Latest Tech News

Latest Tech News

  1. 64-megapixel photo sensors land on smartphones

Over time, smartphones have become objects capable of producing photographs of a quality similar to professional cameras. Currently, the reference in terms of a large number of megapixels’ sensor is 48. But Samsung won’t stop there. It’s not enough. So they just unveiled their 64-megapixel ISOCELL Bright GW1 smartphone sensor.

In addition to this megapixel increase, Samsung announced that the sensor pixels had a size of 0.8 microns. This is to be compared to the sensors of the iPhone XS, Google Pixel 3, or Samsung Galaxy S10 which are 1.4 microns (the more significant the pixel, the lighter it captures, the better).

Except that the Korean firm has integrated the technology Tetra cell on this sensor, which allows merging 4 pixels into one. The photo will then no longer be 64 megapixels but 16, with a pixel size of 1.6 microns. In low light conditions, the quality should be similar to that of today’s high-end sensors. Samsung emphasized the improvement of HDR. Indeed, the dynamic range is measured in decibels, and that of a “conventional sensor” rises to about 60 dB while that of the GW1 reaches 100 dB. On the video side, the sensor will be able to shoot in 4K and will be able to record full-HD videos in idle up to 480 fps.

These sensors are expected to be available to manufacturers in 2019 as their full-scale production will begin in the second half of the year.

  1. This solar motorhome is fully autonomous

What is the point of going into eco-tourism if you want to pollute all along the holiday route? And what good is a nomadic life if you have to watch for gas stations? A German manufacturer is solving these questions once and for all by inventing an electric motorhome that runs in the sun.

What if this camper became the first genuinely self-contained vehicle? After all, autonomy can have several meanings. Take the example of Tesla, the Californian manufacturer develops systems for its cars to move on their own, but it is always necessary to fill up with energy in a charging station or at home. The rating of autonomy is, therefore, quite relative.

In contrast, DETHLEFS imagined an electric motorhome that needs to be driven but does not need to be recharged. Its surface is covered by 31 m2 of solar panels. They are positioned on the roof, the sides, the back, and even a small part at the front. In total, they provide a power of 3,000 watts that is capable of powering the 107 horsepower electric motor as well as the various life systems on board. The main downside is the range, which is only 150 kilometers long. For the speed, it cannot exceed 90 km/h. It will be necessary to prefer small departmental roads to major highways, but it is in the DNA of the motorhome.

This vehicle is still in concept; it should not be on the market before 2024. Special Mention to the interior design, seems to be qualitative and neat, and which also wants to be eco-responsible. Instead of energy-intensive heating, the manufacturer used to phase-shift materials for the wall decor, which have the advantage of capturing the heat during the day and restoring it in the evening. To monitor its use with your finger and eye, the appliance can be controlled from an application that allows for example to manage the lights and opacity of specific glazing.

  1. Valve’s new VR helmet reveals its secrets

Unveiled in April 2019, the Valve Index begins to reveal its secrets while awaiting its commercialization. Valve gives many details about its new virtual reality headset, starting with the resolution displayed by its two screens and their refresh rate. This new generation helmet will be equipped with two LCD panels displaying 1600 x 1440 each, for a total resolution of 2880 x 3200 pixels. We also learn that the native refresh rate will be 120 Hz, but that it can be overclocked at 144 Hz.

Valve also promises a field of view extended to 130°. For comparison, Sony’s PlayStation VR is limited to 100°. Additional originality for the Valve Index: it will be equipped with eye-tracking technology allowing the user to interact with the virtual environment by moving both the head and the eyes.

The Index Valve connects to a computer via a USB-A cable and a DisplayPort 1.2. It also has a Virtual Link port allowing connection via USB-C on compatible graphics cards.

Unlike the Oculus Quest, which is intended to be a self-contained headset, the Index Valve will continue to rely on a series of external sensors designed to delimit the playing area. The Steam VR Tracking 2.0, therefore, relies on two or four laser-emitting stations, which are more reliable, more energy efficient, and less expensive to produce. Installing the four stations simultaneously will allow the player to take advantage of a 10-by-10 meter playing area. As a reminder, the maximum space from a live HTC is 4.5 square meters. So a big leap forward, if you have a room big enough to enjoy.

The valve is also innovating in terms of controllers with the new index devices. First, in the industry: the levers of the Valve Index can virtualize the user’s entire hand to allow them to enter virtual objects in play. A feat made possible by the integration of no less than 87 sensors in each controller, allowing for tracking the hand’s position, its movements and also the pressure of the player’s fingers. Each controller recharges by micro-USB and Valve promises a range of about seven hours for each controller.

The pre-commands of the Index Valve are now open. The kit including the helmet, the controllers and two base stations will be displayed at € 1079 for a delivery scheduled for August 31, 2019.

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