You’ve got a LiDAR scanner if you’ve got an iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, or an iPad Pro, but Apple doesn’t appear to give you any way to use it. Here’s how you can, what you need, and why LiDAR is so useful.
LiDAR is part of the iPhone 12 Pro, the iPhone 12 Pro Max, and the iPad Pro, but you could be forgiven for not even noticing. Apple barely mentions it at all, and there is no LiDAR app on the phone for you to try.
Given that one of its key uses is in photography, you’d expect some kind of LiDAR controls in the Camera app, or at least something in Settings. But there’s neither.
There’s also little incentive to go looking for such controls because until you’ve seen it in action, it’s hard to grasp just what LiDAR can do for you. The technology scans your environment, building up a 3D image of it, and that’s going to change how well AR and VR works.
For now, Apple seems happy to let LiDAR subtly help you out by how it supplements existing apps and functions.
How you’re already using LiDAR
If you’ve previously given up on using Apple’s Measure app, try it again. The app is now aided by LiDAR and that’s improved it noticeably.
Measure is now faster to start using, because it senses its surroundings quicker. And because LiDAR is working to scan your whole environment, measurements you make are more accurate.
That’s the theory and in practice, you find that Measure is just more useful than it used to be. Rather than an app you used for rough measurements when you didn’t have a tape measure, it’s now good enough, and quick enough, to use anywhere.
Next, while it’s harder to see, LiDAR has also made your Camera’s autofocus work faster. Again, it’s because LiDAR maps out the environment around you, so it’s begun calculating just how far or near an object is, as you tap the button to take the shot.
If Measure and autofocus are the only two discernible uses of LiDAR from Apple, though, there are already third-party apps that will do much more. There are very many of these, and most feel like experiments in finding out what’s possible.
But broadly, they also tend to be good at one of two things. Either they are great at capturing a photograph-like 3D image of your environment, or they’re better at capturing an image of an object.
Capturing your whole environment
Use Canvas: Pocket 3D Room Scanner for iPhone — free on the iOS App Store — and you can scan your surroundings. Stand in the middle of the room, tap the Measure-like controls, and then slowly turn around.
What you see through the Canvas screen is like standing in a “Star Trek” holodeck. Alongside a camera view of what’s immediately in front of you, there’s a grid next to it. As you turn, the grid gets filled in which an image of your surroundings.
Move too quickly, and the resulting image is low on detail. Move too slowly, and the app can run out of memory before you complete the scan. So it’s a compromise between detail and completeness, but what it gets you is a 360 degree image of your room.
Right there on the iPhone, you can choose to zoom out to see an isomorphic projection of the room, rotate it with a gesture, and zoom in to see it from any angle. Swipe to show the room in closeup full screen, and you can then either swipe to move around — or physically move the phone.
Physically moving the phone shows you what the captured environment looks like as you turn around. But you don’t have to be in that same environment that you captured.
You can instead take your phone and examine the scan anywhere else. Stand outside in field, for instance, and see your office on your iPhone screen. Move around the field, and the screen looks as if you’re moving around the office.
No question — police officers are going to be taking LiDAR scans of crime scenes in the future. It’s only a matter of time before such a scan delivers the deciding clue in an episode of “NCIS.”
Scanning objects with LiDAR
You’ve already seen this with selected Apple devices. Through AR, and scanned images, your iPhone can show you what, say, a Mac Pro would look like on your desk. LiDAR scanners let you capture an object’s image and do exactly that yourself.
Canvas is capable of this, though in our testing it felt optimized for scanning rooms. Equally, the free 3D Scanner App can and does do rooms, but it seems best at capturing objects.
Again, though, there are increasing numbers of LiDAR scanning apps, with many of them free to try.
And again, 3D Scanner App resembles a holodeck in how it presents a grid over your object, which gets filled in and replaced as you scan.
What you can do with LiDAR scans
Next time you move house, take a LiDAR scan of any new property you’re considering buying. We’re not at the stage yet where apps make it very easy to take a scan of a room, and then drop in separate scans of your furniture, but you can do it.
More usefully, you can get a better feel for the size of apartments when you’re comparing them. Being able to effectively walk around each apartment is much more intuitive than relying on floor plans and measurements.
Or if you’re slowly clearing out a storage rental, then taking a quick LiDAR scan is visually much more useful than listing how many boxes are left.
These are all uses that benefit you, as the user who took the LiDAR scans, or the measurements and photographs. If someone else has the same app as you, you can typically send them the scan.
And ones, such as Canvas, include an option to send a scan online. It’s not the same as being able to turn your phone around as you walk about a virtual room. But you can see a 360 degree scanned image on your Mac.
What’s next for LiDAR
Apps will get more sophisticated as developers explore the technology — and as it becomes more worth their while when LiDAR becomes commonplace. That will surely also extend to new ways of sharing or downloading such scans.
And maybe then we’ll see more, maybe then we’ll also have more Apple AR, too.
Samsung’s cheapest 5G Galaxy phones yet are launching this month
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- Samsung is launching five new phones in its Galaxy A series this month.
- Three of them will support 5G connectivity, and the most expensive phone is just $500.
- The cheapest phone of the five still has three cameras but lacks 5G and other features.
- See more buying advice on the Insider Reviews homepage.
Samsung may be best known for its high-end Galaxy S phones that rival the iPhone. But the tech giant is proving that it can appeal to cost-conscious customers with the launch of five new smartphones in the United States, the priciest of which only costs $500.
Samsung’s new lineup of budget phones, which debuted in other markets before coming to the US, are all launching this month. Some of them will be released as soon as this week, while the least expensive model will debut on April 29. The launch comes as competitors like Apple and Google have also been focusing on cheaper smartphones to boost sales.
Three of these new Samsung devices also support 5G, another sign that shoppers no longer have to pay a premium to get access to next-generation wireless networks. All five of the new phones also have the traditional headphone jack for wired listening and run on an octa-core processor.
Here’s a look at the new Samsung Galaxy A series phones that will be launching soon.
Samsung Galaxy A52 5G
- Release date: April 9
- Price: $499.99
The Galaxy A52 5G is the most expensive smartphone of the bunch. It comes with a 6.5-inch FHD+ screen and a quad-camera system that includes some of the same features as Samsung’s more expensive Galaxy S phones. These include Single Take, which creates several different photos or video clips with different effects with a single press of the shutter button.
Its screen can also boost its refresh rate up to 120Hz for smoother scrolling and performance, a feature that has become common on pricier flagship phones but is rare on cheaper models. It’s also the only phone in this A-series lineup to include Samsung’s notch-free screen design.
Samsung Galaxy A42 5G
- Release date: April 8
- Price: $399.99
The less expensive Galaxy A42 5G has a slightly larger screen than the A52 5G, but scales back on certain features when it comes to the camera and screen refresh rate.
Still, it has a triple-lens camera with high-resolution sensors, and like its pricier sibling it also supports Single Take.
Samsung Galaxy A32 5G
Release date: April 9
The Galaxy A32 5G is Samsung’s cheapest 5G smartphone to date. It has a large 6.5-inch screen, but it’s made from an LCD panel instead of Super AMOLED. That means it will likely lack some of the contrast and boldness of Samsung’s other devices. But Samsung hasn’t skimped on the camera considering this model has a quad-lens main camera, which is rare if not unheard of at that price.
Samsung Galaxy A12
Release date: April 9
Samsung’s Galaxy A12 doesn’t come with 5G support, but it still gives you a lot for the price. For less than $200, you’re getting a quad-lens camera and a large 6.5-inch LCD screen. But remember this phone only has 32GB of storage, so it’s best suited for those who don’t store a lot of photos and videos on their device.
Samsung Galaxy A02s
- Release date: April 29
- Price: $109.99
The Galaxy A02s is Samsung’s cheapest phone, offering a 6.5-inch LCD screen and three main cameras. It doesn’t have 5G support or as much computing power or camera prowess as Samsung’s other A-series phones, but that’s to be expected for a device at this price. This phone is truly for those who just need the basics and little else.
Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Insider Reviews team. We highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source:- Business Insider
Starving for more chips in a tech hungry world – Electronic Products & Technology
As the U.S. economy rebounds from its pandemic slump, a vital cog is in short supply: the computer chips that power a wide range of products that connect, transport and entertain us in a world increasingly dependent on technology.
The shortage has already been rippling through various markets since last summer. It has made it difficult for schools to buy enough laptops for students forced to learn from home, delayed the release of popular products such as the iPhone 12 and created mad scrambles to find the latest video game consoles such as the PlayStation 5.
But things have been getting even worse in recent weeks, particularly in the auto industry, where factories are shutting down because there aren’t enough chips to finish building vehicles that are starting to look like computers on wheels. The problem was recently compounded by a grounded container ship that blocked the Suez Canal for nearly a week, choking off chips headed from Asia to Europe.
These snags are likely to frustrate consumers who can’t find the vehicle they want and sometimes find themselves settling for a lower-end models without as many fancy electronic features. And it threatens to leave a big dent in the auto industry, which by some estimates stands to lose $60 billion in sales during the first half of his year.
“We have been hit by the perfect storm, and it’s not going away any time soon,” said Baird technology analyst Ted Mortonson, who said he has never seen such a serious shortage in nearly 30 years tracking the chip industry.
Is the pandemic to blame?
Sort of. The pandemic prompted chip factories to start shutting down early last year, particularly overseas, where the majority of the processors are made. By the time they started to reopen, they had a backlog of orders to fill.
That wouldn’t have been as daunting if chipmakers weren’t then swamped by unforeseen demand. For instance, no one entered 2020 expecting to see a spike in personal computer sales after nearly a decade of steady decline. But that’s what happened after government lockdowns forced millions of office workers to do their jobs from homes while students mostly attended their classes remotely.
Are other factors at work?
Yes. Both Sony and Microsoft were preparing to release highly anticipated next-generation video game consoles for their PlayStation and Xbox brands, respectively, that required more sophisticated chips than ever. To add to the demand, wireless network providers are clamouring for chips to power ultrafast “5G” services being built around the world.
President Donald Trump’s trade war with China probably didn’t help either. Some analysts believe the Trump administration’s blacklisting of Huawei Technologies prompted that major maker of smartphones to build a huge stockpile of chips as it braced for the crackdown.
Why is the Auto industry being hit so hard?
Stay-at-home orders drove a surge in consumer electronics sales, squeezing auto parts suppliers who use chips for computers that control gas pedals, transmissions and touch screens. Chip makers compounded the pressure by rejiggering factory lines to better serve the consumer-electronics market, which generates far more revenue for them than autos.
After eight weeks of pandemic-induced shutdown in the spring, automakers started reopening factories earlier than they had envisioned. But then they were hit with unexpected news: chip makers weren’t able to flip a switch quickly and make the types of processors needed for cars.
How are automakers dealing with the shortage?
They’ve cancelled shifts and temporarily closed factories. Ford, General Motors, Fiat Chrysler (now Stellantis), Volkswagen and Honda seem to have been hit the hardest. Others, most notably Toyota, aren’t being affected as dramatically. That is probably because Toyota was better prepared after learning how sudden, unexpected shocks can disrupt supply chains from the massive earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in 2011, said Bank of America Securities analyst Vivek Arya.
The harder hit automakers have diverted chips from slower-selling models to those in high demand, such as pickup trucks and large SUVs. Ford, GM and Stellantis have started building vehicles without some computers, putting them in storage with plans to retrofit them later.
GM expects the chip shortage to cost it up to $2 billion in pretax profits this year from lost production and sales. Ford is bracing for a similar blow. Chip makers probably won’t fully catch up with auto-industry demand until July at the earliest.
How will this affect people who want to buy a new car?
Expect to pay more. Supplies of many models were tight even before the chip shortage because automakers were having trouble making up for production lost to the pandemic.
IHS Markit estimates that from January through March, the chip shortage reduced North American auto production by about 100,000 vehicles. In January of last year, before the pandemic, the U.S. auto industry had enough vehicles to supply 77 days of demand. By February of 2021 it was down almost 30% to 55 days.
Will other popular products be affected this year?
Samsung Electronics, one of the world’s biggest chipmakers, recently warned that its vast line-up of consumer electronics could be affected by the shortage. Without specifying which products might be affected, Samsung co-CEO Koh Dong-jin told shareholders that a “serious imbalance” between the supply and demand for chips could hurt sales from April through June.
What’s going to prevent this from happening again?
There are no quick fixes, but chipmakers appear to be be gearing up to meet future challenges.
Intel, which for decades has dominated the market for PC chips, recently made waves by announcing plans to invest $20 billion in two new factories in Arizona. Even more significant, Intel revealed said it is starting a new division that will enter into contracts to make chips tailored for other firms in addition to its own processors. That’s a major departure for Intel, aligning it more closely with a model popularized by TaiwanSemiconductorManufacturing Co., or TSMC, which already had been building a plant in Arizona, too.
Compelled by the current shortage, TSMC also has committed to spending $100 billion during the next three years to expand its worldwide chip manufacturing capacity. About $28 billion of that investment will come this year to boost production at factories that have been unable to keep up with the surge in demand since the pandemic began, according to TSMC Chief Executive Officer C.C. Wei.
And President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion plan to improve U.S. infrastructure includes an estimated $50 billion to help make the the country less reliant on chips made overseas. The U.S. share of the worldwide chip manufacturing market has declined from 37% in 1990 to 12% today, according toSemiconductorIndustry Association, a trade group.
But chips won’t start coming out of any new factories built as part of the spending splurge for two to three years. And even as existing factories ramp up and expand to meet current demand, some analysts wonder if there might be a glut of processors a year from now.
Krisher reported from Detroit.
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Eat This, Not That!
Despite being synonymous with movie theater snacks, popcorn isn’t in the same league as treats like candy and soda—at least when it comes to nutrition. Popcorn can actually be good for you.”Popcorn can be an excellent, nutrient-rich snack food depending on how it is prepared. Popcorn is a whole grain, which is a little-known fact, and therefore an excellent source of fiber and polyphenols, which help fight free radical damage in the body,” says Trista Best, MPH, RD, LD, a registered dietitian at Balance One Supplements.Although this light and airy snack is high in fiber and low in calories, like Best mentioned, popcorn can easily be made into an unhealthy bite if made improperly. To make sure you can actually reap the benefits of popcorn, you have to make sure you don’t prepare it in the unhealthiest way possible: covered in butter and salt.Why too much butter and salt is the unhealthiest way to prepare popcorn”A common way people may be preparing popcorn that detracts from its health benefits is adding a lot of butter on top,” says Kylie Ivanir, MS, RD, a registered dietitian with Within Nutrition.While being incredibly delicious, butter isn’t going to do your body any favors when it’s poured over popcorn; in fact, it may even encourage fat gain.”Butter is high in saturated fat which, when combined with carbohydrates, creates a ‘sweet fat.’ This highly palatable combination can result in over-consumption, interfering with the body’s ability to regulate appetite and leading to enhanced cravings. This combination of carbohydrates and saturated fat can also put the body in fat-storing mode,” says Ivanir. (Related: 20 Foods Ruining Your Weight Loss Goals.)Just one tablespoon of butter is 100 calories and has 7 grams of saturated fat. And if you’re using a store-bought popcorn topping like Orville Redenbacher’s Popping&Topping Buttery Flavored Oil, you’ll only be consuming 2 grams of saturated fat but 120 calories for every serving.While making your own buttery popcorn at home gives you a little more wiggle room with calories per serving, the same can’t be said with microwave popcorn. Some butter-flavored microwave popcorn bags have 180 calories per serving when the same bag of butter-free popcorn is just 80 calories. So opting for lightly seasoned popcorn over buttered will save you 100 calories per serving.You can make matters even worse if you add some sugar to your recipe to make kettle corn.”Popcorn is easily turned unhealthy with the addition of oil, butter, and white sugar [when making kettle corn]. What was a high fiber, filling snack packed with vitamins and antioxidants is now laden with pro-inflammatory fat calories and white sugar,” says registered dietitian Theresa Gentile, MS, RDN, Owner of Full Plate Nutrition and Media Spokesperson for the NY State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “I’ve even seen the addition of corn syrup and maple syrup, which instantly makes this considered dessert,” says Gentile.How to prepare popcorn in a healthy wayJust because popcorn is commonly prepared in an unhealthy way doesn’t mean it’s difficult to find and eat a better-for-you version.”You can make popcorn at home flavorful and delicious with some simple tweaks,” says Vanessa Rissetto, MS, RD, CDN, registered dietitian and Co-Founder of Culina Health.For flavorful, healthy popcorn, you have to start with a solid base, and that involves popping your own:”One of the best ways to make popcorn is to air pop the kernels on the stove, rather than buying pre-packaged microwavable popcorn, which may contain added oils, salt, or artificial flavoring. The lining of microwave bags may also contain harmful chemicals,” says Ivanir. (Related: The #1 Reason Why You Shouldn’t Eat Microwave Popcorn.)Once you make your air-popped corn, it’s time to season it sans butter.”Popping your own popcorn on the stove allows you to control the toppings. People can add fun toppings to their popcorn for a kick, such as cinnamon for some sweetness or nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor,” says Ivanir.Rissetto recommends using 1 tablespoon of olive oil (which is loaded with healthy fats) for 1 cup of kernels and adding seasonings like parmesan cheese, crushed red pepper flakes, and even tabasco.”To preserve popcorn’s health benefits, I recommend adding a drizzle of olive oil and a little sea salt or adding nutritional yeast, which has a cheesy, savory flavor,” says Gentile. For more ideas, don’t miss This One Trick Will Make Your Popcorn Taste Better.For more healthy eating news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!
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