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Mastercard launches tech that lets you pay with your face or hand in stores

Mastercard has launched a program for retailers to offer biometric payment methods, like facial recognition and fingerprint scanning. At checkout, users will be able to authenticate their payment by showing their face or the palm of their hand instead of swiping their card. The feature could integrate with loyalty schemes and make personalized recommendations based on previous purchases. When you enrol, your face or fingerprint scan is replaced with a “token” — a random string of alphanumeric characters — and then linked to your payment card. Mastercard’s biometric tools could one day help with the development of payments infrastructure for the “metaverse.”

Apple is reportedly still hard at work on its first-ever foldable device

According to analyst and prolific predictor Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple is testing the Electronic Paper Display (or EPD) technology developed by Chinese firm E Ink for the outer display on the rumored foldable device. This EPD tech is apparently relatively light on power consumption, making it ideal for foldable displays. To be clear, Kuo says this is being tested for an outer display on a hypothetical foldable device. In other words, unfolding the device would theoretically reveal a larger inner display, possibly made from a different display technology than EPD. The device will likely have a display size of around nine inches, putting it somewhere between an iPhone and iPad.

Science News

A world’s first: NUS researchers upcycle pineapple leaves into low-cost fat trappers

Researchers have come up with an innovative way to upcycle pineapple leaves for fat absorption, a world’s first. “After ingestion, the capsule or cracker absorbs fatty compounds (such as animal fats) and form fat-coated fibre lumps. These fat-coated lumps will then be passed out from the digestive system in one to three days, similar to other foods we consume.” The team found that one gram of pineapple leaf fibres can absorb 45.1 grams of cooked fats and 20.4 grams of human fats. “Based on our test results, you will need less than one capsule of pineapple leaf fibres to absorb the saturated fats from eating one hamburger.”

Smart contact lens could directly deliver glaucoma drugs when needed

A wireless contact lens device could help to treat the eye disease glaucoma by monitoring the build-up of pressure inside the eye and automatically delivering drugs when it rises too high. The outer layer of the lens has six tiny copper plates arranged in a ring around the pupil that sense eye deformation caused by a rise in eye pressure. An antenna placed near the eye then transmits the data to a nearby computer. The inner layer of the lens – in contact with the cornea region of the eye – is loaded with a pressure-lowering drug called brimonidine that can be released when the lens receives a signal from the computer via the antenna.

Business News

Nestle flies baby formula supplies to U.S. from Europe

Nestle is flying baby formula supplies to the United States from the Netherlands and Switzerland to alleviate the shortage in U.S. supermarkets. Nestle is moving Gerber baby food formula to the United States from the Netherlands and Alfamino baby formula from Switzerland to the U.S. “We prioritized these products because they serve a critical medical purpose as they are for babies with cow’s milk protein allergies.” Baby formula aisles at U.S. supermarkets have been emptied by panicked parents since top U.S. manufacturer Abbott Laboratories in February recalled dozens of types of its Similac, Alimentum and EleCare formulas.

Walmart sounds the inflation alarm, and its stock tumbles

Walmart said that higher costs and supply chain constraints squeezed its profit during its latest quarter. Walmart also slashed its profit outlook for the year, signaling that it expects inflation to continue to hurt its business. “US inflation levels, particularly in food and fuel, created more pressure” than the company predicted. Walmart’s net income fell 25% to $2 billion during its latest quarter ending April 30 compared with the same stretch a year ago. Some analysts said that Walmart has been raising prices at a slower pace than many rivals to appeal to bargain shoppers. This likely impacted its profits

Miscellaneous News

Switzerland votes for default organ donations to save more lives in the country

Switzerland has voted for a new ‘presumed consent’ system on organ donations, which makes everyone a potential donor after their death—unless ‘opted out’ by the individual during their lifetime. According to the current laws in Switzerland, transplants are only possible if the deceased person had consented to it while alive. However, their wishes often remain unknown and, in such cases, the decision is usually left to the person’s family and relatives—who mostly opt against the donation. This system has left many waiting in vain for organ donors.

Big cross-border tunnel found linking Tijuana, San Diego

U.S. authorities announced the discovery of a major drug smuggling tunnel — running about the length of a six football fields — from Mexico to a warehouse in an industrial area in the U.S. The secret passage from Tijuana to San Diego featured rail and ventilation systems, electricity and reinforced walls. It was discovered near San Diego’s Otay Mesa border crossing in an area where more than a dozen other sophisticated tunnels have been found in the last two decades. U.S. authorities said it was unknown how long the tunnel had been operating and what amount of drugs, if any, got through undetected.

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