Apple’s Keyframer AI Tool Uses LLMs to Prototype Animation

Apple has taken a novel approach to animation with Keyframer, using large language models to add motion to static images through natural language prompts. “The application of LLMs to animation is underexplored,” Apple researchers say in a paper that describes Keyframer as an “animation prototyping tool.” Based on input from animators and engineers, Keyframer lets users refine their work through “a combination of prompting and direct editing,” the paper explains. The LLM can generate CSS animation code. Users can also use natural language to request design variations. Continue reading Apple’s Keyframer AI Tool Uses LLMs to Prototype Animation

Is Foldable iPhone What’s Next for Apple After the Vision Pro?

In the wake of the recent Vision Pro launch, mostly positive reviews, and (reportedly) selling out of its modest 200,000 unit initial production run, Apple seems to have reignited its appetite for innovation. The company is said to be considering the release of a foldable iPhone after quietly developing the technology since 2018. A sticking point for the design-oriented firm may be the “ubiquitous foldable crease,” which has pundits speculating that Apple’s debut entry won’t hit the market before 2026. Early reports suggest the company is pursuing a clamshell form factor that folds lengthwise. Continue reading Is Foldable iPhone What’s Next for Apple After the Vision Pro?

CES: Will.i.am Discusses the Intersection of Music and Tech

Musician will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas — who is also a noted technologist, entrepreneur, investor and philanthropist — discussed his work with Mercedes-AMG, why he attends the CES conference each year in Las Vegas, and his vision of the future. In 2022 he was asked by Mercedes to reimagine a vehicle. He loves pattern-matching, he said, and seeing how things align. After developing ideas with his team and auctioning off the working prototype WILL.I.AMG to raise funds for his inner-city education philanthropy, he went back to Mercedes with a simple but powerful pitch with a focus on audio. Continue reading CES: Will.i.am Discusses the Intersection of Music and Tech

Adobe Reveals Its New AI Tool for Editing Problematic Audio

Adobe has unveiled Project Sound Lift, an AI-powered technology that separates speech recordings into discrete tracks of voices, non-speech sounds and other background noise in video. The company describes Project Sound Lift as “a one-click solution” that leverages AI to help users easily manipulate audio recordings “across a range of scenarios” to “enhance, transform, and control speech and sound independently.” Adobe’s existing Enhance Speech technology, available in the company’s Premiere Pro editing program, has been integrated within Project Sound Lift to aid creators in producing studio-quality audio content. Continue reading Adobe Reveals Its New AI Tool for Editing Problematic Audio

Meta Flamera Prototype Takes on AR Passthrough Challenge

The Flamera, a prototype augmented reality headset from Meta Platforms, won the coveted Best in Show award at Siggraph 2023 earlier this month, drawing attention for its buggy “fly eyes” appearance as well as lens design that takes an unconventional approach to solving AR’s “passthrough” challenge. Since AR glasses are meant to work IRL, developers typically use external cameras to let the real world pass through. Meta abandons existing solutions for a novel approach it calls “lightfield passthrough” that pairs image sensors with apertures to control the incoming light. Continue reading Meta Flamera Prototype Takes on AR Passthrough Challenge

Game Creators Are Now Testing the Benefits of Generative AI

Game developers are harnessing the power of generative AI to improve the state of play. With hundreds of computer-controlled characters, many of whom have incidental roles, the goal of giving these bit players the ability to spout some meaningful dialogue, should a player cross their path, is one potential use for chatbot text. Sony’s Haven Studios is using GenAI to quickly mock-up characters, while Roblox is developing an AI system it plans to let users leverage to create digital objects and build-out virtual worlds based on text prompts. Continue reading Game Creators Are Now Testing the Benefits of Generative AI

CES: Samsung Flex Hybrid Mobile Device Can Fold and Slide

Samsung Display has debuted a concept mobile device that both folds and slides, the Flex Hybrid. The company’s “smart mobile device” prototype unfolds to reveal a display on the left side, with the right side sliding outward to expand screen real estate. The Flex Hybrid’s OLED screen expands from a 10.5-inch 4:3 configuration to a 12.4-inch 16:10 display. Samsung Display also previewed two larger displays at CES 2023, the Flex Slidable Solo, which expands in a single direction, and the Flex Slidable Duet, which grows on both sides, from 13 or 14 inches of screen space to 17.3 inches. Continue reading CES: Samsung Flex Hybrid Mobile Device Can Fold and Slide

CES: Lumus Z-Lens Waveguide Shows Future of AR Glasses

Lumus introduced its second-generation AR eyewear technology, the Z-Lens 2D waveguide, at CES 2023. The Israeli-based supplier for OEMs making AR glasses says the new architecture accommodates AR projector modules that are 50 percent smaller, with outdoor compatible brightness and seamless prescription integration, setting the stage for a new class of AR glasses that are sleeker and more efficient. “In order for AR glasses to penetrate the consumer market in a meaningful way, they need to be impressive both functionally and aesthetically,” said Lumus CEO Ari Grobman. Continue reading CES: Lumus Z-Lens Waveguide Shows Future of AR Glasses

CES: LG Demos 17-Inch OLED, 8-Inch 360-Degree Foldables

LG Display showcased several prototypes at CES 2023. As part of its Advanced Mobility Lifestyle exhibit, the South Korean company touted an 8-inch, 360-degree foldable OLED that could be used for future smartphones or autos. The revolutionary technology “enables a device to fold both ways to bring greater utilization, as users can now choose different form factors according to their task,” says LG, attesting to its durability “even when folded more than 200,000 times, while its special folding mechanism minimizes wrinkles along the folding areas.” The company also presented a 17-inch foldable OLED that is “almost entirely crease-free.” Continue reading CES: LG Demos 17-Inch OLED, 8-Inch 360-Degree Foldables

CES: Superimaging Creates New Clear Window Display Tech

Last year we told you about VideowindoW, a high resolution clear-glass display that transforms windows, including the entire glass curtain of a skyscraper, into a black and white video screen. This year at CES, Superimaging Display showcased a proof-of-concept demo of a simpler approach to transparent window displays. The company has developed a thin film embedded with nanophosphors that display visible RGB images when excited by ultraviolet light from a DLP projector. The thin film can be attached to any glass surface, and the image is visible but translucent in daylight. Continue reading CES: Superimaging Creates New Clear Window Display Tech

Apple Fast-Tracks Plan to Move Some Production from China

The protests and riots in response to China’s restrictive COVID-19 policies have resulted in Apple accelerating plans to relocate a chunk of production in that country, according to news reports claiming that “turmoil” in a Zhengzhou area called iPhone City helped prompt the change. At peak output, the zone produced roughly 85 percent of the iPhone Pro lineup, according to The Wall Street Journal, which says the factory “was convulsed in late November by violent protests.” China has long been the primary manufacturing location for Apple products. Vietnam and India are reportedly high on Apple’s list of alternate sites. Continue reading Apple Fast-Tracks Plan to Move Some Production from China

Meta Reality Labs Haptic Glove Aims for VR Touch Sensation

Meta’s Reality Labs division has previewed a haptic glove designed to give the user sensation of handling a real object when manipulating things that only exist digitally in virtual space. Reality Labs, a division of Facebook prior to that company’s renaming as Meta Platforms, has spent seven years working on a haptic glove prototype, now rolled into Meta’s announced 2021 spending of $10 billion to develop hardware, software and apps for the metaverse — an AR/VR fused world conjured through digital sight, sound and touch. Companies including HaptX, Hi5, Manus and SenseGlove have also demonstrated haptic gloves, an increasingly competitive field. Continue reading Meta Reality Labs Haptic Glove Aims for VR Touch Sensation

Chinese Researchers Create Quantum Computing Benchmark

China’s top quantum research group said its Jiuzhang quantum computer produced results in minutes that would take 2+ billion years by the world’s No. 3 powerful supercomputer. That exceeds Google’s prototype quantum computer which, last year, came up with a result in minutes that it estimated would take a supercomputer 10,000 years. The two quantum computers work differently: China’s University of Science and Technology’s computer manipulates photons, whereas Google’s builds quantum circuits via super-cold superconducting metal. Continue reading Chinese Researchers Create Quantum Computing Benchmark

Mojo Vision Demonstrates Prototype of Smart Contact Lens

After five years of work, California-based Mojo Vision demonstrated Mojo Lens, a smart contact lens that is still in research and development. For now, the demonstrations are via a virtual reality headset rather than an actual contact lens. But Mojo Vision’s goal is to create a means of “invisible computing,” which will provide an interface that enables consumers to reduce their use of screens. Co-founder/chief technology officer Mike Wiemer explains that Mojo Lens will be “very discreet.” Continue reading Mojo Vision Demonstrates Prototype of Smart Contact Lens

Twitter Plans to Improve Conversations, Acquires Lightwell

Twitter has purchased Lightwell, an app creation engine originally debuted two years ago by Hullabalu, an interactive storytelling startup. In its Twitter account, Lightwell said its work would focus on conversations and that its toolset, which has required a subscription, will be available for free this week as part of the purchase. Without the need to create an account, Lightwell users will be able to “layout, prototype, and export to iOS.” Lightwell also announced that it would no longer support or add new features to the toolset. Financial terms of the acquisition have not been disclosed. Continue reading Twitter Plans to Improve Conversations, Acquires Lightwell