Techno Cops: Los Angeles Sheriff's Department Explores Less-Lethal Options

The LASD is creating a test bed for advanced police technology

15 min read
Photo of police captain aiming a less-lethal weapon.
Photo: David Butow/Corbis Saba

Photo of police captain aiming a less-lethal weapon. Big Gun: Captain Charles (“Sid”) Heal of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) has created a technology exploration and development program for law enforcement. The impressive looking pistol he’s holding is in fact a less-lethal weapon that the LASD helped Jaycor Tactical Systems (San Diego, Calif.) to develop: its plastic pellets burst on impact, releasing eye- and lung-stinging pepper powder. Photo: David Butow/Corbis Saba

It’s a clear, cool morning, a perfect day for hiking or sailing or just about anything except what I’m doing, which is standing in the parking lot of a strip mall in East Los Angeles. Strip malls are never lovely, and this one only reinforces the stereotype: a squat and sleepy line of stuccoed buildings, whose tenants reflect a cross-section of life on the margins—Dutch’s Liquor, Ernie’s Escrow, T’s Check Cashing, a bar called The Bear Pit.

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Acer Goes Big on Glasses-Free, 3D Monitors—Look Out, VR

Is this what’s needed to bring augmented reality to the home office?

4 min read
A standing tablet computer shows a blow out of a car that appears to be coming out of the display.

Content creators are a key target for Acer's glasses-free 3D.

Acer

Acer, the world’s fifth largest PC brand, wants to take the growing AR/VR market by the horns with its SpatialLabs glasses-free stereoscopic 3D displays.

First teased in 2021 in a variant of Acer’s ConceptD 7 laptop, the technology expands this summer in a pair of portable monitors, the SpatialLabs View and View Pro, and select Acer Predator gaming laptops. The launch is paired with AI-powered software for converting existing 2D content into stereoscopic 3D.

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DARPA Wants a Better, Badder Caspian Sea Monster

Liberty Lifter X-plane will leverage ground effect

4 min read
A rendering of a grey seaplane with twin fuselages and backwards-facing propellers
DARPA

Arguably, the primary job of any military organization is moving enormous amounts of stuff from one place to another as quickly and efficiently as possible. Some of that stuff is weaponry, but the vast majority are things that support that weaponry—fuel, spare parts, personnel, and so on. At the moment, the U.S. military has two options when it comes to transporting large amounts of payload. Option one is boats (a sealift), which are efficient, but also slow and require ports. Option two is planes (an airlift), which are faster by a couple of orders of magnitude, but also expensive and require runways.

To solve this, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) wants to combine traditional sealift and airlift with the Liberty Lifter program, which aims to “design, build, and flight test an affordable, innovative, and disruptive seaplane” that “enables efficient theater-range transport of large payloads at speeds far exceeding existing sea lift platforms.”

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Optimize Your Lab for Hybrid Learning

Set up a hybrid teaching lab that offers professional-grade tools with seamless connectivity and productivity

1 min read

As an engineering educator, you want to enable your students with the best skillsets for success in the real-world. This means giving them hands-on experience. Now, you can empower your students to test, analyze, and share results collaboratively — whether they are in the lab or not. Download now!

See what it takes to set up a productive teaching lab that offers:

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