Weekly Bytes | Motorcycle vibrations can impact iPhone cameras, Galaxy Watch may help Parkinson’s patients, and more

Apple iPhone 11 Pro cameras.   | Photo Credit: Apple

Motorcycle vibrations can impact iPhone cameras: Apple

Apple iPhones are equipped with advanced camera systems, which include technology like optical image stabilisation (OIS) and closed-loop autofocus (AF), in some of the models. However, the performance of the camera system can degrade when exposed to high amplitude vibrations within certain frequency ranges, specifically, those generated by high-power motorcycle engines, the company said on a support page. The vibrations are transmitted through the vehicle’s chassis and handlebars, therefore, Apple recommends users not to attach their iPhones to those motorcycles. Additionally, users could attach an iPhone to vehicles with small-volume or electric engines, which produce comparatively lower-amplitude vibrations, but the iPhone maker suggests using a vibration dampening mount to lessen the risk of damage to the iPhone and its OIS and AF systems. It is also recommended to avoid regular use of the iPhone for prolonged periods to further lessen the risk of damage, the company noted. This week, Apple also launched four new iPhones, a more durable Watch and an upgrade to the company’s top-selling iPad at the virtual ‘California Streaming’ Special Event.

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Galaxy Watch may help Parkinson’s patients: study

Orthostatic hypotension (OH), a form of low blood pressure (BP) caused by blood vessels failing to constrict, is common among patients with Parkinson’s Disease (PD). It can increase the risk of falls for those in the elderly age group and may already have existing cardiovascular diseases. Measuring BP frequently can help detect critical fluctuations for diagnosing and managing PD. A research team at the Samsung Medical Center, found that using Galaxy Watch3, which is more portable and convenient than a conventional sphygmomanometer, allows PD patients to measure their BP anywhere and anytime they need to, and easily track any BP fluctuation. The findings from the test conducted on 56 patients, with a mean age of 66.9, showed that BP measured by both the Galaxy Watch and the sphygmomanometer were comparable. The study titled ‘Validation of Blood Pressure Measurement Using a Smartwatch in Patients With Parkinson’s Disease’, was published in the medical journal Frontiers in Neurology. Separately, in June, Samsung said it is testing stretchable displays with heartbeat sensor.

Blue Origin, SpaceX to help NASA’s Artemis programme

NASA has selected five companies, including Blue Origin, Dynetics, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and SpaceX to help the agency with the Artemis programme. These companies will make advancements toward sustainable human landing system concepts, conduct risk-reduction activities, and provide feedback on NASA’s requirements to cultivate industry capabilities for crewed lunar landing missions, the space agency said in a statement. Much of what the agency develops for the Moon will be applied to future exploration at Mars. The space agency awarded a total of $146 million to these companies for work that will be conducted over the next 15 months. NASA’s goals under Artemis include enabling a safe and cost-efficient long-term approach to accessing the lunar surface. The Artemis missions include landing the first woman and first person of colour on the lunar surface, sending a suite of new science instruments and technology demonstrations to study the Moon, and establishing a long-term presence there, according to NASA. In another update, SpaceX's first private flight blasted off Wednesday night with two contest winners, a health care worker and their rich sponsor, the most ambitious leap yet in space tourism.

Twitter restarts account verification process

Twitter has again reopened its account verification process after it had “temporarily hit pause” in August to make enhancements to the application and review process. “We’re back to rolling out access to request a blue badge. If you’re planning to apply and don’t yet have access, keep checking your account settings,” the tech firm said in a tweet. The account verification process on Twitter, which relaunched in May after almost three and a half years, was paused due to an overflow of requests a few days later. Subsequently, the process of getting the blue badge went through another cycle of restart and pause, and now it’s open again. According to the micro-blogging platform, the blue badge is one of the ways to help people distinguish the authenticity of accounts that are of high public interest. The account holders must fit the criteria of one of the six categories specified by the social media firm to be eligible for verification. In another development, a Russian court fined U.S. social media giants Facebook and Twitter for failing to delete content that Moscow deems illegal, part of a wider crackdown on the internet and Big Tech.

Sennheiser debuts TWS earphones with ANC

Sennheiser debuted the CX Plus True Wireless with Active Noise Cancellation (ANC), expanding its True Wireless Stereo (TWS) portfolio. The earbuds feature TrueResponse transducer, an acoustic system that is said to deliver high-fidelity stereo sound with deep basses, natural mids and clear, detailed treble. In addition to ANC, the CX Plus feature Transparent Hearing, which allows users to listen to their surroundings without removing the earphones. Additionally, each earbud is equipped with customisable touch controls, and a pair of dual mics that optimises speech for calls and voice assistant access. The Smart Pause feature automatically pauses audio when the earphones are taken out and instantly resumes playback when replaced. The earbuds also automatically power up when removed from their charging case. The IPX4 rated CX Plus True Wireless earphones are available in black or white for $179.95 (about ₹13,250). Separately, we recently reviewed Sennheiser XS Lav USB C microphone.

Windows 10 PC users can play console games remotely

Microsoft has updated its Xbox app, enabling Windows 10 PC users to play console games remotely on their PCs, either by streaming the games from the cloud or their home console. Gamers with an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate membership and a compatible controller will be able to play games from the cloud on their Windows 10 PC using the Xbox app. Additionally, gamers with Xbox Series S, X or One can play games on their Windows 10 PC over the internet through Xbox Remote Play on the Xbox app. This approach mirrors a user’s console gaming experience on another screen, allowing them to browse and play their full gaming catalogue. “With these new updates, you now can play some of your favourite console titles on a wide range of PCs, even those that don’t have the specs required for certain PC titles,” Xbox said in a blog post. Users can download the Xbox app from the Windows Store to get started. This week, Microsoft also said that the consumer version of Office 2021 will be available on October 5 as the company launched its next perpetual version of Office for commercial customers.

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Printable version | Oct 16, 2021 6:04:04 AM |

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