Facebook’s New 360 Degree Cameras a Breakthrough in VR World

Last year, Facebook unveiled Surround 360, a 360-degree camera that is able to capture footage in 3D and then render it online through specially designed software. To add more to this lineup of products, the company on April 19, 2017, introduced two new 360-degree cameras – the x24, with 24 cameras, and x6, with six cameras. The difference between the first product unveiled and the latest products announced is that the latter can shoot in six degrees of freedom, which comes with the promise of making the 360-degree footage more immersive than before.

Facebook Plans to License Designs to Commercial Partners

Facebook doesn’t have any plans to sell these two cameras directly to consumers. Instead, the company is looking for a select group of commercial partners who will do its job and release the product later this year. The versions we are seeing on the internet were prototyped in Facebook’s on-site hardware lab, Area 404, using off-the-shelf components. While the x6 prototype was entirely home-made, the x24 was made in partnership with FLIR.

One celebrated thing about these products is that the camera is smart enough to recreate what the view looks like from various angles. Another pleasing aspect of videos created with six degrees of freedom is that each pixel is in 3D and has depth. This is a cutting-edge technology for VR content creators, and it unfolds tremendous prospects in visual effects editing. With x24 and x6, Facebook plans to have a stronghold in the field of virtual reality and augmented reality; or as the company calls it “Act 2”.

Apple Sets Sights on Self-driving Automobiles Business

Latest rumors in the self-driving car segment of the automotive industry reveal ambitious plans by electronics giant Apple Inc. While these rumors have long been a staple for the automotive industry, recent activities suggest a strong inclination from Apple towards this field.

DMV Listings Point to Apple Initiative

Apple has recently acquired a permit to test autonomous cars, according to the website maintained by the California Department of Motor Vehicles. This is big news for the company, as now that they have a permit, Apple can take the leap of faith into becoming competitive in one of the biggest upcoming markets in the world. According to the DMV, Apple has been given permission to test three autonomously driven vehicles within the state of California.

Automotive industry experts are optimistic about the quality with which Apple can potentially roll out their autonomous cars or devices and software, pointing to an imminent entry by the electronics giant into the automotive industry.

Fierce Competition Ahead

The would-be competitor in the market for autonomous cars is expected to face companies that are already in the development phase of autonomous systems. Not only that, but some of the challengers are well on their way to build electrically powered autonomous cars, promised to hit the production lines by 2020. Meanwhile, it is still far too early to gage whether Apple is going to be a strong contender in the market, with respect to their own self-driving software. Spokespersons from Apple have so far declined to comment directly in regards to the DMV filing. They have, however, indicated at the statement Apple made in November 2016, to the U.S. NHTSA, regarding the regulation of self-driving cars.

At the same time, there is a tremendous number of promising startups that are fighting for a place in the autonomous cars markets. Several players are also on the verge of releasing open-source software for the same, such as Udacity, Inc. The company was co-founded by one of the developers in a self-driving automotive initiative formed by Google, and it offers training to anyone who wants to be a part of incoming wave of self-driving car engineers.

Long Hours of Sitting Down is America’s Latest Vice, Scientists Find

Millions of Americans are prey to the newest bad habit that seems to be worse than smoking. Long hours of sitting and sedentary lifestyles have led to a wide range of health issues in the U.S. Desk jobs, recreational activities such as watching TV, playing video games, and long hours of sitting is proving to be a fatal pastime. Thankfully, smoking is down to 17% at the moment from 42% in 1965 due to laws and regulations preventing smokers from lighting up at restaurants and other public places. However, the new habit of sitting is estimated to cause greater losses in the coming years.

Lack of Movement Gives Rise to a Range of Dangerous Diseases

Changing lifestyles that are best described by negligible walking are likely to cause a new range of preventable diseases amongst Americans. The biggest challenge created by doing nothing but sitting – as the commute is through vehicles, working is at desks, east and drinking is at tables, and then sleeping in bed – is obesity. The National Institutes of Health stated that obesity and being overweight leads to 300,000 deaths every year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that though the deaths due to lung cancer have dropped by 2%, while the issue of obesity seems to be on the rise. By the end of 2015, about 20% of the adults were suffering from obesity.

In the wake of the aforementioned lifestyle changes, sedentary lifestyles, and subsequent obesity, the world is likely to see a rise in the cases of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and cancer among others. Prolonged sitting is also expected to cause venous insufficiency, which causes blood to pool in legs. A lot of body’s functioning relies on the movement it receives. Thus, it is extremely important for people to keep walking or to incorporate exercise in daily routine in order to achieve healthier bodies that will function better over a long period of time.

iPhone 8: Will Apple Relocate its Fingerprint Reader?

While Andy Hargreaves form Pacific Crest Securities said earlier this week that Apple may ditch the fingerprint reader completely on account of the difficulty in supply chain headwinds, judging by the recently leaked schematic picture of iPhone 8, Apple is likely to place the fingerprint reader at the back of the phone instead. Apparently Apple has taken many efforts to find a way to embed the fingerprint reader into Samsung’s OLED displays.

Camera Module may have Augmented Reality Functions in New iPhone 8

The camera module too seems to have been modified, with added AR (Augmented Reality) functions. The phone seems to have dual camera module and may sit vertically on the back of the phone. Although not sure about Apple’s plans for AR, it is expected that the camera will require new sensors. The leaked schematic photo of the iPhone 8 has been published by Sonny Dickson, a blogger who has been known to publish accurate details about previous iPhones in the past.

Arrival of iPhone 8 could be Delayed

According to Hargreaves, the arrival of iPhone 8 could be delayed but customers can expect two new iPhones. However, these two new iPhones may not have some of the more advanced features of the iPhone 8. The delay in the arrival of the phone is likely due to an issue with a key piece of technology, which Apple and its manufacturing partners are struggling to resolve. Hence, Apple could either delay the arrival of the phone or ditch the tech issue.