Tech Digest daily roundup: Flying taxis to launch in Dubai in 2026

Joby Aviation says emissions-free flying has arrived. Credit: Facebook

Flying taxis could be with us sooner than you think as Dubai hopes to launch its “aerial ridesharing” service by 2026.  United Arab Emirates Prime Minister Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum has announced the approval of the designs for new air taxi stations across the city. Renewing Dubai’s commitment to the flying taxi programme, he said the services will start operating within three years’ time – after first being touted in 2017. A promotional video, which was also tweeted out by the ruler, shows a six-rotor electric flying taxi made by Joby Aviation, which is headquartered in Santa Cruz, California. Sky News 

Google recently unveiled its Bard AI chatbot, hoping to provide a worthy rival to Microsoft’s new ChatGPT-integrated Bing search engine. Unfortunately, things got off to a rocky start; the Bard bot’s presentation included a key factual error made by the AI program, which saw a whopping $100 billion share drop for Google overnight. We noted this could indicate that Bard simply isn’t ready for a widespread rollout – and it seems that Google’s own employees agree. According to a report from CNBC, Google employees are using the company’s internal meme forum MemeGen to poke fun at Bard. Memes reportedly describe the event as “rushed, botched, and myopic”. Tech Radar 

Hogwarts Legacy has got off to a very big start at UK games retail, and is comfortably the No.1 game of the week (GfK data). It is the biggest launch for any Harry Potter game ever, with sales 64% higher than the previous best — Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone from 2001. In fact, the biggest week for a Harry Potter game wasn’t a launch week at all, it was the second week of the Philosopher’s Stone (due to hype around the movie). Even compared to that week, Hogwarts Legacy was still bigger by 2%.

Still yearning for Apple to launch an Apple Watch with a built-in camera? A patent granted to Apple last week describes a smartwatch with a camera on the device’s bottom surface. While it sounds like the worst possible spot to place the camera on, the patent describes a system that would make this usable. The trick is in the wristband, which would have two segments, the top (with the watch itself) being detachable from the bottom. So if you wanted to take a photo with your Apple Watch, you could easily detach it from your wrist, point at whatever you like, snap the photo, and clip the watch back into the wristband. Mashable 

Renault in France
has launched the first of three electric retrofit kits, in partnership with EV conversion business R-FIT1. The kits are fully homologated for roads registration in France and pricing (including labour to install) starts from €11,900  The first kit to be released is for the Renault 4 and was shown at the recent classic auto show, Rétromobile. Sometimes also known as the 4L, over 8 million examples of the model were produced worldwide between 1961 and 1994. The Driven 

The new Philips OLED+908 TV isn’t just one of the best OLED TVs with Philips’ Ambilight technology. It’s also a glimpse into the future of OLED TV. It’s all down to something called Vanta Black, which is in the latest panels made by LG Display including the ones in Philips’ range-topping TV.  The panels are called WOLED panels with MLA. The W stands for white light, which is beamed through colour filters for better contrast, and MLA means Micro Lens Array, which means there’s a layer of microscopic lenses on top of the OLED pixels. MLA TVs are generally brighter than non-MLA ones. T3

Chris Price
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