21/01/2017 Click


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 21/01/2017. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



That's it from me. Lebo will be here at 2am.


Now on BBC News, it's time for Click.


This week, the best view in the world, super-smart Singapore,


5:45am on Sunday 19th October 2014, 19 miles above New Mexico,


and the type of sunrise that not many people have ever seen.


It's the view from a test flight which is preparing to take tourists


While all the attention has been focused on space tourism


using rockets and space planes, we've got exclusive access to one


company in the Arizona desert that's been quietly


It's really the way to do space tourism, because you want to go


and spend time and look at the view and have a gentle ride up


I mean, look, the rocket rides are going to be great,


I'm sure, but for me, I want to sit there with my glass


of champagne and my best friend and look.


Tickets are currently selling for $75,000 each for a two-hour


ascent in a pressurised capsule to an altitude of 100,000 feet.


Today, one of World View's co-founders and his team


are showing me a small piece of the balloon's material,


a secret blend of polyethylene and other materials.


I can't help but notice you have, I think,


Tell me you use this for Christmas dinners.


Absolutely, you should see the parties we have on this table!


And, seriously, are you going to make a balloon that covers


So full-scale balloons for heavy-lift flights,


so like a Voyager flight, use the entire table.


If you want to take a payload that is 10,000 pounds to 105,000


feet, it takes a balloon the size of this entire table,


so you could take a football field and spin it inside the balloon


Contrary to what I thought, as the helium expands,


it doesn't cause the material to stretch.


Instead, the gas just occupies more of the initially empty balloon.


Can you navigate when you are up there?


Or are you subject to whichever way the wind blows?


So it turns out that in the stratosphere


you very often get counter-flowing winds, the stratosphere


and the troposphere going different directions, and in that interface


So by guiding my altitude up and down, I can sort of sail


the stratosphere, much like a ship uses the currents and winds


I think that is really the innovation that were pushing,


is figuring out how to do that navigation, when you can find


the right winds and how you take advantage of different kinds


That is a large part of the innovation, along with just


the ability to control your altitude and use solar energy to go up


And then there's the question of how you get back down again,


They go into what's pretty close to freefall for something like ten


seconds, so it feels very light, like going over the top


of a roller-coaster, just feeling light, and then we come


back to about 1G, 12 or 15 seconds later,


so we're just gaining some speed, and then it feels like a normal


But you have to be finished your champagne by then.


One of our requirements was that you don't spill your champagne,


literally, when that happens, and so I think we are going


to have a little cup on the champagne.


"Could you now put a little lid over the top of your champagne as we drop


The person who will make sure you don't spill your booze,


or any other fluid for that matter, is the pilot.


It's a unique job, and that's why an ex-Nasa test pilot and astronaut


will be the one pulling the strings, as it were.


When you are on a parafoil or something like that,


you have this left-right thing going on, is that what you've


You can think of it that way, but in reality the spacecraft


We've got a parachute that's the size of a basketball court,


so we couldn't physically, you know, have enough


So we are actually controlling and probably with a joystick,


we're still designing exactly what it's going to look like,


but that joystick or that whatever controller is controlling motors


that are pulling on lines on the parachute, just


like you would if you were skydiving, but just on a much,


What will this look like when it's kitted out for passengers?


When it's kitted out for passengers, it will have these tremendous


windows, at least four of them, four big ones and then


There will be seats for everybody, there will be a bar,


who wants a spacecraft without a bar?


And it will have a bathroom, it's a five-hour flight,


at least, so you need a bathroom on board too.


And you say this is the first spacecraft you've flown with a bar,


so you've flown other spacecraft, then?


So I've flown on both the US Space Shuttle


and I flew on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft.


How do you think this will compare to that?


It'll be a different experience, I can tell you that,


you know, when we came back with the Soyuz,


for instance, we hurtle through the atmosphere on fire


It's a very violent, very dynamic, lots of G forces,


you're getting thrown all over the place in the cockpit,


you feel the heat, you're labouring to breathe.


This will be a lot more gentle, a lot more relaxing,


and frankly it will enable people to take in the experience


It's not like you're wondering whether you're going to survive


We are going to have more from World View in a few minutes,


but first let's come back down to Earth and talk about the cities


of our future, cities which are already capable


of guiding our decisions, thanks to an explosion in cameras,


sensors and artificially intelligent technology.


Jen Copestake has been to one of the most hi-tech places on earth


to see what might be in our connected future.


There's been a great variety of connected devices that have


entered our lives in the last few years.


We've seen many concepts at trade shows around the world,


with irons, fridges and robots communicating


Finding the best ways to put these devices to good use for wider


society is a challenge that large companies and governments


Singapore is the perfect test-bed for internet of things technologies.


It's a quintessential smart city, and that is because it's only 40


kilometres across, so it's very small, and the government


here is heavily invested in technology initiatives,


including investing in sensors all around the city.


Along with sensors to monitor pollution and traffic,


some buildings in Singapore are equipped with accelerometers


to monitor elderly people's movements.


Yuhua is a smart region of the city where all the homes are kitted out


The government has now created an impressive 3D map model of Yuhua


What they did was they actually flew planes over the entire Singapore


and scanned the entire country, and then what we did was take


the model and load it in here, and we enhanced the model to this


So these are separately modelled from the buildings,


the buildings are separately modelled as each building,


If you click on a building, it tells you consumption


versus generation, for example, all right?


And you could click on solar panel, and you just get...


This is, again, very typical of Singapore, high-rise living.


It incredible, we are seeing these green pathways shooting out


across the building, where are they going?


They are not meteors or anything like that,


they are just simulating how garbage is disposed in high-rise living,


down the chute, you open the hopper, you drop the garbage,


and it gets collected in a huge bin down at the bottom.


It's certainly mesmerising, which is something I never thought


And for driving around the city, how about a ride in an autonomous taxi?


Singapore became the world's first city to introduce the cars created


by MIT start-up nuTonomy that travel around six kilometres


Companies are also testing the way that artificial intelligence can


IBM has opened a new lab here, focusing on AI.


This includes a pilot we saw late last year,


where its Watson system is helping this is in a busy ICU ward


by monitoring vital signs and triaging the most at-risk patients.


You could even think of this as a command and control centre


Because Parkway has a network of hospitals, and if they really


wanted to, they could create a kind of command and control centre,


where someone is monitoring all their ICUs around the region.


If you see that some of your patients are trending


negatively, you obviously want to focus more on them,


and the ones that are doing fine, you can just continue monitoring


But you know where to put your energy and put your resources.


The Singapore government is pushing digital transformation


We had a brief demo of its online services, including MyInfo,


a portal designed to make things like banking transactions easier


by keeping verification details all in one place.


It's protected by strict data-protection laws


The overarching idea is to make technologies such a central part


of life here, to make it possible to keep pace with regulation.


We've seen this to be more challenging elsewhere,


particularly with laws on autonomous vehicles.


Singapore will continue to act as a tech testing ground for finding


ways to integrate new technologies with society and be a case study


Hello and welcome to the week in tech.


It was the week that Mark Zuckerberg appeared in court to deny


accusations that the software behind Facebook owned Oculus's


Meanwhile, Instagram has followed in owner Facebook's footsteps,


adding a live video streaming function for UK users,


although each one will self-destruct as soon as it finishes.


A disappearing photo option has appeared too.


Mobile network EE has been fined ?2.7 million for overcharging tens


And squirrels have been blamed for being a bigger threat


to the power grid than the risks posed by international


Samsung, listen up - researchers at Stanford University


have developed a lithium-ion battery that claims to release a fire


extinguishing material if overheating occurs.


If you're wondering where the robots are in this week's news,


well, they seem to have gone walkabout.


This telepresence mind-controlled bot has been developed to help those


Claiming to be the first of its kind available to consumers,


it connects through an off-the-shelf brain control device,


resulting in users feeling as though they are in two places at once.


And finally, if you ever travelled to Japan, you'll know


about the toilets, which are beautifully hi-tech,


but you may not be quite sure what to make of them.


Well, some leading manufacturers have agreed on a standardised set


of icons for common cleaning features to help tourists know


what they're letting themselves in for.


I'm in the Arizona desert near Tucson at the new headquarters


of World View, which is planning to take people to the stratosphere


This is a 700 foot wide circle just outside of World View's buildings,


and in just a couple of weeks' time, this is where they will launch


a space balloon from for the first time.


It's a circle so that they can lay the balloon out in any direction


they need to, depending on the wins on that day.


I've just got to say, if you've never been to the desert,


I don't think you really have an appreciation of how big


World View's boss, Jane Poynter, is a developer of technologies


And she hopes that the view from 20 miles up will give passengers


a unique perspective on the fragility of our planet.


And curiously, this project was born out of a view that was pretty much


the opposite - when its two founders took part in a two-year study of how


age humans, plus animals and plants, would interact and survive


You come from a space background, but really interesting,


in the early 90s, you shut yourself away in Biosphere 2


Oh, my gosh, so Biosphere 2 was actually an inspiration


for World View, so when we were in the biosphere,


one of the most extraordinary experiences that I had,


and I think most of the people in there had, was the experience


of really being part of our biosphere, and you really get


this sense of the unity of the biosphere that we are in,


that is on such a huge scale, but in normal life we can't even


And it's a very similar idea to the experience that astronauts


having the earth from space, and it was that experience


that we wanted to give people, because of the experience that we've


So I guess it's easy to imagine that we are all looking at you guys


in the biosphere, but I suppose you're looking out from a unique


That is right, so both truths are true, so we had people walk


around the outside of the biosphere, and I got e-mails from people


I've been hearing about the fact that this planet is a finite place


for some many years, and I never understood


until I walked around this miniature version of our planet.


And suddenly I got it, I could see its boundaries,


I knew that you guys that were living inside only had


what you had in there, which is exactly the same as we have


right here on planet earth, on spaceship earth.


Emotions certainly run high in that kind of environment,


One of the other Biosphere 2 crewmembers was Taber MacCallum,


He's explaining how, although a balloon can't technically


get you into the vacuum of space, the conditions in the stratosphere


are similar enough, with very low air pressure and extremes


of temperature in the sun and shade, to mean that World View's balloons


are already carrying scientific equipment up in so-called


stratolites, which can hang over one location for days at a time.


So there's satellites in low earth orbit that are whizzing around


at 17,000 mph, there are satellites in geostationary orbit that are very


far away, have a hard time focusing in on things.


And then below that we have aircraft, that can carry cameras


and drones, and where we sit is sort of between all those.


We can sit over a piece, persist over a piece of land


for a while, and we have a close view, because we are only about 20


miles up, but we don't have the speed and expense


of being a rocket, and we don't have all of the fuel burn of flying


It is a compelling argument, I suppose - that rockets


are dangerous, and they are expensive, and they are rather


And if you want to send something up close to space,


and you can do it with a balloon, why wouldn't you?


It's also a compelling argument that the more people who see


the earth from way up there,the more people may have the kind


of transcendental shifting viewpoint that seems to be striving


It changes the way you embed yourself in our biosphere,


the way you think about our place in this biosphere that we inhabit.


I mean, it clearly changes the way many people have gone


about developing our environmental movement.


It changes the way we think about communication around


the planet, collaborating with people around the planet.


It really does strip away the notion of boundaries,


of national boundaries, because we think of this


as an entity that we all inhabit at once.


What has changed is my definition of the word "home", and when we had


the re-entry of the Soyuz spacecraft, we initially hit


the ground, flipped and rolled over, and now my window was pointing down


at the ground, and I remember looking at the window and seeing


a rock, a flower and a blade of grass, and I remember thinking,


What was really interesting about that thought is I was home,


but I was in Kazakhstan, and so to me my home wasn't just


in Houston, Texas, where at the time I lived with my family -


my home expanded to include earth, and I think our definition of that


word home has profound implications for how we problems on our planet,


how we treat each other, how we treat our planet,


and I think that is one of the things that we're trying


We're trying to bring that perspective to as many people


as we can, because I think the more people who have that perspective,


the more people who have the opportunity to see our planet


from that vantage point, the better of all of us


There are few countries which can match the speed at which the US


is boldly striding into the future, but China is certainly one of them.


With an economy that is doubling in size every decade,


But unlike America, often that progress is built literally on top


of some amazing history - railroading through plans


for new-builds without pausing to preserve the past.


Dan Simmons has been to Shanghai to meet the city's


I found this problem, they destroyed these older


buildings, so I warned them, you can't do it.


But I think they don't understand the value of these buildings,


so after that I just gave the information to the newspaper.


The professor is unusual for China in that he's not afraid to speak out


against plans to destroy some of the country's


Do you know why they've pulled down heritage buildings like this?


I think the reason is they think these buildings are not safe and not


comfortable for people who live here, so the government may be


want to do some good thing, but in the wrong way.


What used to be here looks like that building


The same, yeah, quite old, I think most of them are about 100


years old, wooden structure, typical local buildings.


I think it's quite important historical memory of this,


so I feel very sorrow for what they do.


The Chinese authorities say these buildings,


40 minutes' drive from downtown Shanghai, need upgrading.


But the materials aren't traditional, and neither


So for the professor, this is a race against time,


first to capture everything that still here.


The professor's team uses a 3D laser scanner.


Pictures are taken, the taller structures by drone.


And then back at base, image-based modelling allows them


to add photorealistic skins to the inch-perfect reconstruction.


In many examples, from temples to colonial schools,


the professor tries to stop the destruction, but where he can't,


his team recreates these communities virtually.


This is one of the visualisations of the rubble that we were


And here is the 3D model of what was there.


Using old photos, some given to the team by local residents,


the picture slowly builds, including of the buildings already destroyed.


Materials, building styles and colour matching adds


to the accuracy of what the professor hopes will be


a lasting digital legacy to show future generations.


Reconstructing the model is all done by hand.


Even at this speed, the project will take around six


For a city of China, we must face this problem.


Removing so many older buildings, so many older districts.


Comparing to a European city, I think we must focus on this kind


of problem, because our city is becoming newer and newer so fast.


That was Dan in Shanghai, and that is it from World View


What a fascinating story this is turning out to be.


You can follow us on Twitter, as always, @bbcclick throughout


the week, we'll put loads of backstage photos


Thanks for watching, and we'll see you soon.


Download Subtitles