Here’s a weekly recap of what made news in the world of science and technology.
On 7 September, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) launched a lunar exploration spacecraft, aiming to become the fifth nation to land on the moon early next year. According to a Reuters report, the rocket took off from Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan as planned and successfully released the Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (or SLIM). The launch had faced three postponements earlier due to unfavorable weather conditions. Called the "moon sniper", Japan aims to land SLIM within 100 metres of its target site on the lunar surface. The $100-million mission is expected to start the landing by February after a long, fuel-efficient approach trajectory, the Reuters report said.
Google unveiled a new modern look for the Android brand on 5 September. According to the company, these new visuals draw inspiration from Material design to complement the Google brand palette, as well as be adaptable. Writing in a blog post, Jason Fournier, director, Android consumer brand management, said in addition to moving away from the longstanding lowercase stylization of “android,” Google is elevating the Android logo by capitalizing the “A,” and adding more weight to its appearance when placed next to Google’s logo. “While we’ve added more curves and personality unique to Android, the new Android stylization more closely mirrors Google’s logo and creates balance between the two. We hope these small but significant updates to the Android typeface will better communicate the relationship between Android devices and the Google apps and services people already know,” Fournier said in his post, adding that consumers will start seeing the new aspects of the brand identity, like the updated logo and 3D bug droid, appear on Android devices and in more places starting this year.
Communications technology company Zoom unveiled a new artificial intelligence (AI) companion earlier this week – a new generative AI-powered assistant that aims to help improve collaboration and productivity for its users. The Zoom AI Companion is designed to improve productivity and make it easier to work collaboratively. For instance, when using Zoom Meetings, users can make use of highlights and smart chapters, and review summaries to catch up faster on a missed meeting. During a meeting, if the AI Companion is enabled by the host, attendees can submit questions to the AI Companion side panel and receive AI-generated answers on what they need, a press statement from Zoom said. You can read more about the AI assistant in this detailed explainer.
(With inputs from news agencies)