Blood oxygen sensor ⌚ Vision restoration 👁️ Forced labour 🇨🇳!

Technology News

Apple Watch Series 6 delivers breakthrough wellness and fitness capabilities

Apple has announced Apple Watch Series 6, introducing a revolutionary Blood Oxygen feature that offers users even more insight into their overall wellness. The Blood Oxygen sensor employs four clusters of green, red, and infrared LEDs, along with the four photodiodes on the back crystal of Apple Watch, to measure light reflected back from blood. WatchOS 7 also brings Family Setup, sleep tracking, automatic handwashing detection, new workout types, and the ability to curate and share watch faces, encouraging customers to be more active, stay connected, and better manage their health in new ways.

Facebook’s first ‘smart glasses’ will be Ray-Bans, coming next year

Facebook says its first pair of consumer “smart glasses” will be releasing next year as a branded Ray-Ban product with maker EssilorLuxottica. Facebook says the consumer smart glasses will be one step in its overall work on AR, which now includes experimental research prototype it’s calling Project Aria, which is more like a full-fledged pair of AR glasses. Starting this month, Facebook will start testing Aria in the real world to hammer out tough issues around areas like privacy, video recording, and design. “With EssilorLuxottica we have an equally ambitious partner who’ll lend their expertise and world-class brand catalogue to the first truly fashionable smart glasses.”

Science News

Opening eyes to a frontier in vision restoration

A revolutionary cortical vision device could one day help restore vision to the blind, is being prepared for world-first human clinical trials. The system comprises custom-designed headgear with a camera and wireless transmitter, a vision processor unit and software, and a set of 9×9mm tiles that are implanted into the brain. The scene captured by the video camera will be sent to the vision processor where it will be processed. The processed data will be transmitted wirelessly to circuitry within each implanted tile; this will convert the data into a pattern of electrical pulses, which will stimulate the brain via hair-thin microelectrodes.

New research finds people react better to both negative and positive events with more sleep

New research finds that after a night of shorter sleep, people react more emotionally to stressful events the next day and they don’t find as much joy in the good things. “We found that when a person sleeps less than their usual amount, they don’t have as much of a boost in positive emotions from their positive events.” People also reported a number of stressful events in their daily lives, including arguments, social tensions, work and family stress, and being discriminated against. “The recommended guideline for a good night’s sleep is at least seven hours, yet one in three adults don’t meet this standard.”

Business News

H&M cuts ties with Chinese supplier over accusations of ‘forced labour’

Swedish clothing giant H&M said it was ending its relationship with a Chinese yarn producer over accusations of “forced labour” involving ethnic and religious minorities from China’s Xinjiang province. H&M conceded that it has an “indirect business relationship with one mill” in Shangyu in Zhejiang province, belonging to Huafu Fashion. “While there are no indications for forced labour in the Shangyu mill, we have decided to, until we get more clarity around allegations of forced labour, phase out our indirect business relationship with Huafu Fashion Co, regardless of unit and province, within the next 12 months.”

Snowflake shares more than double. It’s the biggest software IPO ever

Shares of Snowflake, a cloud data warehousing firm that has the backing of Salesforce and Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, more than doubled on their first day of trading in the biggest software IPO ever. Snowflake priced its initial public offering at $120 a share but demand was so strong, the shares wound up opening at $245 a share. At the $245 share opening price, Snowflake is valued at nearly $70 billion. The company sold 28 million shares and raised nearly $3.4 billion from the IPO. The impressive debut makes Snowflake the largest software IPO ever, easily topping the 2007 IPO of Dell-backed VMWare, which raised nearly $1 billion.

Miscellaneous News

McDonald’s Travis Scott promotion is so popular, it’s causing Quarter Pounder shortages

Just eight days after McDonald’s kicked off its collaboration with rapper Travis Scott, the fast-food giant is reporting some ingredient shortages tied to the promotion. McDonald’s said that some of its restaurants have temporarily sold out of some of the ingredients in the meal. The meal comes with a Quarter Pounder burger with cheese, bacon and shredded lettuce, Sprite soda and fries dipped in BBQ sauce, for just $6. Scott has a huge following having also worked with Epic Games’ Fortnite, General Mills and Nike in the last year.

Barbados to remove Queen as head of state next year

Barbados has announced its intention to remove the Queen as its head of state. The Caribbean island said it wants “full sovereignty” by the time it celebrates its 55th anniversary of independence from the UK in November 2021. The country gained its independence from Britain in 1966, though the Queen remains its constitutional monarch. Barbados would join Trinidad and Tobago, Dominica and Guyana if it proceeds with its plan to become a republic. “This is the ultimate statement of confidence in who we are and what we are capable of achieving.”

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