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MIT engineers develop a totally flat fisheye lens that could make wide-angle cameras easier to produce

Engineers at MIT, in partnership with the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, have devised a way to build a camera lens that avoids the typical spherical curve of ultra-wide-angle glass, while still providing true optical fisheye distortion. The fisheye lens is relatively specialist, producing images that can cover as wide an area as 180 degrees...

Boston Dynamics delivers plan for logistics robots as early as next year

Boston Dynamics is just months away from announcing their approach to logistics, the first real vertical it aims to enter, after proving their ability to build robots at scale with the quadrupedal Spot. The company’s new CEO, Robert Playter, sees the company coming into its own after decades of experimentation. Playter, interviewed on the virtual...

Amazon makes Alexa Routines shareable

Amazon is making it easier for Alexa device owners to use Routines. The feature, which has been around for years, allows Alexa users to combine multiple tasks into a single voice command of their choosing. For example, you could make a routine that turns off your lights, plays relaxing music and locks your doors when you say, “Alexa, goodnight.” A...

JAWS architect Glen Gordon is joining Sight Tech Global, a virtual event Dec. 2-3

For people who are blind or visually impaired, JAWS is synonymous with freedom to operate Windows PCs with a remarkable degree of control and precision with output in speech and Braille. The keyboard-driven application makes it possible to navigate GUI-based interfaces of web sites and Windows programs. Anyone who has ever listened to someone proficient...

iOS 14 is now available to download

Apple has just released the final version of iOS 14, the next major version of the operating system for the iPhone. It is a free download and it works with the iPhone 6s or later, both generations of iPhone SE and the most recent iPod touch model. If your device runs iOS 13, it supports iOS 14. The update may or may not be immediately available, but...

TouchWood puts versatile, unobtrusive interfaces inside your desk, table and walls

Everything we do seems to have an associated app these days, and all day they vie for your attention, pinging and lighting up in their needy ways. TouchWood wants to tone down this exhausting non-stop competition with a quiet, simplified interface built right into the natural material of your desk or wall. Co-founders Matthew Dworman and Gaurav Asthana...

Four perspectives on Apple’s new service bundle

Apple’s hardware event yesterday wasn’t particularly eventful for its most popular devices, bringing only iterative changes to Apple Watch and the iPad. But the company tipped its hand as to a new, aggressive approach to services with a fitness product and new unified subscription called Apple One. What are the implications of this shift? For one...

This is the new iPad Air, with Touch ID built into the power button

At Apple’s (virtual) hardware event today, the company announced a significantly redesigned iPad Air with a new look and tiny bezels. In a move portentous for other Apple products, Touch ID has returned — inside the power button on the top of the tablet. For the 10th anniversary of the iPad, the new 4th-generation Air is the biggest change to the...

Apple introduces the Apple Watch SE, a cheaper Apple Watch

In addition to keeping old generation devices at an entry-level price, Apple is introducing a brand new Apple Watch at a cheaper price point. The new Apple Watch SE features the same design as the newly announced Apple Watch Series 6. But it costs $279. “The second thing we're doing to make Apple Watch available to even more people is to create a...

N95 masks could soon be rechargeable instead of disposable

The pandemic has led to N95 masks quickly becoming one of the world’s most sought-after resources as essential workers burned through billions of them. New research could lead to an N95 that you can recharge rather than throw away — or even one that continuously tops itself up for maximum effectiveness. The proposed system, from researchers at Technion-IIT...

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