On Tuesday I had the pleasure of being on the Daily Tech News Show again with Tom Merritt and Sarah Lane and Roger Chang. The main discussion topic was the announcements from Apple as we tried to answer the question of whether Apple can break back into the top spot for schools.
Allison interviews Duane Tsutsui from Second Sight about their implants that help some blind people “see”. The first device, called Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System, provides electrical stimulation to a retinal implant to induce visual perception to blind individuals with severe to profound Retinitis Pigmentosa. The Argus II System is comprised of a miniature video camera housed in the patient’s glasses that captures a scene. The video is sent to a small patient-worn video processing unit where it is processed and transformed into instructions that are sent back to the glasses via a cable. These instructions are transmitted wirelessly to an antenna in the retinal implant. The signals are then sent to the electrode array, which emits small pulses of electricity to the retina. Patients learn to interpret these visual patterns with their retinal implant. Argus II is being used by over 300 patients and is receiving Medicare approval across several states across the U.S.
The second system called Orion Cortical Prosthesis is intended for individuals who do not have functioning eyes or optic nerves but who have had functional vision at some time earlier in life. The Orion System is similar to Argus II except that it bypasses the eye and optic nerve altogether. Instead, it sends electrical pulses to an array implanted directly on the surface of the visual cortex of the brain. Patients learn to interpret these visual patterns with their cortical implant. The Orion System has begun clinical trials with the first cortical implant performed in January 2018.
Allison interviews Helen Tahn from Bellus3D about their new 3D face scanning technology. The Bellus3D Face Camera Pro is an easy-to-use, high-quality, and affordable 3D camera designed for self-scanning using selected Android and Windows OS 10 devices. To capture your face, you attach the Face Camera Pro to a smartphone or tablet, turn your head from left to right, and the camera starts creating a realistic 3D face model in a few seconds. You can share your virtual self with others, be a star in your favorite games, or get an accurate 3D print of your head. The setting is CES Unveiled at the Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas. Learn more at http://www.bellus3d.com/
Allison interviews Joachim de Wild from We.Stream about their new mobile hotspot device and service. We.Stream provides secure streaming from a mobile device with embedded cloud SIM technology to enable unlimited data in over 100 countries. The We.Stream service does not require a contract but instead has a fixed yearly price to provide up to 2 GB of high-speed data each month and a capped speed for data usage over 2 GB in a month. Security is provided through a cloud VPN with an option for a direct pier-to-pier VPN tunnel. The setting is the ShowStoppers floor at the Wynn Hotel. Learn more at https://we.stream/us/
Allison interviews Scott Hancock from PLEX about their new Live TV and DVR service. PLEX provides the software and services that allow you to create your own home media server. Using PLEX’s media server, you can access your movies, music and other media through your home network or remotely over the internet. PLEX’s new Live TV and DVR lets you watch and record your favorite free HDTV digital broadcast channels, including local news and sports, and then view them on any device, anywhere you have internet connectivity. PLEX software runs on iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Roku, Apple TV, Nvidia Shield, Android TV, and Xbox One. The setting is CES Unveiled at the Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas. Learn more at https://www.plex.tv/
Allison interviews Beau Paschall from OtterBox about their new mobile phone cases. The OtterBox Symmetry line includes phone cases that are both rugged and stylish. OtterBox has also partnered with Disney to produce a line of Star Wars, Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, and Disney Park themed phone cases. The setting is the CES show floor and the Las Vegas Convention Center. Learn more at https://www.otterbox.com/
This week Don McAllister published my video tutorial of the iOS app Focos on ScreenCasts Online. This is an amazing app that works with dual-lens iPhones: iPhone 7+, 8+, and X. I’m really proud of this particular tutorial and the feedback has been amazing on it.
Remember the Lytro camera that took the world by storm because it’s proprietary image format allowed you to change what was in focus after the fact? It never became really popular because it was proprietary. Focos allows you to do the same thing (change the focus point) on portrait-mode photos taken by one of these dual-lens phones.
That’s not all though, you can change the virtual aperture of the image, thereby changing the depth of field. You can simulate an f/1.4 lens up to f/22. You can change how the background (fuzzy) bokeh looks by simulating famous lenses, you can change how far forward and backward the fuzzy part is in the image using an amazing visual representation of the depth data, and you can even change the shape of bright lights in the background to new shapes up to and including Apple logos.
I’ve embedded the video preview into the shownotes, but you can proceed over to ScreenCasts Online from the provided link to watch it for free with his 14 day free trial. Don’t do it though, you’ll get hooked when you see how much amazing content is there and you’ll want a subscription.
This week Bart and I celebrate 50 episodes of Programming By Stealth. As Bart points out, we’ve been at this for two years now. I’m so happy he’s stuck with me on this and he says he’s got literally years of material yet to go. To commemorate this occasion, Bart got the crazy idea to build a web app live on video. We used a YouTube Live Hangout on Air while he shared his screen. He started with a blank canvas and when he was done we had a working web app. The video is probably a better experience but the audio is supplied for those who prefer it. We did try to narrate what was going on to help with the audio.
Allison interviews Alicia Gauer from GE about their new connected lighting products. Alicia describes their voice-controlled ceiling fixture that integrates Alexa and Google Home into an overhead light. She also describes the innovative GE Sol: the first table lamp to integrate Amazon Alexa voice services. The Sol includes a warm-colored light selection designed to help you get to sleep and a built-in voice-activated timer that indicates countdown by radially changing lights on a ring. Finally, Alicia mentions that GE smart lighting will have compatibility with Apple HomeKit by the end of first quarter 2018. The setting is Pepcom at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas. Learn more at https://www.cbyge.com/