Apple Has 1,000 Engineers Working on AR for the iPhone 8: Report

iPhone 8 is expected to sport a bunch of significant changes, including an OLED all-screen display with improved 3D Touch and Touch ID sensor. Now, a fresh report reiterates Apple’s AR efforts and claims that the company has dedicated as many as 1,000 engineers to just develop AR. Moreover, some form of augmented reality (AR) is also expected to be integrated into the iPhone 8 this year.

Apple Has 1,000 Engineers Working on AR for the iPhone 8: Report

Business Insider got hold of a UBS report that claims that over 1,000 employees in Israel are working only on augmented reality, as Apple bets big on the technology unlike other companies who look to invest big in VR currently. According to the report, the company wants to integrate some form of augmented reality feature into the iPhone 8 this year, and it could be something on the lines of moderate 3D mapping or an AR software development kit.

Apple has from the beginning bet big on AR, with Kuo even claiming that the research would put Apple three to five years ahead of other companies who are currently focused on VR. Apple made AR-related acquisitions as well including PrimeSense, Metaio, and recently acquired RealFace.

In his note, researcher Steven Milunovich says that ‘Apple appears more interested in AR rather than virtual reality (VR), because the former connects people whereas the latter is often an isolating experience involving a headset that renders the user blind to the real world. AR, by contrast, takes the existing environment and adds a new layer of information to it. For instance, AR apps let you hold up a phone with images superimposed onto the real-world view seen through the camera screen.’

Apple is expected to up the ante with the camera to include 3D sensing capabilities that will be able to make live 3D characters of users to use in games as avatars.

iPhone 8 to Adopt USB-C Fast Charging and Retain Lightning Port, Says KGI's Kuo

iPhone 8 was reported earlier this week to sport a USB Type-C port instead of its own Lightning connector we’ve seen over some years on the iPhone. However, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo clarifies that all the three devices slated to release this year will continue to sport the Lightning port, but Apple looks to deploy the ‘USB Type-C Power Delivery’ technology in the power chord to adopt fast charging.

iPhone 8 to Adopt USB-C Fast Charging and Retain Lightning Port, Says KGI's Kuo

MacRumors got hold of Kuo’s research note, and he clarifies that Apple will stick to its Lightning port on the iPhone 8 and its other two phones. “We believe all three new iPhones launching in 2H17 will support fast charging by the adoption of Type-C Power Delivery technology (while still retaining the Lightning port),” says Kuo in his research note.

This means that Apple will tweak on the internal components to integrate the USB Type-C port’s ‘Type C Power Delivery’, but will retain the physical Lightning connector. These new components are reportedly going to be sourced from Texas Instruments and Cypress. This, along with Apple’s earlier rumoured 2-cell L shaped battery will allow it to charge really fast. Maybe, this shift also has something to do with wireless charging integration, however that is pure speculation.

Also, this essentially means that you could plug the new USB Type-C power cord into the latest MacBook Pro, however, connecting to older MacBooks and PCs still remains a problem. The Lightning connector isn’t going anywhere, and Apple can’t afford to replace it with a USB Type-C port if it intends to keep the iPhone very slim. The former is smaller than the other, and knowing Apple’s aggressive design strategy, that move makes no sense.

The iPhone 8 is largely rumoured to sport an all-glass back, a bezel-less OLED display, and no Home Button. There’s expected to also be an improved Touch ID technology and an improved 3D Touch functionality as well.

iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus Available With Discount, Exchange Offers on Flipkart

E-commerce website Flipkart is holding a special promotion for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, with a flat 5 percent discount, exchange offers, an additional exchange discount for current iPhone users, alongside a 5 percent discount when using Axis Bank Buzz credit cards. Notably, not all offers are available on all colour or storage variants.

iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus Available With Discount, Exchange Offers on Flipkart

Starting with the flat 5 percent discount, iPhone 7 32GB is priced at Rs. 57,000, down from Rs. 60,000, the iPhone 7 128GB is priced at Rs. 66,500, down from Rs. 70,000, while the iPhone 7 256GB is priced at Rs. 76,000 down from Rs. 80,000.

With the flat 5 percent discount, the iPhone 7 Plus 32GB is priced at Rs. 68,400, down from Rs. 72,000, the iPhone 7 Plus 128GB model is priced at Rs. 77,900, down from Rs. 82,000, while the iPhone 7 Plus 256GB is priced at Rs. 87,400, down from Rs. 92,000. Unfortunately, at the time of writing, the iPhone 7 Plus 256GB model being sold with the 5 percent discount was out of stock.

Flipkart’s iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus exchange offer provides up to a maximum of Rs. 25,100 discount on exchange of old phones. This discount varies depending on the model, but we discovered that exchanging the iPhone 6s Plus garners the maximum discount (Rs. 25,100).

Other models, such as Google Pixel can get you an exchange offer of up to Rs. 16,000, while other phones like OnePlus 3 and LG G4 offer discounts of Rs. 4,500 to Rs. 7,000 as part of the Flipkart’s new iPhone 7 exchange offer. Flipkart is offering different exchange discount rates for different iPhone models like the iPhone 7 32GB is getting up to Rs. 21,800, the iPhone 7 128GB is getting up to Rs. 23,300 discount, while the iPhone 7 256GB is getting up to Rs. 24,800 discount. Similarly, iPhone 7 Plus 32GB variant has a discount of up to Rs. 23,600 on exchanging an old smartphone, while the 128GB variant has up to Rs. 25,100 off. Unfortunately, there is no maximum exchange discount listed on the purchase of the 256GB variant of both the iPhone 7 Plus, as it is out of stock.

Additional discount on iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus for current iPhone users
As we mentioned, the Flipkart iPhone 7 exchange offer is accompanied with a 15 percent additional exchange discount on the value of the new iPhone, when you exchange an iPhone 4, iPhone 5, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone SE, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, and iPhone 6s Plus. This discount is already included in the exchange value of your old iPhone.

With the offer, the iPhone 7 32GB has an extra Rs. 9,000 off; iPhone 7 128GB is getting an extra Rs.10,500 off, while the iPhone 7 256GB gets an additional Rs. 12,000 off. On the iPhone 7 Plus, the iPhone 7 Plus 32GB has extra Rs. 10,800 off, the iPhone 7 Plus 128GB has Rs. 12,300 off, while the iPhone 7 Plus 256GB model’s has an extra Rs. 13,800 discount – unfortunately, as noted earlier, the 256GB model is no longer listed as in stock, with only the 5 percent flat discount visible at the time of writing.

Mobile Game Developed to Help Schizophrenics Improve Episodic Memory

A “brain training” iPad game developed in Britain may improve the memory of patients with schizophrenia, helping them in their daily lives at home and at work, researchers said on Monday.Scientists at Cambridge University said tests on a small number of patients who played the game over four weeks found they had improvements in memory and learning.

The game, “Wizard”, is designed to help so-called episodic memory the type of memory needed to remember where you left your keys several hours ago, or to remember a few hours later where you parked your car in a multi-storey car park.

Schizophrenia is a long-term mental health condition that causes a range of psychological symptoms, ranging from changes in behaviour through to hallucinations and delusions.

While some psychotic symptoms can be reasonably well treated with medication, patients often still have debilitating problems with memory and cognitive function, meaning they struggle to get back to work or stay in education.

There is increasing evidence that computer-assisted training can help people with schizophrenia overcome some of their symptoms, with better outcomes in their daily lives.

This study, published in the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, found that 22 patients who played the memory game made significantly fewer errors and needed significantly fewer attempts to remember the location of different patterns specific tests.

They also improved their scores on the Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) scale, which doctors use to rate the social, occupational and psychological functioning of adults.

Importantly, the patients also said they enjoyed the game and were motivated to play it across the eight hours of cognitive training. The researchers said this was important, since lack of motivation is a common feature of schizophrenia.

“We need a way of treating the cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia, such as problems with episodic memory, but slow progress is being made towards developing a drug treatment,” said Barbara Sahakian from the department of psychiatry at Cambridge University.

“This proof-of-concept study…demonstrates that the memory game can help where drugs have so far failed. (And) because the game is interesting, even those patients with a general lack of motivation are spurred on to continue the training.”