Snap unveiled a new version of its Spectacles camera glasses on Thursday. The latest model is a bit slimmer, $20 more expensive, can take photos, offers prescription lenses for an additional fee, and is water resistant.
Snap, Snapchat’s parent company, launched a new version of its camera glasses, Spectacles, on Thursday. The new model is slightly slimmer, can take photos, and they’re water-resistant, Snap said in a release.
“Tap the button to record video with new and improved audio, and now, you can press and hold to take a photo! Snaps you capture will transfer to Snapchat up to four times faster, and always in HD,” according to the Snap release.
Outdated smart phones are still useful for making phone calls, and best of all it can be totally free! Skype is the first that comes to mind, then of course there is Facebook and Google Voice which are both 100% free, person-to-person phone calls anywhere in the world. So long as you have wifi access, you don’t need a cell phone plan anymore!
There are all sorts of free web server apps, which are useful for hosting your own website from home without having to pay anything. Of course, you are limited to the resources your old smartphone has, but there is a surprising amount of services you can provide even without a lot of storage, such as a PHP server, a SQL database server, an FTP server, and even an ssh server. This can prove to be very powerful if done right!
Of course you could use your phone for gaming as well as other things, but a lot of apps can begin to clutter your phone up, and you only have so much room and memory. Separating your gaming from your normal everyday use can really help organize your phone usage, and your life.
If you like to play games on your phone, you may want to install your games on your old Windows phone only, especially if you find yourself only gaming on your phone at specific times of the day such as at night before bed or while waiting somewhere during a daily routine.
If you end up not using your Windows Phone as an actual phone anymore because you bought a new one, you don’t need to let it collect dust on the shelf
You can still use it for all sorts of media including ebooks, music and video on long car trips or in bed. Just because you don’t put cell phone service on it doesn’t mean it can’t still be used over wifi.
Over the past 15 years, drones have progressed from laboratory demonstrations to widely available toys. Technological improvements have brought ever-smaller components required for flight stabilization and control, as well as significant improvements in battery technology. Capabilities once restricted to military vehicles are now found on toys that can be purchased at Wal-Mart.
Small cameras and transmitters mounted on a drone even allow real-time video to be sent back to the pilot. For a few hundred dollars, anyone can buy a “first person view” (FPV) system that puts the pilot of a small drone in a virtual cockpit. The result is an immersive experience: Flying an FPV drone is like Luke Skywalker or Princess Leia flying a speeder bike through the forests of Endor.
Perhaps inevitably, hobbyists started racing drones soon after FPV rigs became available. Now several drone racing leagues have begun, both in the U.S.and internationally. If, like auto racing, drone racing becomes a long-lasting sport yielding financial rewards for backers of winning teams, might technologies developed in the new sport of drone racing find their way into commercial and consumer products?
An example from history
Auto racing has a long history of developing and demonstrating new technologies that find their way into passenger cars, buses and trucks. Formula 1 racing teams developed many innovations that are now standard in commercially available vehicles.
These include disk brakes, tire design and materials, electronic engine control and monitoring systems, the sequential gearbox and paddle shifters, active suspension systems and traction control (so successful that both were banned from Formula 1 competition), and automotive use of composite materials such as carbon fiber reinforced plastics.
Starting with the basics
Aerodynamically, the multi-rotor drones that are used for racing are not sophisticated: A racing drone is essentially a brick (the battery and flight electronics) with four rotors attached. A rectangular block has a drag coefficient of roughly 1, while a carefully streamlined body with about the same proportions has a drag coefficient of about 0.05. Reducing the drag force means a drone needs less power to fly at high speed. That in turn allows a smaller battery to be carried, which means lighter weight and greater maneuverability.
This is a case where technologies from aircraft and helicopter aerodynamics will find their way to the smaller vehicles. Commercial drone manufacturers have begun working on aerodynamic optimization, using techniques such as wind tunnel testing and computational fluid dynamics originally developed for analysis and design of full-scale aircraft and helicopters.
That may be able to enable longer flight times. If so, it would give drone operators more time to take money-making photos and video in flight. It could also boost drones’ ability to assist missions such as searching for lost hikers. If drone racing becomes a billion-dollar per year sport – like auto racing – teams will deploy well-funded research labs to eke out every last bit of performance. That additional incentive – and spending – could be poured into racing advances that will push drone technology farther and faster than might otherwise be the case.
Organized competition isn’t the only way to innovate, of course: Drone development has accelerated even without it. Today, the cheapest drones cost under US$50, though they can fly only indoors and have very limited flight capabilities. Hobby drones costing hundreds of dollars can perform stunning aerobatic feats in the hands of a skilled pilot. Drones capable of autonomous flight are also available, though they cost thousands of dollars and are used for more specialized purposes like scientific research, cinematography, law enforcement, and search and rescue.
Advancing control and awareness
The drones used in racing (and indeed, all current multi-rotor drones) contain hardware and software to improve stability. This is essentially a low-level autopilot responsible for “balancing” the vehicle. The human pilot controls the vehicle’s front/back and left/right tilt angles and the magnitude of the total thrust, as well as how fast the vehicle turns and changes direction.
There is no reason why this must be done via control sticks, as is currently common: Pilots could use a smartphone to control the drone instead. There is, in fact, no reason why drone control needs to be done using a physical interface: recently the University of Florida hosted a (very basic) drone race using brain-machine interfaces to control the drones.
Aside from flight control, situation awareness is a key problem in drone operations. It is all too easy to crash a remotely operated vehicle into a pillar on the left when the cameras are all pointed forwards. In addition, the pilot of the lead drone in a race has no way of knowing where the competitors are: They could all be a long way behind, or one could be in a position to pass.
Solving this problem could have payoffs for other telepresence robotics operations, such as remotely operated underwater vehicles and even planetary rovers. Vision systems consisting of several cameras and a computer to stitch together the different views could help, or a haptic system could vibrate to alert a pilot to the presence of a drone or other obstacle nearby. Those sorts of technologies to improve the pilot’s awareness during a race could also be used to assist a remote-control robot pilot operating a vehicle at an oil drilling platform or near a hydrothermal vent in the deep ocean.
This is of course still very speculative: Drone racing is a sport still in its infancy. It is not yet clear whether it will become a massively popular sport. If it does, we could see very exciting advances coming from drone racing into both the toys that we fly in our living rooms and parks and into the drones used by professional videographers, engineers and scientists.
When was the last time you opened your laptop midconversation or brought your desktop computer to the dinner table? Ridiculous, right? But if you are like a large number of Americans, you have done both with your smartphone.
Less than a decade after the introduction of the first iPhone, more people reach for their smartphones first thing in the morning than reach for coffee, a toothbrush or even the partner lying next to them in bed. During the day, with a smartphone in our pocket, we can check our email while spending time with our children just as easily as we can text a friend while at work. And regardless of what we are doing, many of us are bombarded by notifications of new messages, social media posts, breaking news, app updates and more.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that this pervasiveness of smartphones is making us increasingly distracted and hyperactive. These presumed symptoms of constant digital stimulation also happen to characterize a well-known neurodevelopmental disorder: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD. Could the pinging and dinging of our smartphones be afflicting even those of us not suffering from ADHD with some of that condition’s symptoms? As a behavioral scientist, I set out to test this idea in a well-controlled experiment.
Studying digital interruption
My colleagues and I recruited 221 millennials – students at the University of British Columbia – to participate in a two-week study. Importantly, these participants were recruited from the university’s general participant pool, rather than from a population of students diagnosed with ADHD.
During the first week, we asked half the participants to minimize phone interruptions by activating the “do-not-disturb” settings and keeping their phones out of sight and far from reach. We instructed the other half to keep their phone alerts on and their phones nearby whenever possible.
In the second week, we reversed the instructions: Participants who had used their phones’ “do-not-disturb” settings switched on phone alerts, and vice versa. The order in which we gave the instructions to each participant was randomly determined by a flip of a coin. This study design ensured that everything was kept constant, except for how frequently people were interrupted by their phones. We confirmed that people felt more interrupted by their phones when they had their phone alerts on, as opposed to having them off.
Measuring inattentiveness and hyperactivity
We measured inattentiveness and hyperactivity by asking participants to identify how frequently they had experienced 18 symptoms of ADHD over each of the two weeks. These items were based on the criteria for diagnosing ADHD in adults as specified by the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-V).
The inattentiveness questions covered a wide range of potential problems, such as making careless mistakes, forgetting to pay a bill and having difficulty sustaining attention or listening to others. The hyperactivity questions were similarly broad, assessing things like fidgeting, feeling restless, excessive talking and interrupting others.
The results were clear: more frequent phone interruptions made people less attentive and more hyperactive.
Because ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder with complex neurological and developmental causes, these findings in no way suggest that smartphones can cause ADHD. And our research certainly does not show that reducing phone interruptions can treat ADHD. But our findings do have implications for all of us who feel interrupted by our phones.
Smartphone ubiquity poses risks
These findings should concern us. Smartphones are the fastest-selling electronic gadget in history – in the 22 seconds it took to type this sentence, 1,000 smartphones were shipped to their new owners. Even if one of those 1,000 users became more likely to make a careless mistake, ignore a friend in the middle of a conversation or space out during a meeting, smartphones could be harming the productivity, relationships and well-being of millions.
As with all disorders, symptoms of ADHD form a continuum from the normal to the pathological. Our findings suggest that our incessant digital stimulation is contributing to an increasingly problematic deficit of attention in modern society. So consider silencing your phone – even when you are not in the movie theater. Your brain will thank you.
It seems that every year there are new technologies coming out that are even more amazing than what the previous year held. From self-driving cars to robots entering daily lives, the world is changing at an incredibly fast rate. Click the ‘Next’ button below to see 12 new technologies on the scene in 2016!
Hailed at CES 2016 as the “diet spoon”, this is one invention sure to help Americans lose their fast-food weight a lot quicker than guessing how much they ate today. By taking a picture, it identifies the food on your plate before you start eating. This information can then be compared to a database of pictures to figure out an estimate of how many calories you are eating. It also uses gesture recognition to tell you how many bites you’ve taken. It comes with interchangeable utensil head attachments, as well, such as forks and spoons. Once you have one of these, you officially have no excuse for overeating!
While it’s a couple hundred bucks, this new invention puts all other basketballs to shame. Embedded with sensors which measure spin and acceleration of the ball, this ball sends data to your phone. Running on an internal battery which lasts eight hours and can be recharged wirelessly, the ball allows players to understand how they’re handling the ball and where their faults are. Patrick Lefler, the president of Social Elite Sports, makers of the ball, told Popular Science that the invention helps to track a player’s shooting and ball-handling skills. “After using it for three weeks, we’ve seen a 25 percent improvement,” Lefler says.