Author Archives: Ewdison Then

I’m the founder of GiXiO, the publisher of SlashGear - An open source advocate, Linux geek, high performance computing engineer and consumer technology journalist based in Japan.

Alphabet reportedly buying Focals smart glasses maker North

Alphabet reportedly buying Focals smart glasses maker North

AR-powered smart glasses are one of those technologies that sound and look great on Tony Stark but are a far cry from being an actual profitable product, be it in retail or even in industrial applications. Smart glasses are hard to get right, both in actual implementation but also in marketing. Even Google practically gave up on its Google Glass but now parent company Alphabet may be trying to take another stab at it by buying North, maker of wearables including the Focals smart glasses.

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ARCore Depth API is now ready to hide AR objects behind real objects

ARCore Depth API is now ready to hide AR objects behind real objects

The very first iterations of phone-based augmented reality simply slapped floating "stickers" in the camera viewer to give the semblance of a 3D object virtually existing in the real world. That illusion, however, was easily shattered when a real-world object that should go in front of those virtual objects don't. Google's answer to that is ARCore's new depth perception and after half a year of baking in previews and betas, it is finally ready for all developers to create more believable AR illusions.

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PlayStation now has a bug bounty program for the PS4 and PSN

PlayStation now has a bug bounty program for the PS4 and PSN

Better late than never, as they say, and that applies especially for squashing software bugs. All non-trivial software have bugs and that's true both for games as well as the platforms that run these games. Although the PlayStation 5 is just around the corner, Sony is still giving its current PS4 console some much-needed attention by opening up its bug-hunting program to the public at large.

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LG TONE Free TWS earbuds clean themselves with UV light

LG TONE Free TWS earbuds clean themselves with UV light

Truly wireless stereo earbuds have become the fad these days, mostly thanks to the popularity of Apple's AirPods. But as any owner of such earbuds can attest to, those small things that you put in your ears every day can accumulate a lot of dirt, including bacteria that you can't see. To give its customers a bit of confidence, LG is launching a new pair of earbuds that can keep themselves clean of those harmful elements, thanks to a now more popular ultraviolet light treatment.

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OnePlus Nord could be the OnePlus Z’s name

OnePlus Nord could be the OnePlus Z’s name

The rise in prices of premium smartphones may have been put on hold as the world's economy comes to grips with the "new normal". As Samsung found out the hard way, luxurious prices have truly become a luxury that few can afford. That may have helped OnePlus make its decision to return to its roots and launch a more affordable phone once again. This time, though, it might be taking a break from its usual naming convention and call what was believed to be the OnePlus Z by a completely different name.

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iOS 14 to extend AirPods life with optimized charging

iOS 14 to extend AirPods life with optimized charging

Concern or sometimes even obsession over battery life sometimes nurtures habits that ironically degrade battery capacity over time. While devices today are smart enough not to overcharge, some practices like keeping the battery at 100% for a long time will eventually kill the battery anyway. That's true for laptops and smartphones but it is also true for the tiny earbuds some wear day in and day out. That's why Apple is apparently rolling out in iOS 14 optimized charging to extend the longevity of its smallest smart products.

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Honor 9A takes a stab at the European market without Google

Honor 9A takes a stab at the European market without Google

Although Huawei is naturally in the spotlight when it comes to restrictions imposed by the US government, the effects also ripple out to its subsidiaries. Recently, even Kirin chip maker HiSilicon has become embroiled in the controversy and these two incidents will ultimately hit Honor hard. Just like its parent company, Honor is putting up a strong and brave face, pushing through with the global launch of its latest mid-range phone in Europe, bringing the Honor 9A's massive battery to a market still heavily dependent on Google apps and services.

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Amazon Prime Video could get 24/7 live TV soon

Amazon Prime Video could get 24/7 live TV soon

There has been a surge in the use of video streaming services, putting the video-on-demand market in the spotlight again. But while it has long had its own VoD platform, Amazon Prime Video's name still lagged behind Netflix and even behind the Disney+ upstart. Now it seems that the e-commerce giant is coming up with a new strategy to get the upper hand, one that ironically bets on one of the most traditional forms of video consumption around, linear TV.

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Next iPad Pros might feature LG mini-LED displays

Next iPad Pros might feature LG mini-LED displays

TV screen technologies are coming to mobile computers in more ways than one. Last year saw Samsung's launch of the first QLED screen on a laptop and this year might see the first mini-LED display on a tablet. That will come via Apple's new iPad Pros that are expected to debut later this year, utilizing LG's expertise and resources to upgrade what is already touted to be one of the finest tablets screens in the market.

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iOS 14 will let you double and triple tap your iPhone’s back

iOS 14 will let you double and triple tap your iPhone’s back

Apple has just teased bits and pieces of iOS 14 and, of course, most of its features are still left unsaid. You have big ones like the new home screen widgets and the ability to change an extremely small number of default iOS apps. Others, however, would be mostly up to developers to explore and dig up, like this odd but potentially handy option to get your iPhone to do stuff by simply tapping on its back.

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Nintendo might be calling it quits on mobile gaming

Nintendo might be calling it quits on mobile gaming

Nintendo was slow and late to jump on the mobile gaming market but it seems will be leaving it very early, too. One would think that the sudden surge in gaming across all platforms the past months would spur Nintendo to expedite the launch of its mobile titles. It is, however, taking the opposite approach and is seemingly winding down its mobile plans after the disappointing revenues of its mobile games and the spectacular success of Animal Crossing: New Horizons on the Switch.

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iPhone 12 dummy models give a near-final look at Apple’s first 5G phones

iPhone 12 dummy models give a near-final look at Apple’s first 5G phones

WWDC 2020 is about to kick off in less than 24 hours and while Apple is expected to make big waves this week, the iPhones that some might be waiting for are still months away. Of course, if Apple is to meet its self-imposed deadlines, the design of its first batch of 5G iPhones should now be set in stone. Or in this case, metal and plastic models that will give accessory makers as well as the public a preview of what to expect come September's event.

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