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The Weekly Authority: 📱 Peek at the Pixel 8

Plus continuing Twitter drama, incoming Stadia refunds, accessible Japanese stations, and more of this week's top tech news.

Published onNovember 12, 2022

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Robert Triggs / Android Authority

⚡ Welcome to The Weekly Authority, the Android Authority newsletter that breaks down the top Android and tech news from the week. The 220th edition here, with Google Pixel 8 leaks, continuing Twitter drama, incoming Stadia refunds, and more…

👀 It’s great to be back from a relaxing break! This week, I was worried about a family member after they received what we thought was a scam email posing as Amazon, clicked on a link in it, and entered their credit card details. It turned out to be a false alarm, but it reminded me how important it is to protect yourself online. On that note, have you heard of Incogni, the sponsor of this week’s newsletter?

Incogni is a privacy-focused service that aims to protect you from scammers, identity theft, and other malicious actors by hunting down your data wherever it exists online and filing for removal.

As part of an early Black Friday offering, you can get 60% off a subscription to Incogni! To take advantage of this offer, choose a one-year subscription and apply code INCOGNI60 at checkout.

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Weekly Wonder

ueno station tokyo
YouTube / Fujitsu Ltd.

We’re all used to accessibility features on our smartphones and computers, such as the Android Accessibility Suite — and there are plenty of accessibility apps for Android too. But a train station in Japan has implemented one of the most fun accessibility features ever.

  • Ueno Station in Tokyo can be, like most stations in the city, a packed, chaotic place. 
  • Commuting through the station can be daunting, particularly for differently-abled people such as members of the deaf and hearing-impaired community.
  • A team of AI-experienced developers at Fujitsu came up with a fun visual way to help hearing-impaired and deaf people navigate the station and feel safer: Ekimatopeia.
  • The word comes from the Japanese word for station, “Eki,” and syllables from the English language word, “onomatopeia,” meaning “a word that phonetically imitates, resembles, or suggests the sound that it describes.”

What is Ekimatopeia?

This video — in Japanese with English subtitles — explains exactly how Ekimatopeia works.

  • A large screen display is posted on the boarding platform, and manga-style onomatopoeic sounds are displayed.
  • These sounds actually represent what an AI picks up through a mic and are translated in real time.
  • Different fonts are used to convey specific emotions. 
  • For example, ambient sounds like a train approaching the platform and slowing to a stop, a train speeding through the station, or the sound of an alarm or horn would all be represented visually by words on the screen.
  • When a train approaches the platform, its clanking “gachan-gachan-gachan” sound would be displayed, along with visuals symbolizing a train.
  • The idea for the project came from students at a school for deaf people who talked about the difficulties they faced commuting to school by train, with some commenting that it could be scary, as they didn’t always notice the train approaching.
  • Ekimatopeia helps people to sense these sounds, with different fonts and colors making the station chaos a visual experience for deaf and hearing-impaired commuters.

Tech Calendar

  • November 15-17: Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Summit
  • November 18: The Dark Pictures: The Devil in Me launches on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, and PC
  • November 22: Evil West releases on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, and PC
  • November 25-28: Black Friday (and Cyber Monday) sales
  • November 28-December 2: Amazon Reinvent
  • December 2: The Callisto Protocol launches on PS4, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, and PC (not in Japan)
  • January 5-8, 2023: CES 2023 (Las Vegas)

Tech Tweet of the Week

putting the “no” in november by declining every meeting invite
— The Hustle (@TheHustle) November 8, 2022

Something extra: Here’s where the internet’s best half-baked app ideas live on. A dating app based on your YouTube watch history, anyone?

Until next week,

Paula Beaton, Copy Editor.

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