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Samsung is selling a wireless charger that also sterilizes your phone – Engadget




As the world comes to terms with the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, people have learned that keeping a small distance and regularly washing their hands are important tools in limiting the transmission of the virus. However, when the humble smartphone is considered to be one of the dirtiest things someone can own, hand care may only go so far. In a bid to give its customers an phone-cleaning option that doesn’t involve an antibacterial wipe, Samsung has begun selling a wireless UV charger that promises to “kill up to 99 percent of bacteria within 10 minutes.”

The ITFIT UV Sterilizer is a very unremarkable white box that Samsung says is spacious enough to fit a Galaxy S20 Ultra. However, it’s not limited to just Samsung smartphones, or wireless gadgets like Galaxy Buds and the Galaxy Watch — if it fits inside then it can likely be disinfected (but may not be charged). Place the item(s) in the box, connect it to a USB-C power source and press the switch. The embedded 10-watt Qi charger will deliver power while it does its thing.

While it’s not an official Samsung design, the company sells the UV Sterilizer via a partnership with ITFIT, a Samsung sub-brand that seems to be applied to rebadged accessories. In the FCC listing for the device, the documentation includes a “Designed for Samsung” seal. Other ITFIT products made for Samsung include headphones and selfie sticks.

Wireless UV chargers aren’t new, but they’ve seen a huge rise in popularity following the coronavirus outbreak. Samsung doesn’t explicitly state that its UV Sterilizer successfully eradicates SARS-CoV-2, but a recent research study suggests that UVC lamps are capable of killing “more than 99.9 percent of airborne coronaviruses.”

The ITFIT UV Sterilizer is currently only being sold in Thailand for 1,590 baht (around $51), although it is also listed (but not available) in Hong Kong. There’s no word on whether it will go on sale in the US, but big-name accessory brands like Mophie and InvisibleShield (both owned by Zagg) are already on the case.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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COVID-19: U.S. study shows neck fleeces and bandanas make bad masks – Vancouver Sun



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In scientific parlance, “we have demonstrated a simple optical measurement method to evaluate the efficacy of masks to reduce the transmission of respiratory droplets during regular speech. Our measurement setup is inexpensive and can be built and operated by non-experts, allowing for rapid evaluation of mask performance during speech, sneezing, or coughing.”

The 14 masks tested included a fitted N95 respirator, a valved N95 respirator, surgical masks, several types of cotton mask, a poly/cotton blended mask, a knitted mask, a bandana and a fleece.

Results showed no droplets at all got through the fitted N95 respirator. The surgical mask was the next best. The cotton masks worked to varying degrees, with the valved N95 mask sitting among the best of the cottons masks.

The knitted masks did not fare well, but using a bandana was worse.The neck fleece used as a mask was actually worse than no mask at all because the droplets were broken down by the fleece and actually spread more.

“We noticed that speaking through some masks (particularly the neck fleece) seemed to disperse the largest droplets into a multitude of smaller droplets, which explains the apparent increase in droplet count relative to no mask in that case,” the report stated.

The relatively poor performance of the valved N95 respirator — given the fitted N95 respirator had perfect results — was attributed to the exhalation valve, which opens for strong outward airflow.

“While the valve does not compromise the protection of the wearer, it can decrease protection of persons surrounding the wearer. In comparison, the performance of the fitted, non-valved N95 mask was far superior,” the report states.

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New Apple Leak Reveals iPhone 12 Design Shock – Forbes



08/09 Update below. This post was originally published on August 6

iPhone 12 surprises keep coming (both good news, bad news and unexpected twists), but now we know perhaps the biggest problem with Apple’s new iPhones. 

MORE FROM FORBESiPhone 12 Prices Rise As Apple’s Expensive New Range Leaks

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Mysterious industry insider ‘Mr White’ has continued his impressive track record leaking Apple hardware, by revealing the chassis for the coming iPhone 12. While this confirms the range’s move to a more angular new design, he also confirms Face ID will be the same size and, as a consequence, the large notch introduced with the iPhone X in 2017 will not be getting any smaller in 2020. 

08/08 Update: a further image of an iPhone 12 Pro screen panel prototype has now leaked and, unfortunately, it also looks like Apple is sticking with the larger notch on its Pro models as well. The chassis again confirms the angular design Apple will introduce for the range, which takes influence from both the iPhone 4 and the current iPad Pro line-up. That said, with Apple also now all but certain to ditch fast refresh rates on all iPhone 12 models, the iPhone 12 Pro editions, in particular, are losing their shine. Especially considering their significantly higher asking prices. Given this new leaked image is a prototype, there may be some hope that Apple has made a late, more ambitious, change for the final iPhone 12 designs but the signs are not looking good.

08/09 Update: further iPhone 12 components are now leaking as the models enter mass production. Consequently, Apple reseller JinStore has now attained images of Apple’s A14 chipset, which is tipped to deliver a multi-generational leap in performance. The A14 will also be Apple’s first 5nm chip, which will bring greater power efficiency (needed with those smaller batteries), particularly when multitasking. With other iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro features falling by the wayside as we approach release, a lot of weight is going to be placed on the A14 to dazzle and it looks set to do just that. The A14 isn’t the kind of eye-catching feature Apple usually likes to sell its iPhones on, especially with the A13 in the iPhone 11 range and iPhone SE already far ahead of the competition, but expect the company to break with tradition in 2020.

Apple had been widely expected to shrink the notch for the iPhone 12 line-up and almost every render showed this would result in a significantly better design. Moreover, with recent leaks also revealing Apple will increase prices while also shrinking battery capacities, the company’s decision to stick with the same notch for the fourth successive generation may be a deal breaker for some potential upgraders.  

That said, for notch haters, there is still some cause for optimism. While Mr White did not reveal which iPhone 12 model the chassis is from, it appears to be the new 5.4-inch entry level phone. So it is possible Apple does have plans to introduce a smaller notch with the more expensive iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max. 

Beyond this, however, there remain compelling reasons to upgrade. Most notably, all iPhone 12 models will come with 5G (albeit different versions), a multi-generational performance leap, a wider range of screen sizes and faster (potentially magnetic) charging. Pro models will also add some radical new camera tech

All of which leaves users at a crossroads. At least with Apple officially delaying the iPhone 12 release and the possibility of a split launch increasing, you will have longer to make your mind up. 


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For people with disabilities, mannequins can hurt — not help — the shopping experience –



For Abigayle Quigley, mannequins can amplify difficulties in shopping, as they often depict how clothing would look only on an able-bodied individual. (Submitted by Abigayle Quigley)

In Canada, the average household spends close to $3,500 annually on clothing and accessories, with a key part of the shopping experience tied to stores displaying their clothes on mannequins.

But for people with disabilities, the mannequins can be bitter reminders of exclusion.

Sheldon Crocker’s first memory of shopping for clothes includes asking his mother why the mannequins didn’t look like him. Experiences like that continue to affect his self-esteem, he said.

“I used to feel excluded [and] feel out of place. It played a big part [in] my growing up and even a little today,” said Crocker, who has arthrogryposis, which is characterized by joint contracture, causing muscle shortening.

As someone living with spina bifida and using a wheelchair, Abigayle Quigley says clothes on mannequins pose a practical problem. 

“Say if there’s, like, a knee-length skirt or, like, a dress or just a regular skirt. On a mannequin it could be knee-length. On me, it could be ankle-length,” said Quigley. 

Both Crocker and Quigley said they want to see representation in mannequins not only for different types of physical disabilities but also for a variety of genders, colours and body types. 

Unrealistic body expectations

As a woman, Quigley said, she is aware of the unrealistic beauty standards the industry pushes on her gender. Tall and skinny mannequins depict an image of how a person should look as opposed to actual reality, she said. In the 1960s, the stick-thin mannequin — inspired by the fashions of the day — began to sweep aside rounder figures, often only found in plus-size stores. 

Several N.L. stores contacted by CBC declined to comment on the matter although some store representatives said they keep mannequins until they need to be fixed or replaced. “Until they’re broken,” was how a representative from one store put it.

Quigley said she finds that upsetting.

“If a mannequin is broken, keep it on. So what if it doesn’t have an arm or doesn’t have a leg? Keep it on display because they’re not broken. They’re beautiful in their own way and I think that should be displayed.”

Crocker said stores’ attitudes are close-minded to different ideas of beauty and reality.

“Just because a mannequin has a broken finger — to throw it away, then that’s to represent or signify that persons with disabilities are thrown to the side and that they don’t matter.”

Moving from performative gestures to action

Diversity is often used by big brands to promote their core values, said Crocker and Quigley, but despite the fact they pay the same amount of money for the same clothes, they still don’t see representation in their shopping experience.

Brands should move away from performative demonstrations of diversity and engage a range of voices from a plethora of communities in decision-making, said Crocker

His demand is simple: “Start not just talking the talk but walking the walk — or rolling the roll in the chair.”

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

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