Tech Digest daily roundup: BMW announces ‘Chameleon Car’


If you have ever grown bored with the colour of your car, then you might like BMW’s idea – to change it on a whim. At CES 2022, it showed off how a car’s exterior could effectively become ePaper which, when charged with a small electric current, changes colour or creates a pattern. Its “iX Flow” technology is similar to that which powers e-book readers and covers the car in millions of tiny microcapsules. The project is very much concept-only at this stage, but is intended to be more than cosmetic – changing to a light colour in hot weather or a dark colour in cooler weather will cut the amount of cooling and heating required inside the vehicle, the firm said. But some critics pointed out that the system looked to be temperature-sensitive while others questioned the colour choice – currently only available in white, black and grey. BBC 

Attendance at this week’s CES gadget show in Las Vegas fell more than 75% compared to its previous in-person event two years ago, its organizer said Friday. The Consumer Technology Association said on the show’s closing day that more than 40,000 people attended the multi-day event on the Las Vegas Strip. That’s less than a quarter of the more than 170,000 the CTA said were there for its 2020 convention. The COVID-19 pandemic led the CTA to take 2021′s conference online, but the trade group decided eight months ago to bring a physical CES 2022 back to Vegas. That proved challenging amid a global spike in infections caused by the fast-moving omicron coronavirus variant that emerged late last year. AP News 

Tim Cook, the Apple boss, was paid close to $100m (£74m) last year, a huge increase on the previous 12 months, as the iPhone maker rocketed towards a $3 trillion valuation. His total pay for the year to September 25 was $98.7m, up from $14.7m, the Silicon Valley giant revealed in a US filing. The rise was largely down to an $82m share award Mr Cook received under a shake-up of his pay scheme. Apple said the sum was a reflection of the company’s success under his leadership: “The amount recognises his exceptional leadership and is commensurate with the size, performance, and profitability Apple has achieved during his tenure.” Telegraph 

Image: Apple

Apple isn’t slowing down when it comes to new features for Fitness+. It announced several more that will be added on January 10th, including Time to Run. That’s a spin on the Time to Walk experience, in which celebrity guests provide narration and a playlist to accompany walks. The aim of Time to Run is to help folks “become more consistent and better runners.” It taps into some popular running routes from various cities, and features playlists designed to evoke the spirit of those locations and match the intensity and coaching of each run. The first three episodes that drop on Monday are based on London, Brooklyn and Miami Beach. A new episode will debut each week.

Since we’ve not seen a new BlackBerry phone in over three years, and since BlackBerry switched off its services for good this week, it would be easy to assume that BlackBerry – as a phone brand – is dead.  That is not the case, according to OnwardMobility, the company that picked up the license to produce BlackBerry phones in 2020.  In a blog post, the company has reiterated its desire to launch a 5G BlackBerry phone, even though it is now a significantly delayed launch.  OnwardMobility originally planned to launch a 5G BlackBerry-branded smartphone in 2021, but news on the device has been incredibly light since the original announcement, made in August 2020. Pocket-Lint

The Swiss Army has banned on-duty personnel using WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram and similar messaging apps, instead preferring them to use the Swiss-made app Threema. The rules will mean that Switzerland‘s conscripts doing military service and people returning for refresher courses do not inadvertently expose military information to foreign parties. Professionals in the Swiss Army already use Threema Work, the enterprise edition of the app, spokesman Daniel Reist explained to Sky News. Although it is not possible to see the content of end-to-end encrypted messages, the service providers may collect metadata revealing who has messaged whom, and when. Sky News 

Chris Price
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