Two new technologies born in Downtown Brooklyn made Popular Science magazine’s list of top inventions for 2017.
Uptane, a cybersecurity for cars project out of NYU Tandon, and goTenna, a decentralized cell network technology were listed in the magazine’s Best of What’s New feature, which it has been running for the last 30 years.
goTenna makes tiny, portable communications towers that turn your cellphone into both a receiver and a transmitter of cell signals, and which can communicate with any others in the device’s range. More than one of goTenna’s receivers creates a mesh network that expands the power of cell service area. The technology is great for campers and hikers outside of cell service in the wilderness but also has really interesting possibilities in the developing world, places where governments and companies don’t reach.
We listed goTenna’s founder, Daniela Perdomo, on our Brooklyn women founders you should know list this summer.
Uptane is the work of NYU Tandon professor Justin Cappos and collaborators from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) and the Southwest Research Institute (SWRI). It’s an attempt to figure out how, in a world of autonomous cars, we maintain cybersecurity good enough so those cars aren’t getting hacked and driven off the road for ransom. The project has gotten funding from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and is not a piece of antivirus software but rather a way of thinking about software security in vehicles that Cappos hopes will become the industry standard. It suggests a separation of duties for different parts of the car’s software system doing different tasks, and a threshold of signatures, where for important software functions more than one actor will have to sign off on making changes.