The Future of wireless charging roads

Do you dislike the idea of driving an electric vehicle (EV) in case it runs out of power? Well, what if the roads themselves could charge your car as you drove to work?

According to GizMag, Highways England - a government body that ensures the UK's motorways and A roads are able to operate - plans have been revealed to conduct off-road trials of below-surface wireless charging technology, so that EVs can be powered wirelessly while driving on designated roads.

It's not the first time this idea has been suggested - Stanford University also explored the concept to power public transport in Korea; but it is said to be the first time it has ever been trialed.

The project will explore whether the charging technology would be a safe and viable addition to the country's roads. The equipment will be installed beneath a test-road surface, and a number of EVs will be fitted with the corresponding wireless technology. The trials, which begin later this year, will mimic real-life motorway conditions and are expected to last 18 months; although the full details have yet to be released.

If the test proves to be successful, then it means that EVs could drive for even longer distances without needing to stop and find a re-charging point. There would also be plug-in charging stations every 20 miles (32km) along the route.

Andrew Jones, the UK's transport minister, noted that the possibility of charging these vehicles wirelessly while on the move "offers exciting possibilities and that the government was continuing "to explore options on how to improve journeys and make low-emission vehicles accessible to families and businesses."

The retail store of the future

It may seem that technology is already taking over the working environment, but for those who work in the retail sector, things are about to get a whole lot more advanced.

A recent article on The Week notes that brick-and-mortar stores are finding themselves at a crossroads, where 'real-life' shopping is losing its relevance among consumers who prefer the ease and convenience of shopping online.

Doug Stephens, a retail industry futurist, predicts that stores will have to offer unique, personalized services in order to get people through their doors - something that technology will facilitate.

"My expectation will be to go to the store to learn about things, to be a participant in things, to try different products, to co-create, to customize, to personalize," he explained. He also offered the following predictions about the stores of the future:

Virtual reality

Virtual reality will be used to create "immersive, tactile and much more visual" experiences, says Stephens. For example, North Face recently partnered with VR company Jaunt on an in-store experience that allowed customers to go virtual rock climbing, or on a virtual tour of Yosemite National Park. Retails brands may also use VR to create 'digital showrooms' online.

Talking mannequins

Let's face it, mannequins aren't too inspiring as they are today. One startup, Iconeme, hopes to resolve this by putting electrical implants into mannequins so that they can communicate with shoppers via their smartphone. London store Hawes & Curtis adopted this tech last year, and brand manager Edward Smith has called it "a complete game-changer for the industry."

Intelligent fitting rooms

Could this spell the end of the fitting room assistant? In the future, 'smart fitting rooms' will feature touch-screen mirrors and motion sensors, and will be able to check what items have been brought in and taken out. They could even send customers updates when the item they were looking for, for example, comes back into stock. But would customers want the walls watching them?

Every click, swipe, "like," buy, comment, deposit, jog and search produces information that creates a unique virtual identity - something we call

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