Courtesy Amazon

E-commerce giant Amazon opened the first fully automated walk-in grocery store, Amazon Go, in downtown Seattle to the public earlier this week. The high-tech convenience store uses sensors, computer vision, and deep learning for a more streamlined customer experience that eliminates the need for cashiers or checking out. [ARCHITECT]

Scientists at the Center for Computational Study of Excited-State Phenomena in Energy Materials (C2SEPEM), in Berkeley, Calif., are helping organic solar panels transform sunlight into energy more efficiently and quickly. Called "singlet fission," the process prevents heat loss during the conversion of UV rays into electricity. []

In a statement released on Monday, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer announced President Donald Trump’s approval of four years of safeguard tariffs on imported solar cells and modules, in an effort to support domestic manufacturers. The tariffs will also apply to washing machines. [ARCHITECT]

From Jan. 9-12, the 51st annual Consumer Electrons Show (CES) in Las Vegas showcased 20,000 products and technologies from companies small and large. Some of ARCHITECT's favorite design-related products include a smart toilet fitted with LEDs, a refrigerator that can suggest recipes, and the latest Amazon Alexa. [ARCHITECT]

From algae-derived plastics to biomimetic insulation, ARCHITECT columnist Blaine Brownell, AIA, discusses building material trends to look out for this year. [ARCHITECT]

Five winners for the Circular Materials Challenge were announced at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, which runs Jan. 23-26. The program is part of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation's Plastics Economy Innovation Prize, which is challenging contestants to develop plastic-alternative materials. Winners will each receive a $200,000 share of the $1million prize and be signed up for a 12-month program to help bring their concepts to the consumer market. [Ellen MacArthur Foundation]

Google has created Article, an experimental 3D viewer for augmented reality users. "The idea behind Article is to make it easy for people to exchange and view objects in a blended environment that is a combination of generated images and the real world," says reporter Joris Peels. In this think piece, Peels discusses both the negative and positive ways in which Article can influence the 3D printing industry. []