Category: blog

AirPods Pro: Apple launches noise-cancelling earbuds

New silicone tips, noise cancelling and transparency modes in a similar design

Apple has launched a new set of its popular true wireless earbuds with traditional silicone tips and noise-cancelling software.

The AirPods Pro have a similar design to the current non-isolating AirPods, complete with white stalks and an ultra-compact case. But instead of a plastic duct that rests in your ear, allowing sounds from the outside world to be heard over music, the AirPods Pro aim to block it all out.

Best true wireless earbuds 2019: AirPods, Samsung, Jabra, Beats and Anker compared and ranked

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The wearable LEX chair lets you sit where you want – but will it catch on?

A pair of aluminium legs that you strap to your bum could be the solution for people who find there are not enough chairs in the world. As long as they don’t mind looking ridiculous

On Wednesday night, the Tech Insider Twitter account made a simple statement: “This wearable chair could change how we work and travel.” The text was accompanied by a short video advertising the LEX bionic chair, a pair of £200 foldable aluminium legs that you strap to your bum and lean against whenever your legs get a bit tired. In the video, a man uses the LEX while sitting at a desk, waiting for a bus, and taking photos. It really does it all.

This wearable chair could change how we work and travel pic.twitter.com/KO8QoUcrut

Related: Exoskeleton suits: can ‘superhuman’ frames cross into the mainstream?

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Skin-like sensors bring a human touch to wearable tech

Researchers have developed a super-stretchy, transparent and self-powering sensor that records the complex sensations of human skin. Dubbed artificial ionic skin — or AISkin for short — the researchers believe the innovative properties of AISkin could lead to future advancements in wearable electronics, personal health care and robotics.

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New health monitors are flexible, transparent and graphene enabled

New technological devices are prioritizing non-invasive tracking of vital signs not only for fitness monitoring, but also for the prevention of common health problems such as heart failure, hypertension, and stress related complications, among others. Wearables based on optical detection mechanisms are proving an invaluable approach for reporting on our bodies inner workings and have experienced a large penetration into the consumer market in recent years. Current wearable technologies, based on non-flexible components, do not deliver the desired accuracy and can only monitor a limited number of vital signs. To tackle this problem, conformable non-invasive optical-based sensors that can measure a broader set of vital signs are at the top of the end-users’ wish list. Researchers have now demonstrated a new class of flexible and transparent wearable devices that are conformable to the skin and can provide continuous and accurate measurements of multiple human vital signs.

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Google snaps up Fitbit for $2.1bn

Takeover allows web giant to take on Apple in fast-growing smartwatch and wearables business

Google has snapped up the Fitbit activity tracker business in a $2.1bn (£1.6bn) deal that will enable the search giant to go toe-to-toe with Apple in the fast-growing smartwatch and wearables business.

Google is paying cash for the San Francisco-based Fitbit, which was set up in 2007.

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First True Smart Contact Lens

Mojo Vision is building the world’s first true smart contact lens, called the Mojo Lens. Mojo Lens is a contact lens with a built-in display that gives people the useful and timely information they want without forcing them to look down at a screen or losing focus on the people and the world around them.

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New stretchable battery can power wearable electronics

The adoption of wearable electronics has so far been limited by their need to derive power from bulky, rigid batteries that reduce comfort and may present safety hazards due to chemical leakage or combustion. Researchers have now developed a soft and stretchable battery that relies on a special type of plastic to store power more safely than the flammable formulations used in conventional batteries today.

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That new yarn? Wearable, washable textile devices are possible with MXene-coated yarns

Researchers have figured out how to add more conductivity into functional fabric devices, by coating yarns with a 2-dimensional carbon-based material called MXene, to make conductive threads. The group has developed a dip-coating method, similar to the dyeing process, that can produce a conductive yarn strong enough for use in industrial knitting machines and durable enough to make it through wash cycles without degrading.

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AuraRing: Precise Electromagnetic Finger Tracking

Farshid Salemi Parizi, Eric Whitmire, Shwetak Patel

Wearable computing platforms, such as smartwatches and head-mounted mixed reality displays, demand new input devices for high-fidelity interaction. We present AuraRing, a wearable magnetic tracking system designed for tracking fine-grained finger movement. The hardware consists of a ring with an embedded electromagnetic transmitter coil and a wristband with multiple sensor coils. By measuring the magnetic fields at different points around the wrist, AuraRing estimates the five degree-of-freedom pose of the ring. We develop two different approaches to pose reconstruction—a first-principles iterative approach and a closed-form neural network approach. Notably, AuraRing requires no runtime supervised training, ensuring user and session independence. AuraRing has a resolution of 0.1 mm and a dynamic accuracy of 4.4 mm, as measured through a user evaluation with optical ground truth.

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