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Smart displays are stealing the show from smart speakers

ZDNet

Resembling a sawed-off section of stovepipe in black or PVC in white, the original Amazon Echo was the anti-smartphone. It operated tethered to an outlet, it was communal. And it was pre-pandemically touch-free if you didn't care about muting its microphone. Unbound by a display, it inspired voice-driven variants that ranged in size from tiny rings to giant rigs. We've hand-picked 11 smart displays that will satisfy a range of wants and needs.


Grimes and Endel bring their AI-powered sleep sounds to Android

Engadget

Last October, Endel announced that it had partnered with Grimes for a special'soundscape' inside its music app, which is meant to help you focus, relax or fall asleep. The collaboration was called AI Lullaby and, as you might have guessed from the name, combined artificial intelligence with Grimes' original music and vocals. There was just one problem: it was only available on iOS. The slumber sounds have now disappeared for iPhone users and, as promised, hopped over to Endel's Android application. If you own a phone or tablet powered by Google's operating system, it should be accessible the next time you open the app.


Radical AI podcast: featuring Meredith Ringel Morris

AIHub

Hosted by Dylan Doyle-Burke and Jessie J Smith, Radical AI is a podcast featuring the voices of the future in the field of artificial intelligence ethics. In this episode Jess and Dylan chat to Meredith Ringel Morris about ability and accessibility in AI. What should you know about Ability and Accessibility in AI and responsible technology development? Meredith is a computer scientist conducting research in the areas of human-computer interaction (HCI), computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW), social computing, and accessibility. Her current research focus is on accessibility, particularly on the intersection of accessibility and social technologies.


Sony WH-1000XM4 review: Bose-beating noise cancelling headphones

The Guardian

Sony's top of the line noise-cancelling headphones have long had a winning formula and the latest edition has a much-requested addition – multiple device connectivity – to make them the best of class. The WH-1000XM4 have an RRP of £350 and on initial inspection little has changed for the fourth edition of the 1000X line, with its understated design. The high-quality plastic body is well made and lightweight at 254g but doesn't feel as premium as some metal or carbon fibre competitors that weigh more than 300g. They are some of the lightest-feeling headphones you can buy, matching the longstanding comfort kings, the Bose QC35 II. The ear cups are well padded with a gentle, even pressure on the side of your head while a soft leatherette headband sits on your dome.


Hybrid chip containing processors and memory runs AI on smart devices

#artificialintelligence

A group of researchers from Stanford have developed a way to combine processors and memory on multiple hybrid chips to allow AI to run on battery-powered devices such as smartphones and tablets. The team believes that all manner of battery-power electronics would be smarter if they could run AI algorithms. The problem is efforts to build AI-capable chips for mobile devices have run up against something known as the "memory wall." The memory wall is the name for the separation of data processing and memory chips that have to work together to meet the computational demands of AI. Computer scientist Subhasish Mitra says the transactions between processors and memory can consume 95 percent of the energy needed to perform machine learning and AI, severely limiting battery life.


The best deals we found this week: $40 off Google's Pixel 4a 5G and more

Engadget

This week brought a return of some holiday sale prices, plus a few deals that are even better than those we saw late last year. Google's Pixel 4a 5G fell to a new record-low price, while the 8th-generation iPad remains on sale for $299. If you want to up your smart-home game, August's WiFi smart lock is more than $65 off and some Beats headphones are 50 percent off, too. Here are the best deals from this week that you can still get today. One of Google's newest smartphones, the Pixel 4a 5G is down to $459, or $40 off its normal price.


The Morning After: LG might get out of the smartphone business

Engadget

In the US, today is Inauguration Day, and as Joe Biden prepares to take the oath as our 46th president, it's worth taking a look back at the discussions four years ago. Back then, the "most tech-savvy" president exited as all eyes turned to Donald Trump trading in his Android Twitter machine for a secure device. We know how things went after that. Donald Trump isn't tweeting anymore (at least not from his main accounts), and the country is struggling through a pandemic. The outgoing president just saw his temporary YouTube ban extended and, in one of his last official acts, pardoned Anthony Levandowski for stealing self-driving car secrets from Google's subsidiary Waymo.


Radical AI podcast: featuring Moses Namara

AIHub

Hosted by Dylan Doyle-Burke and Jessie J Smith, Radical AI is a podcast featuring the voices of the future in the field of artificial intelligence ethics. In this episode Jess and Dylan chat to Moses Namara about the new Black in AI academic program. In this episode, we interview Moses Namara of Black in AI about the new Black in AI academic program, a program that serves as a resource to support black junior researchers as they apply to graduate programs, navigate graduate school, and enter the postgraduate job market. Moses Namara is a Facebook Research Fellow and Ph.D. candidate in Human-Centered Computing (HCC) at Clemson University. He uses interdisciplinary research methods from computer science, psychology, and the social sciences to understand the principles behind users' adoption and use of technology, decision-making, and privacy attitudes and behaviors.


Apple's 2021 iPhone could feature Touch ID after face masks 'ruin' Face ID

Daily Mail - Science & tech

While face masks were once rare sightings, they're now compulsory in a range of settings across the UK. The face coverings play a key role in stopping the spread of Covid-19, yet many iPhone users have been frustrated that their masks have prevented them from unlocking their iPhones using Apple's facial recognition technology, Face ID. Now, a report indicates that Apple could be bringing back its Touch ID technology in its 2021 iPhone, in the form of an in-screen fingerprint reader, to help users unlock their smartphones without having to remove their masks. Rather than being a replacement for Face ID, Touch ID would be an additional method of unlocking the iPhone, according to the report. Many iPhone users have been frustrated that their masks have prevented them from unlocking their iPhone using Apple's facial recognition technology, Face ID (stock image) The report, by Bloomberg, indicates that changes to this year's iPhone will be minor.


Grip2u iPhone Case Review: Boost And Slim Cases Feature Signature Band To Prevent Drops

International Business Times

Who are the Grip2u Phone Cases for? Cell phones are expensive, delicate devices and nobody knows that better than cell phone case manufacturer Grip2u. Their entire line of products is dedicated to protecting cell phones while also making them easier to use thanks to the signature band found on the back of the case. So how does a Grip2u case compare to a standard cell phone case? We looked at two different Grip2u models, the Boost and Slim, and compared them to a very basic case using an iPhone XR.