The Year of Engineering: 6 Month Review

2018 has been a great year so far; the World Cup has just begun, blockbuster’s such as Jurassic World have recently smashed into cinema and we’ve even had a Royal Wedding!

But what about the world of engineering? Being at just about the halfway point in the year, here at European Springs we thought that we would take a look at what has been achieved so far this year in the dynamic and ever-changing world of engineering.

At the beginning of the year, there were many predictions of what 2018 could bring, we even took a guess on a previous blog post, 5 predictions for manufacturing and engineering! But were we correct? Have these predictions and advances been achieved yet? Alternatively, have any of the predicted 2018 engineering trends surfaced yet?

In this blog post, we will not only discuss this year’s achievements so far but also take a look at the exciting prospects still to come in 2018!

Evolution of Artificial Intelligence

When you think of artificial intelligence, it’s easy to think of the futuristic films, which often portray the incredibly advanced technological robots with characteristics that humans crave to possess. However, throughout the years, technology within the engineering world has advanced at levels once thought impossible.

Recently, artificial intelligence has been linked with huge global companies such as Amazon, Google and Microsoft. For smaller companies, the cost of artificial intelligence is too great, and the systems are often far too sophisticated. However, machine-learning tools based in the cloud are making artificial intelligence available to a much wider audience.

Each of these three industry experts have software that can help develop artificial further:

  • Amazon dominates cloud AI with its AWS subsidiary.
  • Google has TensorFlow, which is an open-source AI library that can be used to build other machine-learning software.
  • Microsoft has its own AI-powered cloud platform, Azure.

Microsoft is teaming up with Amazon to offer Gluon, which is an open-source deep-learning library. This will result in the building of neural nets which is key to technology in AI. This mimics how the brain learns.

Google Pixel Buds

As is common in the competitive world of tech, Google looks to be at the forefront of numerous technological advancements and inventions. Their latest introduction to this fast-paced world is Pixel Buds, which are wireless earbuds that have Google assistant built-in and are even supported by Google translate.

Released in the UK in February, these distinguished Pixel Buds allow the earbuds to translate conversations in real-time, as well as conduct web searches and include media connectivity. It has the ability to translate into 40 different languages!

The technology works by an individual wearing the earbuds whilst another person holds a connected mobile phone. The person wearing the earbuds speaks and the app translates the voice, playing it aloud from the phone. The other person holding the phone responds, which is then translated and played through the earbuds.

However, as this is still incredibly new, there are inevitably a couple of teething problems: the most obvious issue is the impact of background noise which can make it hard for the app to understand what exactly is being said, but also when differentiating when one person has stopped speaking and it’s time to start translating the language.

In the coming years, we will see vast improvements in this new type of technology.

Still to Come in 2018

Only halfway through 2018 and there is still so much to be excited about within the world of engineering. Let’s take a look at what is still yet to come in 2018.

Computational Photography

Engineers are the creative minds behind some of the most innovative inventions we have today. They are the people who transform an idea and a vision into reality. Computational photography is an example of this.

Cameras are something we use every day and engineers are working with software to improve the digital cameras that we use. With the evolution of smartphones meaning that they are continually becoming thinner, the images you can capture are always improving. This is due to advances in the software.

Two global companies, Apple and Samsung, use software that creates an improved depth of field effects on their phones. Even huge Hollywood director, Steven Soderbergh (known for Erin Brockovich, the Ocean’s trilogy and Magic Mike) decided to start using iPhones for filming this year!

Smartwatches to be Used as Medical Devices

It is fair to say that Apple aims to dominate technology world, and the effects of this are clear; countless mobile phones, computer tablets, iPods and Apple watches, in actual fact, they are one of the world’s largest information technology companies ever.

Last year, the FDA approved the first medical device accessory, and following the success of this, this year we will see the introduction of Smartwatches being used as medical devices. The devices monitor a user’s heart rate, detects when something is abnormal and prompts the user to take an electrocardiogram, potentially saving lives in an incredibly twenty-first century way.

As this incredible invention is still in the early stages, it is fair to say that Apple have a long way to go before they can sufficiently enter the medical market effectively. However, there is the suggestion that this could happen in the future, as the technology continues to improve in the coming years.

The engineering and manufacturing industry is truly remarkable and affects almost every way that we work today. These developing technologies contribute to the adapting nature of businesses worldwide.

As spring suppliers, we understand the importance of the developing technologies, and the fact that we are leading experts in the field of spring manufacturing is a testament to this.

To find out more about our products and services, contact us today by calling 0208 663 1800 or by emailing info.bec@europeansprings.com – we will be more than happy to help.

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