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Standard digital camera and AI to monitor soil moisture for affordable smart irrigation

#artificialintelligence

Researchers at UniSA have developed a cost-effective new technique to monitor soil moisture using a standard digital camera and machine learning technology. The United Nations predicts that by 2050 many areas of the planet may not have enough fresh water to meet the demands of agriculture if we continue our current patterns of use. One solution to this global dilemma is the development of more efficient irrigation, central to which is precision monitoring of soil moisture, allowing sensors to guide'smart' irrigation systems to ensure water is applied at the optimum time and rate. Current methods for sensing soil moisture are problematic – buried sensors are susceptible to salts in the substrate and require specialised hardware for connections, while thermal imaging cameras are expensive and can be compromised by climatic conditions such as sunlight intensity, fog, and clouds. Researchers from The University of South Australia and Baghdad's Middle Technical University have developed a cost-effective alternative that may make precision soil monitoring simple and affordable in almost any circumstance.


Sony's new 3D speaker is a pricey work in progress

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Along with its smaller sibling, the RA3000, Sony's latest sonic hardware is first and foremost a vessel for the company's immersive music format, 360 Reality Audio. From its multi-directional, seven-driver configuration to support for high-resolution audio over Wi-Fi from 3D sound sources--and a sticker-shocking $700 price point--Sony's intentions for the RA5000 as a 360RA ambassador are clear from the get-go. Following Amazon's Echo Studio smart speaker, which supports the rival Dolby Atmos Music service, the RA5000 is tasked with helping Sony blaze its own trail in the 3D music landscape. However, while the RA5000 is an ambitious device with impressive sound quality, it's also got some serious limitations at the moment, including a half-baked app, an awkward design, and a highly limited collection of songs to make it sing. But before we get into the details, what exactly is 360RA?


Standard Digital Camera, AI To Monitor Soil Moisture For Affordable Smart Irrigation

#artificialintelligence

Adelaide (Australia): Researchers at the University of South Australia have developed a cost-effective new technique to monitor soil moisture using a standard digital camera and machine learning technology. The United Nations predicts that by 2050 many areas of the planet may not have enough fresh water to meet the demands of agriculture if we continue our current patterns of use. One solution to this global dilemma is the development of more efficient irrigation, central to which is precision monitoring of soil moisture, allowing sensors to guide'smart' irrigation systems to ensure water is applied at the optimum time and rate. Current methods for sensing soil moisture are problematic -- buried sensors are susceptible to salts in the substrate and require specialised hardware for connections, while thermal imaging cameras are expensive and can be compromised by climatic conditions such as sunlight intensity, fog, and clouds. Researchers from The University of South Australia and Baghdad's Middle Technical University have developed a cost-effective alternative that may make precision soil monitoring simple and affordable in almost any circumstance.


Vizio vs. TCL: TVs for every budget

Mashable

Vizio and TCL sell budget-friendly TVs that don't compromise on quality -- perfect for gaming, virtual workouts, and binge-watching Cobra Kai. Reviewers love them because they're not as expensive as TVs from other top brands, but have many of the same features. But what brand should you choose? Both TCL and Vizio offer models with 4K resolution and advanced gaming features to use with the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5. To help you decide, take a look at our TV breakdown. Sure, they don't have 4K or 8K displays.


Samsung launches new flagship Galaxy S21 range

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Samsung has unveiled its latest range of flagship smartphones, with three models ranging in price from £769 ($799) to £1,149 ($1,199). The S21 range from the South Korean tech giant features an entry-level model, the mid-range Plus, and the Ultra – which is the first S Series phone to be compatible with the Samsung's S-Pen stylus. The stand-out feature on all three devices is the upgraded rear camera system, which was heavily leaked ahead of today's announcement and features night and portrait mode as well as its 100x'space zoom'. Pre-orders of the handsets open today, and the phones will be available as of January 29. The Ultra also comes with S-pen compatibility, the first Galaxy device to do so.


Presenting the Best of CES 2021 finalists!

Engadget

We'll admit, we weren't entirely sure what to expect when we agreed to judge the annual Best of CES Awards without an in-person show. How many companies would show up to an online-only show? What would we lose without being able to wander the halls of a massive convention center and see the products up close? As it turns out, we needn't have worried. More than 1,900 brands, big and small, turned up this year, according to the Consumer Technology Association, the industry group that organizes the show each year. What's more, many companies found socially distant ways to show us their latest and greatest in person, ahead of the show. In the end, we had enough fodder for 14 categories covering hardware and services in every sector from home theater to transportation to accessibility tech. We'll announce the winners tomorrow at 4:30pm ET during a ceremony on our virtual stage, which we'll livestream to Engadget.com We're also continuing tradition and opening up voting for our People's Choice Award -- our reader poll is live now and closes tomorrow, ahead of the ceremony. Please be sure to vote, and congrats to all of the finalists! The technology underpinning the Mudra Band might seem fanciful: sensors capture neural electrical impulses in the wrist and map them onto specific movements like a swipe or a tap, essentially letting you control an Apple Watch with subtle finger movements on one hand. There's no doubt the benefit of convenience -- you can operate your watch when your hands are wet or dirty, for instance.


Sony's first drone packs an imaging punch for pro content creators

Mashable

During its keynote at CES 2021, Sony gave us a glimpse at its very first drone: Airpeak. And, since Sony is essentially synonymous with sharp and cinematic image quality, it makes sense that Airpeak will first cater to professional photographers and videographers when it launches this Spring. The drone project was initially announced back in November via press release, but Sony clearly wanted to wait for a special occasion like CES to debut it in all its glory. Details are still scarce, but Sony did reveal that the Airpeak is the smallest drone yet for mounting and flying a DSLR or mirrorless camera (specifically its own lineup of Alpha mirrorless cameras). With Sony's drone, content creators can use more heavy-duty cameras to capture aerial footage rather than having to rely on built-in cameras that come equipped with most drones.


Qualcomm's Snapdragon 888 is an AI and computer vision powerhouse

#artificialintelligence

Although Apple's latest A14 Bionic chip enabled the iPhone 12 family and iPad Air tablets to deliver impressive performance improvements, Qualcomm is making clear that the next generation of Android devices will rely heavily on advanced AI and computer vision processors to retake the performance lead. Teased yesterday at Qualcomm's virtual Tech Summit, the Snapdragon 888 is getting a full reveal today, and the year-over-year gains are impressive, notably including the largest jump in AI performance in Snapdragon history. The Snapdragon 888's debut is significant for technical decision makers because the chip will power most if not all of 2021's flagship Android phones, which collectively represent a large share of the over two billion computers sold globally each year. Moreover, the 888's increasing reliance on AI processing demonstrates how machine learning's role is now critical in advancing all areas of computing, ranging from how devices work when they're fully on to what they're quietly doing when not in active use. From a high-level perspective, the Snapdragon 888 is a sequel to last year's flagship 865 chips, leveraging 5-nanometer process technology and tighter integration with 5G and AI chips to deliver performance and power efficiency gains.


AOTH-NexOptic Technology Corp. joins Arm AI Partner Program

#artificialintelligence

From the primitive scratchings of ancient cave dwellers, to the super-high-resolution images of far-off galaxies captured by modern telescopes, human beings have always been obsessed with pictures. The history of photography is the progression of society's ability to freeze an image in time, using technology to gradually improve its quality. The word photography is based on the Greek "photos" and "graphe" which together means "drawing with light". While decent-quality photos today are instantly available with the touch of a button on any smart phone, early photography was a laborious process that often delivered poor results. Picture-making dates back to antiquity with the discovery of two principles – camera obscura image projection, and the observation that certain substances can be altered by exposure to light. Camera obscura, the phenomenon that occurs when an image is projected through a small hole onto an opposite surface, was found in the writings of Aristotle and Chinese scholars, dating back to the 4th century BC.


Cyber Monday: What you need to know before buying that cheap smart TV

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

That Cyber Monday special from Best Buy sounds really enticing. Which may not be a catch at all, but it is something worth considering. Because if you have Amazon Echo speakers throughout your home, you won't be able to use them to talk to your new TCL TV. As all TV sales now tend to be "smart," they operate on different software platforms, ones you need to consider before making your purchase. Before you buy a Roku-branded TV, I have three words for you: "Wonder Woman 1984."