Tech Digest daily round up: Lou Ottens, inventor of cassette tape dies


Lou Ottens, the Dutch engineer credited with inventing the audio cassette tape, has died aged 94. An estimated 100 billion cassette tapes have been sold around the world since they were introduced in the 1960s. Ottens’ invention transformed the way people listened to music, and there has even been a resurgence of the cassette in recent years. The engineer died in his hometown of Duizel. Ottens became head of Philips’ product development department in 1960, where he and his team developed the cassette tape. In 1963, it was presented at the Berlin Radio electronics fair and soon became a worldwide success. See BBC.

Chinese smartphone-maker Oppo is launching a trio of Oppo Find X3 series phones in the UK from April, all of which are 5G-ready and house cutting-edge cameras, the firm said. The top-of-the-range Pro includes a quad-camera system and screen which Oppo says is industry-leading because it allows the phone to capture and then display up to one billion colours in a single image – 10 times more than the human eye can detect. The £1,099 Pro is designed to take on the likes of Apple’s iPhone 12 and Samsung’s Galaxy S21 range, while the Neo and Lite will be aimed at the competitive mid-tier market, starting at £699 and £379 respectively. Yahoo!

A hyperloop train system that could transport people at 700mph has moved a step closer to reality thanks to the construction of the world’s first safety valves. California-based Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) has revealed it has built “safety isolation valves” that will allow parts of the tube to be re-pressurised to allow passengers to get out in the case of an emergency. The valves measure 16.5 feet in height, weigh 77,000 pounds and can withstand 288,000 pounds of force, HTT said. They will also allow segments of the track to be safe for maintenance staff to carry out works. Telegraph 

Parkinson’s Disease can be diagnosed by analysing compounds found on the skin, a study has found, paving the way for easier testing using quick and painless skin swabs. Experts from the University of Manchester found that both the onset of the degenerative brain condition and the nature of its progression can be determined by studying sebum. This is the oily, waxy substance that coats and protects the skin of mammals like us and is secreted out of the hair follicles. “We believe that our results are an extremely encouraging step towards tests that could be used to help diagnose and monitor Parkinson’s,” said paper author and mass spectrometry expert Perdita Barran of the University of Manchester. Daily Mail.

IDC has released a new report on the Global Smartphone Market Forecast for the year 2021. According to the report, the market will continue to grow due to the strong 5G push and pent-up demand. As a result, the market share of 5G devices is expected to increase. International Data Corporation says that the worldwide smartphone market will grow 13.9% YoY in Q1 2021. Similarly, the market will witness 5.5% YoY growth throughout 2021. Further, the research firm expects a 3.6% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2020 to 2025. Gizmochina.

Apple Inc has started the assembly of iPhone 12 in India, the U.S. tech giant said, as the company ramps up manufacturing operations in the world’s second-biggest smartphone market. The Indian unit of Apple’s Taiwanese contract manufacturer Foxconn will assemble the device in its plant in southern Tamil Nadu state, two sources familiar with the matter said.“We are proud to be starting production of iPhone 12 in India for our local customers,” Apple said in a statement on Thursday, Apple has been shifting some areas of production from China to other markets as it navigates the trade war between Washington and Beijing.  Reuters


Chris Price
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