Google to share fantastically high-density screen for next-gen VR headsets

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Virtual reality technologies are at a place now where they’re actually fun to use, after decades of early efforts where the big dreams of VR evangelists simply couldn’t quite be realized by available hardware and software. But for as good as things are today, there’s a deep well of potential for them to get much, much better. One of the keys to the next evolution of VR will be the arrival of headsets with incredibly pixel-dense displays, making it that much easier for users to suspend disbelief and feel that what they’re seeing is as real as they are.

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Google to share fantastically high-density screen for next-gen VR headsets was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Next-gen AirPods will likely include noise cancellation features

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AirPods 2

A new research report from Barclays (via MacRumors) claims that Apple is hard at work on a next-gen pair of AirPods that will likely see the light of day sometime in 2019. Feature wise, the second iteration of AirPods will reportedly include noise cancellation features and the introduction of a new W2 chip. Incidentally, previous reports have suggested that the next iteration of AirPods will be water-resistant and will feature hands-free support for “Hey Siri.” As it stands now, AirPods users have to tap the headphones in order to call Siri into action.

While AirPods were initially scoffed at, the tiny accessory has proven to be quite a surprising success for Apple. Not only has demand for Apple’s advanced wireless earbuds remained strong since first launching in December of 2016, customer satisfaction is said to be in the 98% range.

In stark contrast, Apple’s recently released HomePod does not appear to be faring as well in the marketplace, with Barclays claiming that demand has been “underwhelming.” Arguably, that’s not much of a surprise given the HomePod’s relatively hefty $ 349 price point. While the HomePod may sound better than any other speaker in its price range, it’s not yet clear if everyday consumers actually care about premium sound quality when cheaper smart speaker alternatives exist. On a related note, a recent rumor claims that Apple is planning to release a more affordable version of the HomePod later this year.

As for Apple’s 2018 iPhone lineup, Barclays believes that Apple will release three brand new iPhone models this coming September, including a more affordable 6.1-inch device with an edgeless LCD display. If this sounds familiar, it’s because it aligns perfectly with previous reports from Ming-Chi Kuo, largely regarded as the most accurate Apple analyst in the business.

Apple – BGR

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Next-Gen Apple Lightning Connector May Expand to Form Waterproof Seal

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The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday published a new Apple patent application that describes a next-generation Lightning connector which, upon being plugged into an iPhone or iPad, will be capable of “expanding” to form a liquid-tight seal. The expanding connector would effectively prevent water, debris, or other potentially damaging materials from permeating and […]
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Major US carriers working together on next-gen ‘mobile authentication platform’ to replace weak SMS system

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We typically see the big four US carriers competing in a cut throat fashion to steal customers from each other, but even the strongest rivals can be frenemies sometimes. The Mobile Authentication Taskforce — AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint — have released product details for what it calls a “next-generation mobile authentication platform.”



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This week’s top stories: New iPads on the way, next-gen AirPods, a fix for the Telugu text bug, and more

In this week’s top stories: Apple fixes the pesky Telugu bug, new iPad models on the horizon, details on next-gen AirPods, iPhone production speculation, and more. Read on for this week’s top stories…



Next-Gen AirPods Rumored to Gain Water Resistance and More

Apple is planning some big upgrades for upcoming generations of its AirPods wireless earbuds, according to a new report. Those upgrades will be part of a larger effort to boost the company’s wearables business. And, like with the Apple Watch and its other products, the Cupertino firm will update new versions of its Bluetooth headphones […]
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Apple Invents a Next-Gen SFF Camera Lens Attachment for iPhone

Not only does Apple continue to enhance and perfect its mobile camera technology with each iPhone and iOS update, but the burgeoning popularity of iPhone photography has, over the years, given rise to a trove of third-party accessories designed to enhance Cupertino’s already second-to-none camera tech.

While Apple doesn’t currently offer any self-branded iPhone camera accessories of its own, the company is certainly no stranger to how popular they’ve become with mobile photographers.

A new Apple patent application published earlier this week by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office appears to cover what Apple ironically describes as a next-generation small format factor (SFF) camera lens attachment — an after-market accessory compatible with Apple devices like iPhone, iPad, and even MacBook.

Apple’s Camera Accessory Patent

Apple’s patent application, as described by Patently Apple, quite simply talks about an accessory lens which may be “attached, mounted or held relative to the camera lens of a device such that the accessory lens directs light passing through the accessory lens to the camera lens.”

Apple’s invention, additionally, may be capable of producing “improved image quality” for iPhone cameras when using accessory lenses, given that these lenses can be used to “shrink or expand the focal length of the camera lens, or to enable closer-focusing macro capabilities.”

See (FIG. 1A), above, which illustrates Apple’s invention in its CAD-rendered form — and (FIG. 8), directly below it, which outlines the process of how Apple’s advanced SFF system works, functionally.

Will It Ever Be Released?

Sadly, the likelihood that Apple is actually working on an after market camera lens attachment like this is slim to none — though it’s definitely worth pointing out that the company is currently working on several augmented and virtual reality projects, some of which could potentially incorporate an ‘advanced camera accessory’ similar to what Apple is describing here.

Keep in mind, of course, that given this is merely a patent application, we have no real way of knowing if a product like it will ever come to market.

iPhone Camera Accessories Available Now

Apple, for better or worse, has a known penchant for patenting more than it produces. While the thought of an Apple-branded camera accessory is bound to excite iPhone fans and mobile photographers, it’s worth pointing out that the third-party mobile camera accessory market is already brimming with a number of high quality iPhone and iPad camera lens attachments.

Like this powerful, 8x Telephoto Smartphone Lens Attachment, enabling you to capture crisp images boasting up to 8x the zoom. Its simple and easy-to-use design clips onto your smartphone in just seconds, and the unit’s clever ‘twist-to-zoom’ architecture gives you quick and precise control of your  zoom level. Get it here for just $ 12.99 (74% OFF)

Those who’d prefer more options than stationary zoom will find great value in this fantastic five pack of Clip & Snap smartphone camera lens attachments. Not only are these high-quality glass lenses designed to enhance your photo’s crispness and clarity, but a variety of lenses, including a 180-degree Fish Eye, Telephoto, Wide Macro and more, ensure you’ll be equipped to capture the perfect shot no matter where the journey takes you. Get it here for just $ 17.99 (74% OFF)

If you’re trying to get extra “up-close-and-personal” with the object in your iPhone’s viewfinder, then you’ll fall in love with the Blips Macro smartphone lens kit. Powered by a dedicated iOS app, this unique lens kit includes two (Macro and Super Macro’ lenses, designed to easily attach to and detach from your iPhone. According to The Verge, this Blips lens kit is by far ‘The best way to put a microscope in your pocket.’ Get it here for just $ 24.99 (24% OFF)

Professional and novice iPhone photographers will delight in the affordable (yet capable) LimeLens Universal Smartphone Camera lens set. Consisting of a powerful 10x Macro Perspective lens; a 0.67x wide-angle dual-purpose lens; a 190° Supreme Fisheye lens, and three Limeclip attachments — this set truly contains all you’ll need to capture fantastic photos on the fly. Get it here for just $ 39.99 (59% OFF)

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Next-gen 6.1-inch LCD iPhone again predicted to outsell OLED models

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KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes consumer demand for a next-generation 6.1-inch LCD iPhone will outpace that of two OLED models rumored to debut during this fall’s refresh cycle, buoying suppliers of LCD panels, aluminum chassis and other related components.
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Samsung starts mass producing GDDR6 chips for next-gen graphics cards

Samsung has started mass production of GDDR6 memory chips. They are bound for next-generation graphics cards, consoles, servers and other applications where a high bandwidth is required. These chips are built on a 10nm process and have a capacity of 16 gigabits – a major improvement over Samsung’s 20nm 8 gigabit GDDR5 chips (which went into mass production 3 years ago). Also, a 35% reduction in power use is achieved since the new chips operate on 1.35V instead of 1.55V. A system with a 384-bit memory bus can achieve 864 GB/s bandwidth, beating HBM2 memory used in some current high-end… – Latest articles

LG to Supply TrueDepth Tech for Next-Gen iPhone, iPad Lineup

Apple is gearing up to make a sizable investment in one of its go-to camera suppliers, as the company moves to secure a sufficient quantity of 3D sensing camera modules for its 2018 iPhone and iPad models, according to a report out Tuesday from The Investor.

Citing industry sources, Apple is readying as much as $ 820.9 million for an “upfront payment” [investment] in LG Innotek, which the camera maker would reportedly use to build out additional facilities to manufacture the 3D sensing modules for Apple.

“The affiliate of LG Group said in a regulatory filing on Jan. 8 that it would invest 873.7 billion won (US$ 820.90 million) to build additional facilities for its mobile camera module and next-generation module business,” The Investor said, while EDN went on to speculate that Apple’s decision to invest exclusively in LG Innotek is more than likely the result of a meeting between the company’s CEOs, Tim Cook and Park Jong-seok, back in November of last year.

Advanced Manufacturing Fund

Today’s report, if accurate, stands to represent Apple’s third, multi-million dollar investment as part of its previously announced Advanced Manufacturing Fund — a $ 1 billion effort to help jumpstart next-generation manufacturing projects here in the U.S.

Back in December, 2017, it was reported the company would invest as much as $ 390 million in Finisar Corp. while earlier in 2017, Kentucky-based Gorilla Glass makers, Corning, were christened the first recipient of $ 200 million from Apple’s fund.

Worth pointing out is that Finisar and LG Innotek manufacture different components for Apple’s TrueDepth cameras — with the former responsible for building Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Lasers (VCSEL) chips, and the latter responsible for producing other, crucial Face ID components, including the camera’s flood illuminator and dot projector.

New iPhones in 2018

So, Apple’s planned investment in LG Innotek actually makes perfect sense — especially if the company is indeed planning to incorporate Face ID on all of its iPhone and iPad models this year. Which should be the case, according to recent mumblings from the historically accurate KGI Securities analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo, who recently said Apple could release as many as three new iPhones in 2018, including a refreshed 5.8-inch iPhone X, a larger 6.5-inch ‘iPhone X Plus’, and a mid-range 6.1-inch LCD-equipped legacy model.

Apple is also believed to have at least one iPad Pro model boasting Face ID in the pipeline for 2018, according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman.

Today’s report is unfortunately not clear about when LG Innotek might get started developing its proposed facilities; however with iPhone manufacturing season set to kick off in mid-July it’s safe to say they still have plenty of time to wade through the details.

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