Tech Digest daily roundup: What to expect at Apple’s WWDC 2022
June 6 marks the beginning of Apple’s annual developer conference, WWDC. The weeklong event will kick off with a keynote at 10 am PST on Monday loaded with announcements about new software features across Apple’s various platforms. For the first time since before the COVID-19 pandemic started, there will be a significant in-person audience for WWDC, too. And there will be countless sessions during the week on programming APIs, Swift features, and so on. But for most people around the world, new operating systems and hardware announcements are the main draw—and we’ll see a few of those during the keynote on Monday. Ars Technica
Self-declared “mad scientist” Bertrand Nepveu wanted to take a sip of beer but couldn’t see the bottle while wearing his start-up’s virtual reality headset. So the dreadlocked engineer looked for a solution to not being able to see real objects while being plunged into a virtual world. His company Vrvana repurposed the cameras in its “Totem” prototype to allow users to also view their surroundings. The breakthrough led Apple to acquire Vrvana for $30mn in 2017. That acquisition is just one of a dozen purchases in the fields of virtual and augmented reality that the iPhone maker has made in the last six years. Apple’s own headset, the long-awaited culmination of all those deals, is shaping up to be its most significant new product since the iPhone. FT
Taser developer Axon said this week it is working to build drones armed with the electric stunning weapons that could fly in schools and “help prevent the next Uvalde, Sandy Hook, or Columbine.” But its own technology advisers quickly panned the idea as a dangerous fantasy. The publicly traded company, which sells Tasers and police body cameras, floated the idea of a new police drone product last year to its artificial intelligence ethics board, a group of well-respected experts in technology, policing and privacy. Some of them expressed reservations about weaponizing drones in over-policed communities of color. But they were not expecting Axon’s Thursday announcement that it wants to send those Taser-equipped drones into classrooms to prevent mass shootings by immobilizing an intruding gunman. AP News
As you might know, during Google I/O, Sundar Pichai & Co (surprisingly) took the wraps off the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro about five months before their official release. While we don’t have any confirmed technical details about the Pixel 7 series yet, what’s for sure is that the new Pixels will take after last year’s Pixel 6 and bring back the “camera bar” design, which is slowly but steadily becoming the Google’s most recognized visual trait. But, of course, those of you who like their tech conspiracy theories stretched, surely would’ve noticed something familiar about the Pixel 7 Pro’s camera bar design, which houses three camera sensors. As it turns out, the Pixel 7 Pro’s back now looks like a blown-out version of the unannounced iPhone 14 Pro’s front. Phone Arena
Google is telling users of the Android Auto for Phone Screens app that it’ll no longer work soon via an in-app pop-up message (via 9to5Google). The app enables a simplified in-car interface of Android that is safer to use while mounting the phone on a car dashboard, a great feature for those who don’t own newer cars with the version of Android Auto that runs on the infotainment screen. This is actually not Google’s first warning that it was putting Android Auto for Phone Screens in exile. It was already deprecated last year when the company disabled Android Auto for Phone Screens on newer Android 12 devices. The Verge
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