Connect with us


Battery-powered face mask seeks to fight COVID and foggy glasses – Reuters



A PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier is seen in this undated handout picture provided by LG Electronics on September 10, 2020. LG Electronics/Handout via REUTERS

SEOUL (Reuters) – A South Korean company has invented a battery-powered filtered face mask designed to reduce annoying problems associated with conventional designs, such as breathing difficulties and fogged-up glasses.

LG Electronics’ (066570.KS) PuriCare Wearable, which comes in one size and weighs as much as a pair of ski goggles, features two fans and high-efficiency particle air filters that clean air coming in and exhaled breath going out.

As authorities increasingly urge the public use of face masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, manufacturers have turned their attention to making such gear more comfortable without compromising safety.

Among problems mask wearers face are breathing difficulties and fogged-up glasses as the warm breath escapes from the top of the mask toward the eyes.

“Breathing is the biggest concern when it comes to wearing a face mask and disposable masks come with a huge environment cost,” Choi Yoon-hee, a senior official at LG Electronics’ air solution product team, told Reuters.

The mask comes with a case that charges the battery and disinfects the mask with UV light.

The device will be available in the fourth quarter in select markets. LG is yet to set a price.

LG said the mask has a battery life of about eight hours on low-power settings and two hours on its highest setting.

Reporting by Daewoung Kim; Additional reporting by Heekyong Yang; Editing by Sam Holmes

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Source link

Continue Reading


Not spooked by the pandemic, haunted houses find ways around COVID-19 – Yahoo News Canada



TORONTO — Psychotic clowns. Axe murderers. Bedrooms possessed by poltergeists.

Many of the frights greeting visitors of horror attractions this Halloween will be familiar, but the thrill-creators behind them say one terrifying experience is squarely off-limits: the terrors of COVID-19.

Before the pandemic shook our lives, haunted houses sometimes dipped into the fears of contagion, splashing themed rooms with signs of a viral outbreak, hazmat suits and contamination warnings.

But with those experiences uncomfortably close to reality this year, horror masters like Shawn Lippert say reminding people of the virus is one line they’re not willing to cross.

“We use the analogy: Treat ‘COVID’ like the F-word in church,” said the owner of Scarehouse, an industrial-sized indoor haunted house in Windsor, Ont.

“It’s too real and so close to home. It’s almost like when you tell a joke and they say, ‘Too soon.’”

Lippert said that’s one of several rules he’s introduced at his haunt in order to keep people feeling safe and heath authorities satisfied. Ticketholders arrive at staggered times, and everyone is required to wear a mask.

Creepy objects that once brushed against visitors have been removed, and the giant airbags that evoke the feeling of claustrophobia have been stowed away to decrease the potential spread of germs.

Lippert describes those as small changes in a challenging year.

Many haunt operators were jittery about moving ahead with their usual Halloween festivities, considering health authorities could shut down the houses without much notice if the region experiences a surge in local cases. That would leave a brutal dent in their investments.

“If we can keep our doors open for the full run at this point, that would be a success for us,” Lippert said.

Several Toronto haunted houses decided the risk was too high. Casa Loma’s Legends of Horror and 28-year pillar Screemers at Exhibition Place were among the operators who decided to sit this year out, even before the city introduced tighter restrictions that would’ve closed them anyway.

Some organizers have used the pandemic to imagine ways to scare the living daylights out of people from a distance — often from the safety of their own vehicles.

The Pickering Museum Village put a historic spin on its spooky experience with a drive-thru tour that urged visitors to creep their cars along a roadway checkered with old houses, as ghost stories played on their FM radios.

Others have gone online with virtual group parties for kids or, for those of legal drinking age, what’s being sold as Canada’s first Virtual Halloween Cocktail Crawl.

Mentalist Jaymes White decided to embrace the digital world this year for his annual Halloween seances. His new Zoom experience, called Evoke, invites a small circle of friends to channel a spirit through video chat. He admits the idea goes against the traditions of a séance, where people usually hold hands around a table, but he’s confident the spirits will still be ready to unsettle his guests.

“They don’t care that we have a pandemic,” he said.

Paul Magnuson, one of the leaders at Calgary artist collective Big Art, will take over a downtown self-serve car wash for three days for a drive-in of the dead later this month. 

Scare Wash is described as a trip to hell and back that begins when a wash attendee’s seemingly normal car rinse spirals into a nightmare.

Magnuson came up with the idea when it was clear plans for his usual neighbourhood spectacle wouldn’t be possible in the pandemic.

“Last year I turned my garage into a Dexter killer room where we did performances all night. In previous years I’ve had an interactive cemetery,” he said.

“I’m not going to let COVID take this holiday.”

Robby Lavoie felt a similar conviction for keeping Terror Train on track this year at the National Ontario Railroad Museum and Heritage Centre. The annual Halloween event draws thousands of people to Capreol, Ont., part of Greater Sudbury, and provides the museum with a healthy dose of revenue.

Lavoie said he drew inspiration from videos he saw of a Japanese zombie drive-in haunted house over the summer. He knew there was a way to tone down the gore and make the idea a bit more Canadian.

After speaking with museum organizers, Lavoie secured the board’s approval for “Inferno 6077,” an immersive drive-in horror experience inside the garage of the fire hall. 

Pulling from his own knowledge of working in live theatre and movies, Lavoie began thinking on a grand scale. He hired a local writer who penned a story about townsfolk who seek revenge on an old man, and built rolling set pieces for the spectacle, which reaches its peak when the space is engulfed in flames, an illusion created with lights and projections.

“We’re putting you almost in an interactive movie, and it all came together within a month,” he said.

“I see myself doing this again next year, even if there isn’t COVID.”

Kathrine Petch understands the urge to keep Halloween on the calendar. As the general manager of Deadmonton Haunted House in Edmonton, she’s laid down strict COVID-19 precautions for their Area 51-themed haunt.

“The absolute, pure excitement of the customers is contagious to us,” she said.

“As long as we can pay the bills and have some money left over to make a different haunted house next year, I think we’ll be pretty happy.”

Petch said keeping Deadmonton open during the pandemic was important to everyone who runs the show.

“One of our biggest goals was to provide people with some kind of escape from all the crappiness that is 2020,” she said.

“And when they reach the end of our haunted house, at least they know the scares are done.”

Follow @dfriend on Twitter.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 20, 2020.

David Friend, The Canadian Press

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version misspelled Robby Lavoie’s given name.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Source link

Continue Reading


Adobe is adding its ‘content authenticity’ tool to the latest Photoshop beta – The Verge



Adobe will let some Adobe Creative Cloud customers try a tool that builds trustworthy attribution directly into a picture. As part of a bigger software update, Adobe is moving forward with the Content Authenticity Initiative, a system it proposed last year. The tool adds an extra panel to Photoshop, and using it attaches metadata that’s supported by Adobe-owned art sharing site Behance.

Adobe lays out exactly how the process works in a video. The system lets users toggle four kinds of metadata: a picture thumbnail, the name of the person creating the image, some broad information about the types of edits that were made, and the original assets used to create the image. These are then cryptographically signed so it’ll be evident if anyone tampers with them.

If the picture is uploaded to Behance, users can see all that information as a pop-up panel, or they can click through to a dedicated website. The CAI panel is coming to “select customers” in Photoshop’s beta release over the next few weeks.

[embedded content]

Adobe’s demonstration video hints at how the system might be useful. If one of a composite photo’s original assets also used CAI, for instance, you can click through and see the full details for it as well — essentially giving artists a one-click attribution tool when they’re building on other people’s images. As we’ve discussed before, CAI isn’t designed to stop determined trolls from faking an image. But if you’d like to make clear that you’ve Photoshopped an image, CAI is also a simple and low-key way to do so.

Adobe eventually wants lots of apps, websites, and even cameras to support the CAI — likely hoping to make it a de facto standard for image attribution. CAI’s effectiveness ultimately depends on how much buy-in it can get across the wider internet, and Adobe has named a few high-profile partners like Microsoft, Twitter, and The New York Times Company. For now, though, Adobe is going to see how the option works within its own ecosystem.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Source link

Continue Reading


iPhone 12 Review: The one to buy – MobileSyrup



One thing is abundantly clear about Apple’s iPhone 12 line: the standard iPhone 12 is the device most Apple users should consider purchasing if they’re in the market for a new iPhone.

While this was also the case with last year’s iPhone 11, the upgrades Apple has made to the smartphone, including the iPhone 12’s new 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED display, 5G capabilities, its A14 processor and more, amount to an impressive smartphone package.

Except for the iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max’s telephoto lens, Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) sensor and a few other minor technical differences, the iPhone 12 offers a smartphone experience nearly identical to the iPhone 12 Pro’s.

iPhone 12 back

As expected, these upgrades also come at a price increase, with last year’s iPhone 11 costing $849 and the iPhone 12 bumping the price up to $1,129. A $280 difference is a pretty substantial price change any way you look at it, though the inclusion of an OLED display helps soften that blow.

“With all that in mind, it’s clear the iPhone 12 is likely the device most Apple users should be interested in”

Just like with the iPhone 12 Pro, several questions remain about the iPhone 12 series. For instance, the 5.4-inch iPhone mini isn’t yet available, and neither is the highest-end iPhone Apple has to offer this year, the iPhone 12 Pro Max. Both devices are set to launch together in early November. It’s also unclear if Apple’s MagSafe accessories will live up to the tech giant’s loft claims and solve some of Qi wireless charging’s main issues.

With all that in mind, it’s clear the iPhone 12 is likely the device most Apple users should be interested in.


Stainless steel vs. aluminum

iPhone 12 with Google Home app

I’m shocked to be writing this, but I actually prefer the look of the iPhone 12 over the iPhone 12 Pro.

The smartphone features the same flat-edged iPad Air and iPhone 4-inspired design as the iPhone 12 Pro, but its matte aluminum edges get far less greasy than the stainless steel border featured in its higher-end counterpart. This gives the device a cleaner look when it isn’t inside a case and makes the smartphone feel better when you’re holding it in your hand.

iPhone 11 side view

Like the iPhone 12 Pro, the iPhone 12 features a ‘Ceramic Shield’ front the tech giant claims is more durable than previous iPhones. It’s impossible to verify this statement, but given how shockingly hardy the iPhone 11 was, I tend to believe Apple.

The smartphone itself is roughly 15 percent smaller than the iPhone 11, but it still features a 6.1-inch display thanks to its reduced bezels. This makes the device easier to hold in one hand than its predecessor.

iPhone 12

Colour-wise, I prefer the hues Apple offered last year with the iPhone 11, but the new green colour Apple sent me to review looks stunning. It’s light green and features an intensity not present in the iPhone 11’s colours. The iPhone 12 is available in the following colours: ‘Black,’ ‘White,’ ‘Product Red,’ ‘Green,’ and ‘Blue.’

Each colour and the still-grease-resistant back glass also match the iPhone 12’s overall hue, giving it a uniform look.

“I prefer the hues Apple offered last year with the iPhone 11, but the new green colour Apple sent me to review looks stunning”

It’s worth noting the squared-off design might take some long-time iPhone users a little getting used to and, for a select few, might even feel like a step backwards.

While I initially counted myself in this camp, the design quickly grew on me. It looks and feels great and is a solid step forward for Apple’s iPhone line in terms of aesthetics.

Say hello to OLED

iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12

What’s most interesting about this year’s iPhone lineup is the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro are nearly identical in several ways.

For example, the iPhone 12 features a 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR display that comes in at 2,532 x 1,170 pixels and 460ppi, just like the iPhone 12 Pro. The screen also supports ‘True Tone,’ HDR capabilities, features a P3 wide colour gamut, and includes the same 2,000,000:1 contrast ratio as the more expensive iPhone 12 Pro.

iPhone 12 Lightning port

The only difference is the iPhone 12 Pro’s standard max brightness measures in at 800 nits compared to the iPhone 12’s 625 nits. This change isn’t noticeable at all, and in general, the iPhone 12’s display looks stunning and a significant step above last year’s solid but rapidly ageing Liquid Retina LCD screen that came in at a 1,792 x 828 pixel resolution. Video content with apps like Netflix and YouTube, as well as games and even just browsing the internet, all look great.

“My experience with the iPhone 12 has been extremely smooth over the last few days and I haven’t encountered a single instance of lag”

Like last year, the iPhone 12 features the same chip as its more expensive counterpart, the new A14 Bionic processor. Though I don’t put much stock into benchmarks because they don’t speak to how a phone operates in the real world, the iPhone comes in at 1,596 for its single-core score and 4,025 for its multi-core score with Geekbench, which is a substantial increase over the A13-equipped iPhone 11 coming in at 1,326 and the 3,397. My experience with the iPhone 12 has been extremely smooth over the last few days and I haven’t encountered a single instance of lag.

iPhone 12 benchmark

The other difference worth noting about the iPhone 12 is it weighs 162g compared to the iPhone 12 Pro’s 187g. Just like last year, storage options include 64GB, 128GB and 256GB.

Regarding battery life, I found the iPhone 12 comes in at roughly a day with moderate use, which is similar to my experience with the iPhone 12 Pro.

Camera improvements

iPhone 12 camera

Similar to the iPhone 12 Pro, the most significant changes to the iPhone 12 relate to the smartphone’s camera performance.

First off, the array is very similar to the iPhone 12 Pro’s, including a wide f/1.6 lens and an ultrawide f/2.4 aperture. However, the iPhone 12 doesn’t feature the iPhone 12 Pro’s telephoto lens, which means it isn’t capable of 2x optical zoom.

iPhone 12 photo compare

The iPhone 12’s camera is on the left and the iPhone 12 Pro’s is on the right. While the images are nearly identical, the iPhone 12 Pro features slightly more contrast.

The iPhone 11’s wide shooter is on the left side, and the iPhone 11 Pro Max’s wide camera is on the right. The images above shot with the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro are slight improvements over the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro Max.

I’d argue a wide-angle lens is likely more useful for taking group shots and capturing landscapes, but it really depends on the type of photography you do with your smartphone. For example, I value 2x zoom over wide-angle photography because I often find myself shooting landscapes and not large groups of people.

While the ultrawide lens measures in at the same f/2.4 aperture, the wide lens comes in at f/1.6 and now has seven elements, which allows more light into the sensor, resulting in overall brighter, less noisy images, especially when under low-light.

iPhone 12 low-light photo comparison.

The iPhone 12 wide camera is on the left side, and the iPhone 12 Pro’s wide camera is right. Though the pictures are very similar, the photo shot with the iPhone 12 Pro features slightly more contrast and overall better tones.

It’s also worth noting the iPhone 12 doesn’t support Apple’s new ProRAW image format that’s launching later this year because it lacks the iPhone 12 Pro’s LiDAR sensor.

While not a significant hit to camera quality, this means the iPhone 12 doesn’t benefit from the same quicker focusing and improved low-light performance as the iPhone 12 Pro. However, it does still feature Apple’s new Smart HDR 3 technology coupled with Deep Fusion, Night mode and of course, Portrait Mode.

iPhone 12 selfie shooter comparison

The iPhone 12’s selfie shooter is on the left with night mode turned on, and the iPhone 12 Pro’s selfie shooter is on the right with night mode turned on. Night mode selfies are generally pretty blurry and give skin a very plastic tone.

The iPhone 12 features the same new night mode selfie shots with the smartphone’s front-facing 12-megapixel camera, but they’re a little darker and pretty noisy. I don’t find this new feature very useful and feel it gives skin a weird, over-detailed, almost plastic tone. The device’s ultrawide camera also now works in night mode and produces images nearly identical to the iPhone 12 Pro’s that feature sightly more noise and less contrast.

iPhone 12 wideangle comparison

The iPhone 12 ultrawide image is on the left, and the iPhone 12 ultrawide shot is on the right. Though the images are very similar, the iPhone 12 photo features slightly more vibrant colours and more contrast.

Photos generally look better than those shot with the iPhone 11. However, they’re slightly noisier, a little less sharp and don’t feature as much contrast as what the iPhone 12 Pro can shoot. Overall, the difference is surprisingly marginal.

Further, instead of dual optical image stabilization, the iPhone 12 features optical image stabilization. In my tests, I didn’t find this really made much of a difference when snapping photos, even when using the smartphone’s night mode.

iPhone 12 back

Finally, the iPhone 12 also features 10-bit Dolby Vision HDR video recording — a first for any smartphone — that can only be viewed on supported televisions and monitors.

That said, even YouTube doesn’t support the format. The iPhone 12 only includes HDR 4K Dolby Vision video at 30fps compared to the iPhone 12 Pro’s 60fps.

Everything else

iPhone 12 display

Unlike in previous years, the iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 Pro offer a very similar smartphone experience, and because of this, there are several aspects of the device this review doesn’t touch on.

If you’re interested in learning more about what it’s like to use an iPhone 12 with 5G in Canada and Apple’s MagSafe accessories, follow this link to my iPhone 12 Pro review.

Other things worth noting are that the iPhone 12 features Face ID that seems just as reliable as last year, with authentication working roughly 95 percent of the time.

iPhone 12 on a stump

Most people won’t need an iPhone 12 Pro

The main takeaway from my time with the iPhone 12 is that across the board, the average iPhone user likely won’t need the features that the iPhone 12 Pro offers, especially now that the smartphone includes a great-looking and vibrant OLED display. On the other hand, if you’re a smartphone photography enthusiast, the incremental improvements the iPhone 12 Pro offers could be worth the upgrade.


Of course, questions still remain surrounding the iPhone mini and the iPhone 12 Pro, which don’t release until November 13th. Given the mini’s positively minuscule 5.4-inch size display size and lower $979 price tag, some people may want to wait for that device.


 Overall, though, the iPhone 12 offers photography and performance capabilities nearly identical to the iPhone 12 Pro’s. That said, its low-light performance isn’t quite as solid because it doesn’t feature a LiDAR sensor.


 With all this in mind, the iPhone 12 is one of the most solid smartphone packages the tech giant has released in years.


“The iPhone 12 offers photography and performance capabilities nearly identical to the iPhone 12 Pro’s”

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Source link

Continue Reading