LEAKED: Apple’s Notch Explorations Show What We Could Have Gotten Instead Of The Dynamic Island

In the six full years that it took to transition from the notch to the dynamic island, I’m sure the Apple team was hard at work figuring out what the next logical step would be. Under-screen cameras had their caveats (camera quality would suffer), and bezels were an absolute no-go. The iPad could get away with a notch built into its relatively thin bezels, but the same bezel thickness couldn’t be carried forward to the significantly smaller iPhone. Then in 2022, Apple revealed the successor to the notch, a more detached notch that they called the Dynamic Island. Its benefit? That it could shapeshift into different shapes and sizes depending on notifications, resulting in a notch that didn’t feel like a compromise.

But information obtained by the folks at MacRumors provides a rare peek behind the curtain of Apple’s design process, and more importantly, what we COULD have gotten instead of the dynamic island. The concepts range from acceptable to downright absurd, with some proposing two notches instead of one! Here’s a look at the 6-year worth of brainstorming at Apple’s design offices before they transitioned from the notch to their now ubiquitous Dynamic Island.

The notch made its first appearance in 2017 with the iPhone X, a commemorative phone to mark the product line’s 10-year anniversary. It soon became a meme, and then a standard fixture for iPhones moving forward, but needless to say, Apple wanted to find a better solution. The first solution was in the form of an extra notch to make the existing notch look more appealing. Visible in the image above (left), this notch would effectively be your control center, but would disappear when not in use. Let’s be objectively clear, I’m glad Apple didn’t implement this because it’s downright hideous. It creates a uniquely displeasing screen shape (even if temporarily), and is an ergonomic nightmare for left-handed people. The second alternative was to black out parts of the screen entirely to hide the notch (top right) – a feature that looked much more acceptable visually, but was a step back for Apple’s zero bezel effort. It, however, would translate to battery savings because the top part of the screen on either side of the notch would remain black for most of the time.

Finally, the company arrived at the dynamic island, but struggled with finding the right way to make it ‘dynamic’. Initial explorations would show dot-shaped icons emerging from the island when in use, while others showed the island transforming into a large block when increasing or decreasing the volume before returning to its original size. This pretty much put Apple on the right track, but they weren’t there yet. Another concept showed the entire island turning into your control center (I somewhat like this if I’m being absolutely candid), while one concept gave the island a second skin in the form of a colored window.

Finally, Apple figured out how to have the island dynamically transform into widgets based on apps and processes, offering something much more elegant than the concepts shown here. However, that’s the nature of the design process, whether you’re a small startup or a trillion-dollar company. You try, ideate, evaluate, fail, and go back to the drawing board over and over till you find something that works… even if it takes six damn years. In hindsight, I’m glad they took that long. I’d take a dynamic island any day over that godawful secondary side notch!

Image Credits: MacRumours

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Whopping 28,000mAh Energizer phone unveiled at MWC 2024 with a week-long battery life

Battery Saver Mode? What’s that??

Meet the Energizer Hard Case P28K smartphone from Avenir Telecom. I hesitate to call it a smartphone because it’s pretty much a brick with a screen… but this smart brick does have a pretty incredible spec to boast about. This device is a behemoth in the battery department, boasting a staggering 28,000mAh capacity that promises to last a regular user an entire week on a single charge. It’s a follow-up to their previous 18,000mAh model from 2019, marking a significant leap in battery size and, implicitly, in user independence from power outlets.

For context, a 28,000mAh battery is roughly 9x more than your average smartphone, which has an average of around 3000mAh. That translates to much more battery capacity, stretching to a week (or maybe more) with regular use… but it also leads to, well, that massive brick-ish format. The Energizer Hard Case P28K measures a staggering 27.8mm thick (that’s nearly three smartphones thick) and weighs a whopping 570 grams (over 20 ounces). I pity the fool who texts with this in bed and accidentally drops it on their face. That being said, the phone is at least rated IP69 for dust and water resistance…

The 18,000mAh Energizer Phone from 2019 (above), versus the P28K smartphone (below)

Fast charging at 33W is also a welcome feature, considering you don’t want to spend 5-6 hours topping off the entire battery. However, details regarding the full charge time remain unspecified, raising questions about the practicality of recharging such a large battery. The phone’s specifications are modest, with no 5G support and a processor that won’t turn heads. Yet, with 8GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, a trio of rear cameras, Android 14, and a sizable 6.78-inch 1080p LCD display, it covers the basics well enough for users whose primary concern isn’t cutting-edge tech but battery life.

Scheduled for release in October at a price of €249.99 ($271.37 USD), the P28K positions itself as a unique offering in the smartphone market. However, it’s notable that it won’t be available in the US, a decision that may reflect market research or regulatory challenges, but it certainly raises curiosity about the global distribution strategy and target audience for such a niche product.

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The Tesla Cybertruck just encountered one enemy it can’t defeat… Rust.

Representational Image via Midjourney

As multiple users are pointing out on internet forums, the vastly popular pickup truck from Tesla has seemingly met its one foe. While the car can apparently beat pretty much any odds, deflecting bullets and being able to overtake a Porsche 911 while towing another Porsche 911, it does have one rather unfortunate flaw. It catches rust.

Users have begun pointing out that the Cybertruck’s ultra-powerful exterior (which can take on a Tommy gun) can’t withstand inclement weather, causing spots of rust on the surface. Images circulating on the CybertruckOwnersClub website show the exterior exhibiting signs of rust spotting after just 2 days of driving in the rain. California has been experiencing record-breaking torrential rainfall over the past few weeks, and apparently, the bulletproof exterior of the EV wasn’t up to the task. The images show spotting on Sacramento-based truck-owner Max’s Cybertruck.

Image Credits: CybertruckOwnersClub Forum

There is, however, a lot of speculation of whether this is rust, or ‘rail dust’. A lot of cars experience a similar spotting phenomenon when transported by trains. Metal specks from the train wheels fly off while the train’s in motion, landing on horizontal surfaces of the car. These specks then begin rusting, causing a similar spotting on cars.

The problem lies with inconsistency, as not everyone seems to be facing the same problem immediately (given that everyone’s also experiencing different weather). If indeed this is a sign of rusting, only time will tell if that may prove to be a problem for all Cybertrucks in the future. Specifically, it is essential to promptly remove contaminants like oil and acidic substances, including tar and bird droppings, using a solvent that contains alcohol. Following this initial cleaning step, it is advisable to wash the area with either pure water or soap that has been balanced for pH levels. Such cleansing practices are recommended after every long ride (which not many people are keen about since the Cybertruck was touted as an incredibly robust vehicle). Users, however, are recommending NOT using Windex to clean the car, since it contains ammonia that may actually cause or accelerate rusting. Some users have reported signs of success using Bar Keepers Friend.

This is a developing story. Stay tuned for more information.

Representational Image via Midjourney

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California Regulators approve ‘Turquoise Blue’ car lights to indicate ‘Self-driving modes’

Even though it’s been nearly a decade since self-driving tech made it to our cultural forefront, we’re still in the process of figuring out how to make the technology safer, how to implement it in current urban setups, and more importantly, how to successfully legislate it. There’s always a moral conundrum with who is to blame if a self-driving car hits a pedestrian (the driver or the algorithm), but Mercedes-Benz approached this problem laterally by asking the question: How can pedestrians tell if a car is driven by a human or an algorithm? The answer comes in the form of a colored light. Regulators in California and Nevada have approved Mercedes’ use of a turquoise blue indicator (on the front, sides, and back) to help pedestrians and other cars know when the vehicle is being controlled autonomously.

Designer: Mercedes-Benz

Let’s paint the picture: currently, U.S. cars typically sport three light colors – white for headlights and reverse lights, red for brake and rear lights, and amber for turn signals. Enter Mercedes-Benz, breaking the mold with its turquoise blue lights, a feature that will activate when their cars are driving autonomously.

The lights are part of Mercedes’ “Drive Pilot” system, a conditionally autonomous technology. It’s legal only in California and Nevada for now, where it’s been tested. The system allows drivers to relax a bit more in traffic jams on certain highways, even letting them take their eyes off the road when the vehicle is moving at speeds below 65 km/h. This is a leap from other driver assistance systems, like Tesla’s Full Self Driving or GM’s Super Cruise, which require drivers to remain vigilant.

The choice of turquoise blue is no accident. It’s distinctive, ensuring no confusion with existing car light colors, and it’s different enough from the darker blue used by police and emergency vehicles. This selection is backed by the Society of Automotive Engineers, though Mercedes is the first to receive approval for its use. This innovative color will make its appearance around the taillights and headlights of the vehicles equipped with it.

But why go to all this trouble for a color? It’s all about clarity and safety. The turquoise blue lights serve as a clear signal to other road users and law enforcement that the vehicle is under full automated control. This is crucial in situations where the driver might not be looking at the road, ensuring that onlookers don’t mistakenly think something’s amiss. Starting early 2024, this system will be available in Mercedes S-Class and EQS models in Nevada and California, but not beyond these states just yet​.

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Etsy Announces ‘Berry’ As The 2024 Colour Of The Year Promoting A Romantic Shift From Pink To Maturity

In a deviation from the vibrant pinks that took center stage in 2023, Etsy, the online marketplace known for its unique and handcrafted items, has declared ‘Berry’ as its Color of the Year for 2024. Described as a color deeper than pink yet softer than red, Berry embodies a mature and romantic shade that resonates with the overarching theme of celebrating romance and a more sophisticated approach to life.

Designer: Etsy

The announcement of Berry as Etsy’s Color of the Year comes on the heels of the Barbie pink craze, since the release of the movie, that dominated 2023. While the bright and bold pink hues were widely embraced and loved, the shift towards Berry reflects changing consumer preferences. Etsy reports a 58% drop in searches for hot pink decor items, signaling a desire for a more nuanced and versatile color palette.

Berry’s appeal lies in its ability to offer a grown-up version of the popular pink trend. The color seamlessly blends rich reds and soothing blue tones, creating a deep yet soft hue that exudes elegance and romance. This sophisticated pop of color makes Berry a versatile choice, suitable for year-round use and integration into various aspects of life, including home decor and personal fashion.

Etsy anticipates that Berry will become a staple favorite, finding its way into a lot of handmade items showcased on the platform. From home decorations to fashion accessories, the color’s adaptability allows it to serve as the perfect backdrop for both subtle and statement pieces. This versatility ensures that Berry can effortlessly elevate any space or wardrobe with a touch of romance.

Etsy’s Color of the Year announcement aligns with a broader trend for 2024, celebrating the romanticization of life. The website encourages users to embrace this new romantic era by transforming their spaces into self-care sanctuaries or incorporating ballet-inspired flats and soft silky fabrics into their wardrobes. Berry becomes the symbol of this romantic shift, inviting individuals to infuse a sense of sophistication and depth into their lives.

As Etsy officially ushers in the romantic era of 2024 with the introduction of Berry as the Color of the Year, the marketplace’s global community of sellers and buyers is expected to embrace this charming hue. The transition from hot pink to Berry reflects evolving tastes and preferences, offering a fresh alternative that captures the essence of romance without compromising on maturity and versatility. Whether incorporated into home decor or personal fashion, Berry is set to leave its mark on the world of handmade and unique creations throughout the year.

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Tecno’s Future Lens 2023: Impressions on Unveiled Mobile Camera Tech

Tecno just introduced three super cool camera technologies during its Future Lens 2023 event in Shanghai. These innovations are set to change smartphone photography and take it to the next level. The W-shaped Adjustable Physical Aperture, which features a patented artificial cuttlefish lens, is a breakthrough in light management for photography. It effectively eliminates harsh glare, thus resulting in more balanced shots. On the other hand, the Liquid Telephoto Macro Lens is a compact yet powerful innovation that uses voltage-controlled curvature adjustment to enable the camera to adapt lens curvature in real time while maintaining a sleek form factor. Lastly, the Universal Tone multi-skin tone imaging solution uses extensive skin tone spectral data and advanced research methods to offer vibrant and true-to-life portraits and videos. These technologies exemplify TECNO’s commitment to pioneering solutions that improve photographic capabilities and enhance user experience, reflecting a significant step forward in mobile imaging.

Over dinner, sitting next to Laury Longfei Bai, Tecno’s global CMO, provided a deeper insight into Tecno as a company, its vision for the future, and target buyers. Tecno Mobile, a subsidiary of Transsion Holdings, is renowned for its affordable, feature-rich smartphones, primarily targeting emerging markets in Africa and South Asia. The company emphasizes local market needs, offering devices with region-specific features and designs. Known for competitive pricing, Tecno caters to budget-conscious consumers seeking high-quality mobile experiences. The brand has also made notable advancements in smartphone photography, frequently introducing innovative camera technologies in its products.

W-shaped Adjustable Physical Aperture

The W-shaped Adjustable Physical Aperture represents a significant advancement in smartphone photography. This ingenious technology addresses common issues associated with backlight photography, such as overexposure and loss of detail.

At its core, the W-shaped Adjustable Physical Aperture functions differently from the fixed apertures typically found in smartphone cameras. A standard fixed aperture limits the light entering the lens, which can be problematic in varying lighting conditions. In contrast, Tecno’s W-shaped aperture is dynamically adjustable, allowing for more precise control over the light that reaches the camera sensor.

This adjustability is crucial for enhancing photo quality in different lighting scenarios. In bright, backlit environments, narrowing the aperture reduces the amount of light entering the lens, preventing overexposure and preserving detail. Conversely, widening the aperture in low-light conditions allows more light to reach the sensor, improving image brightness and clarity.

The W-shaped design is particularly effective because it offers a broader range of aperture sizes compared to traditional circular apertures. This flexibility ensures that users can capture high-quality images regardless of lighting conditions, making it a versatile tool for amateur and professional photographers.

Moreover, the physical nature of this aperture system marks a departure from software-based solutions commonly used in smartphone photography. While software enhancements can improve image quality, they often cannot fully compensate for the limitations of a fixed aperture. Tecno’s approach, combining hardware innovation with software algorithms, provides a more comprehensive solution.

In practical terms, this technology translates to significantly improved performance in challenging photographic situations. Users can expect sharper, more detailed images when shooting against bright backgrounds, such as sunsets or brightly lit windows. Similarly, in dimly lit environments, the technology helps capture clearer, brighter images without the excessive noise often associated with high ISO settings.

The W-shaped Adjustable Physical Aperture is a testament to Tecno’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of smartphone imaging technology. By offering a hardware-based solution to a common photographic challenge, Tecno positions itself as a leader in the field, particularly in emerging markets where smartphone photography is rapidly evolving. This technology enhances the user experience and broadens the creative possibilities available to smartphone photographers.

Liquid Telephoto Macro Lens

Tecno’s Liquid Telephoto Macro Lens represents a groundbreaking advancement in smartphone camera technology. This lens system is designed to enhance macro photography capabilities, allowing users to capture highly detailed close-up images with greater clarity and precision than traditional smartphone cameras.

The innovation lies in the unique use of a liquid lens, a technology that differs significantly from the conventional solid lenses found in most smartphone cameras. The liquid lens can change its shape dynamically, allowing for rapid and precise focusing at varying distances. This adaptability is crucial in capturing high-quality macro images, where focusing accuracy is critical for detailed and sharp results.

One of the primary benefits of the Liquid Telephoto Macro Lens is its compactness. Traditional telephoto lenses, known for their bulkiness, are often challenging to incorporate into the slim form factor of a smartphone. However, the liquid lens technology enables a much more compact design without compromising on the telephoto capabilities. This allows users to enjoy advanced macro photography features in a portable, user-friendly device.

The functionality of the Liquid Telephoto Macro Lens is based on the principle of electrowetting, where an electrical charge is applied to alter the shape of the liquid within the lens. By adjusting the voltage, the curvature of the liquid lens changes, thus modifying the focal length. This process allows for quick and precise adjustments in focus, essential for capturing the tiniest details in macro photography.

Another advantage of this technology is its versatility. The lens can seamlessly switch between telephoto and macro modes, offering users a range of photographic options. This dual functionality enhances the user experience and expands the creative possibilities available to smartphone photographers.

In practical terms, users can expect to capture stunning close-up images with remarkable detail and clarity. The lens’s ability to rapidly adjust focus ensures that even the smallest subjects, such as insects or intricate patterns, are rendered with exceptional sharpness. Additionally, the telephoto capabilities allow for high-quality zoomed-in shots, making it a versatile tool for various photography scenarios.

So, Mr. Bai told me this new technology is coming out soon. He said it won’t be ready for a couple of years, but he did mention that we’ll be able to try it out at the Mobile World Congress in 2025. How cool is that?!

Tecno has committed to innovation in smartphone imaging with the Liquid Telephoto Macro Lens. This advanced lens technology addresses a common limitation in smartphone cameras, mainly macro photography. By integrating this development, Tecno is enhancing the capabilities of its smartphones and establishing itself as a pioneer in the industry, particularly in markets where mobile photography is increasingly popular.

Universal Tone Technology – UT

Tecno’s Universal Tone technology is a revolutionary multi-skin tone imaging technology, a key highlight of their Future Lens 2023 event. It uses the most extensive skin tone spectral data and rigorous research methods, ensuring vibrant, true-to-life portraits and videos. This technology is particularly beneficial for its ability to produce images that accurately and beautifully represent a wide range of skin tones. It addresses a long-standing challenge in photography of rendering diverse skin colors naturally and attractively.

The technology works by combining three computational engines powered by AI. The Multi-Skin Tone Restoration Engine uses a spectral matrix of skin colors, which has been derived from extensive research on chromatic skin colors. This engine adjusts and calibrates skin tones in portraits to make them appear more natural and harmonious. It is essential to avoid the common issue of inaccurately representing skin tones in photography.

Complementing this, the Local-Tuning Engine plays a vital role in ensuring the portrait harmoniously integrates with its surroundings. It reconstructs image tone mapping and uses an adaptive 3D-LUT (Look-Up Table) algorithm. This approach enables the technology to ensure perfect interaction between the human subject and the environment in the photo, and it can be customized per region or country. This localization aspect is significant, as it considers the diverse aesthetic preferences and cultural contexts of different user bases.

The third component, the AI-Powered Computational Portrait Engine, is designed to craft vibrant, personalized portraits. This engine considers Tecno’s localized aesthetic preferences and cultural nuances, ensuring that the portraits it produces are not just technically proficient but also culturally resonant and aesthetically pleasing.

Tecno’s Universal Tone technology thus represents a significant advancement in smartphone photography, particularly in its capacity to handle diverse skin tones with accuracy and sensitivity. By integrating these three sophisticated AI engines, Tecno has created a system that not only enhances the technical quality of images but also respects and celebrates the diversity of its users. This technology demonstrates their commitment to inclusive and user-centric technology development, setting a new standard in smartphone photography.

Final Thoughts

At Tecno’s Future Lens 2023 event in Shanghai, three groundbreaking camera technologies were introduced, impressing media attendees with their potential to revolutionize smartphone photography. The W-shaped Adjustable Physical Aperture, Liquid Telephoto Macro Lens, and Universal Tone technology showcase innovative approaches to light management, lens adaptability, and skin tone representation, signifying a substantial leap in mobile imaging. These advancements, eagerly anticipated for future experiences, highlight their dedication to pioneering photographic capabilities and enhancing user experiences.

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The 2024 iPhone SE could get a Big Redesign with a Camera Notch, FaceID, and USB-C

It’s been nearly 2 years since Apple refreshed their budget iPhone SE and analysts are predicting that the company will launch a completely refreshed 4th Gen iPhone SE in the year 2024. The budget iPhone SE hasn’t just been a hot favorite for people looking for affordable iPhones for themselves or their children (it makes a great first phone), it’s been incredibly beneficial for Apple too, as the company has used this opportunity to flex its recycling chops, using chassis elements, components, and hardware from previous iPhones to build new low-end models. Up until now, the iPhone SE has still rocked some of Apple’s older design elements, like the curved edges, thick bezels, and even the archaic TouchID fingerprint reader that disappeared entirely in 2018. Designer 4RMD believes, however, that the upcoming iPhone SE will finally see a design upgrade in the form of a flat-edge form factor, a camera notch with FaceID, an action button (instead of the mute slider), and who knows… maybe even MagSafe! Rumored for a 2024 reveal, the 4th Gen iPhone SE could also be Apple’s first ‘Carbon Neutral‘ smartphone.

Designer: 4RMD

According to 4RMD’s renders (and that gorgeous Apple-inspired trailer video above), the 2024 iPhone SE will finally merge seamlessly into Apple’s product offering by looking like a part of their cutting-edge phone lineup. This means a bigger, more responsive 6.1-inch OLED display (with a FaceID camera notch on the front) covered by Apple’s Ceramic Shield glass. The phone’s showcased in 3 classic colors – black, white, and Product RED.

The phone is also powered by Apple’s A16 Bionic Chip, which was debuted just months ago inside the iPhone 15 series. It seems like processor overkill given the budget-status of the phone, but then again, the A16 is great at hardware rendering, which would make the 2024 iPhone SE a stellar gaming phone and a perfect pick for parents looking to gift their kids a low-cost iPhone. The presence of the A16 chip would pretty much gut Apple’s iPhone 13 and 14 sales, though.

Given its budget status, it still comes with a single-shooter primary camera that’s been upgraded to 48MP. The ultrawide lens also shoots Macro, supports Night Mode, and is even capable of capturing Cinematic videos.

However, 4RMD’s concept iPhone SE does tend to shoot for optimism with a few specs and details that strike one as ambitious. For starters, he touts an Action Button, which I doubt Apple would carry over to the budget iPhone this quickly. There’s even a mention of transitioning to USB-C, which I don’t see Apple doing this year for their budget phones (Apple could just restrict sales in the EU regarding lightning port concerns, given that the SE range isn’t their money-maker).

What the video doesn’t highlight is any of Apple’s safety features like car crash detection, or even the presence of wireless charging and MagSafe. If the past is any indication, this phone won’t come with a charger in the box, so having wireless charging capabilities will still be a heaven-sent for most buyers. The 4th Gen iPhone SE is due to drop in 2024, although whether it launches with Apple’s refreshed iPads in March, or with the iPhone 16 in October is anybody’s guess.

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What’s Inside A Fake AirPods Pro? CT Scans Show How Counterfeit Earbuds Are Built

Just go type the word AirPods into Temu or AliExpress and you’re likely to be flooded with results of earphones that look exactly like the AirPods, but most likely are just counterfeits. The AirPods, more than being wireless earphones, are a fashion and social statement. Everyone craves being seen wearing them, and that sort of crowd response doesn’t go noticed by folks sitting in factories in Shenzhen. Counterfeit AirPods can be found across an entire spectrum. Sometimes they’re just shitty $10 earpieces stuffed into an AirPod plastic shell, other times they’re so convincingly good that they even end up fooling Apple devices into pairing with them. The trick to avoiding falling for a fake is to simply ensure you’re either buying your goods directly from Apple, or a certified Apple retailer/reseller… conversely, you could do what Lumafield did by renting incredibly expensive tomography equipment to scan your products.

While I don’t endorse renting an Xray or an industrial scanner to look into your Apple gear, Lumafield’s endeavor has resulted in some wonderful findings. The company looked under the hood of a variety of Apple products, examining the difference between how real and fake ones were made. The findings reveal a lot of interesting trickery. Most of Apple’s products are engineered to perfection, but you won’t be able to say the same for a counterfeit. To cut costs, most counterfeits use unsafe parts, shoddy construction, unreliable circuitry, and even use metal pieces to mimic heaviness. Heck, sometimes they entirely miss components like some AirPods Pro cases not even having wireless charging to begin with. The point of the exercise, more than being an interesting comparison, was to highlight exactly how unsafe using some of these bogus knock-off products can be. A faulty product is the least of your worries when you think of larger implications like health hazards, exploding batteries, and gadgets being ruined by fake chargers.

Image Credits: Lumafield

CT Scans of Fake AirPods Pro: Unsafe Components, Metal Weights for Faux Heaviness

At the heart of AirPods’ convenience lies its battery technology. The authentic AirPods boast meticulously engineered button cell batteries designed for optimal power efficiency within their compact form. Counterfeit AirPods, however, use less sophisticated lithium-ion pouch cell batteries, crammed into spaces they are not designed for, potentially posing safety risks.

The disparity continues with the internal circuitry. Genuine AirPods are a marvel of miniaturization and precision engineering, featuring a combination of rigid and flexible printed circuit boards. The fakes? They’re assembled with much simpler electronics and off-the-shelf components, leading to reduced functionality and compromised sound quality.

The overall build quality also tells a tale of two products: genuine and fake. In some fakes, wireless charging is entirely absent, and others lack the necessary magnets for proper charging. Counterfeit AirPods even use internal weights to mimic the heft of the original, a deceptive tactic compensating for poorer materials and less functionality.

Comparing Real vs. Fake MagSafe 2 Power Adapters for MacBook

The differences aren’t limited to AirPods alone. Lumafield’s CT scans of the MagSafe 2 Power Adapter revealed a sophisticated power management system in the genuine Apple charger, absent in the counterfeit. The fake chargers lack the safety and longevity features of Apple’s design, raising performance and safety concerns.

Moreover, the heat sinks in the chargers differ significantly. Apple’s genuine charger uses a thin, complex heat sink, whereas the counterfeit opts for a heavier but simpler design. This difference could lead to dangerous hot spots in the counterfeit charger.

In the end, it’s a classic case of “you get what you pay for.” Those tempting savings might come at the cost of quality and safety. Opting for a counterfeit product isn’t just about saving costs; it’s about compromising on reliability and peace of mind. So next time you’re tempted by a too-good-to-be-true deal on AirPods, remember: the devil is in the details, and sometimes, those details are hidden deep inside.

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Adobe’s Magical Color-Changing Dress Helps You Get a Wardrobe Makeover in Seconds!

Forget the Blue/Black White/Gold dress… Adobe’s new dress can be anything you want it to be!

While Adobe’s been known primarily for its cutting-edge creatively aligned software suites, the company surprised attendees at the 2023 Adobe MAX conference with a taste of something it was working on in secret. A presenter walked on stage in a seemingly normal dress, only to shock viewers as the dress suddenly went from matte white to reflective. Individual elements in the dress then changed colors, creating unique patterns that allowed its wearer to effectively alter their attire in real-time. Dubbed Project Primrose, this interactive dress uses ‘Reflective Light-Diffuser Modules’ to create Non-Emissive Flexible Display Systems.

Designer: Adobe

Although currently just unveiled as a product showcase, it isn’t entirely clear if Primrose plans on being available to developers or even consumers anytime soon. The project is more of a proof of concept, displaying a new way to preview and prototype designs and patterns in real time. “Project Primrose, displayed at MAX as an interactive dress, makes this possible with wearable and flexible, non-emissive textiles which allow an entire surface to display content created with Adobe Firefly, Adobe After Effects, Adobe Stock, and Adobe Illustrator,” says the Adobe Communications Team. By incorporating this technology into various surfaces like clothing, furniture, and more, designers can explore endless possibilities in terms of style. For instance, individuals can easily download and ‘wear’ the latest designs from their favorite designers.

The system developed by Adobe utilizes reflective-backed polymer-dispersed liquid crystal (PDLC), an electroactive substance that is often employed in smart window technology. This energy-efficient and non-emissive material can be easily customized into various shapes and has the ability to dynamically scatter light, going beyond what e-ink and other technologies have to offer.

Speaking of electronic ink, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen dynamic color-changing designs before. At CES 2022, BMW displayed the iX Flow Concept that could change colors in real time. The technology dates back as early as 2017, when Sony displayed the e-ink-powered FES watch that could similarly change its design. What Adobe’s done is different in two notable ways – for starters, it ditches electronic ink or conventional displays for something reflective and more eye-catching. Secondly, it ties this technology in with its own creative software, showcasing how the industry will empower designers in the future to create on new surfaces… quite literally!

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Logitech Wave Keys Wireless Keyboard Hands-On: Comfortable and Compact, both in Size and Price

The average human makes roughly 1 million keystrokes each year… marking a major area for an ergonomic intervention. Unveiled today, the Logitech Wave Keys wireless keyboard joins the company’s Ergo line-up as a budget-friendly ergonomic keyboard to create a comfortable, reliable, and tactile typing experience. Designed to pair perfectly with the Lift Vertical mouse, the $59.99 Wave Keys offers a budget-friendly alternative Logitech’s $119.99 Ergo K860 split ergonomic keyboard launched back in 2020. Adopting a similar form factor, the Wave Keys gets its name from the unique wave-shaped form factor that’s a cross between traditional flat keyboards and those ergonomic spherical keyboards from the 1970s. This unique curved shape, along with the padded palm rest allows your hands to rest more naturally on the keyboard, enabling a comfortable experience for your fingers, wrists, and your palms… and I say this with a certain degree of confidence as I type this article out on the Wave Keys myself!

Designer: Logitech

The first impression you get with the Wave Keys is how comfortably petite it is. The keyboard measures less than 13 inches across (375.97mm), occupying the same horizontal space as a conventional 15.6″ laptop, but has a 96% layout, putting it in compact full-sized territory. That means the keyboard sports a num-pad along with a function row, giving you every key you could need. The function row is also feature-optimized to do useful things like take screenshots, toggle the emoji menu, mute/unmute your microphone during audio/video calls, and even play-pause actively playing content.

The keyboard’s biggest highlight is its wave-shaped design, a feature it borrows (and refines) from its predecessor, the Ergo K860. Unlike the K860’s split-key format, the Wave Keys has a continuous key layout and features larger mechanical keycaps that offer a comfortably tactile experience. It’s not as quiet as the K860’s chiclet-style keycap, but it isn’t as noisy as some other mechanical keyboards either.

The wave-shaped hump at the center of the keyboard is something the Logitech design team arrived at after years of designing, prototyping, and refining. The keyboard was carefully crafted with multiple rounds of user testing including at Logitech’s Ergo Lab and has a stamp of approval from US Ergonomics.

Other ergonomic considerations are the padded palm-rest along with height-adjustable tilt-legs that give the keyboard up to 4° of elevation for easier typing over longer periods of time. The palm rest (yet another feature extended from the K860 line) does make the keyboard wider than most, measuring 8.6 inches (218.9 mm) from top to bottom, but it vastly enhances the keyboard’s comfort levels, allowing it to live up to its ergonomic character.

The Wave Keys runs on Bluetooth as well as Logitech’s Bolt receiver, which additionally supports the Lift Vertical mouse.

The Wave Keys supports connections to up to 3 devices at the same time, allowing you to switch between them using the first three buttons on the function row. The keyboard connects to different devices using BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy), supporting operating systems like Windows, MacOS, iPadOS, Chrome OS, Linux, Android, and iOS. Alternatively, it ships with the Logi Bolt USB receiver that plugs into a USB-A port, letting you connect using Logitech’s more secure wireless protocol. Additionally, the free Logi Options+ app lets you customize your keyboard experience by changing what the function buttons do, adding software/program-specific shortcuts, or even enabling Smart Actions that allow you to automate multiple tasks with a single keystroke so you can streamline your workflow. The Wave Keys runs on two AAA batteries, and Logitech touts an impressive 3-year lifespan before the batteries need to be replaced.

Sustainability also forms a core part of Logitech’s design and innovation approach. The company has touted using PCR (post-consumer recycled) plastics in their products and the Wave Keys is no different, with up to 61% of recycled plastic in its Graphite version, and 46% in its off-white version. The Wave Keys are also certified carbon-neutral and ship with zero-plastic packaging.

The Logitech Wave Keys launches today in two colorways – Graphite and Off White, with a third option named Rose launching in the spring of 2024. The Wave Keys starts at a retail price of $59.99 in North America and €79.99 in Europe, making it a perfect budget pick for individuals as well as for businesses. Visit the Logitech website to learn more.

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