Galaxy Note 9 May Get Under Display Print Reader; Other Android Makers Looking To Face ID Clones; GM Buys Lidar Maker For Self-Driving; Food Delivered to Your Mouth-We Will Become Like In Wall-E

Apple had to ditch the effort for the iPhone X, but Samsung is working on putting under screen fingerprint sensors in the Galaxy Note 9 for next year. Businessinsider.com reports that they are planning to let you unlock your screen simply by touching a finger on part of it.

Meanwhile, other Android makers are turning to developing 3D sensing for Face ID clones like Apple has in the soon to be released iPhone X. Appleinsider.com says the number of makers looking at 3D sensing has tripled since Apple showed off the tech in September. It’s not all about unlocking phones…the 3D tech also opens the door to AR…augmented reality.

General Motors has bought Strobe, a 3 year old startup that makes lidar tech for self driving vehicles. According to the New York Times, the company will be folded into Cruise Automation, the GM self-driving subsidiary. The General says it will help accelerate its efforts to develop and build electric cars with self-driving capabilities. They are saying the tech will help bring such cars to the market sooner than you think!

Researchers at University of Sussex have developed TastyFloats…a food delivery system that levitates food morsels right into your mouth…no hands or utensils! Thenextweb.com says it’s not really ro make us like the denizens of Wall-E, but to test if food tastes differently without touch or manipulation. It uses two phased arrays of ultrasonic transducers to transport the morsels of food. OTOH, someone may ‘monitize’ the idea, and then we really could all become porky couch potatoes.

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Another Strong Hint that iPhone 8 Will Feature AR; Google Working on 3 Successors to Present Pixel Phone

While the tech world pours over rumors that the iPhone 8 will have an OLED screen…perhaps curved….and wireless charging, another strong hint has dropped that the real game changer may be AR. Bgr.com reports that advanced 3D sensor maker Lumentum put out guidance that it has booked revenue into what it calls ‘a high-volume mobile-device application.’ iPhones already have 3D sensors, but they are used as range finders and proximity detectors. Highly advanced 3D sensors like Lumentum makes could be used for gesture control or mapping the surrounding 3D environment. This truly could be Apple’s ‘next big thing.’

The folks at Google are apparently working on 3 models to update the Pixel phone. According to thenextweb.com, the three are code named for freshwater fish, and one will have a larger screen than the other two. There may be a cheaper version, as well as a feature packed waterproof high-end successor. As Apple and Samsung, the updated phones will likely have a slimmer bezel, too.


Apple Wins the Holiday; Galaxy S8 May Have a Stylus Supporting Model; How About a Paper Airplane Machine Gun?

Ever since the Galaxy Note meltdown in late summer, the year has gone south for Samsung. Now that holiday figures are in, we know the extent. According to Flurry Analytics, if you got a phone for the holidays, it’s likely it was an iPhone. 44% of new phone and tablet activations were for Apple devices. Samsung didn’t quite hit half of that, with 21%. Huawei was a distant third at 3%, with 5 other phone makers tied for 4th at 2%. Medium phones are still most popular at 45%, but phablets are gaining fast…picking up 10% year over year to capture 37% of the form factor share.

A new rumor may throw a bone to Samsung’s hardcore Galaxy Note 7 fans. Bgr.com reports that there may be a ‘plus’ sized Galaxy S8 that will accept the S Pen stylus. The leak out of China says it won’t fit inside the phone, and will sell separately. Still, it’s a popular feature that may bring a lot of Note fans back to buy a new S8.

Everyone’s been to sporting events where they inspect for weapons and such. Everyone has also seen the occasional paper airplane sail down to the court or field. Now, gizmodo says you might see a blizzard of them without such checkpoints. A fellow named Dieter Krone has developed a 3D printed machine gun that folds and shoots 120 paper airplanes a minute! Take that, opposing team!


Galaxy S8; Microsoft’s Surface Event; How Amazon Drones Will Land for You

Even after the catastrophe with fiery Galaxy Note 7’s, time marches on for Samsung and everyone else. According to bgr.com, Sammy is pressing ahead with the expected Galaxy S8 models for February 26th rollout. Expect an edge to edge 4K Super AMOLED screen (and wraparound in the case of the Edge), with just a bezel at the top and bottom. Screen real estate is supposed to be 80% of the front, so it sounds like they are getting rid of the home button. Inside, expect a faster processor, and either 6 or 8 gigs of RAM!

Microsoft’s Surface event is tomorrow, the 26th. Theverge.com reports that it will be jam packed, but look for the spotlight to be on a new Surface all-in-one PC. Think of a Microsoft iMac, only with a hinge to lay flat on a desk. It will rock a touchscreen and have stylus support. Other big areas to watch for are emphasis on creating 3D content, and it looks like Redmond will be letting 3rd parties build their own HoloLens headsets. Microsoft may also show an Amazon Echo competitor with Cortana built in.

We’ve been reporting for over a year about Amazon’s drone program. All well and good, but how are those little rascals going to find a place to drop off your package?
Geekwire.com says Amazon plans for you to print out a symbol on your printer, and put it where you want the drone to land. You’ll have to supply your own rocks to keep the paper from blowing down the street!


Amazon’s British Drone Tests; New (Old) Apple Car Boss; Future iPhones—Iris Scanning and Glasses-Free 3D

Amazon has gotten permission to test drone deliveries in the United Kingdom, according to venturebeat.com. They will test beyond line of sight operations, obstacle avoidance, and single-person supervision of multiple, highly-automated drones. FedEx and UPS have also shown interest in drone delivery.

Former Apple exec under Steve Jobs Bob Mansfield has come out of retirement to run Project Titan, the Apple car project. Businessinsider.com reports that he originally intended to retire in 2012, but moved to a special projects team that built the Apple Watch. Since then, not much has been heard from him. Apple allegedly intends to start selling vehicles in 2021.

A couple of interesting features may be coming to iPhones, one in 2018. Appleinsider.com says we might see ‘Iris ID’ replace Touch ID, as Apple brings iris scanners to the iPhone family. Meanwhile, Samsung may introduce iris recognition tech in its flagship Galaxy S series this year. More exciting than Iris ID, Apple has patented a method of ‘autostereoscopic’ displays. This would allow for 3D without the special glasses. It uses a pixel array featuring a second array of subpixels and lens structures, the latter emitting light at a number of different angles. The key component though would be the “beam steerer,” pointing the correct light at the viewer. No word on when we might have this in our hands yet.


Samsung Making an 11k Mobile Display-Mimics 3D

You haven’t even upgraded to a 4k TV yet, and now Samsung is gearing up to build an 11k mobile display. Engadget.com reports that they expect to have it out by 2018. At 2250 pixels per inch, it would be 4 times higher resolution than their existing quad HD displays. The killer app? It would simulate 3D without the annoying glasses.

Next week could see refreshed iPods. iPods? Yes, Apple still makes them and people still buy them. The Nano and Shuffle may just get new pink, gold, and dark blue colors, but the Touch looks to be upgraded to a 64 bit processor…probably the one in the iPhone 5S, and Apple’s M7 motion processor. According to appleinsider.com, the new iPods should drop on July 14th.


LG Will Join the Roll Your Own CPU Club

Smartphone and appliance maker LG has made a big move. Their next smartphone will sport the company’s own CPU chips. Engadget.com says they’re an 8 core chip similar to Samsung’s.

A married couple has unveiled the world’s first 3D print graphene battery. Forbes.com reports that the prototype already matches the power of a AA battery, and can be made in any shape. They plan to offer materials for people to print their own at home!

Talk about a vanity app…Looksery has launched a video chatting app that makes you look more attractive. TechCrunch.com says the app is live on Apple’s app store, and you can make avatars with it, too. I’ll be George Clooney, please.