugins and integration
  • Data capture and upload and download of customer ephemeris
  • Easy onboard
  • End to end security
  • Built-in compliance
  • AWS cloud services

For more news, read more stories here at Owner’s Mag!

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