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Issue #4

Restaurants quietly employing robots, Brazil is now 92% renewable energy, Zuck says glasses will replace phones, and more.

News from February 15 - Feb 22, 2024

World’s First Flying Coin Has Engine 

Poland has engineered the world’s first levitating, glow-in-the-dark coin. It has been named the UFO MP-1766 and was created on order from the Bank of Cameroon, making it legal tender worth 1,766 Cameroonian francs, or approximately $2.90.

The coin features a hidden motor and a specially designed base that generates a magnetic field, allowing it to float in the air. Its unique glow comes from fluorescent paint hardened with UV light.

Lukasz Karda, Director of the Technical and Production Planning Department at the Mint of Poland: “We cannot simply create a coin that goes into official circulation, because only central banks have the right to issue money. Therefore, there is a business model of getting in touch with somewhat exotic foreign banks, in this case the Bank of Cameroon. The pioneering project of the Mint of Poland took its creators to a completely different level of minting art, both in terms of the use of modern technology and artistic vision.”


Apple’s Most Senior Designer Leaves 

Apple’s longest-serving senior industrial designer, Bart Andre, is leaving the company, marking the near-complete turnover of a team once led by Jony Ive, who designed the original iPhone.

Andre joined the Apple design team in 1992 alongside Ive and helped create Apple’s aesthetic even before Steve Jobs returned to the helm in the late 1990s. He was one of Ive’s top lieutenants and is also known as one of the biggest holders of Apple patents. The group was central to the creation of the company’s last two product categories, the Apple Watch and Vision Pro. 

Christopher Stringer, a former colleague: “His mark on Apple products is indelible—I see him every day in the details.”

The move is the latest in recent months for the legendary Ive group. Top designers Colin Burns, Shota Aoyagi, and Peter Russell-Clarke all left around the end of last year, and multiple longtime designers on Apple’s software design team have also signaled they are planning to leave in the near future.


Restaurants Quietly Employing Robots

Startup Aniai has raised $12 million to build a burger-grilling robot, investing the money into its first manufacturing facility in South Korea. 

Integrating robots and automation into a restaurant environment is becoming increasingly popular as restaurants battle to control staff shortages and rising wage issues. It is believed the new technology could mean a saving of anywhere from 30% to 70% of labor costs.

Ania’s flagship product, Alpha Grill, is a burger-grilling robot equipped with a cloud-based AI software platform called “Alpha Cloud.” A real-time vision sensor will enable Alpha Grill to perceive the environment, identify the color of patties on a grill and monitor the patties’ temperature, shape and quality, allowing it to cook 200 patties per hour. 

Gunpil Hwang, Aniai CEO: “Burger chains hire six to eight kitchen staff per shift to grill burgers. Alpha Grill enables restaurants to engage only one staff member to grill burgers.”


Bulletin Board 

  1. Nvidia Tops Amazon and Alphabet. AI chipmaker Nvidia has overtaken Amazon and Alphabet to become the fourth most valuable company in the world at $1.83 trillion. Interestingly, Nvidia is investing $30 billion into helping other companies develop custom AI chips, indicating a strategy to benefit from the broader AI chip market. (Source)
  2. Brazil Is Now 92% Renewable Energy. Brazil reached a major sustainability milestone this month when it powered 92.4% of its electricity from renewable sources. As the fifth-largest country in terms of geographical size and population, Brazil’s achievements have the potential to significantly influence global dynamics. (Source
  3. Zuck Says Glasses Will Replace Phones. In an interview with Morning Brew Daily, Mark Zuckerberg said he expects smart glasses to be the mobile device of the future, while headsets will be the next laptop. His comments come as Meta has engaged in both the smart glasses and headset market, partnering with Ray-Ban last year to offer stylish hi-tech glasses. (Source)
  4. AI Is Creating New Billionaires. Nearly all the wealth gained by the world’s richest people this year was generated from surging AI stocks. So far this year, AI has boosted the net worths of the wealthiest by a combined $124 billion, with the biggest winners include chipmaker Nvidia, which is now more valuable than Alphabet and Amazon, as reported above. Another billionaire, tech entrepreneur Charles Liang, saw his wealth triple to $6.2 billion this year because of the new technology. (Source)
  5. Robots Banned From Being Inventors. The U.S. Patent Office has declared that inventions must show evidence of significant contribution from a human for patent eligibility. Jamie Nafziger, an attorney at the law firm Dorsey & Whitney: “The challenge will be in implementing the guidance. How sophisticated of a prompt will be required for a given invention?” (Source)

Disclaimer: This blog offers insights into international business and global events for informational purposes only. It is not intended as investment or business advice. WeavePay is not liable for any decisions made based on the content provided.

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