When it comes to the world of smartphones, dual-rear cameras have become quite popular, be it in premium or the budget category. From Apple to Xiaomi, most smartphone makers are incorporating this feature in their phones. But it looks like the number of lenses or sensors on a smartphone could go up to nine, thanks to a camera company called Light, which is working on such a device.
According to a report in The Washington Post, Light showed them concept and working prototypes of smartphones with five to nine lens systems on the back. According to the report, the company wants to announce this smartphone with multiple lens system later this year. The company also claims the phone will be able to capture 64MP shots, give high-quality depth effects, and a better low-light performance than any regular smartphone with its dual or triple camera sensor.
So far, we have only see Huawei introduce a triple camera system on its P20 Pro smartphone. Rumours have claimed that Apple could introduce a similar triple lens system on its iPhone series in 2019. In the case of the P20 Pro, the smartphone has a 40MP+ 20MP+8MP camera system. The smartphone’s 40MP sensor is an RGB one, the 20MP one is a monochrome sensor, while the 8MP is the telephoto lens. The smartphone also has what the company called 5X hybrid zoom feature.
However, the Light smartphone claims to take it further. It remains to be seen how these nine or five lens systems will be implemented and whether the smartphone’s camera will deliver on the result, given it will require the kind of processor which can support such high quality image processing.
Light already has a camera called L16 with a 16 lens system, placed at various angles. The camera is capable of taking 52MP photos, which are formed stitching together more than 10 perspectives. With a smartphone, which has around nine camera sensors, the software will have to stitch all these images together to form that one high-resolution image.
Currently, the L16 costs $1,950, according to the report. So even if Light does launch its smartphone with the fancy camera features, you might not be able to afford it. Of course, given this is all still in the prototype stage, and we might not actually see this kind of smartphone launch this year.
BBM Aka BlackBerry Messenger to Shut Down in May, but BBM Enterprise Becomes Available to Individual Users
BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) is shutting down. Emtek, an Indonesia-based company which had taken over the development of BBM consumer version in 2016, on Thursday announced that it will be winding down the messaging service on May 31, 2019. In light of Emtek’s announcement, BlackBerry has stated it is releasing BBM Enterprise (BBMe) for the individual users. The Android version of the BBMe is already available for download, whereas the iOS version will be coming soon. BlackBerry Messenger once used to be one of the most popular messaging apps in world and a key feature of the BlackBerry devices. It was later introduced on Android and iOS platforms, but its popularity dwindled as competing chat apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger gained momentum.
Emtek blamed the difficulty of bringing new users to BBM as one of the reasons why it is closing down the service. BlackBerry Messenger will continue to remain functional up to May 31, after which the app will cease to operate.
“Three years ago, we set out to reinvigorate BBM consumer service, one of the most loved instant messaging applications, as a cross-platform service where users can not only chat and share life experiences, but also consume content and use payment services,” Emtek wrote in a blog post. “The technology industry however, is very fluid, and in spite of our substantial efforts, users have moved on to other platforms, while new users proved difficult to sign on.”
It is important to note here that BBOS or BlackBerry 10 users will remain unaffected as BlackBerry continues to manage BBM for the platform, but they won’t be able to send and receive messages from BBM for Android/ iOS users after Emtek shuts the app down.
Meanwhile, following Emtek’s decision, BlackBerry has decided to step in, and the company revealed in a press release that it is bringing BBM Enterprise to the individual users. The service was earlier limited to the company’s enterprise customers. BBMe is now available as a free download from Google Play Store and it will be coming to Apple App Store soon.
According to BlackBerry, BBMe will be free to use for the first year, following which the users will have to buy a six-month subscription at $2.49 (roughly Rs. 170).] Given that BBMe includes built-in enterprise-grade end-to-end encryption, which is not available in BBM consumer version, the subscription may be worth price for avid BBM users.
“This decision [to release BBMe for individual users] was made out of BlackBerry’s respect for loyal BBM users and was not a contractual obligation,” BlackBerry said in a statement.
Instagram testing co-watching feature on app
Facebook-owned photo-messaging app Instagram is testing a new feature that would let users co-watch on-platform video content with friends, while being able to see their reactions on the video via the phone cameras.
The option would start with a split-screen view, where users would be able to apply face filters and other visual tools to their personal camera feeds, Social Media Today reported on Thursday. “Instagram’s co-watching media picker is essentially tabs of Explore, Saved and Liked.
It’s somehow also showing me photos though.
Unless Instagram designed co-watching so we can stare at an image together, it will be fixed when released,” reverse engineer Jane Manchun Wong tweeted.
The feature would let users watch Instagram videos together with added interactive elements of being able to see and hear their co-viewer in a minimised window.
At present, the option appears to only support two concurrent viewers, alongside the Instagram Live functionality.
“That could be somewhat restrictive, but then again, previous research has shown that 85 per cent of the messages shared on Instagram are distributed to the same three friends, highlighting a desire for more intimate communication on the platform,” report added.
The photo-messaging app’s test feature is similar to Facebook’s previously launched “Watch Party” feature — that lets users watch public videos in real time with a group of friends on the app.
Since launching Watch Parties in groups last July, Facebook says that it has facilitated more than 12 million “Watch Parties” within Groups alone, while “Watch Parties” also garner 8 times more comments than regular videos in Groups, the report noted. Instagram has not commented on testing or availability of the feature as yet.
F&D R3 Wireless Speaker Launched in India, Priced at Rs. 4,990
Audio brand F&D, also known as Fenda Audio, has made a name for itself in the audio accessories space, and sells a wide range of affordable speaker systems, headphones, portable speakers, soundbars, and more. The brand is available both online and offline, and is considered a good entry-level option for aftermarket speaker systems. The latest product from the company is the F&D R3 wireless speaker, which is priced at Rs. 4,990. The product is available online through major portals, as well as offline in retails stores across the country.
The F&D R3 is a portable wireless speaker which uses Bluetooth to connect to various source devices, such as smartphones and computers. The speaker uses two 3-inch full-range drivers along with passive radiators, for a total of 12W of output. The speaker has a frequency response range of 70-20,000Hz, and weighs about 950 grams. For connectivity, the R3 uses Bluetooth 4.2, and also allows for FM radio, TF cards, auxillliary, and USB drives for music playback.
The speaker has a 4,500mAh battery which promises battery life of up to five hours on a single charge. The speaker features an interesting pattern on the exterior, along with controls for power and playback at the top. The speaker has an MRP of Rs. 4,990 and will be available to buy at various online retailers, among other offline retail stores.
F&D is better known for its 2.1-channel and 5.1-channel speaker systems, but also has a large range of wireless speakers, headphones, earphones and soundbars. The company has been present in the Indian market for some years now, and offers buyers affordable options for home and portable audio equipment.