Two more companies recalled their ranitidine drugs, generic forms of Zantac, over concerns they may contain a carcinogenic substance.
OrCam is expanding its product lineup with new devices that tackle new use cases. OrCam’s best known device is the OrCam MyEye 2 — a tiny device for people with visual impairment that you clip on your glasses to help you navigate the world around you.
At CES, OrCam announced that the MyEye 2 is getting new features. In addition to being able to point at text and signs to read text aloud, recognize faces and identify objects and money notes, you’ll be able to let the device guide you.
For instance, you can say “what’s in front of me”, the device could tell you that there’s a door. You can then ask to be guided to that door. The MyEye 2 is also getting better at natural language processing for interactive reading sessions.
When it comes to new devices, OrCam is expanding to hearing impairment with the OrCam Hear. It can be particularly useful in loud rooms. The device helps you identify and isolate a speaker’s voice so that you can follow a conversation even in a public space. You pair it with your existing Bluetooth hearing aids.
Finally, OrCam is introducing the OrCam Read, a handheld AI reader. This time, you don’t clip a camera to your glasses. You take the device in your hand and point it at text. The company says it could be particularly useful for people who have reading difficulties due to dyslexia.
Gadgets – TechCrunch
Ubiquiti, the company behind popular UniFi Wi-Fi access points and networking equipment, is releasing a new router for consumers — the AmpliFi Alien.
Today’s new device is an all-in-one networking device. It features a router (the “brain” of your local network), four Gigait Ethernet ports and Wi-Fi capabilities. And yes, it is a Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) device.
You can plug the AmpliFi Alien to your modem, put your modem in bridge mode and let it take care of your network at home. It should be a huge improvement compared to ISP-provided hardware.
When it comes to Wi-Fi performance, the AmpliFi Alien supports 8×8 MIMO Wi-Fi 6 (both 2.4GHz and 5GHz) and offers a separate 5GHz Wi-Fi 5 radio (802.11ac). There aren’t a ton of devices that support Wi-Fi 6 just yet. The iPhone 11 and the Samsung Galaxy S10 support Wi-Fi 6, but not the brand new 16-inch MacBook Pro for instance.
But the AmpliFi Alien also works with older devices that run on previous Wi-Fi generations, so you don’t have to replace all your gadgets. You can also set up an isolated guest network if you don’t want your friends to be able to access your computers on your network. You can also use your AmpliFi devices as a VPN endpoint when you’re on the road.
The device itself is a cylinder-shaped tower with flat edges at the front of the back of the device. It looks a bit like the recently announced UniFi Dream Machine, but it’s less curvy and taller. There’s a color touch screen to get information about connection speeds and some LEDs at the base of the tower.
You can buy multiple AmpliFi Alien and create a mesh network around your house. A single AmpliFi Alien costs $ 379.
Compared to the UniFi Dream Machine, you can’t control the device with UniFi’s network management controller. This is a consumer device so you don’t get a ton of customizations on the software front — the AmpliFi Alien isn’t designed for enterprise clients. But Ubiquiti offers an AmpliFi mobile app to configure the DHCP server, port forwarding and Wi-Fi settings.
Gadgets – TechCrunch
Apple just announced a new device today, the AirPods Pro. The company issued a press release to announce the new device. As the name suggests, the AirPods Pro are wireless earbuds with additional features compared to the AirPods.
In particular, the AirPods Pro features active noise cancellation — this feature is particularly popular in headphones designed for airplanes, such as the Bose 700 and Sony WH-1000XM3.
Apple has integrated two microphones in each earbud to listen to background noise and actively cancel sound around you. One of the microphones is inward-facing and listens to the sound inside your ears. The company has also integrated adaptive EQ to tune the low- and mid-fequencies in real time depending on the shape of your ears.
You can switch between active noice cancellation and something called Transparency mode in order to block background noise or let background noise go through your earbuds. You can control that from your device or squeeze the bottom of the earbuds between your fingertips.
The design of the AirPods Pro is slightly different from the AirPods. They look like in-ear earbuds with flexible silicone ear tips. You’ll be able to swap those ear tips as there are three different sizes in the box. The AirPods Pro are also sweat and water resistant.
Behind the scene, the AirPods Pro work with an Apple-designed chip called the H1. This chip handles everything from real-time noise cancelation, audio processing, and the ability to respond to “Hey Siri” requests.
Apple says that you can expect the same battery life that you’d get with regular AirPods — four and half hours of listening time with active noise cancellation and up to 24 hours of listening time with the charging case.
The charging case also looks slightly different — it is now rectangular-shaped. It features a Lightning port and wireless charging.
The AirPods Pro will be available for $ 249 starting on October 30. You can order them on Apple’s website starting today. Regular AirPods remain available for the same price of $ 159 to $ 199, depending on whether you get the wireless charging case.
Gadgets – TechCrunch
Google today announced Action Blocks, a new accessibility tool that allows you to create shortcuts for common multi-step tasks with the help of the Google Assistant. In that respect, Action Blocks isn’t all that different from Shortcuts on iOS, for example, but Google is specifically looking at this as an accessibility feature for people with cognitive disabilities.
“If you’ve booked a rideshare using your phone recently, you’ve probably had to go through several steps: unlock your phone, find the right app, navigate through its screens, select appropriate options, and enter your address into the input box,” writes google accessibility software engineer Ajit Narayanan. “At each step, the app assumes that you’re able to read and write, find things by trial-and-error, remember your selections, and focus for a sustained period of time.”
Google’s own research shows that 80 percent of people with severe cognitive disabilities like advanced dementia, autism or Down syndrome don’t use smartphones, in part because of these barriers.
Action Blocks are essentially a sequence of commands for the Google Assistant, so everything the Assistant can do can be scripted using this new tool, no matter whether that’s starting a call or playing a TV show. Once the Action Block is set up, you can create a shortcut with a custom image on your phone’s home screen.
For now, the only way to get access to Action Blocks is to join Google’s trusted tester program. It’s unclear when this will roll out to a wider audience. When it does, though, I’m sure a wide variety of users will want to use of this feature .
Android – TechCrunch