Global Tech Roundup: Elon Musk Names Son ‘X Æ A-12’, SpaceX Touchscreen Controlled Spacecraft and Others


This week ended on a sober note after another wave of sack and Furlough of employees in the tech space. However, there were several interesting stories that made headlines across the globe.

Here is a quick roundup of some of the stories you might have missed.

Elon Musk’s Names son X Æ A-12

Earlier in the week, Tesla founder, Elon Musk and his partner Claire “Grimes” Boucher welcomed their first child to planet earth. The couple soon after announced the name of their son to be X Æ A-12.

This took a lot of people by surprise as it looked more like a mathematical formula than the name of a human. Also, being that it’s not exactly English, you might be wondering how exactly it’s pronounced.

Musk in a podcast explained that the name was pronounced “X Ash A 12.” With the X being just “X” and the A-12 is just “A 12.” He also revealed that his partner came up with the name and the A-12 included was partially based on the Archangel-12, the precursor to the couples favourite aircraft, the SR-71.

While the name is certainly unique, and most probably one of a kind, it may run into a lot of issues as most systems in the world recognize names as words (alphabet) not numbers. Maybe Mr Musk is looking to revolutionalise that too.

Virtual Ceremonies

With the coronavirus pandemic cancelling physical ceremonies like graduations and Weddings across the world, people have turned to virtual platforms to celebrate.

Ohio’s Wright State University Ohio college, in the US recently hosted a virtual video celebration for its graduating class. The event was attended by Oscar-winning actor, Tom Hanks who delivered an inspiring keynote message to the graduates.

Apart from video platforms like Zoom, people have also turned to games to celebrate events like weddings. Sharmin Asha and Nazmul Ahmed after the disappointment of having to cancel their wedding due to the pandemic got married inside Animal Crossing: New Horizons a video game platform.

Asha and Ahmed’s story isn’t rare, as there have been instances of people hosting wedding within Animal Crossing in the midst of a pandemic. The increasing number of virtual events shows an evolution of a whole new way for people to celebrate.

Fully Touchscreen controlled Spacecraft

SpaceX in its new Crew Dragon spacecraft has ditched the old tech of buttons and dials and has decided to go fully touchscreen with the control interface. The Dragon capsule is expected to debut in space soon.

Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, the two astronauts to man the Dragon capsule to the International Space Station expressed that it was certainly a different experience after spending countless hours with the new interface in simulations.

“Growing up as a pilot my whole career, having a certain way to control the vehicle, this is certainly different, but we went into it with a very open mind, I think, and worked with them to define the way you interface with it — the way your touches actually registered on the display, in order to be able to fly it cleanly and not make mistakes touching it, not potentially putting in a wrong input.”

The successful voyage of the Dragon Spacecraft could mark the beginning of a new age of spacecraft having an all-touchscreen control interface.

Real Life Copy and Paste with Augmented Reality

Most practical applications of augmented reality (AR) have been about bringing something from the virtual world into the real world like check out how a couch will fit into your sitting room before buying it.

However, developers have a new practical application of AR that allows bringing something from the real world into the virtual. A developer, Cyril Diagne demonstrated the use of AR as a tool to quickly grab visuals from the real world and paste them into digital documents using a phone.

The presentation showed that just by pointing your phone at what you want to copy and dragging it over to your computer you can effectively copy and paste a real-world object without the hassle of photoshop. According to Diagne, it takes about 2.5 seconds to copy an object and four seconds to paste it. But that could be easily sped up.

Zoom closer to end-end encryption

Zoom’s catapult to fame came with a lot of privacy and security issues. Over the last month, the video conferencing app has launched several features to remedy the situation.

To add to that the company has bought Keybase, an encryption startup to help it reach its end to end encryption goal for its video chat platform. Zoom will leverage on Keybases over 5 years of experience in creating encryption to hasten the company security goal.

Microsoft launches new Surface notebooks and Other devices

Even with COVID-19 up and about, Microsoft this week has launched its new Surfaces devices. Microsoft flagship computer, Surface Book along with an upgrade of the Surface Go was announced.

Other products launched was the Surface Headphones 2 and the Surface Earbuds which finally goes to retail after being unveiled last year. Microsft reduced the price of the earbuds to N77,510 ($199), $50 dollars lesser than when it was unveiled. The price of the headphones was also $100 cheaper than its previous version. With the price reduction, Microsoft’s products are better positioned to take on Google, Apple.

Technext Newsletter

Get the best of Africa’s daily tech to your inbox – first thing every morning.
Join the community now!

Register for Technext Coinference 2023, the Largest blockchain and DeFi Gathering in Africa.

Technext Newsletter

Get the best of Africa’s daily tech to your inbox – first thing every morning.
Join the community now!