Weekly Tech News Roundup - Apr 14 2016
News on Facebook's F8 conference, the next MacBook and Apple Watch, Amazon's Kindle Oasis and Samsung's contact lenses.
Everything announced at Facebook’s F8 conference
At Day 1 of Facebook's F8 developer conference, Mark Zuckerberg laid out the company's 10 year roadmap and made tons of new announcements such as the new chatbots and a crazy new VR camera.
On Day 2, the keynote speakers dove into updates from the React Native platform, demoed a VR selfie stick, introduced two connectivity projects and more.
From the Live API to chatbots to the new VR camera, here's everything you need to know from F8 2016.
Your next MacBook may have a touchscreen instead of a keyboard
A newly discovered Apple patent could mean the end to physical keyboards on MacBooks.
Dubbed ‘Zero Travel,’ the patent aims to turn your existing keyboard into a flat surface — like typing on a screen. The patent identifies using haptic feedback as a means to let you know you’ve struck a key.
Though it’s not clear where the naming actually came from, it’s like a nod to key travel on an actual keyboard. Apple reduced this with the butterfly mechanism on new MacBooks, but it seems that didn’t do the trick.
Interestingly enough, Apple also envisions having a 10-key numeric keypad show up near the faux trackpad. Conceptually, that could be used for a slew of other add-ons and features, even from third party developers.
Next Apple Watch Will Be More 'S' Than 2
Most of the changes in the next version of the Apple Watch will be on the inside and not the outside of the case, according to an investors note issued Monday by Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities.
While he was short on details about what the internal changes for the watch might be, the analyst's comments are consistent with rumors circulating last summer that the design of the next version of Apple's wrist computer would remain essentially unchanged, with some improvements in battery life and its display's outdoor visibility, according to AppleInsider, which obtained the note.
Apple fans who do want to upgrade or buy a new watch this year most likely will have to wait until September to do so, as Kuo says production won't start until the third quarter.
Amazon unveils £270 Kindle Oasis ereader
Amazon has announced the Kindle Oasis, its thinnest, lightest and most expensive ereader yet.
Instead of resembling a tablet, the £270 Oasis has one edge that is much thicker and heavier than the other and is designed to be held in one hand. This edge is weighted like the spine of a magazine or a book, according to Amazon, making the Oasis feel more like a real-life book than its predecessors.
The six-inch touchscreen is an updated version of the Paperwhite display used on all of Amazon's current ereaders. The display is noticeably crisper and whiter than previous Kindle models and uses 60 per cent more LEDs for reading in low-light and bright sunlight.
Samsung's AR Vision Includes Smart Contact Lenses
Samsung has been granted a patent for a smart contact lens, according to news reports published last week.
The lens is equipped with a tiny display, a camera, an antenna, and several sensors that detect movement and eye blinks. Eye blinks would provide the input, and a smartphone would be needed to process the images.
A user blinks to take pictures or interact with data displayed on the smart contact lens. Sensors pick up the blinks and relay the commands they indicate to the user's smartphone for processing. The results are sent back to the lens almost immediately.
Some circuits apparently will be visible in the lens, but they are at its edge.
The patent was filed September 2014 and was approved last week by the South Korean Intellectual Property Office.