FCC chairman calls on Apple to unlock FM radio on iPhones in wake of hurricanes [Update]

Update: Apple has responded to calls to unlock the FM radio in iPhones, saying that there is, in fact, no such capability in the iPhone 7 or iPhone 8 to begin with.

Update: Apple has responded to calls to unlock the FM radio in iPhones, saying that there is, in fact, no such capability in the iPhone 7 or iPhone 8 to begin with.

In addition to an official statement sent to several publications that outlines some of the “modern safety solutions” included in Apple devices, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller said on Twitter that, “It is not possible” for the newest iPhones to unlock an FM signal.

Neither Apple’s statement nor Schiller address older iPhones having FM radio chips or supporting antennas, signaling that if it were possible to activate support on these older devices, it wouldn’t be enabled.

As noted below, Apple has raised more than $13 million for hurricane relief efforts, including $1 million for Puerto Rico.

Original article below…

Including built-in FM radio support for smartphones might seem like a mere oddity in this age of YouTube and Spotify, but communities ravaged by hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and especially Maria are finding how useful old-fashioned radio can still be when the usual cellular towers are knocked out of commission.

But iPhone users don’t have access to this feature. That’s not because it’s not there — FM functionality is built into most Qualcomm and Intel chips used for the iPhone’s Wi-Fi and cellular capabilities — but Apple hasn’t enabled it.

Even more troublesome, they’re essentially the only smartphone users who don’t have access to it. To date, Apple is the only major manufacturer that hasn’t unlocked the feature.

Now, though, Federal Communications Chairman Ajit Pai has issued a statement specifically calling on Apple to “step up to the plate and put the safety of the American people first.”

Pai commended the companies who’ve already activated FM chips in their phones, emphasizing that, “FM chips can allow Americans to get vital access to life-saving information” when wireless networks go offline.

“In recent years, I have repeatedly called on the wireless industry to activate the FM chips that are already installed on almost all smartphones sold in the United States,” Pai said in his statement.

“In fact,” he said, “in my first public speech after I became Chairman, I observed that ‘[y]ou could make a case for activating chips on public safety grounds alone.’”

Connected during disasters

This criticism of Apple is nothing new. Back in 2014 the National Association of Broadcasters released a report questioning the absence of FM radio on iPhone, and then as now, Apple declined to comment.

One reason Apple might be keeping built-in FM radio off on iPhones is because the feature might discourage customers from buying from iTunes or subscribing to its Apple Music streaming service.

Yet much of the imagery coming out of the destruction surrounding the devastation wrought by Hurricane Maria emphasizes the severity of this need.

Two of the photos in a powerful recent photo essay from The Atlantic, for instance, depict Puerto Ricans gathering around the island’s few remaining working towers, struggling to get a signal.

Dennis Wharton, a spokesman for the National Association of Broadcasters, also criticized Apple in a statement to Bloomberg today.

“Broadcasters are providing information on how to evacuate quickly, where flood waters are raging, how to get out of harm’s way if there’s a tornado or a hurricane,“ Wharton said. “The notion that Apple or anyone else would block this type of information is something that we find fairly troubling.“

But the scarcity of cellular service in Puerto Rico prevents further complications. Even if Apple does issue a patch enabling the chips, there’s a good chance the people who need the service the most won’t even be able to download it.

Yesterday, the FCC released a report stating that 91.1% of cellular sites in Puerto Rico are out of service.

As for Apple, it’s remained silent on the issue. It’s worth noting, though, that Pai’s call comes on the same day Apple updated its newsroom to report that Apple employees and customers have raised more than $13 million for hurricane relief efforts, including $1 million for Puerto Rico. No mention was made of the FM chip controversy.

We’ve asked Apple for a statement and will update this article if we hear back.

Thinking of getting a new smartphone? Here are the best phones you can buy

FCC chairman calls on Apple to unlock FM radio on iPhones in wake of hurricanes

Including built-in FM radio support for smartphones might seem like a mere oddity in this age of YouTube and Spotify, but communities ravaged by hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and especially Maria are finding how useful old-fashioned radio can still be when the usual cellular towers are knocked out of commission.

Including built-in FM radio support for smartphones might seem like a mere oddity in this age of YouTube and Spotify, but communities ravaged by hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and especially Maria are finding how useful old-fashioned radio can still be when the usual cellular towers are knocked out of commission.

But iPhone users don’t have access to this feature. That’s not because it’s not there — FM functionality is built into every Qualcomm and Intel chip used for the iPhone’s Wi-Fi and cellular capabilities — but Apple hasn’t enabled it.

Even more troublesome, they’re essentially the only smartphone users who don’t have access to it. To date, Apple is the only major manufacturer that hasn’t unlocked the feature.

Now, though, Federal Communications Chairman Ajit Pai has issued a statement specifically calling on Apple to “step up to the plate and put the safety of the American people first.”

Pai commended the companies who’ve already activated FM chips in their phones, emphasizing that, “FM chips can allow Americans to get vital access to life-saving information” when wireless networks go offline.

“In recent years, I have repeatedly called on the wireless industry to activate the FM chips that are already installed on almost all smartphones sold in the United States,” Pai said in his statement.

“In fact,” he said, “in my first public speech after I became Chairman, I observed that ‘[y]ou could make a case for activating chips on public safety grounds alone.’”

Connected during disasters

This criticism of Apple is nothing new. Back in 2014 the National Association of Broadcasters released a report questioning the absence of FM radio on iPhone, and then as now, Apple declined to comment.

One reason Apple might be keeping built-in FM radio off on iPhones is because the feature might discourage customers from buying from iTunes or subscribing to its Apple Music streaming service.

Yet much of the imagery coming out of the destruction surrounding the devastation wrought by Hurricane Maria emphasizes the severity of this need.

Two of the photos in a powerful recent photo essay from The Atlantic, for instance, depict Puerto Ricans gathering around the island’s few remaining working towers, struggling to get a signal.

Dennis Wharton, a spokesman for the National Association of Broadcasters, also criticized Apple in a statement to Bloomberg today.

“Broadcasters are providing information on how to evacuate quickly, where flood waters are raging, how to get out of harm’s way if there’s a tornado or a hurricane,“ Wharton said. “The notion that Apple or anyone else would block this type of information is something that we find fairly troubling.“

But the scarcity of cellular service in Puerto Rico prevents further complications. Even if Apple does issue a patch enabling the chips, there’s a good chance the people who need the service the most won’t even be able to download it.

Yesterday, the FCC released a report stating that 91.1% of cellular sites in Puerto Rico are out of service.

As for Apple, it’s remained silent on the issue. It’s worth noting, though, that Pai’s call comes on the same day Apple updated its newsroom to report that Apple employees and customers have raised more than $13 million for hurricane relief efforts, including $1 million for Puerto Rico. No mention was made of the FM chip controversy.

We’ve asked Apple for a statement and will update this article if we hear back.

Thinking of getting a new smartphone? Here are the best phones you can buy

Google Pixel 2 launch event: what to expect on October 4

Last year’s Google event saw the long-awaited reveal of the Google Pixel, Google Pixel XL and Google Daydream View. Not just that, the Google Wifi and Google Chromecast Ultra also saw a launch that day.

Last year’s Google event saw the long-awaited reveal of the Google Pixel, Google Pixel XL and Google Daydream View. Not just that, the Google Wifi and Google Chromecast Ultra also saw a launch that day. Simply put, it was a big deal.

Sure, some things on 2016’s wish list didn’t pan out, like Andromeda, Google’s rumored melding of Chrome OS and Android, or a refreshed Nexus 7-sized tablet, but, by and large, we like to think that we have a pretty good idea of what’s coming this year.

While nothing more than the Google Pixel 2 has been teased, recent leaks have clued us into a potential boatload of product announcements, including the larger Google Pixel 2 XL, Google Home Mini, Google Pixelbook, and a refreshed Google Daydream View 2 headset. Of course, there could be more, too.

So, without further ado, here’s everything that you can expect to be announced at Google’s October 4 event in San Francisco.

Credit: VentureBeatGoogle Pixel 2 and Google Pixel 2 XL

This one’s a given. Google’s 2016 smartphones were – and still are – a bold stroke of engineering prowess on the part of a fruitful collaboration with HTC (Google now owns its smartphone division) combined with the simple brilliance of stock Android. And based on the recent boil of rumors, this year’s phones look to up the ante in just about every way.

However, for those who were hoping for a massive trimming of the front bezels, get ready for disappointment. We’ve been hearing that this year’s phones will fall in line with a front-facing design of the past. But a tour around some leaked photos show that Google has streamlined the look of its phones’ backsides.

For fans who enjoy a fat stack of features and power, these new Pixel phones are sure to please. Aside from obvious improvements to its already-stellar camera and the inclusion of the Snapdragon 835, expect a new “Active Edge” function that lets you squeeze the phone to activate select commands. Rumor also has it that Google might have snipped away the fan-favorite 3.5mm headphone jack, though waterproofing might just make up for it.

Like most flagships, the Google Pixel phones for 2017 won’t be cheap. But there are certainly more expensive phones out there. The smaller Google Pixel 2 is set to cost $649 (about £599, AU$1,079), while the XL is rumored to start at $849 (about £630, AU$1079).

It’s not long now until Google lifts the wraps from its elusive 2017 flagship smartphones.

Credit: Droid LifeGoogle Pixelbook

After Google launched two awe-inspiring, but egregiously expensive Chromebook Pixel models, some wondered if Google would – or should – ever again release its own Chrome OS product.

Recently, a leak surfaced a mysterious product that will supposedly be called Google Pixelbook. Now appearing to be aligned with the company’s smartphone lineup in both name and design language, this maybe-Chromebook, maybe-Fuchsia (formerly known as Andromeda) 2-in-1 laptop is intriguing, to say the very least.

The one and only leak that we’ve seen shows the Pixelbook running Chrome OS and sitting next to a smart stylus, which is said to be called the Pixelbook Pen. Also lodged in this cluster of info is the rumored pricing and storage configurations, both of which raise some eyebrows.

According the rumors, the Pixelbook will start at $1,199 (about £887, AU$1,496) and top out at $1,749 (about £1,294, AU$2,183). This puts Google’s purported 2-in-1 more in line with the Microsoft Surface Book than the more affordable Microsoft Surface Pro.

Lastly, it is said to be available in 128GB, 256GB and 512GB configurations, which has us asking ourselves, “What exactly could we need all of that storage for?” Typically, Chromebooks feature no more than 64GB of storage, so this rumor is puzzling, but nevertheless exciting.

Credit: Droid LifeGoogle Home Mini

As Amazon showed first, your smart speaker lineup isn’t complete without a miniature, cheaper version. The rumored Google Home Mini seems a lot like the Amazon Echo Dot, in that it’s a smaller, condensed version of the full-fat product.

Our first look at the unannounced project shows a small speaker that features the same mesh-like design found on the larger Google Home, though unlike the Home, it doesn’t look like you’ll be able to customize the look of the Home Mini with optional accessories.

While it’s smaller in stature compared to the Home, it still looks like this product may end up being more powerful than its similarly-sized Echo Dot. How? The leaked shot appears to show off a power cable, indicating that the power draw will be rather high, which could mean that sound quality will be quite nice.

The Google Home is listed at $129 (£129 / about AU$170), though if rumors are true, the Home Mini will launch in a variety of fresh colors and at a fraction of the cost at $49 (about £40 / AU$60).

Credit: Droid LifeGoogle Daydream View 2

Last, but not least, Google’s first-party virtual reality headset is rumored to be refreshed exactly one year after it debuted.

As our Michelle Fitzsimmons noted, the new headset looks primed for the next generation of Daydream-ready phones, which has already blossomed to include over 10 smartphones.

The headsets shown in the image above from Droid Life appear to have closed the gap between the articulated flap and the front of the headset, which should nix light leakage – one of our biggest complaints about the original.

It’s tough to tell exactly what is different about the design, but if Google has them to show off on October 4, we’ll certainly be among the first to strap them to our heads to see what’s new.

The last bit of information provided by this leak puts the Google Daydream View 2 at $99 (about £75 / AU$125), which is $20 more than the current version priced at $79 (£69 / AU$119).

To our knowledge, the above products are what we believe will be announced on October 4. We’ll be reporting live from the San Francisco with the latest, including hands-on reviews of each and every one of them.

GoPro Hero 6 shoots 4K video, can be yours now for $499 – CNET

GoPro’s CEO took to the stage today to unveil the long anticipated but already completely leaked Hero 6 Black action camera, the successor to its top-of-the-line Hero 5 Black, which is just over a year old.

GoPro’s CEO took to the stage today to unveil the long anticipated but already completely leaked Hero 6 Black action camera, the successor to its top-of-the-line Hero 5 Black, which is just over a year old. The only details unknown prior to the announcement were pricing and availability: It’s shipping now for $499, £500 or AU$750.

The most notable updates in the Hero 6 are UHD 4K 2160/60p video, up from 30p, and 240fps fps capture in HD, up from 120fps.

Now Playing:Watch this: GoPro Hero6 gets better image quality and stabilization
2:33

It also adds 5GHz Wi-Fi support, the first (or at least one of the first few) implementations of the faster 802.11ac wireless standard in a camera that I can think of. It has the same body as its predecessor, so it’s compatible with all the mounts and has the same ruggedness characteristics. Other changes include:

A new, GoPro-designed GP1 processor, which the company claims improves tonal range and low-light quality, as well as extra power to speed up and smarten its QuikStories automated editing feature with face detection and more. The company claims double the performance.
Improved image stabilization
Digital zoom via touch
More voice commands

Not the gee-whiz-epic upgrade people have been looking forward to, but a nice evolution — especially the faster Wi-Fi and processing.

The company also provided an update about its 5.2K Fusion 360-degree camera, which was seeded with some commercial testers over the summer. We’ve been wondering how much it was going to cost — would it have prosumer or pro pricing? — and today we got the answer: It’s shipping in November for $699, £700 or AU$1,000.

Fusion highlights:

Offset lenses
In-camera stabilization
Overcapture, which records more than the footage necessary for the 360 scene and flattens it so you can use any section independently, reconstructed in software as if you were cutting a multicam shot (in a free update to the GoPro app, available 2018).

Finally, the firmware update for the Karma drone to add Follow and Watch modes that use GPS to track a subject, as well as add Hero 6 compatibility, will be available soon. Those options were noticeably absent considering its competition including category leader DJI had them for some time already when the Karma was released last year.

Check back later for our hands-on coverage of the the Hero 6 and the Fusion 360.

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GoPro Hero 6 shoots for 4K video, can be yours now for $499 – CNET

GoPro’s CEO took to the stage today to unveil the long anticipated but already completely leaked Hero 6 Black action camera, the successor to its top-of-the-line Hero 5 Black, which is just over a year old.

GoPro’s CEO took to the stage today to unveil the long anticipated but already completely leaked Hero 6 Black action camera, the successor to its top-of-the-line Hero 5 Black, which is just over a year old. The only details unknown prior to the announcement were pricing and availability: It’s shipping now for $499, £500 or AU$750.

The most notable updates in the Hero 6 are UHD 4K 2160/60p video, up from 30p, and 240fps fps capture in HD, up from 120fps.

Now Playing:Watch this: GoPro Hero6 gets better image quality and stabilization
2:33

It also adds 5GHz Wi-Fi support, the first (or at least one of the first few) implementations of the faster 802.11ac wireless standard in a camera that I can think of. It has the same body as its predecessor, so it’s compatible with all the mounts and has the same ruggedness characteristics. Other changes include:

A new, GoPro-designed GP1 processor, which the company claims improves tonal range and low-light quality, as well as extra power to speed up and smarten its QuikStories automated editing feature with face detection and more. The company claims double the performance.
Improved image stabilization
Digital zoom via touch
More voice commands

Not the gee-whiz-epic upgrade people have been looking forward to, but a nice evolution — especially the faster Wi-Fi and processing.

The company also provided an update about its 5.2K Fusion 360-degree camera, which was seeded with some commercial testers over the summer. We’ve been wondering how much it was going to cost — would it have prosumer or pro pricing? — and today we got the answer: It’s shipping in November for $699, £700 or AU$1,000.

Fusion highlights:

Offset lenses
In-camera stabilization
Overcapture, which records more than the footage necessary for the 360 scene and flattens it so you can use any section independently, reconstructed in software as if you were cutting a multicam shot (in a free update to the GoPro app, available 2018).

Finally, the firmware update for the Karma drone to add Follow and Watch modes that use GPS to track a subject, as well as add Hero 6 compatibility, will be available soon. Those options were noticeably absent considering its competition including category leader DJI had them for some time already when the Karma was released last year.

Check back later for our hands-on coverage of the the Hero 6 and the Fusion 360.

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With HERO6, GoPro Sets New Bar For Image Quality, Stabilization And Simplicity

GoPro’s founder and CEO, Nicholas Woodman, introduced the HERO6 Black and Fusion cameras to an international audience at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, California. Watch a replay of the live event HERE.

GoPro’s founder and CEO, Nicholas Woodman, introduced the HERO6 Black and Fusion cameras to an international audience at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, California. Watch a replay of the live event HERE.

“HERO6’s next-level image quality, video stabilization and three times faster QuikStories performance makes it a powerful storytelling extension of your smartphone,” said Woodman. “It’s never been easier to live it, then share it…using a GoPro.”

HERO6 BLACK – $499.99
With stunning 4K60 and 1080p240 video packed into a rugged, waterproof, go-anywhere design, HERO6 Black and the GoPro App automatically transform your adventures into cinematic QuikStory videos you can share with the world. HERO6 also has dramatically improved dynamic range and low-light performance to really make things pop, and an added digital zoom just to get crazy.

Powered by GoPro’s Custom-Designed GP1 Processor 4K60 and 1080p240 Video QuikStories Enabled, GoPro App Compatible Most Advanced Stabilization of any HERO camera All-New Touch Zoom 3x Faster Offload Speeds via 5GHz Wi-Fi Waterproof to 33 Feet (10m) Compatible with Karma and Existing GoPro Mounts Improved Dynamic Range and Low-Light Performance RAW and HDR Photo Modes Voice Control in 10 Languages GPS, Accelerometer and Gyroscope WiFi + Bluetooth

Developed from the ground up to maximize a GoPro’s capabilities, GP1 enables twice the video frame rates, improved image quality, dynamic range, low-light performance and dramatically improved video stabilization over previous HERO camera generations. Importantly, GP1 automates all of these benefits, allowing users to capture vibrant videos and stunning photos without messing around with complex image settings. GP1 also advances GoPro’s capabilities in computer vision and machine learning, enabling HERO6 to analyze visual scenes and sensor data for improved automated QuikStories.

HERO6 Black is now available on GoPro.com and at select retailers worldwide.

QUIKSTORIES
QuikStories is an app feature that makes it easy to share short videos of your adventures. HERO6 is optimized for QuikStories with 3X faster Wi-Fi. This means your footage will rapidly transfer from your GoPro to your phone where the GoPro App will automatically create QuikStory videos for you.

FUSION – $699.99
With its ability to capture immersive 5.2K spherical content, GoPro Fusion marks the beginning of a new creative era. Fusion captures everything around you so you’ll never miss the shot, and gimbal-like stabilization makes it all shockingly smooth. Use the GoPro App to play back and share your footage as VR content or use the app’s OverCapture™ feature to recapture and share your spherical shot as a traditional fixed perspective video.

5.2K30 and 3K60 Spherical Video 18MP Spherical Photo GoPro App Compatible OverCapture Allows for Traditional Video Creation from 360 Footage Advanced Stabilization 360 Audio Waterproof to 16ft (5m) Time Lapse Video + Photo, Night Lapse and Burst Modes Works with Most GoPro Mounts Includes Fusion Grip Mount Voice Control in 10 Languages GPS, Accelerometer, Gyroscope and Compass Wi-Fi + Bluetooth

GoPro Fusion is currently available for pre-order on GoPro.com for USA, Canada, United Kingdom and the European Union, shipping in November. Create stunning edits using the bundled Fusion Studio desktop software available when product ships. The OverCapture mobile experience will be part of a new version of the GoPro App available for iOS and Android in early 2018.

KARMA – Take the Lead. Karma will tag along
Karma is ready for HERO6 Black and features two new auto-shot paths: Follow and Watch. Using GPS, Karma can now automatically follow the Karma Controller while you’re on the go, keeping you framed in the shot. The Watch auto-shot path will keep Karma hovering in place while it rotates, keeping the Karma Controller in frame wherever it goes. Other new Karma updates include an expanded Cable-Cam auto-shot path and “Look Up” camera tilt capability.

Now HERO6 Black compatible Follow – Follows the Karma Controller, framing you in the shot Watch – Automatically keeps the Karma Controller in frame while hovering in place Cable Cam – Set up to 10 waypoints for more complex shots Look Up Tilt – Allows camera to tilt upwards to look above the horizon

Current Karma owners may unlock new features via firmware update, available today.

Additional New Products

Shorty – The ultimate pocket-able extension pole and tripod, perfect for any activity. The Handler – An updated floating handgrip with a quick-release mounting feature. Bite Mount + Floaty – A versatile bite mount with an easy-to-spot float, ideal for POV.

Learn more about GoPro’s new mounts and accessories HERE.

About GoPro, Inc. (NASDAQ: GPRO)

GoPro makes it easy for people to celebrate and share experiences. We believe life is more meaningful when shared. We build cameras, software and accessories that help the world share itself in immersive and exciting ways.

GoPro, HERO, Karma, Quik, QuikStories and their respective logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of GoPro, Inc. in the United States and other countries. The Bluetooth word mark and logos are registered trademarks owned by Bluetooth SIG, Inc. and any use of such marks by GoPro is under license. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

For more information, visit www.gopro.com or connect with GoPro on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube, and GoPro’s The Inside Line.

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SOURCE GoPro

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Identita™ Announces Its Selection by Caribbean Developer, as Winning Vendor for Its New Blockbuster Black Sands Resort and Villas

VAUGHAN, Ontario, Sept. 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Identita™, provider of cross-platform access, authorization and identity management solutions, announces its selection by one of the biggest resort developers in St. Vincent and the Grenadines for the installation and management of one of the largest converged logical-physical identity and access management installations in the world.

VAUGHAN, Ontario, Sept. 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Identita™, provider of cross-platform access, authorization and identity management solutions, announces its selection by one of the biggest resort developers in St. Vincent and the Grenadines for the installation and management of one of the largest converged logical-physical identity and access management installations in the world.

Identita Inc. Identita Inc.

“We are confident that our solutions combining next-generation ECG, facial biometrics and green building concepts would not only result in a next-generation resort but also lead to an unparalleled level of safety and security; unmatched by any resort worldwide. With electricity, septic and water production handled completely on-site, hotel and villa environments will exceed the current highest levels of certification, potentially making this resort the first ever to operate exceeding LEED PLATINUM+ level,” said CEO, Rocky Stefano.

“The development of this hotel reinforces our commitment to adding resorts to Pace Development’s building portfolio and to further expand our presence in the Caribbean,” said Joseph L. Romano, Chairman, Pace Development St. Vincent Inc. “This will mark Pace Development’s largest hotel in the Caribbean and is part of the group’s strategy to position itself in the Caribbean as a powerful, globally consistent, first-class developer.”

From Peter’s Hope to Mount Wynn, over two miles of black sand beach will surround this five-star plus beachfront resort, catering to a wide range of tastes, leisure class and business travelers. The guestrooms will feature unique ultra-modern design, high-end finishings and expansive windows that open up to breathtaking views of the Caribbean Sea; providing the highest level of comfort and luxury. Room amenities will include a 60-inch flat panel television with expanded cable channels, an in-room biometric safe, a leisure chair and ottoman, a work desk with ergonomic chair, and complimentary Wi-Fi access throughout the property.

The resort will offer a top-rated executive health program, on-site beachfront fitness center, outdoor childrens’ and adults’ swimming pools, a conference facility to accommodate up to 800 people, a movie theater, a telescope and star gazing platform, and multiple disciplines of cuisine situated throughout the property. The resort will be located nine miles from the brand new Argyle International Airport.

About Identita

Identita is a boutique security firm specializing in access control solutions including a complete credential management server with both hardware tokens and client server application software. The company’s research and development has culminated in the creation of breakthrough next-generation powered smart cards in a credit card format. Identita also designed a multi-modal aware biometric platform called EchoSystem™ which is also PCI-DSS certified. The company’s solutions can be used for corporate security, e-commerce, education, government, health care, banking, finance, gaming, and mobile industries to name some.

Press Contacts

Rocky Stefano
+1-905-739-8999
info@identita.com

Related Links

About ECG Biometrics

About facial biometrics

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SOURCE Identita Inc.

GoPro Fusion is a waterproof 360-degree camera that goes beyond VR

GoPro has finally fully revealed its Fusion 360-degree 5.2K spherical camera, filling in all the gaps which we didn’t know about when we had a first look at the device back in June.

GoPro has finally fully revealed its Fusion 360-degree 5.2K spherical camera, filling in all the gaps which we didn’t know about when we had a first look at the device back in June.

This is a fully mountable and waterproof camera (to a depth of 5m) capable of capturing 5.2K resolution video at 30 fps, or 3K content at 60 fps (or indeed 18MP spherical photos).

GoPro also boasts that the Fusion benefits from gimbal-like stabilization trickery which helps ensure that the footage shot is nice and smooth.

As well as shooting 360-degree footage for VR, you can also use the software’s ‘OverCapture’ mode to create traditional (2D) videos from the footage, with the ability to dynamically change the perspective of the video (because you have content shot from all angles by the 360-degree camera, of course).

In other words, you can pull off videos like the examples shown in the clip below.

Sounds good

On top of 360-degree footage, you also get directional 360-degree audio thanks to an array of microphones.

Fusion supports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth in terms of connectivity, offers voice control in 10 different languages, and comes with a Fusion Grip Mount. It should also play nice with most other GoPro mounts.

The GoPro Fusion will release later this year for $699 (about £520, AU$890)

We’ve rounded up the best GoPro and action cameras in 2017

GoPro Hero 6 Black shoots faster 4K video than your DSLR

GoPro has announced the Hero6 Black as its latest flagship action camera, and as we predicted and was rumored, it can shoot at 4K resolutions with a silky smooth 60fps.

While there are many cameras that can shoot at Ultra HD resolutions (3,840 x 2,160), ones that can shoot a high frame rate of 60fps are far and few between.

GoPro has announced the Hero6 Black as its latest flagship action camera, and as we predicted and was rumored, it can shoot at 4K resolutions with a silky smooth 60fps.

While there are many cameras that can shoot at Ultra HD resolutions (3,840 x 2,160), ones that can shoot a high frame rate of 60fps are far and few between. The fact that some massive DSLRs like the Canon 5D Mark IV and Nikon D850 can only shoot at 4K up to 30fps is a testament to the Hero6 Black’s capabilities.

Aside from being an accolade, users will find the high frame rate helpful whenever they want to slow down footage and show action happening frame-by-frame – this is especially true with the GoPro Hero6’s ability to shoot at 1080p and 240fps.

All of these higher frame rates arrive thanks to GoPro’s new custom-made GPI image processor that also improves image quality with enhanced video stabilization, a wider dynamic range, better low-light performance and a new digital zoom feature. GoPro also claims users can expect 3x faster offload speeds to their phone over its 5GHz hosted Wi-Fi connection.

The GoPro Hero6 Black will release later this year for $499 (about £370, AU$640).

Good Karma

The GoPro Hero6 Black is also fully compatible with the Karma Drone and Karma Grip, which will also receive two new auto-flight path modes.

The GoPro Karma Drone is getting two new features including a long-coveted ‘Follow’ mode, in which the drone homes in on the Karma Controller’s GPS signal and follows the user wherever they go. ‘Watch’ is a simpler follow mode where the drone simply hovers in place and rotates to keep the Karma Controller in frame.

Keep in mind that the GoPro Karma Drone has no obstacle detection capabilities, so you’ll want to be mindful of exactly where the drone is following you to.

Other new Karma updates include an expanded Cable-Cam auto-shot path and “Look Up” camera tilt capability.

We’ve rounded up the best action cameras

GE GTW685BSLWS review – CNET

GE’s $699 GTW685BSLWS top-load washing machine expertly balances affordability and luxury. It features a traditional agitator inside the cleaning bin, an outdated, but still popular design that typically costs less.

GE’s $699 GTW685BSLWS top-load washing machine expertly balances affordability and luxury. It features a traditional agitator inside the cleaning bin, an outdated, but still popular design that typically costs less. It also has a premium-looking transparent lid, a silver display panel and a ton of extras, like 14 cleaning cycles and a “delay wash” setting.

And, if you decide to spring for a $49 GE ConnectPlus Wi-Fi module, you can connect your GTW685BSLWS to the GE Laundry app, as well as check on the status of your clothes with your Amazon Alexa and Google Home speakers. This top-loader cleans really well, too.

The main downside? It was noisier than a lot of washers I’ve reviewed. Even so, its skillful stain removal, long list of features and solid design more than make up for it (assuming you’re able to tuck your washer away behind a door to keep the noise down).


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GE’s traditional top-load washer is surprisingly smart

Get to know GE’s GTW685BSLWS

Take a look at the GTW685BSLWS’s main features compared to other models in its price range:

For just $49 more than GE’s own $650 GTW485ASJWS, the GTW685BSLWS has a larger capacity, more cleaning cycles, slightly better estimated energy consumption and way more optional smart integrations.

Note: If you want access to the GE Laundry app or to check in on the status of your washer via Alexa or Google Assistant, you must buy the $49 ConnectPlus accessory.

ConnectPlus is a Wi-Fi module that lets you connect your washer to the GE Laundry app, as well as your Alexa or Google Home smart speaker. Assuming your Wi-Fi connection is strong, this process should be very quick and straightforward. At the same time, the app and the voice control integrations don’t actually do much. You can’t start, stop or pause a cleaning cycle; instead, you’re limited to checking in on your washer remotely to find out its current status and/or how much time is remaining on a cleaning cycle.

I specifically used the GE Laundry app, as well as an Amazon Echo Show to check in on my GTW685BSLWS cycles. GE’s Geneva Alexa skill does require you to say, “Alexa, ask Geneva for the status of my washing machine” rather than just “Alexa, what’s the status of my washing machine?” It’s slightly clunky, but not a deal breaker. Again, the GTW685BSLWS’s overall smart functionality is only somewhat useful, so I’m glad GE lets you decide by making the ConnectPlus an optional purchase.