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12
Jan

‘Adversarial glasses’ can fool even state-of-the-art facial-recognition tech


You may have heard about so-called “adversarial” objects that are capable of baffling facial recognition systems, either making them fail to recognize an object completely or prompting them to classify it incorrectly — for example, thinking that a rifle is actually a 3D-printed toy turtle. Well, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have just found a practical, scaleable, and somewhat scary application — anti-facial-recognition glasses.

Building on previous work by the same group from 2016, the researchers built five pairs of adversarial glasses, which can be successfully used by 90 percent of the population, making them a nearly “universal” solution. When worn, the glasses render wearers undetectable (or, as the researchers describe it, “facilitate misclassification”) even when viewed by the latest machine intelligence facial recognition tech. And far from looking like the kind of goofy disguises individuals might have worn to avoid being recognized in the past, these eyeglasses also appear completely normal to other people.

The eyeglasses were tested successfully against VGG and OpenFace deep neural network-based systems. Although the instructions for building them have not been made publicly available, the researchers say that the glasses could be 3D-printed by users.

Facial recognition has no problem identifying the Owen Wilson on the left. The one on the right? Not so much.

Whether the technology is good or bad depends largely on how you perceive facial recognition. On the one hand, it’s easy to see how privacy advocates would be excited at the prospect of glasses that can help bypass our surveillance society, in which we’re not only photographed 70 times per day, but can also be readily identified through facial recognition. (There are already examples of similar facial recognition disguises available on the market.)

On the other hand, facial recognition is frequently used to keep citizens safe by identifying potentially dangerous individuals in places like airports. For this reason, the researchers have passed on their findings to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and recommended that the TSA consider asking passengers to remove seemingly innocuous items like glasses and jewelry in the future, since these “physically realizable attack artifacts” could be used to beat even state-of-the-art recognition systems.

A paper describing the researchers’ work was recently published online, titled “Adversarial Generative Nets: Neural Network Attacks on State-of-the-Art Face Recognition.”

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12
Jan

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chips now power laptops, multi-lens cameras, more


For years, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chips have powered some of the best smartphones on the market, but now they’re increasingly showing up in other products. PJ Jacobowitz, Qualcomm senior marketing manager, stopped by the Digital Trends booth at CES 2018 in Las Vegas to discuss some of the exciting new devices that the Snapdragon chipset is powering.

One of the more interesting products that Jacobowitz showed us was the one he called his personal favorite, the Light L16 camera, which has 16 lenses built in. Using Snapdragon, the 16 lenses all snap pictures at the same time, which are merged into one DSLR-quality image.

Qualcomm refers to this as “computational photography.” Working together, the lenses create a “depth map,” which lets you use depth-of-field effects like blurring the background similar to a DSLR. This also lets you re-focus the image after you’ve taken it, similar to the cameras in some recent smartphones.

“The way to get amazing, awesome image quality from a big image sensor is to break it into pieces,” Jacobowitz told Digital Trends. “So if you break it into pieces, you get smaller image sensors and smaller lenses that you can fit in a compact design.

Jacobowitz also showed us the Lenovo Miix 630, which was announced late last year and is the first Windows 10 laptop to be powered by a Snapdragon chip. Not only is the Miix 630 thin and light, but is also capable of up to 20 hours of video playback on a single charge. Jacobowitz says that Microsoft’s own testing indicates that a person using the laptop for web browsing and document editing could get up to a week on a single charge. Asus and HP also have Snapdragon-powered laptops in the works.

“I shouldn’t even say this, because you know, I shouldn’t tell the competitors this, but that’s how we get the awesome battery life,” Jacobowitz says. “It’s not just a CPU, it’s not just a GPU, it’s not just a DSP, it’s not just an ISP. We have all of these things, and the idea is that if you can spread all of that processing out to the right type of architecture, then you can get the best battery life for that exact process.”

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Lenovo Miix 630 hands-on review
  • Lenovo has its own Qualcomm-powered 2-in-1 with the Miix 630
  • Meet the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, the power behind next-gen phones
  • Best Qualcomm-powered laptops of CES 2018
  • The best laptops of CES 2018




12
Jan

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chips now power laptops, multi-lens cameras, more


For years, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chips have powered some of the best smartphones on the market, but now they’re increasingly showing up in other products. PJ Jacobowitz, Qualcomm senior marketing manager, stopped by the Digital Trends booth at CES 2018 in Las Vegas to discuss some of the exciting new devices that the Snapdragon chipset is powering.

One of the more interesting products that Jacobowitz showed us was the one he called his personal favorite, the Light L16 camera, which has 16 lenses built in. Using Snapdragon, the 16 lenses all snap pictures at the same time, which are merged into one DSLR-quality image.

Qualcomm refers to this as “computational photography.” Working together, the lenses create a “depth map,” which lets you use depth-of-field effects like blurring the background similar to a DSLR. This also lets you re-focus the image after you’ve taken it, similar to the cameras in some recent smartphones.

“The way to get amazing, awesome image quality from a big image sensor is to break it into pieces,” Jacobowitz told Digital Trends. “So if you break it into pieces, you get smaller image sensors and smaller lenses that you can fit in a compact design.

Jacobowitz also showed us the Lenovo Miix 630, which was announced late last year and is the first Windows 10 laptop to be powered by a Snapdragon chip. Not only is the Miix 630 thin and light, but is also capable of up to 20 hours of video playback on a single charge. Jacobowitz says that Microsoft’s own testing indicates that a person using the laptop for web browsing and document editing could get up to a week on a single charge. Asus and HP also have Snapdragon-powered laptops in the works.

“I shouldn’t even say this, because you know, I shouldn’t tell the competitors this, but that’s how we get the awesome battery life,” Jacobowitz says. “It’s not just a CPU, it’s not just a GPU, it’s not just a DSP, it’s not just an ISP. We have all of these things, and the idea is that if you can spread all of that processing out to the right type of architecture, then you can get the best battery life for that exact process.”

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Lenovo Miix 630 hands-on review
  • Lenovo has its own Qualcomm-powered 2-in-1 with the Miix 630
  • Meet the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, the power behind next-gen phones
  • Best Qualcomm-powered laptops of CES 2018
  • The best laptops of CES 2018




12
Jan

Keep your ear to the streets with the best police scanner apps


A pop, then a crackle. “Eleven-06?” a woman asks through the static. A man replies, describing a man in a North Face jacket. Some garbled chatter and another woman joins in, relaying a witness’ account of a hooded man trying to break into a closed school. The dialogue unfolding seems like the chatter found in a cop show, but it is actually happening, traveling from a radio in Chicago to a pair of headphones on the West Coast. Police scanners have long been a tool for journalists and curious hobbyists to listen in to the daily work of police officers. In the past, they required a more complicated radio setup for a smartphone. Today, all one needs is the right app.

Although some police departments have moved away from radio broadcasts, plenty still use classic, eavesdrop-worthy communications. There are numerous apps on the market today that allow anyone with a smartphone to listen to police communications not only nearby, but anywhere. Below are our picks for the best police scanner apps, so you can tune in to all the happenings in law enforcement, whether in your hometown or elsewhere. Just don’t expect the utmost quality when it comes to design.

Did you land here looking for police radar detectors? Here are our picks for the best radar detectors you can buy.

Scanner Radio

Probably the best police scanner app available, Scanner Radio, allows users to browse a variety of channels worldwide, including Broadcastify’s archives. Streaming quality seems variable; channels in the New York area frequently dropped, while those from Chicago seemed stable. The app also happens to break down codes and jargon for various departments, and unlike many of the free scanners on the market, it sports a clean and stylish interface. The only knock against it is the presence of semifrequent ads.

Download now from:

Google iTunes

Broadcastify

Broadcastify offers a huge number of global channels for users to listen to, each sorted by country and metro area. The app’s UI is clean and easy to read, although the media player is ugly, with bulky buttons. Channels tend to be stable, including those that focus on fire and EMS services, and users can even search for channels near their location. The free version of Broadcastify includes ads, but they’re not too obtrusive. Nonetheless, the paid version ($2) removes the ads entirely.

Download now from:

Google iTunes

Police Scanner 5-0

Police Scanner 5-0 won’t win any beauty contests, but it is a functional app that offers a variety of channels, both local and otherwise. The app also includes a host of information regarding police codes, and the accompanying streams are quick to load and rarely cut out. The biggest drawback for Police Scanner 5-0, however, is its appearance. The buttons are overly large, and while the coloring and fonts are fine, the frequent ads and upgrade offers strewn throughout the free version of the app can be off-putting. If functionality is all you care about, though, this app will suffice.

Download now from:

Google iTunes

Scanner 911

Scanner 911 has a clean, professional look that makes it easy to navigate. Sound quality is generally good, and if problems arise, the app also features numerous options to adjust the audio settings. Although Scanner 911 has ads, it wisely keeps them small, preserving its minimalist design. Really, the only problem with Scanner 911 is that it only seems to lack the wide net of channels that Broadcastify casts.

Download now from:

Google

Why stop here? Take a look at our extensive list of the best apps for Android and the best apps for iPhone for 2018.

Update: We’ve made it easier to find related articles by adding a few useful links.

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12
Jan

Enormous 3D printer is designed for an equally huge job: printing yacht parts


A lot of the time we write about 3D printing, we talk about the kind of small footprint 3D printers that could fit on a desktop in a “makerspace” or a home office. That is far from the case with the currently-in-development Continuous Fibre Additive Manufacturing (CFAM) 3D printer, developed by Netherlands-based additive manufacturing company CEAD. It created an industrial-scale 3D printer with a very specific use case: Helping build ships.

“The CFAM printer is a large-scale thermoplastic composite 3D printer for industrial use,” Maarten Logtenberg, executive director for CEAD, told Digital Trends. “The machine we are developing is capable of printing 24 hours a day with engineering plastic and a continuous fiber on a very large scale. The technology is based on a single screw extruder with a weight of around 150kg, capable of temperatures of up to 400 degrees Celsius.”

While the company has yet to reveal the exact specifications of its technology (Logtenberg explained that CEAD is still in the process of securing a patent), they claim that the printer is able to extrude around 25 kilos of printed material every hour. It can process standard granule plastics and engineering plastics, including PP, PET, ABS, PLA, and PEEK.

“The size of the parts that can be printed on this machine are 4 meters by 2 meters by 1.5 meters,” he continued. “We believe that the 3D printing technology — and most importantly the industry — is ready and waiting for large-scale composite 3D printing. In addition to the granulate extruder, continuous fiber and large build platform, we are also developing a method to control the temperature of the printed part. This is extremely important in order to prevent warping of the parts, especially because of the large scale we are going to print.”

So when will yacht makers be able to get their hands on this revolutionary technology? Logtenberg said that the first prototype machine will be completed within the next six months. After that, it will go through extensive testing before models are shipped to customers.

“At the moment, we are taking in just three more orders, beside the two orders we already have for machines being built in 2019,” he said. “These first customers will have several benefits, and are going to be the first companies that will make use of this new technology, giving them a competitive advantage. These first customers will also have access to the first machine in order to start their development of new products in the second half of this year.”

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12
Jan

Pebby lets you play with your pet even when you are away


Do you ever wonder what your pet is doing at home while you are away? Are they causing mischief or just simply sleeping?

These questions can be easily answered by the myriad number of smart home-based cameras that are readily available on the market. What those cameras don’t do, however, is allow you to play and interact with your pet while also checking in on them. That’s where Pebby, the “robotic pet sitter,” comes in.

Essentially a ball-shaped camera that is controllable from your smartphone, Pebby is “a smart collar and ball system that allows you to monitor and entertain your pet from your cell phone, anytime and anywhere you may be.”

Pebby offers a variety of entertainment options for your pet as it can be chased and project a chase-able laser. Also, if you become busy and are unable to play with your pet through Pebby’s app, it comes equipped with an automatic mode that can continue to entertain your four-legged friend. Pebby can also emit a “woof” or “memo,” and even play a prerecorded message from you to remind your pet that you are always near.

While the entertainment options are the main features of Pebby, the ball’s heavy duty and waterproof case may be its best aspect. The case is shatterproof and durable thanks to its industrial-grade polycarbonate casing.

“We spent quite some time on [research and development] just for the outer casing,” Pebby’s Thinesh Vengasamy told Digital Trends. “This casing is one of the highest grades you can find. We worked with Mitsubishi Plastics to actually develop [this special casing] that we have right now.”

Another great aspect of Pebby is the system’s charging station, which you can send the robotic toy to through the app. Once you do that, Pebby will automatically find the charging station and start to charge itself upon entry. Pebby can be in play mode for up to 90 minutes and in idle mode. The battery lasts for 12 hours.

Officially retailing for $249, Pebby is available for pre-orders at $189 and will start shipping out after they finish beta testing in the first quarter of 2018.

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12
Jan

Future Motion says its new OneWheel+ XR hoverboard does away with ‘range anxiety’


We’ve talked quite a bit about Future Motion’s Onewheel hoverboard here on Digital Trends, including chatting with the company’s (then beardless) CEO Kyle Doerksen during last year’s live coverage. Kyle and Future Motion have returned to the DT CES booth for 2018, this time showing off the new Onewheel+ XR.

As we mentioned earlier this week, the biggest upgrade on the XR is its range. Riders will get between 12-18 miles per charge, which is more than double the range of the previous model. Doerksen says this is the result of a complete rework of the Onewheel’s battery system, which now uses new NMC battery cells — and more of them.

While the new model does boast significantly more battery capacity, the overall thickness of the board grew by only a few millimeters. Doerksen says this is the result of significant advancements in battery cell technology, thanks largely to research and development driven by the electric car industry.

Doerksen used to ride the original Onewheel+ to and from work on a daily basis, but he could do so without issue due to the fact he lives only two miles from company headquarters. Most people live significantly further from their place of work — closer to the original five- to seven-mile range of the previous model.

“Range anxiety is a real concern for electric vehicle users,” he says, and he hopes the extended range of the XR will promote wider use. Whereas earlier models competed with walking, the XR makes longer trips feasible, and further cements these types of rideables as legit commuter vehicles rather than expensive toys.

To that extent, Future Motion completed Tueseday evening a relay that took a team of riders on a single  Onewheel going from from Los Angeles to Las Vegas over three days to show off the XR’s capabilities. Unfortunately due to heavy rain in southern California and the Las Vegas area,  relay riders weren’t able to make Future Motion’s appearance on our livestream but did end up arriving at CES a bit late and a bit wet.

While you might be getting excited about getting a Onewheel of your own, you might want to temper that just a bit unless you have some fairly deep pockets. The XR will retail for $1,800, and the Onewheel+ is still $1,500 — the same price it was when it debuted last year.

Hopefully the next time we see Kyle and Future Motion, the price will be at a point that average consumers can afford.

Editors’ Recommendations

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  • Faraday Future: What you need to know about the ambitious electric car maker
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12
Jan

The Sense Glove enables users to get a grip on virtual reality


Virtual reality is one of the most exciting trends in consumer technology today — so much so, Digital Trends awarded the HTC Vive VR headset Product of the Year in 2016. There are plenty of cool games and applications in the VR space already, but the technology is still in its infancy, as developers and artists try to figure out the best way to craft immersive experiences. One big problem for VR is that, while it can use sight and sound to create 3D environments, other senses, like touch, are not as developed. The makers of the Sense Glove aim to change that, with a device that lets users feel their interactions with virtual objects.

The Sense Glove resembles a large, skeletal hand into which the users slides their own, while also fastening attachments to their fingers. CEO Gijs den Butter explained how it works.

“So basically, Sense Glove enables touch in virtual reality,” den Butter said. “It does it with force feedback, so you actually are restricted when you’re trying to grasp an object, and with haptic feedback, so you get a little tactile sensation when for example you’re touching hard or slippery objects.”

It’s a tantalizing prospect for game designers looking to develop more visceral VR experiences, but den Butter is focused on satisfying needs of a more mundane variety.

“We use it mainly, currently for B2B (business-to-business) training purposes. So you have to think of training workers on an assembly line. It’s really expensive to hold an assembly line just for training purposes, but in VR you can build it as real as possible, and with our Sense Glove, the interaction with the virtual objects are just as if touching real objects, almost.”

The Sense Glove is a remarkable advancement over the typical controllers bundled with VR headsets, with may track the movement of the user’s hands, but don’t offer any real sense of touch beyond rumbling.

Consumers hoping to acquire a Sense Glove may need to wait a bit. The device is still in the prototype stage. Den Butter plans to have a development kit out in June 2018. Those kits are currently available for pre-order.

Editors’ Recommendations

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12
Jan

The Sense Glove enables users to get a grip on virtual reality


Virtual reality is one of the most exciting trends in consumer technology today — so much so, Digital Trends awarded the HTC Vive VR headset Product of the Year in 2016. There are plenty of cool games and applications in the VR space already, but the technology is still in its infancy, as developers and artists try to figure out the best way to craft immersive experiences. One big problem for VR is that, while it can use sight and sound to create 3D environments, other senses, like touch, are not as developed. The makers of the Sense Glove aim to change that, with a device that lets users feel their interactions with virtual objects.

The Sense Glove resembles a large, skeletal hand into which the users slides their own, while also fastening attachments to their fingers. CEO Gijs den Butter explained how it works.

“So basically, Sense Glove enables touch in virtual reality,” den Butter said. “It does it with force feedback, so you actually are restricted when you’re trying to grasp an object, and with haptic feedback, so you get a little tactile sensation when for example you’re touching hard or slippery objects.”

It’s a tantalizing prospect for game designers looking to develop more visceral VR experiences, but den Butter is focused on satisfying needs of a more mundane variety.

“We use it mainly, currently for B2B (business-to-business) training purposes. So you have to think of training workers on an assembly line. It’s really expensive to hold an assembly line just for training purposes, but in VR you can build it as real as possible, and with our Sense Glove, the interaction with the virtual objects are just as if touching real objects, almost.”

The Sense Glove is a remarkable advancement over the typical controllers bundled with VR headsets, with may track the movement of the user’s hands, but don’t offer any real sense of touch beyond rumbling.

Consumers hoping to acquire a Sense Glove may need to wait a bit. The device is still in the prototype stage. Den Butter plans to have a development kit out in June 2018. Those kits are currently available for pre-order.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Full-body Teslasuit allows virtual reality to reach out and touch you
  • Now, you can play with a cool retro Power Glove VR controller
  • HTC Vive Tracker Review
  • Why binge watch when you can binge experience? TV is about to seem old-school
  • The best VR headset you can buy




12
Jan

Catch up on Day 2 of CES 2018 with our quick wrap-up video


With the already infamous power outage taking place, the second day of CES 2018 was filled with lots of happenings, many of which, happened at the Digital Trends CES booth.

The booth was just a hub of activity as guests from a variety of companies and industries stopped by. Here’s a quick breakdown of who stopped by:

  • Cloudious9: Bringing technology to the cannabis industry, Cloudious9 showcased Hydrology9, a combination vaporizer and waterpipe.
  • Indiegogo: The crowdfunding platform’s CEO David Mandelbrot stopped by the booth to show off some interesting and new Indiegogo projects. Mandelbrot also broke down how Indiegogo helps funders after they raise funds by connecting them with the appropriate resources.
  • Qualcomm: Snapdragon chips are powering some of the best devices on the market and Qualcomm’s senior marketing manager PJ Jacobowitz stopped by the booth to show which new products are harnessing the power of its processors.
  • AMD: In a similar vein, Mark Papermaster, AMD’s chief technology officer, talked with Digital Trends about the company’s new Ryzen processors and some of the company newest products like the Kaby Lake-G.

This is just a small sample of what went down at the DT booth on Day Two of CES. To catch up on all things related to the conference and keep tabs on everything happening on Day Three, visit the CES coverage page, and also check out the live videos happening on our Facebook and YouTube pages.

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