On Episode 538 of the Waves of Tech, we are diving into a wide variety of technology news! United Airlines is looking to revolutionize regional air travel with the purchase of 100 zero-emissions, electrically powered airplanes from Sweden-based Heart Aerospace. After lingering concerns for nearly a month, the Hubble Telescope is now up and fully functioning thanks to the troubleshooting expertise of engineers. Warby Parker has updated their app to include augmented reality abilities to digitally try on glasses and have a prescription issued. Blue Origin is set to launch their New Shepard rocket with a four person crew, including Jeff Bezos and famed female NASA figure Wally Funk.
United Airlines Invests in Electrified Airplanes
As the electric vehicle industry speeds up, the same can be said in electrified air travel. United Airlines has ordered 100 zero-emissions airplanes from Sweden-based Heart Aerospace to begin replacing their regional fleet of aviation fueled planes. Both companies plan to have a fleet in service by 2026, which can carry up to 19 passengers and travel 250 miles. Nothing particularly has been reported in terms of battery infrastructure at regional airports.
The Famed Hubble Telescope Lives
A few episodes ago, we reported that the Hubble Telescope was suffering from some computing issues that drew a lot of attention and concern from NASA engineers. After a month of troubleshooting, the solar system telescope is alive and functioning well. NASA announced briefly after the fix was made that the issue was the power control unit as the source of the problem. It’s great to have the scope back in service and providing amazing shots of the vast universe.
Warby Parker’s Augmented Reality App
Over the past few years, the popular online eyewear retailer Warby Parker has been heavily promoting advancements in their app that includes upgrades to augmented reality. Right now, you can digitally try on glasses and they recently announced the ability to renew a person’s glasses prescriptions via their updated iOS mobile app. A new prescription will cost you $15 but a new set of glasses or contact lens may set you back more. It’s good to see the application of AR becoming more relevant outside gaming and entertainment.
Blue Origin Rocket Launch
Not to be out done by Richard Branson and the Virgin Galactic crew, Jeff Bezos and a crew are heading to space aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard. The crew includes Bezos, his brother, the famed 82 year old Wally Funk (a woman chosen in the Mercury 13 program), and an 18 year old physics student (auction winner). We are excited to see Ms. Funk take flight since she never had the opportunity as the Mercury 13 program was cancelled and she never made it to space. GodSpeed and safe travels to all!