Tech Digest daily roundup: Robots to detect mental health issues in children


Robots could help to detect mental wellbeing issues in children, a study has suggested. A child-sized humanoid robot was used by Cambridge University researchers to complete a series of questionnaires to assess mental wellbeing with 28 children aged between eight and 13. The research found that the youngsters were willing to confide in the robot, sometimes sharing information that they had not yet shared via online or during in-person questionnaires. Although the robots are not intended to be used as a substitute for mental health support, researchers say they could be a useful addition to methods of mental health assessment. Sky News

Ever since Samsung Display showed off a 17-inch foldable OLED screen last May, laptop enthusiasts (myself included) have been waiting for the form factor of the future to hit shelves. After all, many of even the most exciting laptop releases of this year have been updates to long-standing designs — a 17-inch foldable is one of the very few untouched frontiers remaining in this very established market. Some of the biggest PC manufacturers either have announced that they are, or are rumored to be, working on 17-inch foldable laptops. But in a move that should come as a surprise to nobody who’s familiar with the company and its antics, Asus looks like it might be first to the punch. The Verge

Brand new Ambilight TVs are on the way from Philips, including two new OLED models and a Mini-LED option. The sets boast Bowers & Wilkins sound systems and AI picture processing, as well as an upgraded Ambilight experience. Starting with the OLED+937, it will be available in both 65-inch and 77-inch size variants and will include Philips’ 6th Gen P5 AI Intelligent Dual Engine picture processing. This TV will use an OLED EX panel with a dedicated heatsink, which Philips says will allow for a peak brightness of 1300 nits. What HiFi

Bang & Olufsen has announced a new Dolby Atmos soundbar, the Beosound Theatre, with a modern modular design that can be paired with any TV. Shaped to evoke “the grace of sailboats”, the Beosound Theatre is a Dolby Atmos soundbar system with 12 drivers providing physical left/centre/right and side-firing channels as well as a pair each of surround and height channels that B&O describes as being virtual. Support for Dolby Atmos in its Dolby Digital TrueHD form is on board. Although it’s a shame there’s no mention of DTS:X, the Beosound Theatre has a generous connectivity spec with three 40Gb HDMI inputs What and one eARC offering 4K/120 and 8K/60 passthrough. There’s an analogue USB-C audio input, and wireless music streaming options include Apple AirPlay 2, Bluetooth, built-in Chromecast and Spotify Connect. What HiFi

Snapchat will lay off 20% of its staff and shut down a string of new projects. About 1,200 employees will lose their jobs in the restructuring which had been expected after a year of poor financial results. The company was worth $130bn (112bn) a year ago. It’s now valued at less than $20bn (£17bn). Snapchat said the cuts would help the company save an estimated $500m (430m) in annual costs. The company’s CEO said the changes would be “difficult”. BBC


Chris Price
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