Facebook Warned About Small LED Record Indicator-Glasses; Folding Pixel Indicated in Android Build; Why No Smartwatch Blood Pressure Yet; Tesla-Address ‘Basic Safety Issues’-NTSB

Facebook has been put on notice that the LED recording indicator on the Facebook/Ray-Ban smart glasses may be too small to really warn people that they are being recorded. According to techcrunch.com, Ireland’s Data Protection Commission has asked Facebook to demo the LED, so they can determine if it is enough. Italy’s regulator has also raised the issue. The Ray-Ban branded smart glasses are already on sale. Not having seen the glasses in the wild myself, I would offer that even a small blinking red LED might be ok for indoors, but such would be very hard to catch if someone wearing the glasses was outdoors recording you. Since the Ray-Bans look more like regular sunglasses, expect ‘glassholes’ to take things to a new, lower level, than we saw with the much maligned Google Glass.

Rumors have been around for over a year that Google was working on a folding phone, which was code named ‘Passport.’ Now, 9to5google.com reports that people have spotted some code in the upcoming Android 12.1 mentioning another foldable Pixel, code named ‘Jumbojack.’ 9to5google has also seen documentation of Jumbojack being run through various trials to see how it does closed, half open, and flipped. The rumors indicate two screens, inside and outside, as on the Samsung folders. There is speculation from the name…Jumbojack…that the phone might open like a hamburger box, as is the case with the Galaxy Z Flip, instead of ‘hot dog style’ like the Fold. Considering that the Passport was initially thought to be out by now, it may be that both (or neither) could be out in 2022. 

There were rumblings last spring that the Apple watch might get a blood sugar monitor, which would have exploded their sales to diabetics all over the world. Well that didn’t happen, and in fact, they don’t even have a blood PRESSURE monitor as yet. Theverge.com notes that the Samsung Galaxy watch announced such a feature a couple years ago, and is still waiting FDA approval. Fitbit is working on a blood pressure monitor, along with Samsung and Apple. The problem is, measuring BP is a lot trickier than logging heart rate and rhythm. A professor at University of Pennsylvania, Jordana Cohen, put it succinctly…’We’re not ready for prime time yet.’ Even with a cuff at the doctor’s office, the measurement can be off, due to some people having ‘white coat syndrome,’ in other words, fear of the check by the doc or nurse inflates their blood pressure…which may be normal at home. There are numerous home blood pressure checkers, but they all use a cuff or squeeze a finger to work. So far, using light sensors in a watch without the squeeze just hasn’t been very accurate. With three majors smartwatch makers working on it, we may well see it in the next few years…along with the holy grail of a blood sugar monitor. 

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, new NTSB head Jennifer Homendy said that Tesla needs to address ‘basic safety issues’ before it adds features to its Autopilot and Full Self Driving. The new NTSB boss also took issue with Tesla beta testing upgrades on public roadways. Homendy also slammed Tesla for using ‘Full Self Driving,’ pointing out that such a label is ‘misleading and irresponsible.’ she noted that it only enables limited autonomy in some situations, and is a far cry from actual self driving. The NTSB head’s comments don’t necessarily mean that there will be policies instituted that will ban Tesla’s tech, but it is a sizable shot over the bow of the SS Elon Musk. 


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