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Unitsky Completes First Stage of uSky Elevated String Rail Transport System

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Unitsky String Technologies Inc. (UST), the Belarusian-based eco-friendly, safe, and comfortable transport solutions specialised, has completed the first stage of the uSky freight and passenger elevated string rail transport system for use in global logistics at its test facility in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. Marking uSky’s first commercial project launch, the company has set plans to increase its portfolio to 10 projects by the end of 2022. The first commercial uSky project will now transit from the “innovation” and “venture capital” stages to the “investment business” stage. In parallel, Unitsky will continue testing the sustainable transport solution prior to widespread deployment next year.

“This is a key milestone in our development,” said Anatoli Unitsky, Founder of Unitsky String Technologies and uSky Transport. “By leveraging our cutting-edge, proprietary technology, we are demonstrating the agility, versatility and capabilities that our cost-efficient, elevated string rail technology can bring to destinations. Tailored to support both cargo and passenger logistics, uSky delivers high speeds and performance of transportation (up to 150 km/h and up to 50,000 passengers per hour) and can be established at a fraction of the cost to other solutions with a minimal ecological impact.”

Investment in the design, construction, and certification of uSky’s urban transport and freight facilities in the UAE has already totalled more than US$14 million.

Stage 1. Urban freight and passenger complexes
The first elevated string rail transport project implemented in the MENA region includes both passenger and freight transport options. The rolling stock includes unmanned electric rail vehicles – uCar passenger modules and uCont freight modules – designed to travel on a suspended string rail overpass at speeds of up to 150 km/h off the ground.

The first line of the uSky complex could be expanded in its current location at the Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park (SRTIP) to connect the technology park’s network of training buildings. uSky’s transport solutions are certified for transport infrastructure safety by TUV SW (Standardisation Certification), a provider of services in the area of certification, as well as quality, security and sustainability solutions.

Stage 2. uSky’s technology platform and high-speed intercity transport
The second stage is the deployment of a dedicated technology platform for the piloting and certification of the high-speed uSky line, in which rail electric vehicles will be capable of reaching speeds of up to 500 kilometres per hour (up to 600 km/h in the future). At Expo 2020 Dubai, the Unitsky String Technologies is presenting a ready-made hosting solution to participating countries, as well as companies operating in the transport and infrastructure, energy, information, development, agribusiness and other associated and related industries for export to all countries of the world.

Parameters for the deployment of the high-speed uSky technology platform are as follows:

  • The required investment for the construction of a high-speed transport (up to 500 km/h) complex for research, demonstration and certification purposes – US$230 million. The length of the test string-rail overpass is from 20 km, while the required land area starts at 100 hectares;
  • The investment needed to fully deploy the technology platform with all transport infrastructure and other associated and related technologies equates to US$580 million. The area of the additional land plot is 50+ hectares;
  • The term for the construction and certification of the uSky high-speed transport complex (from the start of full-scale financing of the project) is two years;
  • The term in which the technology platform will be fully established (from the start of full project financing) is three years;
  • The speed of intercity high-speed rail electric vehicles in passenger, freight and cargo-passenger versions, the construction of a pilot site for which is envisaged by the technology platform is 500 km/h. Eventually, the speed will be increased to 600 km/h (using a test track with length of 30 km or more).
  • More than 100 research and development activities and related technologies are to be developed within the proposed innovation techno-hub. These include intelligent control systems, coding and high-speed packet data transfer systems, machine vision and machine diagnostics systems, power supply and communication systems, passenger safety and behaviour monitoring systems, dynamics and aerodynamics of high-speed overhead string-rail transport and many more.

With strong demand for urban freight and high-speed intercity transport and infrastructure solutions in various countries around the world, uSky has already received government-level interest for the deployment of the high-speed uSky technology platform in their territory. In addition to the provision of the necessary land and investment capital, further deployment factors include:

  • High land costs: uSky takes up an order of magnitude less land for development and reduces construction and operating costs by several times compared to traditional transport solutions. In some versions, the distance between supports can be up to 3 kilometres or more, allowing large obstacles – rivers, lakes, gorges, connecting islands and mountain tops to be crossed in a single span;
  • High population density and congestion on existing road infrastructure: uSky solutions avoid large crowds of people in a limited space while allowing high citizen mobility, with passenger volumes capable of reaching up to 50,000 passengers per hour

The company says that it is ready to come to any country interested in implementing a project and developing innovative transport solutions in its territory.

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Cool Stuff

ASUS’ Zenbook 17 Fold OLED is Now Available in the UAE

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ASUS has announced the groundbreaking Zenbook 17 Fold OLED (UX9702), the world’s first 17.3-inch foldable OLED laptop. To create this futuristic device, ASUS and Intel have developed industry-first solutions to advance innovation in the foldable category, including collaborations between domain experts and an ecosystem partnership.

This groundbreaking Intel Evo-certified foldable laptop offers users two sizes of OLED display in one device: a large 4:3 17.3-inch 2.5K touchscreen that folds in the middle to create two seamless 3:2 12.5-inch 1920 by 1280 displays. When folded fully closed along the precision-engineered 180° hinge — which is tested to withstand over 30,000 open-and-close cycles — it’s an ultra-compact and portable 12.5-inch device that’s smaller than a sheet of photocopier paper.

Multiple versatile usage modes — Desktop, Laptop (with Bluetooth keyboard), Laptop (with virtual keyboard), Tablet, Reader, and Extended — are enabled by the folding design in conjunction with the full-size ASUS ErgoSense Bluetooth keyboard and touchpad. Despite its versatility and large screen size, the device weighs just 1.5 kg without the keyboard or 1.8 kg with it.

Zenbook 17 Fold OLED comes with a full-size ErgoSense Bluetooth keyboard and touchpad that massively increases its versatility, allowing use in Desktop mode, Laptop mode (with Bluetooth keyboard), Laptop mode (with virtual keyboard), Tablet mode, Reader mode or Extended mode. In each mode, the easy-to-use window management tools allow multiple split-display configurations and flexible app layouts for enhanced productivity.

In Desktop mode the unfolded 17.3-inch screen — propped up in landscape orientation using the built-in faux leather kickstand — can be used with the ErgoSense keyboard and touchpad attached wirelessly to create a powerful large-screen PC for easy productivity. For Laptop mode (with Bluetooth keyboard) when on the go, the keyboard attaches magnetically when placed on the lower half of the folded display. Alternatively, in Laptop mode (with a virtual keyboard) the lower display can be turned into a virtual on-screen keyboard.

Tablet mode allows users to exploit the full touch capabilities of the fully opened 17.3-inch touchscreen, while Reader mode — with the hinge aligned vertically — turns Zenbook 17 Fold OLED into the perfect reading device. Finally, in Extended mode — propped up in portrait orientation, the folded two 12.5-inch screens are perfect for users to scroll on the upper and lower displays seamlessly. Zenbook 17 Fold OLED can be connected to an external monitor via one of the two USB-C Thunderbolt 4 ports.

Zenbook 17 Fold OLED has been tested to meet the ultra-demanding MIL-STD-810H US military standard for reliability and durability. The precision-engineered 180° hinge is also torture-tested, undergoing over 30,000 open-and-close cycles to ensure maximum reliability for total peace of mind. To put this in context, if a user opens and closes the laptop six times per day, this represents a lifespan of over nine years. The stepless hinge is built to firmly hold the upper screen at any angle, making it perfect when used as an ultraportable 12.5-inch laptop, or for single-handed use in reader mode.

Zenbook 17 Fold OLED is designed to deliver truly immersive audio and visual experience, starting with its amazing 60 Hz / 0.2 ms 17.3-inch 2.5K foldable OLED (FOLED) touchscreen. This display is Dolby Vision certified for realistic HDR visuals, PANTONE Validated for color accuracy and has a cinema-grade 100% DCI-P3 color gamut for vivid colors. It’s also TÜV Rheinland certified for low blue-light emissions and flicker-free operation, making it easy on the eyes during long viewing sessions.

Movies, videos, and music are all enhanced by the immersive surround-sound capabilities of the powerful Harman Kardon-certified quad-speaker Dolby Atmos audio system. Dolby Atmos adds an exciting new spatial dimension to sound for an ultra-realistic listening experience. The speakers are driven by a smart amplifier that maximizes volume — up to 3.5X louder than a standard amplifier — while minimizing distortion, ensuring crystal-clear sound for entertainment or communications.

The Intel Evo-certified Zenbook 17 Fold OLED is powered for effortless multitasking by high-performance components including a 12th Gen Intel Core i7-1250U processor, Intel Iris Xe graphics, 16 GB RAM, and a 1 TB PCIe SSD. The long-lasting 75-watt-hour battery features USB-C Easy Charge, so it can be charged quickly with most USB-C chargers or power banks, or any Power Delivery-certified charger, including the bundled 65 W fast-charge adapter.

For the perfect user experience, Zenbook 17 Fold OLED laptop includes a Bluetooth version of our new ErgoSense keyboard and touchpad. The keyboard has a full-size 19.05 mm key pitch and a long 1.4 mm key travel. It’s our best laptop keyboard ever, offering improved typing accuracy and comfort. The keyboard includes a large ErgoSense touchpad that has a new silky-smooth surface for easy navigation, protected by a durable anti-fingerprint coating.

ASUS Zenbook 17 Fold OLED (UX9702) will be available from 18th October 2022 in UAE from Virgin Megastore, Jumbo, Sharaf DG, Emax, Ecity, Computronic, AL Ershad, Amazon and ASUS eshop. The price starts at AED 12,999.

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Cool Stuff

Pop Culture Show Popcon Middle East Comes to Dubai in November 2022

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Dubai will be hosting its first edition of PopCon Middle East (PopConME) from the 10th  – 13th  November 2022. Promising the ultimate weekend, PopConME will showcase the best in Movies, TV, comics, graphic novels, anime, cosplay, and much more. In partnership with Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), Speedy Comics, and Alanza Trading, PopConME will take place at the Dubai Exhibition Centre (DEC), Expo City Dubai, featuring exclusive workshops, movie screenings, Cosplay gaming competitions, and much more.

PopConME will be running as part of Dubai Esports Festival (DEF 2022) taking place from the 9th – 20th November 2022, the most exciting esports and gaming event in the Middle East, and a trend-setter for the region’s gaming industry which is set to cement Dubai’s position as a year-round global hub for esports and gaming.

“We are excited to introduce PopConME to Dubai. I have been a fan of comic books since I was a child and have been entrenched in the community from an early age. This is a dream come true for a true geek like me. I want this convention to have everything and more my geek heart desires.” said Amer Rashed Al Farooq, Deputy CEO, Speedy Comics Group, the region’s number one destination for vintage comics and pop culture collectibles.

This festival will give fans the opportunity to celebrate their favourite celebrities, meet like-minded people, and indulge in the world of fantasy all under one roof. Comic book geeks will get the opportunity to meet and greet their favourite talents up close, attend exclusive workshops and buy one-of-a-kind merchandise at the Artist Alley. Packed with interactive zones and activations PopConME will host its own People’s Choice Cosplay, Dungeons & Dragons, Pokémon/Yu-Gi-Oh Card Competitions.

Featuring a line-up of some of the biggest international talents, PopConME has already confirmed the attendance of Nightmare on Elm Street actress Katie Cassidy, who is also known for her portrayal of the demon Ruby in the fantasy horror series, Supernatural and Black Canary in Arrow. Also confirmed to attend are CW Supernatural Kevin Tran and Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency actor, Osric Chau, and voice actor Ray Porter best known for his portrayal of DC Comics Villain, Darkseid in Zack Snyder’s Justice League.

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3D Printing

Abu Dhabi-Based Khalifa University Develops 3D-Printed Glasses to Help Correct Colour Blindness

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Khalifa University of Science and Technology, a consistently top-ranked research-intensive university based in Abu Dhabi, has developed a new method to manufacture customized glasses using 3D printing that could help people with colour blindness. Colour Vision Deficiency (CVD) is an inherited ocular disorder that manifests itself by limiting the retina cones’ ability to transmit the whole spectrum of colours.

With red-green colour blindness being the most prevalent form of CVD, the most common way of dealing with everyday difficulties is by wearing tinted glasses. Now, a team of researchers from Khalifa University has developed lenses using transparent resin mixed with two wavelength-filtering dyes to provide a tinting effect. To customise the lenses and make them as similar as possible to commercially available products, the team used two dyes – one blocked the undesired wavelengths for red-green patients, while the other filtered unwanted wavelengths for yellow-blue patients, with volunteers for both groups attesting to the lenses’ efficacy.

Even though glasses based on this method are commercially available at present, they are not comfortable for wearing, nor optimizable. However, the Khalifa University research team has developed its own frames for the lenses, using 3D printing to optimize the frames for comfort and usability, making them as close as possible to regular glasses.

Dr. Haider Butt, Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering, Khalifa University, said, “Our results showed that 3D printing had no influence on the wavelength-filtering properties of the dyes. In fact, the dyes remained unchanged as they were integrated with the resin and 3D printed. When we compared the optical performance of our glasses with commercial glasses for colour blindness, our results indicated that our 3D-printed glasses were more selective in filtering undesired wavelengths than the commercially available options. They have great potential in treating colour blindness, and their ease of fabrication and customization means they can be tailored to suit each individual patient.”

The glasses underwent several tests to address toxicity, durability, and longevity concerns. These tests included storing the glasses in water for over a week to analyze whether any dye would leak and leaving them out in the open under ambient conditions for another week. The glasses exhibited tensile strength and flexibility, proving their stability and long-lasting properties.

Khalifa University’s research outcome presents an opportunity for people with color blindness to mitigate their inability to distinguish between shades of certain colours that could restrict them from working in fields where color recognition is critical, in addition to carrying out everyday tasks. The research was funded by organizations from Abu Dhabi, including real estate developer Aldar Properties, and Sandooq Al Watan, a social initiative.

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