Will.i.am reveals his $229 face mask featuring dual fans, ANC headphones, Bluetooth and so much more

Will.i.am, better known as the Black Eyed Peas' frontman, has made many forays into the field of technology, not all of which have been successful. However, the rapper has not been deterred by a few previous defeats. His most recent prototype is a high-tech face mask with noise-cancelling headphones and Bluetooth compatibility. It's also far more costly than other masks, at $299.

The Xupermask (pronounced "Supermask") was developed in collaboration with Honeywell and includes dual three-speed fans and HEPA filters. That's the same setup as LG's similarly Cyberpunk 2077-inspired PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier mask.

Since Will.i.am was involved in the design of the Xupermask, it includes built-in active noise-cancelling headphones for listening to music while dressing up as a Fallout character. A microphone, Bluetooth 5.0, and a magnetic earbud docking device are also included.

Taking a page from Razer's Project Hazel, the Xupermask features LED day glow lights, but they aren't RGB like the PC accessory maker's product. There is also a 7-hour battery life.

Rapper Will.i.am Creates Ridiculous $400 'Smart' Face Mask | Man of Many

 

Jose Fernandez, the Hollywood costume designer who worked on Black Panther, The Avengers, and X-Men 2 created the futuristic look of the Xupermask. He also designed Elon Musk's SpaceX suits.

"For comfort and high performance, the XUPERMASK is made of advanced materials such as silicone face seal and is protected by an elastic band. The versatile accessory is easily customizable to a variety of face shapes and has the versatility to be worn up to 365 days a year anywhere in the world "according to the press kit

Jose Fernandez, the Hollywood costume designer who worked on Black Panther, The Avengers, and X-Men 2 created the futuristic look of the Xupermask. He also designed Elon Musk's SpaceX suits.

"For comfort and high performance, the XUPERMASK is made of advanced materials such as silicone face seal and is protected by an elastic band. The versatile accessory is easily customizable to a variety of face shapes and has the versatility to be worn up to 365 days a year anywhere in the world "according to the press kit

Is now the right time to introduce a costly mask, with the vaccine rollout continuing and more states removing their mask mandates? According to Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan: "Even with vaccines, we're hearing you still need to be masked because there's still a risk factor that even though you're vaccinated, you still need to be extremely cautious. Second, many countries are unlikely to receive the entire [scale] of vaccines in the next year or even two, so anyone traveling should exercise extreme caution."


LG ANNOUNCED ITS EXIT FROM THE PHONE BUSINESS

If you're reading this on a tablet, it's unlikely that LG designed it. For years, the Korean tech behemoth has been losing money and market share with its mobile division, so it came as no surprise when it announced plans to shut it down today.

LG has spent years seeing its share of the phone market shrink to about 2%—the company was the third-largest phone manufacturer in 2013—despite being one of the most influential players in the world of TVs, home appliances, and monitors.

LG delivered only 6.5 million smartphones in the third quarter of 2020, down 7.2 million from the previous quarter. It is expected to ship 23 million phones in 2020. Samsung, on the other hand, shipped 256 million units.

LG's mobile division took steps to resolve its issues in its final year. The Explorer Project was developed to create more creative projects, such as the lovely yet underpowered Velvet and the interesting dual-screen Wing. The company unveiled a Rollable prototype phone at CES this year, which it said it intended to bring to market.

That won't happen now, and it's difficult to call it a big setback considering that companies like Oppo and TCL are likely to fill the gap with their own models. However, in the sense of the US phone industry, there will be fewer options, and whoever replaces LG's lost market share will be unlikely to be as inventive.

It's a shame to see LG leave the phone space, which accounted for just 7% of its total revenue—the smallest of the company's five divisions. It was known for innovating, not always successfully, in an area often afraid of the word. There was the modular G5, the dual-screen LG G8X, the flexible LG G Flex 2, and the futuristic LG Wing 5G, to name a few. From those of us who have owned an LG handset or still do, we bid a sad farewell.


Despite COVID-19 Nvidia and AMD generated over $25 billion combined in revenue last year

According to a TrendForce study (via PC Gamer), although the pandemic initially seemed to devastate the IC design industry, the rise in remote working/learning and more people gaming resulted in unprecedented demand.

When it came to the Top 10 IC design companies in 2020, Qualcomm and Broadcom took the first and second slots, respectively, but Nvidia was the leader in terms of year-on-year growth in third place. Last year, Team Green produced $15.4 billion, a huge 52.2 percent improvement over 2019. It should be noted that the acquisition of Mellanox improved the company's data center products, which produced approximately $6.4 billion in revenue.

AMD, which finished fifth, had a strong year as well. The company's revenue of $9.7 billion was a 45 percent increase over the previous year. Intel's market share was further eroded by its 7nm CPUs for both consumer and business use. Chipzilla recently announced plans to open up its existing and expected manufacturing ability to other businesses, including AMD and Nvidia, with the introduction of Intel Foundry Services.

Broadcom was the top dog in 2019, but according to TrendForce, the unexpected demand for network equipment, coupled with Apple's decision to reintroduce Qualcomm's baseband processors, helped the Snapdragon manufacturer take the top spot with a revenue of $19.4 billion, up 33.7 percent year on year.

Concerns have been raised about the global chip shortage, which could be aggravated by the current drought in Taiwan, which will soon impose additional water restrictions.


Motorolla rolls out a Dex-style desktop to the Edge Plus

Motorola is expanding its flagship handset, the Edge Plus, with a new desktop machine interface named Ready For. Ready For, like Samsung's DeX, allows users to plug their smartphone into a larger screen (via a USB-C to USB-C or USB-C to HDMI cable), allowing the Edge Plus (and potentially future Motorola phones) to be used as a device or even a set-top box option.

Ready For can be used in four different ways, according to the company. Users can turn the Edge Plus into a mobile desktop computer system, complete with a Bluetooth mouse or keyboard — similar to DeX.

However, Motorola has some more intriguing ideas about how to use Edge Plus. Another, for example, transforms the Edge Plus into a videoconference station, using the smartphone's superior cameras (either the 108-megapixel main lens or the 16-megapixel ultrawide lens) for a better video chat experience. There are also opportunities for entertainment. Players can attach a controller to the Edge Plus and use it as a makeshift console for native mobile games like Fortnite or game-streaming services like xCloud. Users may also use their phone as a portable set-top box — Motorola envisions plugging the Edge Plus into a hotel room TV, for example, allowing you access to all your already logged-in streaming apps when traveling without having to think about your room's Wi-Fi configuration.

Ready For (also known as DeX) is not the first effort to turn a smartphone into a device. The history of cell phones is riddled with unsuccessful attempts, such as the Palm Foleo or Motorola's own Atrix 4G's LapDock adapter. Although Motorola's use cases are a little naive (and even too optimistic about the number of users who keep HDMI to USB-C cables on hand), there are definitely more innovative ideas for converting a phone to a larger screen than a half-baked desktop computer experience.

Motorola's Ready For experience is scheduled to begin rolling out to Verizon Edge Plus users today.


Importance of a server

A lot of people think that a server is just like a PC desktop, which is a major misconception. PCs can carry a server operating system, but this often doesn't operate the same way a server system does. The server is designed to monitor, store, submit information, and process data all the time. It works 24 hours a day and is highly stable compared to a laptop. There are a variety of features you will find on a server that will give you the best network for your company, including:

  1. Redundancy: This means that the information you want to store is stored in more than one place. Meaning if it's ever going to go down for some reason you've put it in another place, so the information isn't lost.
  2. Scalable: this means that you are able to meet current needs and also future needs.
  3. Dual Processor: This applies to a machine of two different processors. Instructions and knowledge are sent to both processors, enabling computers and networks to operate faster than a desktop PC.
  4. Hot-swappable components: The hot-swap component means that if your server has power loss, device failure or storage device failure for some reason, you can swap components while your computer system is still in service.

A 64-core Mac Pro priced at €16,000+ is rumored to arrive next year.

The speculation comes from @LeaksApplePro, which says that at least three Mac Pro configurations will arrive next year, featuring Arm-based SoCs that mix performance and efficiency cores, much like the M1. The rumored flagship comes with a monstrous 64 CPU cores (48 of which will be powered), 512GB of RAM, 128 GPU cores, and starts at €16,000

 

Sixteen grand is a lot of money, but the Mac Pro is usual. You could spend more than $50,000 on a top-spec Xeon powered current model, and that's without the $5,000+ Pro Display XDR and $700 wheels.

The middle configuration includes 48 CPU cores (36 performance), 256GB of RAM, 64 GPU cores, and starts at $12,000. Meanwhile, the cheapest choice is 32 core CPUs (24 performance), 64GB RAM, and 32 core GPUs. It starts at $5,499, which is around $100 less than the new Mac Pro base model.

Apple has spent years trying to reduce its dependence on Intel, and with the popularity of the M1, we can definitely expect its in-house chips to start appearing soon enough on more Macs; that's partly why the iMac Pro has been discontinued. But the specs here are supposed to be taken with a large grain of salt. One Twitter user noted that a 64-core Mac Pro desktop is unlikely to need 16 efficiency cores, adding that all versions are likely to feature only four or eight of these low-power cores.


Glowing OLED tattoos multi-purpose functionality

These OLED smart tattoos are not, as in the standard version, applied into the dermis layer of the skin using a needle. Instead, they are applied in the same way as temporary tattoos—by tapping them with water until they are extracted using soap.

The team at the University College London (UCL) and the Italian Institute of Technology are behind the tattoos. They use a 76-nanometer-thick light-emitting polymer using a method called spin coating, in which the polymer is added to a substrate that is spun at high speed, which produces an extremely thin and even layer.

The electroluminescent polymer, which emits light when exposed to an electrical field, is placed between a pair of insulating layer-protected electrodes and applied to commercial tattoo paper. The tattoo applied is just 2.3 micrometers thick, about a third of the thickness of a single red blood cell.

Italian researchers create world's 1st 'smart tattoo' using OLED tech — RT  World News

"The tattooable OLEDs that we have seen for the first time can be made on a scale and very inexpensive," said UCL Professor Franco Cacialli in a statement. "They can be combined with other types of tattoo electronics for a wide variety of applications. These may be for fashion – for example, to deliver glowing tattoos and light-emitting fingernails." The tattoos have other applications that look cool. "In sports, it may be paired with a sweat sensor to indicate dehydration. In health care, they might release light when there is a change in the condition of the patient—or, if the tattoo was transformed in the other direction into the skin, they might theoretically be paired with light-sensitive cancer target therapies, for instance."

The team experimented with applying tattoos to glass, plastic, and even fruit. This may enable them to be attached to food packaging, showing that the contents have passed their expiry date.

In their current form, tattoo sensors easily degrade once they are exposed to air, but researchers are working on this problem, along with how to incorporate a tiny power supply.

 


Google is boosting AR performance on Android phones with their dual cameras

Google is upgrading its augmented reality SDK so that dual-camera phones can capture more in-depth details. As reported by Android Police, the most recent Google Play Services update for the AR app, which is how Google distributes ARCore features, now states "Dual camera stereo depth on compatible devices" in its changelog.

For now, it appears that the support will be limited to Google's own Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL, both launched in 2019. The list of compatible ARCore devices on Google's developer site says that support for dual cameras will roll out in the coming weeks.

Notably, this means that the Pixel 5 and 4a 5G, both of which are 2020 Pixel phones with dual cameras, will not see the benefits for now. This could be because their secondary cameras are ultra-wide rather than Pixel 4 and 4 XL telephotos, which would have consequences for how they could create more accurate depth maps.

In any case, this is another effect of Google's indecision on Pixel camera lenses. The company has long maintained that it only required a single camera because of computational features like Super Res Zoom on Pixel 3, but confusedly added a telephoto lens on Pixel 4 instead, then backtracked and substituted it for an ultra-wide Pixel 5.


100 - 300 millios dollars of Nvidia Q4 revenue came from cyrpto miners

In its Q4 and Fiscal Year 2021 earnings update, Nvidia reported a record $5 billion in quarterly earnings, up 61 percent year-over-year, and net earnings of $1,475 billion. The gaming division of the company accounted for $2.5 billion of this revenue.

Nvidia accused of attempting to discredit a former employee

Nvidia reports that crypto mining revenues amounted to between $100 million and $300 million. CFO Colette Kress says that this is the best estimate as it cannot reliably track the end-use of GPUs sold to card manufacturers, so the real number is likely to be higher. "We believe that the substantial increase in the Ethereum hash rate observed over the last few months has been powered by a combination of previously installed mining capacity that has been reactivated, as well as news sales of GPUs and ASICs," Kress said.

Nvidia has reduced the Ethereum mining capabilities of its upcoming RTX 3060 to make the card less enticing to miners. It is also hoping that the latest CMP line would help to ease Ampere's current availability issues. It expects CMP card sales to be worth $50 million in the first quarter of the year. The global chip shortage is still going to be a concern, of course, one that is expected to last until next year.

The business indicated that it doesn't plan to see another cryptocurrency crash as we saw in January 2018, when Bitcoin dropped by 65 percent in four weeks. "Cryptocurrencies have recently begun to be embraced by corporations and financial institutions and are showing increased signs of staying power," Kress added. "CMP products will allow us to gain some visibility in the contribution of crypto mining to our overall revenue."

CEO Jensen Huang says that if there's a crypto crash, we're not going to see second-hand graphics cards flood the market as we did last time, as most miners will hold on to their cards until prices rise again—at least that's what Nvidia hopes. If you buy an ex-mining card, expect it to have an impact on its gaming results. But maybe it just needs some maintenance to get the fps back.

 


It is reported that Apple might not be ditching the Touch Bar after all

Renowned Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted last month that starting with 2021 models, MacBook Pros would lose the widely criticized Touch Bar functionality. Apple is said to be using extra internal real estate to add more ports. But it seems that Cupertino might not be absolutely loving the Touch Bar.

Patently, Apple has discovered more than 70 patents recently issued to Apple by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Among these were two reconfigurations (patent #10,921,854) of the MacBook Pro Touch Bar that engineers could consider. The two redesigns place the Touch Bar closer to the screen than the keyboard. The first one (Fig. 6) shows it approximately in the same position (maybe slightly higher) as the latest Touch Bar versions. However, it incorporates a second monitor in a more prominent position right under the screen.

As well, patents are never promises of potential functionality. Apple may just want to defend itself from rivals coming up with a better understanding of its technology. As a general rule, I prefer to give more validity to Kuo's predictions of upcoming Apple devices than to Apple's patents.