Where is India's first grain ATM?

ATMS (Automated Teller Machines) doling out cash is a familiar sight in most cities and towns. But have you heard of a "Grain ATM'? The Haryana Government has recently set up its first ATM machine for dispensing food grains in Gurugram district. Let's find out more about it.

First of its kind

The country's first food grain ATM has come up at Farrukhnagar, and is named "Annapurti" (Automated, Multi Commodity, Grain Dispensing Machine). Installed as a pilot project -a small-scale implementation to test the viability of the project- the ATM as of now will provide three types of grains - wheat, rice, and millet. It is said that each machine can dispense 70 kg of grains in under seven minutes at a time.

The machine has been installed under the UN's World Food Programme, which works closely with several countries to address issues of food scarcity and hunger.

Why has it been set up?

The purpose of the Annapurti ATM, according to Haryana's Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala, is to make the process of distributing grains at government-run ration shops easy and hassle-free. On successful completion of the pilot project at Farrukhnagar, the government plans to install these machines at all ration shops across the State.

How does it function?

The grain ATM has a biometric system with a touch-screen, where the beneficiaries have to enter their Aadhaar or ration card number to get their grains. This is to ensure the right quantity of grains reaches the right beneficiaries. As it is an automatic machine; the scope of error in measurement is said to be negligible. On biometric authentication, the machine will dispense the foodgrains the bags placed under the machine. Besides helping prevent pilferage, the system is expected to bring in greater transparency in the public distribution system and reduce waiting time of beneficiaries.

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Steve Jobs’ handwritten job application auctioned for over 2.5 crore rupees

A job application filled by Steve Jobs in 1973 when he was 18 years old has fetched US$3,43,000 (Rs 2,54,78,897) in an online auction. It's said to be the only job application that he ever filled out as he, along with Steve Wozniak, started Apple in 1976. On it, Jobs listed "electronics tech" and "design engineer" as his special abilities and interests, and other skills such as "computer" and "calculator". "The Steve Jobs Job Application from 1973 is a unique piece of history from the exact moment that a dreamer changed the world. It's a snapshot into the mind of a future genius at a moment where any small deviation from the path ahead would have meant a very different world today," the auction website said.

This auction, however, was the first of its kind in several aspects. For starters, it did not just have a physical copy of the job application. It even sold it off in an NFT or Non-fungible token format.

In fact, this was one of the main reasons the auction was conducted. A group of friends under the alias Winthorpe Ventures held the auction to understand if the digital asset had a similar value to its physical form. So while people bid for the physical job application in US dollars, the NFT was being auctioned off using Ethereum.

The group got the answer it sought by the end of the auction. The auction concluded with the print copy of the job application by Steve Jobs going for over four times what the NFT version received.

So, we now know that people are more interested in the actual letter written by Jobs himself, and not a mere digital copy of it. Can this principle apply to the rest of the art forms too? The answer will likely shape the future of NFTs in the world.

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App-controlled smart sunglasses change tint on demand

Tech start-up, Ampere, wants to help you protect your eyes with Dusk, the "world's first smart sunglasses". Unlike classic transitional glasses made with photochromic lenses that automatically switch tint in response to brighter light, Dusk's are made with electrochromic lenses that change tint in response to electrical signals. The lenses block 100% of UVA/UVB rays, and the frames weigh just 26 grams. A button on the underside of one arm cycles through three preset tint levels; for more detailed control the Ampere app has a sliding bar that lets users pick from zero to 100 per cent tint; the tint switch happens in 0.1 seconds. Favourite settings can be saved to find later. Dusk also has speakers and a mic for hands-free phone calls, summoning Siri and Google Assistant or listening to music, audiobooks and podcasts. The speakers are "open ear", but only the wearer will be able to hear them. Use the Ampere app to sound an alarm to help you find them; there's also space for Apple's Air Tag in Dusk's charging case, so that you never misplace it. Dusk's IP65 rating means they can withstand dust, rain and other elements. The Dusk comes with 7 days of use when running just the tint-control features.

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Want to book your seat to Mars? Use the SpaceX TravelCard!

Graphics designer Arun Raj has created a SpaceX TravelCard that can be used to book a travel plan and double up as a ticket for a visit to the moon, Mars, Saturn, and even Jupiter! Posted to the r/SpaceXLounge on Reddit, the 30-second video showcases a digital, touchscreen device that fits in the palm of your hand. Launch the booking process with fingerprint identification and specify your current location and destination. Users can book flights to different planets and the Moon, select the date and number of travellers, and receive a boarding pass. On the video, the cost of heading to Mars from Earth costs about $500,000 per person! With the SpaceX Mars programme aiming to land the first humans on Mars by 2024, this card concept may be a reality soon.

There was once a time where air travel seemed like a farfetched dream. While we’re a long way (and a few, massive paychecks) from booking a flight to the moon as easily as we can head to Florida, it’s fun to dream, and Reddit user armedialabs knows this.

Armedialabs shared an animated video of what they imagine space travel will look like in the future. Posting to r/SpaceXLounge on Reddit, the SpaceX Travel card shows what booking a SpaceX Starship ticket may look like in the future. The travel card is imagined to be as big as a credit card and easy to use with one hand.

With the touch of the screen, users authenticate their identity with a thumbprint which opens to the booking screen. From there, users can choose which planet they want to visit or which moon. Then it’s as simple as choosing a date and selecting how many people will be traveling. From there, you complete the confirmation of booking, and the boarding pass pops on the card, and it’s all ready for travel time.

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An Al robot that monitors your home while you're away

The Moorebot Scout Robot is a palm-sized robot that's being billed as the world's first autonomous home robot for intelligent monitoring. Users manually steering the Scout through a patrol route in their home, using an accompanying iOS/Android app. The robot's software records that route, then subsequently guides the Scout along it as the bot makes its scheduled patrols. The Scout rolls across floors on four independently-powered Mecanum wheels, each made up of a series of angled powered rollers, which allow it to move from side to side while still facing forward. The Scout wirelessly connects to your home's Wi-Fi so that you can view real time video from its 1080p night-vision camera online, a handy feature if you are out of the house or on vacation. A three-hour charge of its 2,000-mAh lithium battery offers 2.5 hours of runtime; when the battery gets low, the Scout automatically returns to its docking station for a recharge. The Scout can be voice-controlled via Alexa or Google and doubles as a pet companion and educational device for youngsters.

Digital assistants like the Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant are also compatible with many self-monitored security systems. Scout, Abode, and SmartThings all integrate automatically with Amazon’s Echo and Echo Dot for truly automated home security. These assistants aren’t fully compatible with AI-powered devices like those from Lighthouse or BuddyGuard yet, but with digital assistants dominating the smart home market, integration could develop quickly.

The rest of your smart home’s tech can often be leveraged to enhance your security, convenience, and comfort. You can connect your smart hub to sprinkler systems and appliances to control them from anywhere. And many of the current-generation automated light fixtures can learn your routine over time (keeping unneeded lights off to save money) and mimic your lighting habits when you’re away to make it appear like someone’s home.

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