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3
Jan

A hospital in Japan is getting some help from a fleet of robots


It’s unclear how patients will rate the bedside manner of these new hospital staff in Japan’s Nagoya University Hospital, but in terms of these robots’ ability to attend to patients at all hours of the day, there should be no question. Robots, who have made themselves useful in restaurants, in supermarkets, and in our homes, are now going into our hospitals as well.

In Japan, these bots will begin operations in February, where they’ll be tasked with delivering medicine, testing samples, and going from floor to floor to attend to patients in the hope of cutting down on the amount of work nurses and other staff must do at all hours of the night.

In total, four robots will be deployed for night shifts that run from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m. They’ll be moving among the hospital’s Surgical Intensive Care Unit, Department of Hospital Pharmacy, and Department of Clinical Laboratory, helping to deliver intravenous fluids, test samples, and more.

Overnight, there are fewer human employees at the hospital, and as such, more work for the robots to do. For starters, the bots will be working on a trial basis, though if they prove themselves particularly useful after the first year, hospital officials might decide to deploy more of them in the hospital wards.

The technology behind these robotic hospital workers closely resembles the tech driving autonomous vehicles. After all, the robots were developed in part by Toyota Industries, an affiliate of Toyota Motor, in partnership with Nagoya University. Robots will have pre-programmed routes based on hospital floor plans (though registered workers can also use a tablet to summon a robot and provide it with directions and instructions), and will make use of mounted radar devices and cameras that will give them a 360-degree field of vision.

If they run into an obstacle, the bot will either adjust its course on its own, or say (to humans), “Excuse me, please let me pass.” The bots are even capable of riding elevators to get from floor to floor.

Naoki Ishiguro, director of the hospital, noted that these bots can reduce the amount of time humans spend on more menial tasks, which can help “ensure that nurses and other professionals can concentrate more on their primary duties.”

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3
Jan

Get fit on a budget with the Vivo app and its army of personal trainers


Your spin class in January is fuller than ever thanks to the rush of New Year’s resolution keepers, but now, you don’t have to go to your boutique fitness studio to get the same boutique fitness experience. Thanks to Vivo, you’ll be able to access thousands of workout classes and a veritable army of personal trainers and nutritionists, all from the comfort of your own home. So while everyone else is emptying their pocketbooks in order to keep up with their fitness goals for 2018, you can spend less than $10 a month and avoid those sweaty crowds.

Whether you’re looking for a running, spinning, yoga, strength training, or even meditation class, Vivo has you covered. Simply start the app, put in your headphones, and Vivo’s trainers will do the rest. Hailing from boutique gyms including Equinox and Barry’s Bootcamp, these trainers have turned their workouts into audio classes that claim to re-create the experience of a $40 per session class, but with all the convenience (and cost-effectiveness) of an app-based workout. You’ll have a trainer in your ear, combining motivational messages with high-energy music. Plus, Vivo’s meal plans can also help you reach health goals and provide tips on what meals and snacks to make.

Once you’ve created an account, you need only to choose workouts and recipes by type. Alternatively, you can create a custom fitness program and meal plan predicated upon your biometrics and goals. Workouts range from five to 30 minutes, and are categorized as beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels. All workouts come with DJ-curated playlists that claim to complement the audio coaching component of the experience.

“We’re not looking to replace gyms, personal trainers, or nutritionists,” said Dhaval Chadha, CEO of Vivo. “We want to give more people the highest quality options at affordable prices and save them from getting lost in the abyss of mediocre content out there. We are excited to make the highest quality of personal training and healthy meal planning available to people everywhere.”

While the app is free, you’ll need to pay either $9 a month for the basic plan, or $12 a month for a customized plan (yearly subscriptions come with discounts, of course). If you’re not convinced that Vivo is for you, the app also offers a seven-day free trial.

Editors’ Recommendations

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  • Garmin Vivosport (2017) review




3
Jan

Ditch the gym and fulfill your New Year’s resolutions at home with Aaptiv


Fitness goals were doubtless part of your New Year’s resolutions, but getting fit doesn’t have to mean going to the gym. At least, not if Aaptiv is involved. This audio fitness app provides users with unlimited access to a host of fitness classes, programs, and challenges, all curated by expert trainers. With more than 2,500 classes available on the platform, you can decide whether you want to take spinning, yoga, or a high-intensity interval training session, from just about anywhere you’d like. And best of all, Aaptiv’s entire catalog of classes are decidedly cheaper than your weekly SoulCycle addiction.

Whether you want a more regimented workout at the gym, need something to do at home, or are hoping to stay fit during a business trip, Aaptiv can be of service. Different classes require different equipment, so you can determine what sort of workout will work best for you in any environment. Thanks to a team of 15 active Aaptiv trainers, new classes are added to the app’s roster every week. Each class, the app claims, is produced in a professional recording space, and boasts state-of-the-art sound mixing technology to give the impression you’re in a class setting.

As it stands, some of the most popular of Aaptiv’s classes are running, elliptical, race training, strength training, and indoor cycling. But because you’ll have access to an unlimited number of classes through the app, you may find yourself looking into some workouts that you might have otherwise avoided. Indeed, the team notes that many of its 200,000 active paying customers have used the app for long-term fitness goals, from training for a marathon to getting into shape during maternity leave.

All classes are paired with curated playlists for a music-driven experience, complementing the auditory nature of the workouts. Most recently, Aaptiv has introduced an integration with the Apple Watch, helping users “wear” their classes. Rather than being tied to your phone at the gym, you need only to have your smart watch around. Aaptiv will set you back either $10 a month or $100 a year, and comes with unlimited, on-demand access to the entire catalog of classes.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Get fit on a budget with the Vivo app and its army of personal trainers
  • The best fitness trackers you can buy
  • Garmin Vivosport (2017) review
  • Nokia Go review
  • Start your fitness journey with the best Fitbit deals available now




3
Jan

Some Android games are listening in on your TV viewing habits


Does it count as paranoia if someone really is spying on you? Data is the currency of the internet age, and advertisers are always looking for new ways to gather as much data as they possibly can. According to a report by the New York Times, more than 250 games on the Google Play Store could be monitoring your Android phone for your viewing habits.

Using software from startup Alphonso, each of the Android games requests user permission for access to the device’s microphone, which is then used to monitor for various TV programs — sometimes even while the game isn’t actively being played. That data is returned to Alphonso, who sells the data to TV advertising companies, who in turn use it to further refine their marketing.

Alphonso claims in its privacy section that users are always asked before any data gathering takes place, and most of the apps that contain Alphonso software also include a disclaimer in their product descriptions explaining the reasons for the permissions and allowing the users the chance to opt-out. However, there is an argument the implementation of the disclaimer is not clear enough, and past FTC rulings on paid promotions in YouTube videos have made it clear promotions must be as obvious as possible, and disclaimers hidden “below-the-fold” (below the “read more” or “see more” section of a description) are not sufficient to ensure all consumers are aware of them. In this case, most of the apps with this software keep the information below-the-fold of their description, not meeting the FTC’s guidelines.

Concerns over privacy with smart devices are nothing new. In May 2017 it was revealed that software called “SilverPush” had been installed on millions of smart devices, and used users microphones without their permission, effectively spying on them. Apple recently claimed that it could gather data from their users without raising privacy concerns, and Facebook in particular is under constant suspicion of spying on users in order to increase the data it holds on them.

In Alphonso’s defense, permissions on Android devices can be toggled on and off on a singular basis since Android 6.0 Marshmallow — however, it’s probably safe to assume that many of the games users are children who may be enabling the permissions without fully understanding what they’re enabling, and more could be done to protect minors from this sort of surveillance.




3
Jan

Samsung declutters the desktop with a QLED display packing Thunderbolt 3


Just days before CES 2018, Samsung introduced its first QLED curved display sporting a Thunderbolt 3 connection. Called the CJ791, the panel currently doesn’t have a ship date or a price, and we know very little about all the hardware details save for what Samsung briefly provides in its pre-show teaser. But the big takeaway from the reveal is that the panel supplies 85 watts of power through a Thunderbolt 3 connection to recharge your compatible laptop.

Here are the slim pickings we pulled from the pre-show announcement:

Screen size:
34 inches
Resolution:
3,440 x 1,440
Curvature:
1500R
Aspect ratio:
21:9
Color space:
sRGB 125 percent
Response time:
4ms

For starters, the QLED aspect means the panel relies on quantum-dot technology. Quantum dots are nano-sized crystals that are smaller than a strand of human hair. According to Samsung, these crystals excel in absorbing and re-emitting light, making them ideal for TVs and desktop displays. The color of the light depends on the size of the crystal/dot: a 2.5nm dot produces a forest-green color whereas a 6nm dot produces pure red. Ultimately, you get rich, accurate colors versus what you experience with “conventional” TVs.

As the specifications show, quantum-dot technology enables this panel to support 125 percent of the sRGB color space, producing bright whites, deep blacks, and “pristine shades.” On top of the color support, you have a 3,440 x 1,440 resolution packing a higher pixel density than the typical Full HD desktop display. Even more, with a 21:9 aspect ratio, a slight 1500R curvature, and a 178-degree viewing angle, Samsung’s upcoming display should be great in keeping your eyes glued to your documents, videos, and other content without any distractions or distortions.

“The CJ791 aligns Thunderbolt 3 connectivity with our best-in-class curvature and QLED picture quality to captivate and engage users, while also promoting improved organization and productivity,” Seog-gi Kim, Samsung’s senior vice president of Visual Display Business, said in a statement. “We are thrilled to demonstrate the full capabilities of our innovative new display to CES 2018 attendees.”

Thunderbolt 3 provides data transfer speeds of up to 40Gbps. It supports a host of different connectivity options including DisplayPort, HDMI, and USB 3.1 Gen1/2. We don’t have a full list of this display’s port complement, but the selling point of its Thunderbolt 3 support is to provide a single cable to clean up your desktop. We’re crossing our fingers that it includes at least two Thunderbolt 3 ports to daisy-chain multiple panels, add an external graphics card, and so on.

Samsung isn’t ignoring the PC gamer either. The CJ791 includes “gamer-friendly” features including a game mode and a four-millisecond response time. That essentially means pixels change from one color to another and then back to their original color in that specific amount of time. Lower response times means you won’t see ghosting and blurring associated with on-screen movement and slow color changes.

Samsung’s QLED curved desktop monitor will be on display at the company’s booth at CES 2018 starting January 9. Perhaps we’ll drop by and have a look to get more details, including price and availability.

Editors’ Recommendations

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  • Remote desktop patents are the focus of latest Apple infringement investigation
  • AMD lands prestigious award for its beastly Ryzen Threadripper 1950X




3
Jan

3D-printed lipstick applicator means perfect makeup every time


3D printing is revolutionizing just about every area of our lives — and that includes ones you may not immediately think of. Researchers in the U.K.’s Cosmetic Science Group at London College of Fashion have been exploring the use of additive manufacturing for a whole new industry and application: makeup.

In a newly-published study in the Journal of Dermatology and Cosmetology, they describe the use of 3D printing to produce personalized makeup, more specifically lipstick. The work involves both 3D-scanning and 3D-printing technology to produce a lipstick applicator which perfectly matches the lips of the wearer, meaning no more mirrors necessary to apply it.

“The first step involves obtaining a high-quality scan of an individual’s lips in order to get a digital image,” Dr. Milica Stevic, one of the lead researchers on the project, told Digital Trends. “This image is then subjected to optimization and further modeling which is a simple, straightforward and universal procedure, regardless of the type of lips. As a result of this, a three-element digital model is obtained: A lipstick base, mold and cap, and manufactured using a 3D printer. A lipstick formulation is then poured in the mold and the lipstick base adjusted to the top. The inner part of the mold has a unique shape that perfectly matched the lip contours of the individual, so the final product obtained is a lipstick personalized to the individual’s lips.”

We’ve previously written about 3D printing in the fashion world, particularly when it comes to 3D-printing dress components to produce otherworldly fashion concepts that wouldn’t be possible any other way. The idea of using 3D printing to create makeup that’s customizable to each wearer — both in terms of the shades and finishes, as well as the application process — is new to us, though. It makes perfect sense, too. If 3D printing can be used to produce other consumables such as custom candy, why couldn’t it also be utilized to disrupt the $445 billion beauty industry?

“With the personalized lipstick applicator we have proved the concept, so now are working on a more sophisticated model that is more likely to be commercialized,” Stevic said. “Personalized cosmetic products are able to treat every consumer individually, and will give them the option to take part in creating their own products.”

Now we just need a cosmetics company with an interest in tech to pour some serious money into making a makeup 3D printer a reality. Your move, L’Oréal!

Editors’ Recommendations

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  • The best cheap printers you can buy for under $100
  • New 3D printer will combine all your medications in one personalized pill




3
Jan

This $11 wireless charger lets you end the nightmare of finding your cable in the dark


Step into the future of charging, today.

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The days of plugging in our phones everytime they need to be charged are quickly becoming a thing of the past, and it’s great. Wireless charging is easier (most of the time), and recently it’s become far more affordable. As long as you have a compatible phone, like a new iPhone 8 or iPhone X, or even a Samsung Galaxy Note 8 or LG G6, all you need is the wireless charging pad to get started.

Right now you can pick up Choetech’s wireless charger for just $10.99 when you use the coupon code YBXR58CH at checkout. This coupon works on the black, white, and gold versions of the wireless charger, and saves you $4 on the purchase.

  • Starts the moment you place down Qi-enabled device or device equipped with a Qi-compatible cover. No cables or USB interface required. Popular compatible devices(ONLY support standard charging speed): iPhone 8/ iPhone 8 Plus/ iPhone X /Galaxy Note 8/Note 5/S6/S6 Edge/S6 Edge Plus/S8/S8 Plus/Nokia 9/Nexus 4/Nexus 5/Nexus 6. (NOT for Apple Watch and Incompatible with mophie battery case)
  • Integrated smart chip inside it, comes with overcurrent, overheat, over-voltage, and short circuit safeguards. We ensure ultimate safety for your phones.
  • With the Smart Lightning Sensor built in, it could automatically dim off the light of wireless charger according to the darkness in the room. Without any disturbance caused by indicator.
  • Coffee cup coaster size (3.3 × 3.3 × 0.7in), 2.25oz, delivers a modern, premium appearance, making it simple and fashion.

See at Amazon

3
Jan

T-Mobile had the highest customer satisfaction in 2017 of all U.S. carriers


Wireless customers were most satisfied with and likely to recommend T-Mobile in 2017.

T-Mobile frequently boasts that it’s the best choice for customers in the United States who don’t like getting screwed over by AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon, and thanks to new surveys, the Un-Carrier now has proof that it can talk the talk and walk the walk.

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HarrisX and research firm YouGov BrandIndex surveyed numerous T-Mobile customers, and both firms discovered that T-Mobile customers were the most satisfied compared to any other major carrier in the U.S.

When looking at HarrisX’s findings, it’s shown that of the 360,000 wireless customers that were surveyed, the majority of them were most satisfied and likely to recommend T-Mobile over the rest of the competition. YouGov BrandIndex didn’t dive into likeness to recommend, but its findings also show that customers were most satisfied with T-Mobile throughout 2017.

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In addition to these numbers, T-Mobile also announced that it’s expanded its LTE network to cover a total of 322 million people. That’s an increase of 7 million compared to the 315 million covered individuals a year ago, and throughout 2018, T-Mobile says it’ll be focused on releasing more phones that support its ultra-fast 600 MHz bands.

Best T-Mobile Deals of January 2018

Carriers

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  • Join the Discussion

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3
Jan

Roku is working on smart speakers and its own virtual assistant


The two new platforms are called Roku Connect and the Roku Entertainment Assistant.

There are a lot of different smart TV platforms to choose from these days, but if you want access to the most content possible and don’t want to be stuck between middle school feuds, Roku is the way to go. Roku’s been releasing media streaming boxes since as early as 2008, and ten years later in 2018, the company has announced its two latest projects – Roku Connect and the Roku Entertainment Assistant.

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Roku Connect

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Starting with Roku Connect, this is a new platform the company is launching for smart speakers. There have been rumors of Roku diving into the smart speaker space for a few months now, and this is how it’ll be going about it. However, the approach is a bit different from what we’ve seen from the likes of Google and Amazon.

Rather than creating its own smart speakers, Roku will license out its tech and the Roku Connect platform to third-party OEMs (not unlike what it does with Roku TVs). Roku Connect will be able to power single speakers like we’ve seen with Echo and Google Home products, as well as sound bars, surround-sound systems, and multi-room audio solutions. Roku Connect speakers can connect to each other wirelessly, and TCL will be launching the first Roku Connect-powered device at CES 2018.

We aren’t sure exactly what to expect from this gadget just yet, but it’ll likely just be the first of many that we see throughout the year.

Roku Entertainment Assistant

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Powering these Roku Connect speakers is the Roku Entertainment Assistant. This is similar to Alexa and Google Assistant seeing as how it’s a virtual assistant, but that’s where the similarities end. You’ll talk to The Roku Entertainment Assistant by saying “Hey, Roku”, and then the command that you want.

You’ll be able to use the Roku Entertainment System for playing music on your Roku Connect speakers, controlling media playback on your Roku TV/streaming box, turning off your television, and more. Roku wants its Assistant to be focused for only entertainment purposes, meaning that you won’t be talking to it about the weather, traffic conditions, etc.

Roku plans on launching the Roku Entertainment Assistant to its TVs and streaming boxes by Fall of this year, and the idea is that it’ll be used alongside other smart assistants – not as a replacement for them.

Android TV vs. Roku: Which smart TV platform is right for you?

3
Jan

Step up your Instagram game with the 64GB LG V30 smartphone for $675


This sleek entry into LG’s line of smartphones is not one to be overlooked.

For a limited time, B&H Photo is offering $150 off the regular price of the unlocked LG V30 64GB smartphone in Cloud Silver, bringing the price down to $674.99. As a comparison, this device is currently selling at Best Buy for $800. It’s compatible with both GSM and CDMA carriers.

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LG’s V30 smartphone features two cameras on the back, one 16MP standard field-of-view lens and a 13MP wide-angle lens, which give you access to some advanced photo and video editing features and effects like Pop-Out Picture Mode and Film Effect. There’s also a front-facing 5MP selfie cam so you can get some nice shots for Instagram or Facebook. It has a vibrant 6-inch display and a 3,300 mAh non-removable battery.

This device comes with 64GB of storage which isn’t bad, but if you like to download things to your device frequently like apps, music or movies, you’ll want to pick up a micro SD card for more space. The phone can hold up to a 2TB card, but since those aren’t even available for sale yet, you’ll be well-prepared for anything you want to download with a 128GB card for $41 or 200GB for $75.

The Android Central review calls the LG V30 a no-nonsense phone with a best-in-class wide-angle camera, high-quality audio, and unique video features:

It does everything well, and then goes the extra mile with a phenomenal camera setup that’s genuinely fun to use. And it does all that at a price considerably below its main rivals.

The discount only makes this device even more worth it. The phone comes with a one-year warranty, and you can extend it by a year for free when you register the device.

See at B&H Photo

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