Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, has introduced a new generative AI feature for its paid subscribers.
Now, when Snapchat+ subscribers interact with My AI chatbot, they can send it Snaps of their activities and get a customized, generative Snapback that carries on the conversation.
“Snap My AI a picture of your pizza, OOTD, or even your furry best friend, and My AI may respond with a Snapback in reaction to what you’re doing. So, if you Snap My AI your latest grocery haul, it might recommend a recipe!” the company said in a blog post on Wednesday.
Snaps shared with the chatbot will be stored and might be utilized to enhance the product experience.
“While it was designed to avoid biased, incorrect, harmful, or misleading information, mistakes may occur, so please do not rely on it for advice,” the company added.
The ‘My AI’ chatbot was introduced in February this year as an experimental feature for Snapchat+ subscribers. Later, in April, the company announced to roll out the chatbot to all users globally with new features.
Apple Music Classical app is now available for Android users
Apple Music Classical, a separate app from Apple Music, is now available for Android users to download from the Google Play Store. The main difference between Apple Music and Apple Music Classical lies in how the latter handles metadata.
Both Apple Music and Apple Music Classical for Android now have the same differentiating features. Users can access Apple Music Classical by subscribing to Apple Music or Apple One.
The app offers ad-free classical music recordings with high-quality audio up to 192 kHz / 24-bit lossless, along with a vast collection of recordings that support spatial audio. It currently features over 5 million tracks and more than 50 million data points, including data on 20,000+ composers, 115,000+ unique works, and 350,000+ movements.
In 2021, Apple acquired the classical music streaming service Primephonic and expressed its intention to launch a dedicated classical music app. Apple Music Classical initially debuted on the iPhone in March of this year.
Interestingly, the release of the Android version precedes the launch of an optimized app for iPad and Mac.
In other news, Apple announced the discontinuation of the ‘My Photo Stream’ service on July 26. Users who still rely on this feature will need to migrate their photos to iCloud Photos before that date. My Photo Stream is a free service that automatically uploads and syncs the last 30 days of images (up to 1,000) across various Apple devices, including iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, and PC.
India’s fastest-charging commercial electric two-wheeler
Log9 Materials, a battery tech startup, has partnered with EV firm Quantum Energy to launch India’s fastest-charging commercial electric two-wheeler (CEV). The new vehicle model, called ‘Bzinesslite InstaCharged by Log9,’ is equipped with Log9’s RapidX 2000 batteries, enabling it to go from zero to full charge in just 12 minutes.
The e-2W boasts features such as high speed, quick acceleration, a superior range of 80-90 kilometers, a multi-theft alarm, and multiple driving modes. The partnership aims to deploy 10,000 InstaCharged EVs across India by March 2024, focusing on last-mile logistics sectors like e-commerce, food delivery, and courier services.
Log9 and Quantum Energy will initially deploy 200 Bzinesslite e-2Ws in Hyderabad through logistics fleet service provider Whizzy Logistics. The Bzinesslite e-2W is also compatible with public chargers, maximizing the utilization of existing charging infrastructure.
Arm, the British chip designer, has introduced new products aimed at enhancing premium smartphone performance in gaming and artificial intelligence (AI). One of the key offerings is the Cortex-X4 CPU, which delivers 15% performance improvements compared to last year’s Android flagship, while also offering 40% better power efficiency.
The chip is designed to enable AI and machine learning-based applications. Arm also unveiled Arm Total Compute Solutions 2023 (TCS23), a comprehensive package of the latest IP optimized for specific workloads, delivering system-wide performance and efficiency improvements for immersive gaming experiences, advanced AI applications, and multitasking.
Additionally, Arm introduced the Arm Immortalis-G720, a fifth-generation GPU architecture designed for high-geometry games and real-time 3D apps. These new products aim to provide superior performance and compute-intensive experiences for premium smartphones and laptops.
Engineers at the University of California San Diego have developed the first fully integrated wearable ultrasound system capable of monitoring blood pressure and heart functions while in motion and transmitting data wirelessly. Previous soft ultrasonic sensors required tethering cables for data and power transmission, limiting mobility. However, the new wearable ultrasonic system-on-patch (USoP) includes a flexible control circuit that communicates with an ultrasound transducer array to collect and wirelessly transmit data. The system also incorporates machine learning to interpret the data and track subjects in motion.
The USoP allows continuous tracking of physiological signals from tissues as deep as 164 mm, enabling the measurement of central blood pressure, heart rate, cardiac output, and other physiological signals for up to 12 hours. This technology has the potential to evaluate cardiovascular function in motion, which can help identify abnormalities in blood pressure and cardiac output, particularly in cases of heart failure. For healthy individuals, the device can provide real-time measurements of cardiovascular responses to exercise, aiding in the development of personalized training plans.
The fully integrated USoP represents a significant advancement in wearable ultrasound technology, with both the wearable sensor and control electronics designed in wearable form factors. The device can wirelessly sense deep tissue vital signs, making it a potentially life-saving cardiovascular monitoring solution. Additionally, the USoP contributes to the development of the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), as it connects to the Internet and wirelessly transmits physiological signals for analysis, computing, and professional diagnosis. The transformation brought about by this technology extends healthcare monitoring possibilities by making formerly stationary and portable devices stretchable and wearable.
Indian satellite navigation system NavIC successfully launches satellite NVS-01
On Monday, India successfully launched the first satellite of its second-generation navigation system, NVS-01, into orbit. The satellite, weighing 2,232 kg, is part of the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), also known as NavIC, which is India’s equivalent of GPS (Global Positioning System).
The Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) carried the NVS-01 satellite into space. The GSLV rocket, standing 51.7 meters tall and weighing 420 tons, lifted off from the second launch pad. After breaking free from Earth’s gravitational pull, the rocket-propelled the satellite into the Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO).
The NavIC system currently consists of nine satellites, with seven in orbit and two serving as substitutes. The NVS series of satellites will enhance and support the NavIC system with improved features. NVS-01 has a mission life of 12 years and is equipped with two solar arrays capable of generating up to 2.4 kW of power, supplemented by a lithium-ion battery during eclipses.
The NVS series operates on L1, L5, and S bands, providing services in the L1 navigation band for civilian users’ Position, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) requirements. The NavIC satellites had previously utilized imported atomic clocks, with each satellite carrying three clocks. However, there have been issues with the atomic clocks, including failures in the IRNSS-1A satellite.
Currently, eight first-generation NavIC satellites are operational, with four dedicated to its GPS services and the other four for messaging services. India has launched a total of nine first-generation NavIC satellites, including two standby satellites.
The senior official from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) stated that five more NVS satellites of this version are planned, with two more needed in 2 to 3 years to replace aging satellites. The cost of these five satellites is expected to be less than Rs 1,000 crore.
NVS-01, like other NavIC satellites, carries two types of payloads: a navigation payload and a ranging payload. The navigation payload transmits navigation signals in L1, L5, and S bands, while the ranging payload consists of a transponder for precise orbit determination.
NavIC is designed to serve various civil and strategic applications, providing accurate positional data and secured signals in addition to the L1 band. The currently operational NavIC satellites include IRNSS-1A, IRNSS-1B, IRNSS-1C, IRNSS-1D, IRNSS-1E, IRNSS-1F, IRNSS-1G, and IRNSS-1I.
study led by an Indian-origin researcher has used artificial intelligence
A recent study led by an Indian-origin researcher has used artificial intelligence (AI) tools to identify five subtypes of heart failure that could potentially help predict future risks for individual patients. Heart failure refers to the heart’s inability to effectively pump blood throughout the body. The current classification methods for heart failure do not accurately predict the progression of the disease.
The research, published in Lancet Digital Health, analyzed anonymized patient data from over 300,000 individuals aged 30 years and older who were diagnosed with heart failure in the UK over a 20-year period. Through various machine learning techniques, the study identified five subtypes: early onset, late onset, atrial fibrillation-related, metabolic (linked to obesity but with a low rate of cardiovascular disease), and cardiometabolic (linked to obesity and cardiovascular disease).
The study found differences in the risk of mortality within one year of diagnosis among the subtypes. The one-year all-cause mortality risks were as follows: early onset (20%), late-onset (46%), atrial fibrillation-related (61%), metabolic (11%), and cardiometabolic (37%).
To assist clinicians in determining the subtype of heart failure a patient has, the research team developed an app that could potentially improve predictions of future risk and facilitate discussions with patients.
Lead author Professor Amitava Banerjee from UCL’s Institute of Health Informatics explained that the aim of the study was to enhance heart failure classification in order to better understand the disease’s course and communicate this information to patients. The team hopes that improved distinctions between heart failure subtypes will lead to more targeted treatments and prompt new perspectives on potential therapies.
The next phase of the research is to assess the practical implications for patients, including whether the classification method improves risk predictions, enhances the quality of information provided by clinicians, and impacts treatment decisions. Cost-effectiveness is another aspect that needs to be evaluated, and while the app designed in the study requires further clinical trials or research, it has the potential to assist in routine care.
WhatsApp, owned by Meta, is reportedly working on a new feature called “WhatsApp usernames” that will allow users to select unique usernames for their accounts. This feature aims to provide users with an alternative way to identify contacts, instead of relying solely on phone numbers.
It may also enable to contact others by entering a username within the app, without needing to know their phone numbers. The feature is expected to be introduced within the app settings, specifically in a dedicated section under WhatsApp Settings > Profile. By choosing a username, WhatsApp users will be able to enhance the privacy of their accounts.
The username feature is currently in development and will be released to beta testers in a future update. Additionally, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has announced a new feature that allows one to edit a message within 15 minutes of sending it.
This feature is being rolled out globally and will be available in the coming weeks. they can simply long-press on a sent message and select “Edit” from the menu within the specified time frame.
Leading wearable brand Garmin on Thursday launched the new smartwatch series — ‘Instinct 2’, which includes Instinct 2X Solar and Instinct 2X Solar – Tactical Edition, in India.
Alongside the new launches, the brand has announced attractive pricing across the ‘Instinct 2’ series, starting from Rs 33,490, and is available to buy from May 25 across online and offline stores.
“Designed for sports and outdoor enthusiasts, these solar-powered, military-standard smartwatches combine rugged durability with a sleek design. With an easy-to-read display, infinite battery life, and advanced features, they empower adventurers to conquer new horizons,” Sky Chen, Regional Director of Garmin for South-East Asia & India, said in a statement.
Equipped with features like water resistance and a scratch-resistant Power Glass lens, the solar charging capability provides unlimited battery life in smartwatch mode, perfect for prolonged adventures.
The Instinct 2X Solar smartwatch edition features a built-in LED flashlight that offers adjustable intensities, while, the Instinct 2X Solar – Tactical edition features a multi-LED flashlight that offers both white and dedicated green illumination options. The inclusion of green light is particularly beneficial as it helps users maintain their natural night vision during night operations.
Moreover, both the smartwatch editions come with features like heart rate monitoring, activity tracking, sleep tracking, and more for users to track their health and fitness goals.
The Instinct 2X Solar introduces a new activity called ‘Obstacle Course Racing’. With the Obstacle Course Racing feature, athletes can accurately track and analyze their performance during challenging courses and provide comprehensive data.
The Instinct 2X Solar – Tactical edition offers specialized tactical features such as night vision compatibility, stealth mode, and Jumpmaster mode for parachute activities, the company said.
Canon India has introduced a new Camera ‘EOS R100’
Canon India has introduced the ‘EOS R100,’ a compact, lightweight, and affordable camera, along with the RF28mm f/2.8 STM lens, the first-ever ‘pancake’ prime lens in the RF lens lineup.
The pancake lens offers excellent image quality in a small and portable design, developed based on feedback from photographers. Weighing around 120g and less than 2.5cm long when retracted, the RF28mm f/2.8 STM lens lives up to its ‘pancake’ name.
The Canon EOS R100 features Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, allowing users to easily share photos to social media through the Canon EOS R100 Connect app on their smartphones. The camera is designed with a viewfinder and a comfortable grip to enhance the shooting experience.
It offers 4K video shooting, slow-motion recording with a 120p high frame rate, Eye Detection AF, and Movie Digital IS function for stable footage. The camera also includes a Creative Assist mode that allows users to adjust settings using user-friendly terms such as ‘Background blur,’ ‘Brightness,’ and ‘Saturation.’ Additionally, users can utilize Scene modes and Scene Intelligent Auto for optimal settings based on the scene.
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