Yet More on iPhone Sat Connection; Google’s ‘Human Presence Sensor’; VW EV Microbus Update; Hamill Tweets Name, Gets Massive Likes

Last week, reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Apple would support low orbit satellite communications with iPhone 13, then, Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman gave more details about the feature and its implementation.  9to5 mac.com notes that More info has leaked out now. “The emergency features will only work in areas without any cellular coverage and only in select markets. Apple envisions eventually deploying its own array of satellites to beam data to devices, but that plan is likely years away from taking off.”  Gurman also says Apple won’t give the ability for iPhone users to make calls when without cellular coverage.

Google is working with Antmicro on a “Human Presence Sensor” for upcoming Chromebooks, which could be used for face unlock or other long-awaited Chrome OS features. Google calls the project  “HPS,” which is short for “Human Presence Sensor.” According to 9to5google.com, it may be used to let the laptop wake when you approach…or  could allow your Chromebook to both stay awake and not dim the screen while you’re in front of it, similar to the “Screen attention” feature of Pixel phones. No word on when it may be actually implemented at this point. 

Five years after Volkswagen first unveiled its concept for an electric version of its iconic microbus, we’re finally getting our first glimpse of the vehicle on the road. But rather than some throwback to an era of hippies and flower power, the ID Buzz is outfitted with a high-tech suite of sensors and computing smarts for its new role as an autonomous test vehicle. Theverge.com report that the autonomous ID Buzz will serve as a platform for the automaker’s full-scale commercial ride-hailing and delivery operation that it plans on launching in Germany in 2025. For now, VW plans to deploy the ID Buzz on public roads for testing in Munich, as well as at a private track near the city’s airport. 

Star Wars legend Mark Hamill decided to test how strong the Force was with his Twitter stardom Sunday after a fan suggested he could get thousands of likes just by tweeting his own name. CNET.com says the actor, who’s best known for playing Luke Skywalker, exceeded expectations by getting more than half a million likes and over 30,000 retweets as of early Monday. Don’t try thi at home, kids….Hamill has 4.7 million followers on the social media platform, and a bunch of them are apparently happy to support his experiments. If you have only a few hundred or few thousand followers, you will probably just get razzed for trying the same thing.



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