This ‘Ultrasonic gripper’ lets robots move things without touching them

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When we think about robots working in factories and assembly lines, we often imagine large robotic arms moving heavy components around. But there’s also automation for small fragile materials as well, requiring the lightest touch to move. No problem: Robots may soon be able to move small objects without touching them at all. Marcel Schuck, a researcher at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich), is developing a method for robots to carry small objects without touching them at all. Ultrasound waves can generate a pressure wave that humans can’t see or hear. Balance the amount of pressure…

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Google Assistant’s ‘Interpreter mode’ translates conversations in real time

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One of the long-standing promises of modern technology has been the ability to translate conversations in real-time. Google is making this a reality with a feature called Interpreter mode. Previously available on Google Home and Nest devices, it will now work on any Android or iOS phone running the Google Assistant. A more useful place for it, if you ask me. Simply say “Hey Google, help me speak Spanish” or “be my Spanish translator,” and Google will help you out with speedy translations that are both displayed on-screen and read out loud. Google will also provide a few Smart Replies…

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Report: Apple to use Mini-LED tech in 2020 for better iPad and MacBook screens

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Apple has long had some of the best displays on the market, but recently it’s been somewhat behind the curve. While other manufacturers had long moved onto OLED technology with perfect blacks, Apple only started using them on its smartphones in the past few years, and has stuck to old-school LCDs on its laptops and tablets. A new report from reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (via MacRumors) suggests Apple is planning a big leap in image quality with some of its devices next year, although it still won’t adopt OLED on the iPad and MacBook. Instead, Kuo says the company…

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Google is rolling out RCS, text-messaging on steroids, in the US

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Rich Communication Services (RCS) has been a long time coming. Billed as the future of text messaging and the technology that will eventually replace SMS and MMS, it’s been Google’s pet project as the way to ‘fix’ messaging on mobile devices ever since the company gave up on Hangouts and Allo. Instead of using a separate messaging app, RCS works just like regular old texting, except it adds a bunch of features usually only available in apps like WhatsApp or Messenger. Unfortunately, carriers have been slow to implement the technology, looking to differentiate themselves from the Google-led standard with their…

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Apple’s AR headset will reportedly arrive in 2022, its glasses in 2023

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We’ve been hearing rumors Apple is working on some sort of augmented reality headset for ages, but today a report from The Information provides the strongest evidence yet that Apple is getting ready to enter the AR fray. Specifically, Apple is aiming to release its AR headset in 2022, and a pair of smart glasses will follow in 2023. The Information says its report was sourced from an October presentation among Apple employees.  Though some earlier reports had pegged the headset’s release date for 2020, it appears Apple is biding its time to get the technology right rather than rushing…

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