President’s confusing ‘covfefe’ tweet remains live for hours

Rambling late night tweets from the President of the United States have been a part of our reality for several months now, but the latest one has gone to a new level. At 12:06AM ET the @RealDonaldTrump account posted a message saying that “Despite the constant negative press covfefe” — and that was it. Covfefe is already a meme with a Twitter Moment, however so far there’s no word from the White House about what it was supposed to say, or if the president just got an important call from Justin Trudeau on his iPhone in mid-tweet.


Whatever the intended meaning behind the tweet, it comes at an interesting time, within a day of White House communications director Mike Dubke announcing his resignation. It’s also closely trailing a report by the Wall Street Journal indicating the White House is considering a plan to have a team of lawyers vet Trump’s social media posts before they go out.


Two hours after the covfefe tweet went out it’s still up (judging by a letter from the National Archives (PDF), it is legal for the President to delete tweets, however it has advised the White House to “capture and preserve all tweets” including deleted ones), and even the dictionary doesn’t know quite what to say about it. Of course, covfefe might really mean “Twitter finally adds an editing feature,” but that seems like a long shot.

The mystery of Trump’s ‘covfefe’

Source: Covfefe Twitter Moment, Donald Trump (Twitter)

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Apple ‘Neural Engine’ chip could power AI on iPhones

Apple’s focused on increasing the speed of every new mobile processor generation, most recently pairing its quad core A10 Fusion chips with its iPhone 7 and 7 Plus models last September. But to keep its devices competitive, Apple is building a secondary mobile processor dedicated to powering AI.

Sources told Bloomberg that Apple is developing the chips to participate in two key areas of artificial intelligence: Augmented reality and self-driving cars. The tech titan’s devices currently split AI tasks between two chips — the main processor and a GPU — but this new one, allegedly known internally as the Apple Neural Engine, has its own module dedicated to AI requests. Offloading those tasks should improve battery life, too.

Unfortunately, it’s unclear if the chip will come out this year. That puts Apple further behind Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon mobile chips, which already have a dedicated AI module, and Google’s Tensor Processing Units available in its Cloud Platform to do AI heavy lifting.

Apple announced it was deploying its own deep neural networks at last year’s WWDC, but that kind of machine learning happens on server racks, not mobile processors. Unlike the company’s differential privacy methods protecting data sent to Apple’s servers, the Neural Engine chip would let devices sift through data on their own, which would be faster and easier on the battery, just like the M7 processors did for motion back in 2013.

Source: Bloomberg

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Popular iOS notes app Bear adds sketching (and stickers)

Bear, a fast, lightweight and lovely note-taking app for iOS and the Mac, has been building a following over the past year or so. The app’s excellent design, small but essential feature set and steady stream of updates have made it worth its subscription cost ($ 14.99 per year or $ 1.49 per month, though you can get most of its features for free). Today, a pretty major update is rolling out to the iOS app: Bear now supports sketching. In keeping with Bear’s focus on essentials, the sketching feature includes two different brushes, each with three different widths and a variety of colors.

You can use your finger or a stylus, including the Apple Pencil on the iPad Pro, and drawings sync across your iPhone, iPad and Mac provided you’re a subscriber. But you can only create and edit drawings on the iPhone or iPad; on the Mac you can just view your scribbles. Those images live as attachments to text notes just like any other picture you bring into Bear.

Another iOS-only feature is stickers for iMessage, because why not? As you might expect, they encompass a cute bear doing a variety of cute things. The last little update pertains to the app’s visual themes — now, when you change the app’s theme, it’ll also change the home screen icon on your phone or the dock icon on your Mac. But the main attraction is obviously sketching. While I don’t want Bear’s developers to add too many features and make the app into a bloated monster, pretty much every notes app out there (including Apple’s Notes app) supports drawing to some extent. Having it in Bear just makes good sense.

Source: Bear Writer

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Twitter adds all 69 new emoji to its arsenal

Twitter has stepped up its emoji game in a big way. The social network is one of the first platforms to make all 69 Emoji 5.0 icons available to its users, and they include a few new flags, a woman with headscarf, persons with gray hair, the starstruck and the mind blown smiley. Before you fire up your Twitter app to check them, though, take note that there’s a chance you might end up disappointed. The new icons aren’t available on Tweetdeck, the iOS, Mac and the Android Nougat apps just yet, since they still haven’t implemented the Emoji 5.0 standard.

Twitter designer Bryan Haggerty says Apple will likely add support for the new emojis on iOS 11, while Tweetdeck will add them “soon.” For now, you’ll see empty blocks when you try to view the 5.0 icons on those platforms. If you want to use them yourself, though, all you have to do is open Twitter on a browser to emoji-bomb your followers.

Via: 9to5mac

Source: Bryan Haggerty

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Fashion and technology will inevitably become one

There’s no denying that the technology world is obsessed with fashion. Amazon, Apple and Google, three of the biggest names in tech, are all trying to carve their own path into the fashion space. Apple’s doing so with fancy smartwatches; Amazon with a shopping platform and voice-controlled cameras; and Google with conductive fabrics embedded in a smart jacket made by Levi’s. And the interest is mutual. Fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld, Chanel’s creative director, has expressed his love for tech by experimenting with partially 3D-printed pieces and runway shows that simulate a rocket launch. He’s not the only one either. Zac Posen, with help from fashion house Marchesa, worked with IBM’s Watson supercomputer to create a cognitive dress that lights up and changes colors based on activity on social media.

All of which is to say, the line between these two industries is blurring. Now more than ever, it feels like high-tech fashion is on the verge of being more than just a gimmick. In the not-too-distant future, you could even be 3D printing your own shoes or clothes at home. Instead of going to a store, you’ll buy designs straight from the designer. And we’re quickly heading toward a world in which “wearable” will be more than a fancy word for a smartphone accessory. Think about it: Your Apple Watch is basically a brick if you don’t have an iPhone paired with it.

3D printing’s potential

Three-dimensional printing has come a long way and is no longer just for prototyping. Sportswear giant Adidas, for example, is on the way to making 3D-printed shoes a consumer product as part of an effort known as Futurecraft, which began in 2015. Earlier this year, it teamed up with Silicon Valley startup Carbon 3D on a new manufacturing technique called digital light synthesis, which mixes light and oxygen with programmable liquid resins to create 3D objects in a matter of minutes. Adidas says this technology will allow it to 3D-print sneakers on a large scale; it’s planning to ship 100,000 pairs by the end of 2018.

Adidas Futurecraft 4D.

While 3D-printed shoes may at first sound like a gimmick, the reason Adidas is betting on the technology is its customization potential. Imagine being able to walk into a store, hop on a treadmill, have your foot measured to a T and get a pair made based on your results in less than 24 hours. This approach means the shoes would match your footprint elements, including contour details and precise pressure points — which, in turn, could give you the most amount of comfort.

Sponsored athletes already benefit from this, because brands typically custom-make designs for them, but the idea is to expand the concept to every consumer. That’s the future Adidas imagines, one that’s also going to depend on the company’s Speedfactory, a manufacturing facility staffed by robots that can make products at a rapid pace and in high volumes. It’s an automated assembly line that’s straight out of a sci-fi film.

Vanessa Friedman, fashion director and chief fashion critic at The New York Times, says 3D printing will have a significant value for fashion companies down the road, especially if it transforms into a print-it-yourself tool for shoppers. “There’s real sense that this is not going to happen anytime soon,” she says, “but it will happen, and it will create dramatic change in how we think both about intellectual property and how things are in the supply chain.” She adds: “Certainly some of the fabrications that brands can use will be dramatically changed by technology.”

“Power laces, alright!”

Nike, on the other hand, has been busy with self-lacing shoes. What started as a project inspired by nostalgia for the Mag — a prop with power laces worn by Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) in Back to the Future Part II — has turned into something with larger implications. The HyperAdapt 1.0, which features a self-lacing system dubbed E.A.R.L. (Electro Adaptive Reactive Lacing), is essentially the consumer version of Nike’s beloved Mag. The company says one of the reasons it created it is because athletes often complained about their shoes untying during workouts, and HyperAdapt solves that problem because it requires little to no effort when you’re putting it on. It’s a pricey solution, though — each pair costs $ 720.

Still, just like high-definition TVs, they will in time go from being a luxury item to a run-of-the-mill commodity. While Nike isn’t pitching HyperAdapt or E.A.R.L specifically to people with disabilities (particularly those unable to tie their own shoes), there’s definitely potential there. Nike does have its Ease Challenge, a project that recruits outside designers and engineers to “advance and reinvent footwear design for athletes of all abilities.” This year, Nike awarded $ 50,000 to the designer of a shoe with a heel counter that acts as a small door for your feet, removing the need to tie laces or use a shoehorn. The winner, Brett Drake, will work with the brand to create a prototype of the design and perhaps eventually bring it to market.

“This is the very first baby step toward having a truly adaptable shoe,” Matt Powell, a sports-industry analyst at research firm NPD, says about Nike’s E.A.R.L. technology. “It isn’t just going to tighten or loosen laces; it could increase or decrease cushioning, it could ventilate or warm [the shoe]. This is a very, very small step in a long path of making footwear that is adjusting to our needs on the fly.”

Smart fabrics

Google’s Advanced Technologies and Projects (ATAP), the group that handles the company’s offbeat innovations (like the now-defunct Project Ara), has been rethinking the very materials clothes are made of. For the past couple of years, the tech giant has been experimenting with conductive fabrics that can make fashion garments smarter. With Project Jacquard, Google created a system for weaving technology that can turn clothes or any other textiles into gesture-controlled surfaces. Google hopes designers and developers will implement this tech in sensor-laden garments that can be used in everyday life, including jeans, T-shirts and jackets.

To show Project Jacquard’s potential, Google teamed up with Levi’s on a connected Commuter denim jacket that has 15 conductive threads on the left sleeve, each just visible enough for you to know where to touch to trigger certain actions. A Bluetooth cuff pairs the jacket to a smartphone, letting you brush your fingers on the smart fabric to check the time or swipe to play music, etc. And Google and Levi’s could make the jacket more interactive.

Levi’s and Google’s Commuter jacket is slated to hit stores this fall for $ 350, and it’s the first of many products the tech company hopes to see integrate with Jacquard. “We think about Jacquard as a raw material that will make computation a part of the language which apparel designers and textile designers and fashion designers speak,” the company said when it introduced the tech at its I/O developers conference in 2015. “We want digital to be just the same thing as quality of yarn or colors used.”

Google’s Project Jacquard.

The smartphone-dependance

More often than not, technology and fashion seem to have trouble understanding each other — remember that underwhelming tech-themed Met Gala in 2016? So perhaps collaborations like Levi’s’ and Google’s are the way forward. And although it’s unclear if the smart denim jacket will be a success ( it probably won’t be), Google is already planning to work with more fashion labels on future Jacquard projects. Who wants some Gap Jacquard khakis?

Whatever it may be, Friedman says tech companies need to figure out a way to make their fashion products less dependent on smartphones. “Right now we’re just saying, ‘OK, here we have these devices that we all love which is our phones. How can we attach that to something else that we have?'” she says.”I think the real question is: ‘What doesn’t the phone do? What is something completely new that our clothes could do?'”

Kate Sicchio, an assistant professor of integrated digital media at New York University, says the future could be a “more embedded” one, in which the clothes or accessories we wear have a better way of sensing our every move. She says part of the problem now is that the tech industry doesn’t necessarily take the time to fully understand our bodies or movement, but she’s hopeful that’ll change. “Electronics sometimes aren’t flexible enough or don’t form to the body quite right,” she says. “We can’t change the shape of the body, but hopefully we can mold our tech to fit it better.”

Sicchio adds that it’s imperative to move away from the smartphone being the brains of the operation. “That will make a huge difference,” she says. “If we look at the history of ubiquitous computing … in the ’90s, all these MIT researchers had backpacks full of laptops, and now we just have this little [rectangle] we keep in our pocket, and soon that’s going to disappear and it just will be a small microcontroller in our garments.”

We can’t change the shape of the body, but hopefully we can mold our tech to fit it better.

Time to think outside the box

The hope, Sicchio says, is that soon enough we’ll have clothes that will be able to collect your health and fitness data without the need for an auxiliary device like a smartwatch, band or phone. “That’s one of these things that smart fabrics are really good at, they can be on the body and read the body,” says Sacchio “So far, all we’ve done is quantify and measure that rather than apply it. Tech people have to realize there are experts on bodies and movements out there that they should be listening to.”

Still, you get the feeling technology companies are on the verge of a major breakthrough in fashion, and it’s only a matter of time before we see products that are both useful and accessible to everyone. We have to remember that what may seem like a gimmick now could end up laying the ground for something bigger: What if Google’s Jacquard jacket could one day measure your heart rate, along with letting you pick which song to play next? Or if Nike’s self-lacing shoes could also track your step count? That future can’ be far off.

“Breakthroughs are hard,” says Friedman. “They only come every once in awhile, and it requires someone who can really think outside any existing boxes, and most of us are very embedded in our boxes.” It’s hard to see the future, but we can take a guess at what it will look like based on today’s reality. What’s clear is that technology and fashion companies must work together to make this vision more than just a sci-fi fantasy.

Welcome to Tomorrow, Engadget’s new home for stuff that hasn’t happened yet. You can read more about the future of, well, everything, at Tomorrow’s permanent home and check out all of our launch week stories here.

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The Galaxy S8 iris scanner can be hacked with aging tech

Biometrics are becoming our next de facto security measure, and they’re supposed to be a vast improvement on easily-forgotten and hackable passwords. Yet a point-and-shoot camera, laser printer and contact lens is all it took for German hacking group Chaos Computer Club to crack the Samsung Galaxy S8’s iris scanner. “By far [the] most expensive part of the iris biometry hack was the purchase of the Galaxy S8,” the group wrote on its website.

They pulled it off by taking a photo of the target from about five meters away, and printing a close-up of the eye on a laser printer — made by Samsung, no less. A regular contact lens was placed on top of the print to replicate the curve of an eyeball. When the print was held up to the smartphone, the S8 unlocked.

“The security risk to the user from iris recognition is even bigger than with fingerprints as we expose our irises a lot,” said Dirk Engling, spokesperson for the group, which previously hacked the iPhone 5S fingerprint sensor using photos of a glass surface. “Under some circumstances, a high-resolution picture from the internet is sufficient to capture an iris.”

Biometric security is taking off, particularly with the rise of mobile payments. Mastercard has rolled out “selfie pay” in Europe, while Australia has introduced facial recognition to replace passports in airports, and Chinese ride-share company Didi helps passengers verify their driver’s identity using face scanning.

Sci-fi has told us that iris scans are so accurate you’d need to cut out someone’s eyes to fool them. But the disappointing reality so far is that stuff a hacker could rummage for on Craigslist is probably good enough.

Source: Chaos Computer Club

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The Wirecutter’s best deals: Save $49 on a Vantrue dashcam

This post was done in partnership with The Wirecutter, a buyer’s guide to the best technology. When readers choose to buy The Wirecutter‘s independently chosen editorial picks, they may earn affiliate commissions that support their work. Read their continuously updated list of deals here.

You may have already seen Engadget posting reviews from our friends at The Wirecutter. Now, from time to time, we’ll also be publishing their recommended deals on some of their top picks. Read on, and strike while the iron is hot — some of these sales could expire mighty soon.

Apple iPad (5th Generation)

Street price: $ 330; MSRP: $ 330; Deal price: $ 300

A nice drop on the new iPad lowers the price to $ 300 for the 32GB model. This $ 30 off sale is also available for the 128GB size ($ 400 with discount). Silver, Gold, and Space Gray colors are all eligible for the discount in both storage capacities. We’ll continue to track the new iPads for future sales but at present these match the lowest prices we’ve seen for it. Shipping is free.

The 5th gen iPad is our new top pick in our Best Tablet guide. Dan Frakes and Nick Guy write, “The 2017 standard iPad—the 9.7-inch non-Pro model, officially called the “iPad (5th generation)”—is a familiar device. Its body is almost exactly the same as that of the 2014 iPad Air,2 and except for improved processors, its internals mostly match those of the iPad Air 2, the model it replaces (and our previous top pick). Yet the 2017 iPad remains the best tablet on the market for most people because of that familiarity: It shares its predecessor’s unique combination of performance, features, hardware quality, app selection, and accessory ecosystem, and improves on its value.”

Roku Streaming Stick (3600R)

Street price: $ 50; MSRP: $ 50; Deal price: $ 40

While we’ve seen the Roku media streaming stick as low as $ 35, it typically sells for at least $ 10 more. The aforementioned $ 35 pricing tends to be offered during the holiday season only – otherwise, the Roku stick doesn’t dip below $ 40 (with a few rare exceptions), so this is as low as you’re likely to find one if you’re looking to cut the cord or just add a great streaming interface to your setup. Shipping is free.

The Roku Streaming Stick is our pick for the best media streamer. Chris Heinonen writes, “The Roku Streaming Stick is the best media streamer for most people because it offers the largest selection of streaming content, a clean and responsive user interface, and a useful search function.” He continues, “The Streaming Stick offers the same interface, speed, and content as the more expensive Roku 2 and 3. It also has a private listening mode so you can watch your content without disturbing others. You also get an RF remote instead of IR, so it doesn’t need to be in sight to work.”

1More Triple Driver In-Ear Headphones

Street price: $ 80; MSRP: $ 100; Deal price: $ 69

This is a new low price on our runner-up pick earbuds under $ 100. If you have a Costco membership, they’re available for only $ 65. If you don’t have a membership, don’t fret – the $ 4 surcharge isn’t too much of a burden and doesn’t detract much from the great deal price. We normally see these earbuds stick close to the $ 100 price range with occasional drops down to $ 80, so this is a great deal price to pick them up. Shipping is free.

The 1MORE Triple Driver In-Ear Headphones are our runner-up pick in our guide to the best earbuds under $ 100. Lauren Dragan writes, “For iPhone or Android users that require a three-button remote, the 1More Triple Driver headphones are a wonderful choice. Via a switch (according to 1More), one model works with iPhones and most Android devices, too. Although our panel wasn’t as in love with the sound of the Triple Driver as we were with the Marshall, everyone agreed that the 1More performed vastly better than the majority of the other headphones we tested this round.”

Vantrue OnDash R2 2K Ultra HD 2.7 Inch LCD Dashboard Camera

Street price: $ 129; MSRP: $ 160; Deal price: $ 80

While there have been other deals on the R2 at $ 90 with a $ 10 gift card, this is only the second time we’ve seen a deal for this Vantrue dash cam at a flat $ 80. It’s available with free standard shipping. This sale lasts until Saturday, May 20th.

The Vantrue R2 is our runner-up pick for the best dash cam. Eric Adams writes, “Its packaging, instructions, and general usability are on a par with the Z3, and its image quality is also top notch. While just as crisp as the Z3, the R2’s images have slightly more contrast. This makes them more attractive, but not quite as useful as they could be in different scenarios, as some areas tend to be too dark, and the night vision is also a hair darker.”

Turning to quality and value, Adams writes, “It also has a slightly wider 170° field of view, which exceeds our preference just a bit. But we’re hair-splitting here: Both the R2 and our top pick, the Z3, are sensational cameras…. If you like its slightly better photographic output or you need a dash cam right away and the Z3 is unavailable, we recommend the R2.”

Because great deals don’t just happen on Thursdays, sign up for our daily deals email and we’ll send you the best deals we find every weekday. Also, deals change all the time, and some of these may have expired. To see an updated list of current deals, please go to The Wirecutter.com.

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Google Assistant on the iPhone is better than Siri, but not much

Google’s Assistant is finally ready to take on Siri on Apple’s own turf: the iPhone. Yes, you could already play around with the AI-powered chatbot if you downloaded Allo — Google’s mobile-only messenger app — but its functionality was limited. Today, that changes thanks to a new standalone Google Assistant app available on Apple’s App Store (though it’s US-only for now). Eager to check it out, we downloaded it right away and spent some time commanding our Google-branded phone butler around. After a few hours, I’ll say that while I find Google Assistant a lot friendlier and smarter than Siri, it doesn’t quite replace it. At least, not yet.

The first obvious barrier is that while Siri is baked right into iOS, you’ll need to download Google Assistant as a separate app. Plus, accessing Siri is as easy as holding down the iPhone’s home button — with Google Assistant (as with Cortana, Alexa and all other third-party assistants), you’ll need to take the extra step of launching an app. If you have an Android phone, Google Assistant is ready to go without having to download anything at all.

As you might expect, when you first launch Google Assistant on the iPhone, it asks you to log in with your Google account. After you do, it introduces itself to you and invites you to ask it anything you wish. Press the microphone icon at the center to offer a voice command, or if you’d rather not disturb the people around you, you can hit the keyboard icon to type your query.

The first thing you might wonder is if you can make a call or send a message on the iPhone with Google Assistant. The answer is: You can, but it’s not any easier than it would be with Siri. When I say, “Call Mom,” for example, it brings up her name and triggers a phone call, which you can then cancel or confirm. When I say, “Text Mom,” it asks me for my message and then kicks me over to the Messages app on my phone, where I can choose to send it off or not. At least Siri can send messages without me having to open the app.

I also tried to play music on Google Assistant to see how the experience compares to Siri. It was a little, well, uneven. When you first tell Google Assistant to play music, it’ll ask you to choose between Apple Music and YouTube as your default. I chose YouTube and then said, “Play LCD Soundsystem.” It kicked me over to the YouTube app, where it played a random song from the band. Then I went back and said “Play Radiohead,” and it would just give a list of albums. I then tried to switch the default choice to Apple Music, which I somehow was able to do so by saying “Play on Apple Music.” From then on, whenever I said “Play [name of song],” it would play the song on Apple Music. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that I can switch back to YouTube as the default, despite multiple attempts. Sometimes it says it’s playing a song, but nothing happens. Clearly, this feature is still pretty buggy.

As you might expect, Assistant plays particularly well with Google’s own apps. So sending email through Gmail is a snap — say who you want to send the email to, and it’ll kick you over to the Gmail app to follow through. Similarly, it’ll offer directions with Google Maps rather than Apple’s own.

What I found particularly intriguing about the Google Assistant app on iOS is that there’s a whole Explore page full of suggestions on what you can do with it. There’s a list of the usual suggestions, like “How many pounds in a kilogram?” or “What sound does a dog make?”

But interestingly, there’s also a slew of third-party chatbots you can try out. Examples include Genius, a bot that’ll guess the name of a song based on a lyric snippet, or the Magic 8 Ball, which will offer pithy responses to yes-or-no questions. Google Home users likely already know about some of these third-party chatbots, but to mobile users, this is new.

Aside from Explore, there’s also a Your Stuff tab that lists your Reminders, Agenda, Shopping List and quick Shortcuts that you can add to customize Assistant. So, for example, you can say “Late again” to trigger an automatic text to your best friend that you’re running five minutes late. “Cheer me up” will automatically bring up a list of kitten videos on YouTube.

I then tried to do a number of things on both Google Assistant and Siri to compare the two. I discovered that due to iOS restrictions, Google Assistant isn’t able to set alarms, take selfies, launch apps, post to Twitter or Facebook, call Ubers or Lyfts, or use third-party apps like Whatsapp for sending messages. Siri, however, was able to do all of these tasks without issue.

At the same time, Google Assistant was vastly superior when it came to translating languages (Siri often faltered) and remembering context clues. For example, when I asked, “Who’s the president of the United States” and followed it up immediately with “How tall is he?” Google Assistant immediately responded with “Donald J Trump” and “6-feet 2-inches tall.” Siri, on the other hand, could answer the first question, but not the second (it responded with “I don’t know”). Google Assistant also was smart enough to respond to set-a-reminder requests with the place and time in which I wanted to be reminded — Siri just placed them on a Reminders list. Siri was also sometimes just plain wrong — it erroneously said the population of Egypt was 85,800 (it’s actually 91.51 million).

In many ways, Siri pales in comparison to Google Assistant. It can’t understand voice commands as well as Google, and it doesn’t remember your preferences like Google can. Siri makes so many errors that there’s even a Reddit group called “Siri fails” that documents its many mistakes. But as long as it comes preinstalled in every iPhone out there and does a good-enough job, Google Assistant — and all other rivals — will have a hard time replacing it.

For all the latest news and updates from Google I/O 2017, follow along here

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HTC Vive and Lenovo are developing standalone Daydream VR headsets

Google has another way to differentiate its mobile VR platform from Samsung’s: Standalone headsets that have all the hardware you’d need built right in, without the need for a phone. At Google I/O today, the company revealed that we’ll be seeing standalone Daydream headsets from HTC Vive and Lenovo later this year. They’ll be based on Qualcomm’s 835 VR platform and use Worldsense, a variation of Google’s Tango 3D mapping technology, for positional tracking without the need for any external sensors.

We only have a few sketches from HTC Vive and Lenovo for now, but they both look like typical VR headsets. HTC’s will use an overhead strap, while Lenovo’s will rest against your forehead, similar to Sony’s PlayStation VR. It also appears as if they’ll be using Google’s existing Daydream touch controller, though that could easily be changed by the time they’re released.

Lenovo’s standalone headset.

We heard that Google was working on standalone headsets last year, and we also reported exclusively that they’d be integrating eye-tracking and sensors for mapping the real world. By bundling all of the necessary hardware into a single device, Google has a way to market its platform to people who aren’t using Daydream-capable Android phones. That opens the door to iPhone users, as well as consumers who aren’t upgrading their Android devices anytime soon. Oculus is also developing a standalone VR headset of its own, and, based on our experience last year, it clearly looks like the future of virtual reality.

Qualcomm also revealed today that it worked together with Google to build a reference standalone Daydream VR headset. It’s not something that will be sold on its own, but it could help guide other companies as they design their own standalone units.

There’s no word on pricing for these standalone headsets yet. But, considering they’ll have the hardware typically found in powerful phones, I wouldn’t be surprised if they ended up costing around $ 300 or more.

For all the latest news and updates from Google I/O 2017, follow along here

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Samsung sold over 5 million Galaxy S8 phones

Samsung was quick to crow about Galaxy S8 pre-orders, but it was easy to be skeptical without real numbers to back up the bragging. Flash forward a few weeks, though, and it’s a different story. The company now reports that it has sold 5 million Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus devices worldwide since its April 21st debut — not bad for less than a month on the market, and only in a limited number of countries. It’s not certain which model was the most popular, though the regular S8’s lower price helps its chances.

It’s hard to say how this stacks up to the Galaxy S7, although Samsung had noted that pre-orders were up 30 percent compared to a year ago. And other manufacturers? That’s tricky when most tend not to divulge model-specific data to avoid tipping their hand to competitors. The closest you get is Apple. It reported selling 50.8 million iPhones last quarter (about 16.9 million per month), but it’s not certain how many of those were iPhone 7 and 7 Plus units, let alone how many of them sold in April. Without directly comparable figures, it’d be difficult to declare a sales leader in high-end phones.

As it is, Samsung is likely less concerned about raw numbers and more about its bottom line. In that sense, the S8 could easily be a success. Samsung racked up record operating profit in the quarter before the S8 stared shipping (albeit mainly on the back of chip sales), and the phone’s strong early showing is only bound to help.

Via: Mashable

Source: The Investor, ZDNet

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