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Daily Authority: ⌚ Hot or cold?
👋 Good morning! New tech leads today and the spy cam detection thing is just so interesting…
New tech features
A quick roundup of some interesting new tech ideas in smartphones and wearables.
Hidden Camera Detection: Catch a spycam
I didn’t see this coming. With Oppo’s new Find X5 and the Color OS skin associated with those phones, there’s a weird but useful new feature to detect hidden cameras.
- If you’ve ever wondered if your Airbnb or hotel room or spa or so on has a concealed camera, Oppo now has a tool to help detect them.
- Now it’s only currently available in China, but assuming that’s just a regional lock for now and not related to functionality — how it works is also pretty interesting.
- Here’s how: “Find X5 series users will have to download the Hidden Camera Detection app from the Oppo App Market. Once installed, the app will ask users to turn off their phone’s Wi-Fi and hotspot before scanning for hidden cameras. The app will also prompt users to switch the room lights off and on, possibly to detect infrared light, something many Wi-Fi cameras use for night vision.
- “Once a spy camera is detected, the app will instruct users to play hot and cold to find the hidden device. The app will signal when the phone is close enough to the secret camera. Users can then simply look around in the narrowed area to find the device.”
Next smartwatch tech: Body temperature?
The other one that caught my eye today was temperature monitoring. Korean media reported that the Galaxy Watch 5, expected to be Samsung’s next smartwatch, will add a thermometer function. Reportedly, Apple has been considering it for the Apple Watch as well.
- The idea is to track ongoing body temperature changes, which could be useful for early detection of COVID-19, or ovulation cycles, or infection, or other symptoms related to wellness.
- ETNews reported (sic): “The main issue is to accurately measure the body temperature with the smartwatch on a wrist. The temperature detected on skin is affected by external environment, such as being under direct sunlight and exercising, which is why major companies, like Samsung and Apple have been delaying the thermometer function until now.”
- Exact sensor details are sparse, though the report notes that upcoming Samsung earbuds may use “infrared wavelengths emitted from the eardrum to wireless earphones,” which would be another way to go about it.
- As always, the data could be very useful, though accuracy is difficult, so it’ll be interesting to see if it works out in the next round of smartwatches.
- (Otherwise, I’m still waiting for the often-promised blood glucose sensor…)
👉 Nothing tells us nothing about March 23 event: Carl Pei will hold a keynote to announce a future smartphone is the obvious guess at this point. (Android Authority).
⚡ Tested: The Galaxy S22 Ultra’s 45W charging is barely faster than 25W. Why? (Android Authority).
👍 Samsung starts rolling out GOS update for Galaxy S22 series (Android Authority).
🍏 A coming updated Mac mini reported to have versions with M2 and M2 Pro chip (9to5Mac).
🍎 Apple is continuing its march toward a MacPad future (Wired).
🍔 Uber Eats brings bill splitting to deliveries (The Verge).
💰 Biden considers digital dollar. But money is digital, you say? Well, here’s how it could differ from regular money. The key now is a report due within six months (Ars Technica).
🎮 The best games from PlayStation’s March 9 “State of Play” presentation (Ars Technica).
📺 The Obi-Wan Kenobi premiere trailer is out (Ars Technica).
🔋 Volkswagen’s ID.Buzz has landed, the all-electric people-move/minibus/cargo van, and looks well worth the wait (Wired).
🦟 Two billion genetically modified mosquitoes cleared for release in California and Florida (Gizmodo).
👨✈️ NASA invests in solid-state, silent drone flight system: no more noisy drones in urban environments? (CNET).
🌓 “ELI5: Why is cave diving so dangerous? To the point people with 20+ years of diving experience refuse to do so.” (r/explainlikeimfive)
Remember when streaming services were ad-free?
- Other than Hulu, which launched for public access in the US on March 12, 2008, happy throwback, ads have been sparse on streaming services.
- Peacock, though, which launched in 2020, stuck with ads on both its free and premium tiers.
- That probably eventually led to the news that Disney will offer a cheaper, ad-supported Disney Plus plan in late 2022.
- Right now Disney Plus is $8 a month. The report didn’t give a guide to the price point for the lower-price offer but man, it’d want to be almost free given the likely returns on advertising Disney would be getting… also, the health benefits of being ad-free outweigh the coupla bucks!
Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor.