Personally, I'm most excited about the accessory / smartphone charger that is the XOO belt!

AI Image Description

Google have developed a machine-learning system that can automatically create captions for photos. Currently, anytime an image is uploaded we have to manually add an alt tag that should be a brief description of what's in the image. The alt tag serves a number of purposes; SEO, helping visually impaired people 'see' what the photo is of and it's what loads when the image itself can't (because of slow internet speed or an image source error). 

But an automatically generated alt tag could change all of this. Sometimes, people forget to add an alt tag - so having it automatically generated will, if nothing else, hopefully describe the image with some degree of accuracy. But at present, as with all things AI, a bit of human intelligence is needed to proof and correct.

Google AI Image description
Selection of image description results from the Google Research blog

A belt that will charge your phone

Currently seeking crowdfunding on Indiegogo, the XOO belt provides 2 solutions in 1:

  • Hold up trousers
  • Charge smartphone

Of course you can buy portable charging packs already, but you'll need to carry the pack around with you somehow and if you don't carry a handbag, murse, backpack or shoulder bag then what? The XOO belt is wearable tech that merges form (accessory) and function (smartphone charger) rather beautifully.

Facebook at work

Facebook would like you to use it at work. Not discreetly, not during your break -- but as the epicenter of your online work space. Rumour has it that Facebook is working on a Facebook for Work. Unsurprisingly, Facebook employees already spend their day on Facebook but it seems a few other companies are now testing a workplace version of Facebook as well.

Twitter search starts from day 0

Twitter's always had a search facility, but the results were limited to recent tweets. They're now rolling out a feature to let you search every public tweet since they started back in 2006 (roughly half a trillion tweets). Maybe it's time to do a clear out of older tweets then....


Snapchat and Square Cash have partnered up to create Snapcash -- a new feature for US snapchat users ages 18+ to send money via Snapchat. Debit card details are stored by Square, and once you've entered your card details you just go into a Snapchat, enter in the amount you want to send to a friend and hit the green button. Yes, it's that fast and simple. But is that a good thing? 

Viber goes more public as Whatsapp goes more private

As Viber announces a new Public Chats feature that will let users read chats from launch partners, Whatsapp announces that Anroid users will have their messages automatically encrypted.

Tony Hawk rides a hoverboard

We talked about the hoverboard in our New and Next 24-10-2014 and now we can show you what it looks like when you let Tony Hawk on one:

Did I miss anything in the tech world this week? Please drop a comment and let me know.

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