The science behind our sense of touch

European researchers have developed a new universal scaling law for the sense of touch, and it’s paving the way for an expansion of virtual reality technology.

“Touch is a primordial sense, as important to our ancient ancestors as it is to modern-day mammals, but it’s also one of the most complex and therefore least understood,” says lead researcher Tom Montenegro-Johnson from the University of Birmingham, UK.

“While we have universal laws to explain sight and hearing, for example, this is the first time that we’ve been able to explain touch in this way.” 

When a person slides a finger across a surface, vibrations travel through their skin and excite nerve endings. These convert the mechanical vibrations to electrical signals and transmit them to the brain, where they are interpreted as a tactile experience. This signal allows humans to differentiate between textures, detect contact, and manipulate objects.

“However, the properties of

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Roku is bringing its Roku Channel to Amazon Fire TV, which makes sense

The Roku Channel, Roku’s free streaming service that offers more than 100,000 ad-supported titles and 115 live TV channels, is now available to Amazon Fire TV users, the company announced today. And while it may seem odd that The Roku Channel would live on Fire TV devices — Amazon and Roku are direct competitors in set-top-box hardware — it might actually make a lot of sense.

Neither Amazon nor Roku truly rely on hardware sales to boost their TV brands. Amazon’s gadgets have always been a gateway to Amazon’s services, and the company may just need more content to offer its Fire TV on top of its existing channels. Meanwhile, Roku makes the majority of its revenue through advertising and subscriptions, which is a big part of why it took so long for NBCUniversal’s Peacock to roll out on Roku. It makes sense that the company would want to make

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Common Sense Launches ‘Which Side of History?’ Campaign to Challenge Leaders to Reverse the Harm Tech Is Having on Democracy and Our Lives

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 8, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Today Common Sense, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families in the digital world, launched Which Side of History?, a campaign to hold Big Tech accountable for sowing mistrust and spreading misinformation, threatening free and open societies, exacerbating the gap between rich and poor, creating an unequal society, and leaving an entire segment of the population behind.

Anchored by Common Sense founder and CEO James P. Steyer’s newest book, Which Side of History?: How Technology Is Reshaping Democracy and Our Lives (available October 13, 2020), the campaign convenes leading experts and Big Tech antagonists, such as Franklin Foer,Thomas Friedman, Shaun Harper, Julie Lythcott-Haims,Roger McNamee,Shoshana Zuboff, and others for a series of live virtual events to examine the impact of the tech sector on

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Google Pixel 5, Fitbit Sense, and Powerbeats Pro international giveaway!

It’s time for the Sunday giveaway, and we’re switching up the giveaway format. No longer will the Sunday giveaway be a weekly giveaway — it’s going monthly! There will be a new giveaway on the first Sunday of each month, but we’ll be giving away more prizes to multiple winners each giveaway, increasing your odds of winning. This month three lucky Android Authority readers having the chance to win some top tech!

A big congratulations to the winner of last week’s Samsung Galaxy S20 FE giveaway, Kyle G. from Colorado, USA.

This month we’re giving away a brand new Google Pixel 5, a Fitbit Sense, and a pair of Beats Powerbeats Pro earbuds, brought to you by the DGiT Daily newsletter!

The DGiT Daily newsletter is a daily briefing focused on bringing you the best tech news and links to what’s happening all around the web. It doesn’t matter if

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3D printed ‘invisible’ fibers can sense breath, sound, and biological cells — ScienceDaily

From capturing your breath to guiding biological cell movements, 3D printing of tiny, transparent conducting fibres could be used to make devices which can ‘smell, hear and touch’ — making it particularly useful for health monitoring, Internet of Things and biosensing applications.

Researchers from the University of Cambridge used 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, techniques to make electronic fibres, each 100 times thinner than a human hair, creating sensors beyond the capabilities of conventional film-based devices.

The fibre printing technique, reported in the journal Science Advances, can be used to make non-contact, wearable, portable respiratory sensors. These printed sensors are high-sensitivity, low-cost and can be attached to a mobile phone to collect breath pattern information, sound and images at the same time.

First author Andy Wang, a PhD student from Cambridge’s Department of Engineering, used the fibre sensor to test the amount of breath moisture leaked through his

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Google skipped Motion Sense on the Pixel 5, but it still has a future

google pixel 4 xl revisited motion sense
  • Google will use the Pixel 4’s Soli radar and Motion Sense gestures in the future.
  • The company hasn’t confirmed if the tech is headed to phones.

Google is not done with its Soli radar chip and Motion Sense feature, even though it skipped them both on the Pixel 5. In an interview with The Verge, Google’s hardware chief Rick Osterloh said that Project Soli and Motion Sense gestures would return in the future.

Google introduced Motion Sense assisted by its Soli radar chip on the Pixel 4. The feature enables a bunch of hand gestures on the phone that allow you to control it without touching the screen. It may have seemed like a gimmick to some users, but our very own Jimmy Westenberg thought it a great addition.

The Soli chip also helped the Pixel 4 recognize your presence and quickly unlock the screen by engaging the necessary

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Fitbit Versa 3 and Sense Are Getting a Very “Impactful” Update

If you got a Fitbit Sense or a Versa 3, you’re getting some new software.

If you got a Fitbit Sense or a Versa 3, you’re getting some new software.
Image: Fitbit

If you’re waiting for your new Fitbit Versa 3 or Sense, you’re in for some news. First of all, you’re probably going to get your device soon, as the company said it expects to start shipping at the end of September. And second, once you receive your device, you’ll find that it also comes with new software: Fitbit OS 5.0.

Spotted by 9to5Google, both the Versa 3 and the Sense will come pre-loaded with OS 5.0, which the company calls its “largest and most impactful smartwatch update” since 2017. In a blog published this week, Fitbit said that the new software included meaningful improvements to the watch interface, a new visual system, faster navigation and general usability improvements.

If you’re a Fitbit user, you’ll have to get used

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Drone futures – thousands of exciting possibilities take to the air, but demand common sense

(Pixabay)

The general public is most familiar with drones in two context –  hobbyists, photographers, and filmmakers using them to put cameras in the sky, and military forces embarking on missions where humans fear to tread. Some may be familiar with other exciting concepts, such as: 

  • Amazon et al planning to automate package deliveries by air – more on that in a separate report.
  • Pilotless electric air taxis from the likes of Uber, who want to redevelop brownfield sites as passenger interchanges, and create an integrated, on-demand transport system.
  • NASA exploring the surface of Mars via autonomous rotorcraft (some are en route to the red planet now).
  • Fixed-wing robots delivering medical supplies to remote areas.
  • Competitive racing drones swooping around 3D, neon-lit courses.
  • Swarms of illuminated craft presenting a 21st Century version of firework displays, with programmed animations at huge public events.

All of these applications and more are either

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Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 review: 4K PC gaming finally makes sense

Nvidia is promising big things with its new generation of graphics cards. The GeForce RTX 3080 is supposed to deliver twice the performance of the RTX 2080 at the same price. It’s even supposed to surpass the RTX 2080 Ti, providing solid 4K gaming performance for much less than Nvidia’s last-generation cards cost. This is all while taking advantage of ray tracing and Nvidia’s special AI-powered DLSS tech that boosts frame rates while maintaining image quality. Nvidia had similar promises before for 4K gaming with the RTX 2080. But with the RTX 3080, it’s delivering on them.

The RTX 3080 is part of Nvidia’s 3000 series of graphics cards, all powered by the company’s new Ampere architecture. There’s the RTX 3070 (starting at $499), the RTX 3080 (starting at $699), and the RTX 3090 (starting at $1,499). You can’t preorder any of these latest cards, and the RTX 3080 will

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