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Weekly Bytes | Audi’s transformable concept car, Facebook’s data transfer tool updates, and more

Audi skysphere concept.   | Photo Credit: Audi

Audi’s transformable ‘skysphere’ concept car

German luxury carmaker Audi has unveiled an electric-powered, two-door convertible concept car, inspired by the Horch 853 roadster. The ‘skysphere’ concept can physically transform to offer two different driving experiences. With the touch of a button, the driver can choose to either pilot the 4.94-metre-long e-roadster in “Sports” mode, or be chauffeured around in a 5.19-metre GT in the autonomous “Grand Touring” driving mode, in which the steering wheel and pedals move into an invisible area. Electric motors and a sophisticated mechanism make it possible to vary the wheelbase itself and the exterior length of the car by 250 mm. The Audi skysphere can produce 465 kW of power, 750 Nm of torque, and can go from 0 to 100 km/h in just four seconds. It is expected to have a range of over 500 km in the GT mode. The car can pick up its passengers with information about their current destination and independently handle parking and charging. In another update, Audi recently launched the new RS 5 Sportback, and its first electric SUVs, the e-tron and e-tron Sportback in India.

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Facebook’s data portability tool gets new updates

Facebook has introduced a few updates to its data portability tool to make it easier for people to transfer a copy of their data from the social media platform to other services. Users will now be able to transfer their data to two new destinations – Photobucket and Google Calendar, and their Facebook events as well. The company has also improved the user experience, making it easier for them to see the supported destinations and data types. Besides, users can now start multiple data transfers for one destination, and retry certain failed transfer attempts or stop an ongoing transfer more easily. The data transfer process also brings filters, enabling users to more precisely select the data they want to transfer. Users can access the tool in Facebook settings under ‘Your Facebook Information’, and follow the on-screen prompts to transfer their data. This week, Facebook-owned Instagram rolled out multiple features to protect users from abusive DM requests and offensive or unwanted comments.

Harley-Davidson’s custom eBike auctioned for $14,200

A one-of-a-kind custom eBike from Harley-Davidson’s eBicycle brand, Serial 1, was auctioned for $14,200 (about ₹10.5 lakh). The eBike’s auction closed on Tuesday. The MOSH/CHOPPER, which combines the silhouette of a '60s-era wheelie bike with psychedelic paint and chopper style, is part of the new 1-OFF Series. The eBike maintains all the features and functionality of the standard MOSH/CTY that inspired it, along with custom modifications like a long-and-low banana seat, a high-rise handlebar that creates a perfect riding position for laid-back cruising, intricate panels, hand pinstriping and single-stroke hand lettering. After launching its first fleet of Serial 1 eBicycles last year, the iconic motorcycle brand plans to release a new, run-of-one custom eBike model for auction a few times each year, under the 1-OFF Series, it said in a statement. Last month, Harley-Davidson unveiled LiveWire One, the first bike from its all-electric LiveWire brand that was announced in May.

Spotify’s Wear OS app to get direct streaming, offline playback support

Spotify said on Wednesday that its Wear OS app will get direct streaming support, enabling users to play their favourite playlists, albums, and podcasts using only their smartwatches. The music streaming service will also allow users to download music and podcasts to their smartwatch. While premium users will be able to download music and podcasts for offline playback, free users will only be able to download podcasts directly to their watch, Spotify said, and added that they will be able to stream music in Shuffle Mode using a Wi-Fi or cellular connection. The new features will be rolled out in the coming weeks to smartwatches running on Wear OS 2.0 or higher, including from brands like Fossil, Mobvoi, Suunto, and Samsung, the company said. Users also need to have the latest version of Spotify on their devices. Recently, Spotify had introduced a feature to help its users discover new music and podcasts from the artists and shows they follow on the platform.

MediaTek announces two new chips for 5G smartphones

MediaTek has announced two new chipsets in its Dimensity 5G family, the Dimensity 920 and 810 that are designed for smarter displays, boosted performance and imaging on smartphones. Both the chipsets are built using the 6nm manufacturing process. The Dimensity 920 supports intelligent displays and hardware-based 4K HDR video capture, while also offering a 9% boost in gaming performance compared to its predecessor, according to the chipmaker. The Dimensity 810 provides Arm Cortex-A76 CPU speeds up to 2.4GHz, camera features like AI-Bokeh and artistic AI-colour, and advanced noise reduction techniques for low-light photography, MediaTek said. The new chipsets will power 5G smartphones that are expected to launch in the global market in the third quarter of this year. In a separate development, Samsung launched the industry’s first 5-nanometre processor to power wearables like smartwatches.

Wyndham collaborates with AWS to enhance guest experiences

Amazon Web Services (AWS) on Thursday announced a global collaboration with Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, the world’s largest hotel franchising company by the number of properties. Wyndham, which has about 9,000 hotels across nearly 95 countries, plans to upgrade its technology infrastructure and develop and deliver new guest services using AWS’s portfolio of cloud technologies. It will use AWS to help optimise over 90,000 daily rate changes across its hotels to help maximise occupancy rates that vary based on different factors. It also plans to develop new digital services for guests to automate check-in and leverage AWS to deliver customised offers during hotel stays, such as recommendations on local attractions, restaurants, and entertainment. The announcement is part of Wyndham’s multi-year digital transformation and investment in technology. In another update, Amazon and GoPro have filed a joint lawsuit against seven individuals and two entities for selling fake GoPro accessories in Amazon’s store.

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Printable version | Dec 2, 2021 1:09:50 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/weekly-bytes-audis-transformable-concept-car-facebooks-data-transfer-tool-updates-and-more/article35907864.ece

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