Ticketmaster unveils an audio ticket that will end queuing at gigs and festivals

The experience of being snaked around metal barriers, waiting excitedly with ticket in hand, to enter music venues and festivals could be over thanks to a new technology that admits gig-goers by listening for a discrete digital audio signal broadcast from a smartphone.

The new e-ticketing system, called Presence, is the result of a collaboration between Ticketmaster and Lisnr, a data-over-audio company that has pioneered using ultrasonic sound technology it calls “smart tones” to transmit information between devices.

Using the new tech, rather than having to scan each individual ticket, all it would take to get into an event would be for gig-goers to take out their phone and open the Presence app, which would then broadcast ticketing data.

Microphones installed at the event would then listen for the audio signals emitted by the app at between 18.75 kHz and 19.2 kHz, and you’re in.

Images courtesy of Lisnr

“We used identity as our North Star — our guiding light to develop a product that makes each individual fan experience the greatest it could be,” said Justin Burleigh, EVP of product at Ticketmaster.

“This means using identity to drive customized experiences based on who you are and where you are, eliminating fraud, resulting in a safer environment, and delivering more personalization based on the specific event you’re attending.”

Although, other Lisnr’s tech is by no means the first paperless ticketing system, with QR codes being the main alternative. The company say alternative technologies are expensive as they require more infrastructure in venues to work.

Lisnr-powered tickets also have the added benefit of being tethered to specific people’s mobile device, meaning venues will always know who is at a gig.

Aside from the security benefits, this will give Ticketmaster another tool to help crackdown on ticketing fraud and help police to resale market.

Future plans for Lisnr’s technology include allowing attendees to buy items in venues using their smart tone tickets, and it could also be used to enable venues to send proximity-based messaging to attendees, which could mean artists engaging with fans or venues using the tech to sell goods and merchandise.

However, Lisnr’s ambitions reach beyond the ticketing industry, and the tech has recently been used by Jaguar Land Rover in a test that replaced keys with a mobile phone that could alert the car of a particular drivers’ presence.

When the car detected the personalised signal it would unlock and adjust the seat settings.

DeepMind’s Go-playing AI can learn the game for itself now

Google’s AI subsidiary DeepMind believes it is one step closer to creating AI with general intelligence because its Go-playing software, AlphaGo, has been updated and can now teach itself how to play. AlphaGo Zero was only programmed with Go's basic rules, and from there it learns everything else by itself.

Source: The Verge

UK spies monitoring social media in mass surveillance tactic

The privacy rights group Privacy International says it has obtained evidence for the first time that UK spy agencies are collecting social media information on potentially millions of people. The discovery raises concerns about whether effective oversight of the mass surveillance programs is in place.

Source: TechCrunch

Blue Origin passes hot-fire test

Blue Origin, the aerospace company fronted and largely funded by Jeff Bezos, has released footage of its BE-4 engine's first and successful completion of a hot-fire test. The successful hotfire supports the idea that Blue Origin could in the future be used for orbital and deep space missions.

Source: Ars Technica

5G to be used by 1 billion people in 2023 with China set to dominate

Analysts at CCS Insight have predicted that 5G technology will be in place by 2020, with China being the main beneficiary. "China will dominate 5G thanks to its political ambition to lead technology development," said Marina Koytcheva, VP Forecasting at CCS Insight.

Source: CNBC

Climate change makes it more likely to see hurricanes in Europe

Meteorologists from the University of Bristol have predicted that the likelihood of hurricane-force storms hitting the UK, much like Hurricane Ophelia did this week, will be enhanced in the future due to human-induced climate change.

Source: New Scientist

Russia to launch 'CryptoRuble’

According to local news sources, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that the nation will issue its own cryptocurrency at a closed door meeting in Moscow. The news broke via minister of communications, Nikolay Nikiforov.

Source: Coin Telegraph

Human habitat located on the Moon that will shield us from its extreme elements

Researchers have discovered a potential habitat on the Moon, which may protect astronauts from hazardous conditions on the surface.

No one has ever been on the Moon for longer than three days, largely because space suits alone can’t shield astronauts from its elements: extreme temperature variation, radiation, and meteorite impacts. Unlike Earth, the Moon also has no atmosphere or magnetic field to protects its inhabitants.

However, in a study published in Geophysical Research Letters, researchers have claimed that the safest place for astronauts to seek shelter is inside an intact lava tube.

“It’s important to know where and how big lunar lava tubes are if we’re ever going to construct a lunar base,” said Junichi Haruyama, a senior researcher at JAXA, Japan’s space agency.

Image courtesy of Purdue University/David Blair. Featured image courtesy of NASA/Goddard/Arizona State University

Lava tubes are naturally occurring channels formed when a lava flow develops a hard crust, which thickens and forms a roof above the still-flowing lava stream. Once the lava stops flowing, the tunnel sometimes drains, forming a hollow void.

The Lava tubes located by Purdue University researchers are said to be spacious enough to house one of the United States’ largest cities, and while their existence – and in particular their entrance near the Marius Hills Skylight – was previously known, their size was previously an unknown quantity.

“They knew about the skylight in the Marius Hills, but they didn’t have any idea how far that underground cavity might have gone,” said Jay Melosh, professor of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at Purdue University.

“Our group at Purdue used the gravity data over that area to infer that the opening was part of a larger system. By using this complimentary technique of radar, they were able to figure out how deep and high the cavities are.”

At the first meeting of the US’ reintroduced National Space Council, vice president Mike Pence announced that the Trump administration will redirect America’s focus to travelling back to the Moon.

Pence’s declaration marks a fundamental change for NASA, which abandoned plans to send people to the moon in favour of Mars under President Barack Obama.

“We will return NASA astronauts to the moon – not only to leave behind footprints and flags, but to build the foundation we need to send Americans to Mars and beyond,” Pence said.