Scientists have developed a conductive paint that can turn any wall ‘smart’ by enabling it to sense human touch, and detect gestures and appliances used. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and Disney Research in the US found that they could transform ‘dumb’ walls into smart ones at a relatively low cost – about $20 per square metre – using simple tools and techniques, such as a paint roller.
“Walls are usually the largest surface area in a room, yet we don’t make much use of them other than to separate spaces, and perhaps hold up pictures and shelves,” said Chris Harrison, assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon.
“As the Internet of Things and ubiquitous computing become reality, it is tempting to think that walls can become active parts of our living and work environments,” said Harrison. The researchers found that they could use conductive paint to create electrodes across the surface of a wall, enabling users to place or move light switches or other controls anywhere on a wall that is most convenient, or to control video games by using gestures.
By monitoring activity in the room, this system could adjust light levels when a TV is turned on or alert a user in another location when a laundry machine or electric kettle turns off. “Walls are large, so we knew that whatever technique we invented for smart walls would have to be low cost,” said Yang Zhang, a PhD student at Carnegie Mellon University. Researchers wanted to make it easy to apply the special coating with simple tools and without special skills.
Using painter’s tape, they found they could create a cross-hatched pattern on a wall to create a grid of diamonds, which testing showed was the most effective electrode pattern. After applying two coats of conductive paint with a roller, they removed the tape and connected the electrodes. They then finished the wall with a top coat of standard latex paint to improve durability and hide the electrodes. The electrode wall can operate in two modes – capacitive sensing and electromagnetic (EM) sensing.
In capacitive sensing, the wall functions like any other capacitive touchpad: when a person touches the wall, the touch distorts the wall’s electrostatic field at that point. In EM sensing mode, the electrode can detect the distinctive electromagnetic signatures of electrical or electronic devices, enabling the system to identify the devices and their locations. Similarly, if a person is wearing a device that emits an EM signature, the system can track the location of that person, Zhang said. Although the technology has not been optimised for energy consumption, Zhang said, but he estimated the wall-sized electrodes consume about as much power as a standard touchscreen.
Realme 3 Pro With 25-Megapixel Selfie Camera, Up to 6GB RAM Launched in India
Realme 3 Pro is official. The Chinese smartphone maker Realme on Monday unveiled the new smartphone at a press event in New Delhi. The new Realme offering improves upon the Realme 3 by packing a better camera, faster SoC, and a larger display with a higher resolution among others. The Realme 3 Pro comes equipped with a 6.3-inch full-HD+ display and is powered by the Snapdragon 710 SoC, while ColorOS 6.0 based on Android Pie handles things on the software side. The Realme 3 Pro comes in a trio of colours and also sports a layer of Gorilla Glass 5 for protection. It will be competing with the Redmi Note 7 Pro smartphone in the country, which currently retails starting Rs. 13,999. In addition to the Realme 3 Pro, the company also introduced the new Realme C2 budget smartphone.
Realme 3 Pro price, sale date, and launch offers
The Realme 3 Pro has been priced at Rs. 13,999 for the base variant with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of onboard storage, whereas the 6GB + 128GB variant carries a price tag of Rs. 16,999.
The Realme 3 Pro comes in Carbon Grey, Nitro Blue, and Lightning Purple colour options with a gradient finish. As far as availability is concerned, the Realme 3 Pro’s first sale will be conducted at 12pm (Noon) on April 29 via Realme online store and Flipkart. While the Carbon Grey and Nitro Blue colours will be available from day one, the Lightning Purple colour option will be released in May.
Ahead of the April 29 availability, Realme will also be organising a pop-up store at 04:30pm on April 27 in Pacific Mall, Subhash Nagar, New Delhi, where the company will give the consumers a chance to purchase Realme 3 Pro before the first official sale.
According to Realme, the first 1,000 customers to buy the Realme 3 Pro on April 29 via the company’s online store will get free Realme Buds. Additionally, the Realme online store buyers will also be eligible for 15 percent supercash cashback (up to Rs. 1,500) on payment via Mobikwik.
The consumers getting the Realme 3 Pro via Flipkart will get flat Rs. 1,000 discount on payment via HDFC Bank credit cards, debit cards, and EMI transactions. The Flipkart buyers will also be eligible for no-cost EMIs up to six months.
Additionally, the Realme 3 Pro buyers, regardless of where they are purchasing the phone from, will get benefits worth Rs. 5,300 from Reliance Jio.
In addition to the Realme 3 Pro, Realme also launched the new Realme C2 at the event, which has been priced starting at Rs. 5,999.
Realme 3 Pro specifications, features
The dual-SIM (Nano) Realme 3 Pro runs ColorOS 6.0 based on Android Pie and packs a 6.3-inch full-HD+ (1080×2340 pixels) IPS display with 19.5:9 aspect ratio and 2.5D curved glass that is protected by a layer of Corning Gorilla 5. The display has a peak brightness of 400 nits with a contrast ratio of 1200:1. Under the hood, the Realme 3 Pro draws power from the octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 SoC clocked at 2.2GHz, ticking alongside Adreno 616 GPU and up to 6GB of RAM.
Realme 3 Pro camera
In the imaging department, the Realme 3 Pro packs a 16-megapixel primary camera (IMX519 sensor) with f/1.7 aperture , paired with a 5-megapixel secondary camera (GC5035 sensor) with f/2.4 aperture. On the front is a 25-megapixel selfie snapper with f/2.0 aperture. Talking about camera features, the Realme 3 Pro brings support for 960fps super slow motion video recording, Ultra HD mode for capturing 64-megapixel images, and optimised Nightscape among others.
For authentication, the Realme 3 Pro packs a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor. The phone also comes with Widevine L1 certification to let users stream HD content from services like Amazon Prime Videos and Netflix. Additionally, the phones features up to 128GB of onboard storage, which can further be expanded via a microSD card (up to 256GB).
The latest Realme offering’s connectivity suite includes Bluetooth 5.0, 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11ac (2.4GHz+5GHz), a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a Micro-USB port. The device comes equipped with a 4,045mAh battery with support for VOOC 3.0 fast charging. The dimensions of the Realme 3 Pro are 156.8×74.2×8.3 mm and it tips the scales at 172 grams.
Blaupunkt SBWL-01 Soundbar With Wireless Subwoofer Launched
After years of focusing on the car audio and in-car entertainment segments, Blaupunkt has taken on consumer audio in a big way. The company has launched various products including headphones, wireless portable speakers and soundbars in India, with competitive pricing. The latest product from Blaupunkt is the SBWL-01 soundbar, which is priced at Rs. 13,990. The new soundbar features wireless connectivity and also has a wireless soundbar included. The new soundbar will be available to buy both online and offline in the country.
The Blaupunkt SBWL-01 soundbar has a rated output of 200W, and comes with a wireless subwoofer. This means that the subwoofer can be placed away from the main speaker, and will receive its audio signal wirelessly. However, the subwoofer does still need to be plugged into power. The main speaker itself is a two-channel one with 3-inch drivers. The soundbar is also Dolby Digital tuned, promising better sound quality.
In terms of connectivity, the Blaupunkt SBWL-01 can be used with Auxiliary, Bluetooth, RCA, Optical, and HDMI ARC. This allows for various connectivity options when connected with either a TV or any other source device such as a smartphone, tablet, or computer, for audio playback. The soundbar also has its own remote for ease of use.
The new Blaupunkt soundbar is available both online and offline, and can be purchased via Amazon, Flipkart, and a variety of other stores. The new soundbar is the latest in the range, which also includes the SBW-100 and SBW-02, which are also available on Amazon for under Rs. 10,000 right now. Blaupunkt had also recently launched new earphones, including the BTW-01 truly wireless earphones.
Microsoft Starts Reminding Windows 7 Users to Upgrade, Recommends Buying a New PC
Earlier last month, Microsoft had made it clear that it will start pushing notifications to Windows 7 users, asking them to upgrade their machines. Windows 7 users must upgrade to Windows 10 as Microsoft is set to end support for the operating system by January 2020. Some Windows 7 users have reported that they’ve started receiving such notifications. Such users can continue to use Windows 7 after the support period ends, but they’ll be putting themselves at risk.
The notification pop-up seems to appear when users boot up their Windows 7 machines. It reads, “After 10 years, support for Windows 7 is nearing an end.” This is the same notification that was reported earlier last month. Users on Reddit are claiming they’ve started receiving these notification pop-ups from April 18, 2019. The Reddit reports over Microsoft’s Windows 7 notification were first spotted by Windows Latest.
As of now, the users with Windows 7 Home Premium and Windows 7 Ultimate are receiving the notification. Enterprise users still have the option to use Windows 7 until 2023, while paying for Extended Security Updates (ESU).
The nagging notification can be turned off by checking the ‘Do not remind me again’ option on the bottom left-hand corner of the notification pop-up. In case users close the pop-up directly, the notification is likely to appear again.
Microsoft has linked a support page with the notification pop-up, explaining the end of support for Windows 7 and what options users have right now. The final security update for Windows 7 will be released on January 14, 2020.
The support page clarifies that without software and security updates, Windows 7 users will be prone to malware and viruses. Microsoft is asking users to switch to Windows 10 and claims it is ‘not recommended’ to install Windows 10 on your older device, and users should buy a new machine.
In case you’re still using Windows 7, you should look at upgrading your machine right away. You can upgrade to Windows 10 or switch to a Linux distribution of your choice.