Weekly bytes | BMW’s color-changing car, Alexa’s flight to the moon, and more

Here’s our curated list of important tech news from this week in byte size.

BMW’s color-changing car

BMW has unveiled a car that can change colors at the driver’s request. The surface of the BMW iX Flow is equipped with E Ink technology which allows the appearance of the vehicle to be changed. According to the automaker, the fluid color changes are made possible by a specially developed body wrap. When stimulated by electrical signals, electrophoretic technology brings different color pigments to the surface, causing the skin of the body to take on the desired color. The technology only needs energy during the short phase of color change. It can help tailor a vehicle’s exterior based on the driver’s aesthetic preferences, environmental conditions, or even functional requirements. In addition, it can help reduce the amount of cooling and heating required by the vehicle’s air conditioning, thereby reducing the amount of power that the vehicle’s electrical system requires and, therefore, the consumption of fuel or electricity. of the vehicle, noted the German automobile company. This week, BMW also previewed a 31-inch widescreen display with smart TV functions that extends from the roof of a car to provide an immersive in-car entertainment experience for rear passengers.

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Alexa will fly to the moon with NASA’s Artemis mission

Amazon Alexa and Cisco’s Webex will fly aboard the Orion spacecraft built by Lockheed Martin for NASA’s Artemis I mission to the Moon, which is currently scheduled to launch in early 2022. Human-machine interface technologies are going in. space as part of Callisto, a technology demonstration built into the spacecraft. The payload includes technology that will allow Alexa to work without an internet connection and Webex to run on a tablet using NASA’s Deep Space Network. It will be an opportunity to learn how future astronauts could benefit from far-field voice technology, AI and tablet video collaboration. People can follow the mission on Alexa-enabled devices by saying “Alexa, take me to the moon”. In another space-related development, the Indian Space Research Organization is gearing up for a number of missions in 2022, including the launch of Gaganyaan’s first unmanned mission, its chairman, K. Sivan, said.

Asus announces 17-inch foldable laptop

Asus announced the Zenbook 17 Fold OLED, a 17.3-inch laptop with a revolutionary foldable design. It offers two OLED screen sizes in one device: a large 17.3-inch 2.5K touchscreen that folds down in the middle to create two 12.5-inch 1920×1280 transparent screens. In combination with the full-size Asus ErgoSense Bluetooth keyboard and touchpad, the foldable design offers the versatility of multiple modes, such as PC, laptop and tablet. It includes Dolby Vision HDR as well as Dolby Atmos and a Harman Kardon certified four-speaker audio system. The foldable device is powered by the latest 12th generation Intel Core i7 U-Series processors, Intel Iris Xe graphics, and will meet the demands of an Intel Evo laptop. The Asus laptop will be available for purchase in mid-2022. In another update, Asus recently unveiled a series of laptops aimed at content creators as it envisions a 20% share. in the Indian consumer PC segment in 2022.

Twitter reaction functionality on iOS

Twitter said it has started testing a new feature on iOS that allows users to add a reaction photo or video when using the quote tweet feature. Users can tap the retweet icon and choose the “Quote from tweet with reaction” option to create and customize their own tweet take, including a reaction video or photo with the tweet embedded, the plate noted. – micro-blogging form. Users have the option to capture the live photo or video or add it from their media library. The social media platform is testing another feature on iOS that will make it easier for users to compose a tweet. It adds a new compose bar above the bottom navigation menu which will allow users to start a tweet from the timeline page, instead of hitting the “+” button which opens a screen to compose a. tweet. The features are available to a limited number of people, according to Twitter. In a separate development, former US President Donald Trump’s new media venture plans to launch his social network, dubbed “Truth Social,” in February to take on Twitter and other social media platforms.

Samsung announces Galaxy S21 FE 5G

Samsung has announced that the S21 FE 5G smartphone is expanding its Galaxy S21 series. The “Fan Edition” device is equipped with fan favorite features, such as powerful performance, a professional-grade camera and the premium and signature design of the S21 series. The smartphone has a 6.4 inch FHD + Dynamic AMOLED 2X display; 32MP selfie camera; rear camera setup including 12MP, 12MP wide and 8MP ultra-wide telephoto lenses; with a 4,500 mAh battery. The IP68 rated device will be available in 6 GB or 8 GB of RAM with 128 GB of storage and 8 GB of RAM with 256 GB of storage combinations. The Galaxy S21 FE 5G will be available in four new color options – Olive, Lavender, White, or Graphite, starting January 11. This week, Samsung also expanded its monitor lineup with a new curved-screen gaming monitor dubbed the Odyssey Neo G8, as well as Smart Monitor M8, which offers both TV and monitor functions.

You can find out more at thehindu.com/technology

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