Top iPhone Getting Sensor-Shift Image Stabilization; CDC Launches COVID-19 Self-Checker; Best Buy Moves to Curbside Pickup Only; Amazon Stops All But Essential Products Delivery for Italy & France

Top Apple tout Ming-Chi Kuo says Apple is planning a high-end 6.7-inch iPhone model for release in 2020, and multiple reports have indicated that the device will feature multiple rear camera improvements, including larger sensors that capture more light for better image quality. Macrumors.com reports that Kuo said that the 6.7-inch iPhone will also feature sensor-shift image stabilization. In a research note with TF International Securities, obtained by MacRumors, Kuo predicted that the technology will expand to two to three new iPhone models in 2021. Sensor-shift technology could bring image stabilization to the Ultra Wide lens on future iPhones, starting with the 6.7-inch model. iPhone 11 Pro models feature optical image stabilization for both photo and video, but only when using the Wide or Telephoto lenses. Sensor-shift technology would provide a solution for this, as the stabilization would apply to the camera sensor itself and not be dependent on any specific lens. Sensor-shifting image stabilization could also result in better shots with attachable lens accessories like the OlloClip or the fabulous Moment add on lenses. Kuo today also predicted that at least one 2022 iPhone model will feature a periscope lens, which could allow for 5x optical zoom like Huawei’s P30 Pro or even 10x optical zoom as is rumored for the device’s P40 Pro successor. iPhones currently max out at 2x optical zoom and 10x digital zoom. Optical zoom preserves the quality of a shot when zooming in, while digital zoom results in some blurriness.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention introduced a bot over the weekend to help people make decisions about what to do if they have potential symptoms of COVID-19. According to techcrunch.com, it’s called Clara. The “coronavirus self-checker” was created in partnership with CDC Foundation and Microsoft Azure’s Healthcare Bot service. While COVID-19 has been declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization, Clara is intended for use by people currently in the United States. According to the CDC, as of March 22, there were more than 15,200 cases in the United States and 200 deaths. Microsoft said screening patients who have cold or flu-like symptoms to determine who needs “access to limited medical resources” creates a “bottleneck that threatens to overwhelm health systems coping with the crisis.” Its Healthcare Bot uses AI and is intended to help the CDC answer more queries, enabling medical professionals to look after patients who need critical care.
Clara is not intended to be used for diagnosis or treatment purposes. The questions walk users through symptoms and then gives recommendations if they need medical care.

As of yesterday, Best Buy is limiting its US stores to “contactless” curbside service, allowing only employees into its stores. Engadget.com says orders placed on the Best Buy website or via its app will be delivered to customers’ cars outside its stores by employees. The curbside system includes returns and exchanges. Best Buy has suspended its in-home installations and repair services, as well as its product trade-in and recycling services.

You may have noticed that Amazon has cut back or effectively eliminated for now its same day or two day delivery in the US. Engadget.com is reporting that Amazon is taking dramatic steps to prioritize orders in areas hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The online retailer told Reuters in a statement that it would temporarily stop taking orders for “some non-essential products” in France and Italy to help Amazon warehouses focus on more vital deliveries. The company didn’t say just what it was stopping, but it believes essentials include groceries, health products, household items, personal care, industrial goods, scientific products and pet supplies.



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