By , Bill Roberson
Published January 26, 2018
Health records in your pocket
Just one day after Apple released a beta version of iOS 11.3, people are downloading it and poking around to see what’s new. We talked briefly yesterday about the Business Chat feature in Messaging, and it looks like Apple is hoping to change the way we keep track of our medical records as well. The team at MacRumors says the new “Health Records” feature in the Health app will let users keep better track of their personal health data.
Additionally, there have been improvements to ARkit, with greater resolution up to full HD, recognition of surfaces with unusual shapes, and better autofocus performance. And if your zillion emails and their many attachments are sucking up all your iPhone’s memory, 11.3 also brings back iCloud Messages, which allows you to keep all that stuff in the iCloud instead.
That should free up some space for the four new animojis Apple has brought to the iPhone X, including a lion, bear, dragon and a talking skull, if you’re into that whole pirate or goth thing. And who isn’t? Sadly missing from the current 11.3 build are the promised battery health features; we’d bet they’re still filing off the rough edges on that part of the OS.
Evolution Number 9
Over at Samsung, they’re getting ready to take the wraps off their next Galaxy halo phones, the S9 and S9 Plus. Multiple sources say the new phones will be unveiled next month at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The exact date? February 25th . Rumors indicate the S9 is going to be an evolutionary update of the S8 rather than a whole new phone, but Samsung has been very clear to highlight the new phone’s camera in the run-up to the reveal.
Rumors suggest it could have a variable aperture for real-world image affects instead of using two lenses and tech trix. Sounds like the current plan is to put the new S9 up for sale in mid-March. So far, no prices have been announced. We’ll keep you updated.
But will it fit in a space droid?
The Princess Leia hologram sequence from the original Star Wars movie is an icon of sci-fi. And, of course, multiple efforts have tried to recreate it for real, but a new effort by researchers at BYU may have come closer than ever. Called a “volumetric display,” the experimental tech involves lasers, mirrors and a lot of computing power to give us this: a free-floating projected object.
Granted, it’s not very big, and the video camera used to record it makes it flicker, while it’s actually “solid” and stable to the naked eye. You can “walk around” the image as well and see it from any angle – but the researchers are quick to point out: technically it’s not a hologram. And while it does have that geeks-only name of “volumetric display,” informally, the team refers to it as the “Princess Leah Project.” Much better.
We’ve got more news on our Facebook page and YouTube channel, and be sure to tune in to this week’s DT podcasts: Trends with Benefits (general tech shenanigans) on Thursdays, and Between the Streams (movie and TV topics) every Friday.