Light News – Week 1: Driving technology, librarian beasts The Chase, and mobile gyms

Laser technology is used by researchers to improve driving following new Cambridge University researchWHY KEI/UNSPLASH

Augmented reality driving technology developed

Researchers at Cambridge, Oxford, and UCL have developed a transparent windscreen display enabling drivers to “see through” objects.

The technology uses millions of laser beams emitted from multiple sensors, to build up a high-resolution view of the street environment. Using sophisticated algorithms, certain target objects are then projected directly into the driver’s eyes, creating an augmented reality view of the road before them where hidden or obstructed objects are visible.

Lead author Jana Skirnewskaja, a PhD candidate at Cambridge’s Department of Engineering, believes that “holographic projections could be a valuable addition to existing safety measures by showing road objects in real time”.

The researchers will soon begin testing their technology on public roads in Cambridge.

New mobile gym

Cambridgeshire’s first-ever mobile gym has been launched for those struggling with their mental health.

The idea for the gym came to owner Liam Rushner, a qualified personal trainer, after he suffered from depression following family bereavements in 2016.

In 2019, he had the idea to create a mobile gym offering “complete privacy” to those that struggled with the gym environment. Housed in a Citroen Relay van, it can fit four people at a time and includes a sprint treadmill, a rowing machine and free weights.

“It’s just me and them”, Rushner said, “I’m someone they can trust straight off the bat.”

Cambridge service welcomes summer conferences

Meet Cambridge, a venue-finding service owned by the Cambridge Colleges, has launched a “Ready for You” campaign to encourage events, such as conferences, to be organised in the city this summer.

The campaign focuses on enhanced hygiene, flexible booking terms, help with hybrid events combining in-person and online attendance, and sustainable practices.

Judith Sloane, Head of Meet Cambridge, said that “this launch coincides with Meet Cambridge seeking a surge of enquiries for future events of all kinds”. March 2021 was the busiest month in the last year with enquiry levels up 116% from February.

Homerton librarian wins episode of The Chase

Liz Osman, a librarian at Homerton College, was victorious in an episode of ITV’s quiz show The Chase on Tuesday (27/04).

In every episode of the show, four different contestants play against a professional quizzer, known as the “chaser”, who attempts to prevent them from winning a cash prize.

On the way to winning £7,500, Osman answered questions on wide-ranging topics including Mount Vesuvius, Canadian geography and the Roman emperor Nero.

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