Tech Digest daily round up: Apple patents ‘smart mattress’


Like something out of Wallace and Gromit, Apple has applied to patent a futuristic mattress sensor that can monitor people’s sleep and then wake them up by gently moving them in the morning. The iPhone maker has been working on an “in-bed haptic device,” according to a filing, which would be inserted into a person’s bed on top of their mattress before they go to sleep. Apple’s sleep device could use sensors that monitor light, sound and weight to detect which position someone is sleeping in and whether they’re snoring. If connected to the customer’s iPhone, the sensor could also be used as a silent alarm clock that wakes people up at the desired time by gently moving them. Telegraph 

Apple is also internally discussing releasing a rugged version of its Apple Watch designed for use in “extreme environments,” according to a new report in BloombergThe company is said to have considered a release as early as later this year, or 2022. If released, the watch could offer similar core functionality to the regular Apple Watch, but with a more rugged construction such as a rubberized exterior. The report also notes that Apple is planning new swim-tracking features for its watches.

Dyson has just revealed its new V15 Detect vacuum cleaner which comes packed with a laser to show you exactly where each minute speck minute of dust is around your home. The new Dyson V15 Detect looks very similar to previous cordless models but tucked inside the cleaning head is a new laser that is able to reveal exactly which bits of your floor aren’t as spick and span and you may think. It works by sending out a beam of green light to highlight the dirt. Express.

Communications regulator Ofcom has announced plans to open a new technology hub in Manchester – creating up to 150 new jobs by 2025. It comes as the organisation prepares to become the regulator for internet companies under the Government’s proposed Online Safety Bill. Ofcom said it wanted to draw on Manchester’s reputation as a centre for technology and innovation as it seeks new recruits to help prepare for the new online regulation. The new hub is expected to be operational by the summer, with the new roles created to offer digital and technical expertise. Yahoo! News 

Governments around the world are subsidizing the construction of semiconductor factories as a chip shortage hobbles the auto and electronics industries and highlights the world’s singular dependence on Taiwan for vital supplies. The United States, the European Union and Japan are contemplating spending tens of billions of dollars on cutting-edge “fabs,” or chip fabrication plants, as unease grows that more than two-thirds of advanced computing chips are manufactured in Taiwan. Earlier this week, a top U.S. military commander told U.S. lawmakers that a Chinese takeover of the island was the military’s foremost concern in the Pacific. Reuters.

And finally, onlookers have said they briefly thought “aliens were here” after a falling SpaceX rocket lit up the skies over the United States’ Pacific Northwest. The Falcon 9 second stage rocket drew awe from onlookers in Seattle as it burned up in the Earth’s atmosphere shortly after 9pm on Thursday. Front desk supervisor Eberton Paul spotted the blaze of flames as it passed by the city’s famous Space Needle tower.


Chris Price
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