Recycling Robot “Daisy” Eats 200 iPhones an Hour

Technology nowadays strives to maintain its status as a life changer, with Apple adapting to people’s health-oriented lifestyles, a blockchain program providing social services to the homeless, and Google dabbling in environmentalism by being the biggest buyer of clean energy.

In keeping up with this trend, Apple now introduces its newest robot named “Daisy.”

The massive robot, which Apple says can tear apart iPhones at a rate of 200 per hour, is able to separate the various internal components of an iPhone and sort them into easy-to-access piles. Using this method, Apple say it’s able to recycle a greater volume of materials than it would if it used other methods, since more of the parts are maintained.

In 2016, Apple already announced the creation of “Liam,” a recycling robot which can take apart unwanted units of the iPhone 6. That one seemed to serve as an experimental prototype for “Daisy,” which can now chew up to nine different iPhone models, almost every model except for the iPhone X.

The announcement comes as part of a series of new environmentally-friendly announcements the company made to coincide with Earth Day. Apple also announced a new GiveBack program for making donations to Conservation International, and a new Apple Watch feature that will reward users who exercise outdoors on Earth Day.

Apple continues to prove itself a titan, apparently wanting to be at the top even of the environmental game.

It’s just a teeny-tiny bit ironic that a recycling robot will save the environment from electronic pollution, isn’t it? Seems like the trajectory of technology has a lot more surprises in store for us in the coming years.

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Can You Build The World’s Best New Phone App?

“There’s an app for that,” must be the expression of the century — after all, it’s true. You can spy on your partner, keep track of the places you’ve taken a dump, and seek cuddle buddies. Some apps demonstrate explosive popularity but only remain on the hot list for weeks, if not days (looking at you, Pokemon Go). So how exactly do you craft the next best phone app and remain trending?

Think about what people want. What is everyone’s latest obsession? Which apps have endured the test of time? Games such as Candy Crush maintain a steady amount of users and rake in a lot of credit. Consider how and why. You’ll soon figure that the answer is simple. Anyone can play it. Its features are addicting. It’s free but also tricks you into spending an occasional buck for that extra life. Here is where market research may come in handy.

But before getting your hands dirty, consider your audience. Do you want to build an app that caters primarily to millennials? Or do you want a few Gen X heads to turn? Making an “app for everyone” may seem like the way to go, but it isn’t always the easiest.

When brainstorming, play to your strengths. Sure, you can make an app for pretty much anything. But why not create something you are already well-versed in? After all, a physical therapist working on an app for 15-minute exercises does make a lot of sense.

Once you’ve established a general sense of what your app is going to be, it’s time for the nitty gritty. Give your app multiple functions. But focus, of course, is important. You can’t throw together a photo editing app that also allows you to order a pizza. Figure out what makes the most sense and deliver real value.

An app that can do a lot of things may seem the way to go, but not with a complex design. Make your app user-friendly. Windows loyalists may often tease Mac users for being technological dummies. But the truth of the matter is, Mac will almost always remain on top for the simple fact that it is easy to use.

A seamless beginning doesn’t always make for smooth-sailing in the long run. Keep track of bugs and when the going gets tough, communicate with your users. Just because something seems like a good idea, doesn’t mean that it is. Take customer feedback seriously. What might make sense to you may be someone else’s worst nightmare. Troubleshoot with grace, like a virtual ballerina.

Most importantly, stay current. In order to remain relevant, keep up with the times. Upgrade your app to suit prevailing trends. Mermaid hair and rompers for men may eventually go out of style, but you don’t have to. Adjust to change, even when it means taking risks. Nothing ever comes easy to those who play it safe.

App-making is treacherous business, even for experienced entrepreneurs. But with consistent batting practice, any smartphone user could hit a home run.

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Algorithm Edits Phone Photos Before You Take Them

Since the birth of the smartphone, Google, Apple, and Android have been working to make newer models appropriate for… well, everything. Not only are they a source of entertainment — they are becoming equally health-centered. But smartphones cater to everyone, including amateur and professional photographers. This new algorithm edits phone photos before you even take them.

Machine learning networks were set to work on a database of 5,000 sample images improved by five professional photographers, teaching the software how to tweak a picture to get it looking its best.

Because of resolution issues, the algorithm processes in low-quality, later scaling up results without ruining the image. Using this mechanism, the app uses only a hundredth of the phone’s memory. Like most sterling apps, it also comes with additional features.

As well as brightening dark spots and balancing contrast, for example, the algorithms could even mimic the style of a particular photographer.

Does this mean my work has the potential to exhibit at the MET? While the app makes photography seem easy, let’s not forget that snapping a great picture also takes a level of skill.

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Too Much Tech: How To Kick Smartphone Addiction

Being unable to part with your smartphone seems like it belongs on an episode of My Strange Addiction.

However, spending too much time playing Candy Crush is about as real as it gets. In fact, statistics (yes, those exist) show that 11% of people in Western countries suffer from some form of technology addiction.

On average, people spend about 5 hours on their phone a day, which seems reasonable, except it’s not. People sleep 8 to 10 hours a day, which means of the 14 or so hours we spend awake, we dedicate around 35% to our phones.

Kicking your smartphone addiction isn’t as harrowing as it sounds and can actually be gratifying.

What keeps us glued to our screens is an endless stream of notifications. Message? Tweet? FaceBook status? Instagram like? Every few seconds is a tap on the shoulder.

To make things easier, turn off your notifications. While not receiving an alert regarding how many people have reacted to your new profile picture may be stressful, trust me — you’ll live. In fact, it may eventually feel liberating.

If you’re the type of person who needs a constant reality check, keep track of how much time you spend on your phone a day. 

Various apps can monitor your usage and even tell you when you need a break. Use these apps to set goals for yourself. Do you want to reduce an hour of screen time? More? Be realistic but not too lenient.

If you’re a busybody, try out a manual to do list. Sure, iPhones make it a lot easier to figure out what you’re supposed to do and when, but jotting down tasks allows you to focus.

The most effective form of note-taking is handwritten, because muscle memory allows you to more successfully absorb information. With just a pad and pen, you won’t be subjecting yourself to any potential distractions.

After a long day at work or school, catching up on current events may seem like a rewarding and logical activity. While it can be, you can change things up by reading the newspaper. Who knows? Perhaps it may even inspire you to read a book — you know, where real stories are told.

On weekends, being able to spend the entire day alternating between social media and games may seem like a sensible bonus. Not if it’s making you inactive.

Try something new. Start out small. Check out a coffee shop you don’t normally frequent. Go to the library (while they’re still relevant). If you have one, walk your dog at a park on the other end of town. Do something refreshing and, if you must, document it on your phone (but not the whole time!).

Lastly, be more social. You may be outgoing, but spending 3 hours looking at photos of baby goats with your friends isn’t really bonding. Explore the great outdoors or simply go see a movie — yes, with your phone on silent mode.

Tacky as it may sound, life is too short to spend all of it on a 4.7-inch screen. Or 5.5, if you’ve got a Plus.

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The iPhone Is Also An Advanced Hearing Aid

I have to commend the hearing-impaired. While the gift of sound eludes them, they are articulate in an entirely different language (which dogs can learn, by the way). Technology is helping to close the gap between the hearing and non-hearing with translating devices. This time around, Apple is happy to help and is launching a pretty high-tech hearing aid.

Those using the system can not only get phone calls directly routed inside their skulls, but also stream music, podcasts, audio books, movie soundtracks, and even Siri—all straight to the implant.

The concept stemmed from the average deaf person’s struggle to answer phone calls. To avoid bulky, wired devices, Apple pushed Bluetooth technologies even further.

“We spent a lot of time tuning our solution to meet the requirements of the battery technology used in the hearing aids and cochlear implants.”

Apple’s system also supports a bimodal setup, in which sound can come from either an aid or implant. There is even a feature for lost implants. Most importantly, the system does not drain the iPhone’s battery, which most add-ons tend to do.

To solve the huge problem of streaming high-quality audio without quickly draining the tiny zinc batteries in hearing aids, Apple had previously developed a new technology called Bluetooth LEA, or Low Energy Audio.

Looks like another win for technology.

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This Talking Camera Is For The Blind

Are you hard-of-hearing and in need of an aid? Do you have trouble walking and are seeking a sturdy wheelchair? Looks like you’re going to have to break the bank. Because most devices for the disabled don’t come cheap, Microsoft has come up with a solution. Seeing AI is a free app for the blind that works like a “talking camera.”

Fire up the free app and point your iPhone at anything, whether it’s a document, a menu card, a room or even a friend, and Seeing AI will tell you what it is with its voice.

Seeing AI is also supposed to be able to identify currency notes and products by barcode.

The app has proven to be impressively accurate, describing objects with great detail. It can even read books!

Microsoft hopes that this will make life a little bit easier for those with visual impairments. It… is one of several new initiatives driven by the company’s interest in exploring the possibilities that artificial intelligence can open up.

Seeing AI is evidence that help can exist where help is needed–affordably or for free.

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Apple To Make iPhone More Health-Centered

Developers are always looking for ways to make healthcare more accessible to the everyday smartphone user. The FitBit specializes in monitoring one’s daily steps and heart rate while Fooducate recognizes eating habits. It’s safe to say that Apple is determined to jump on the health-junkie bandwagon.

According to at least two sources in the know, Apple envisions creating a system that would enable patients to store vital health data… so it could easily be shared at the patient’s discretion with their doctors, hospitals, or other healthcare providers, on command.

Apple is tackling the longtime healthcare issue of data sharing between patients and doctors.

The same problem Apple is trying to solve in creating this iPhone-based healthcare data system is something the healthcare industry has been grappling with for years now. Patients often find that their healthcare data can’t easily be shared with or between their doctors — even despite today’s increasingly digital landscape.

How effective can this new system be?

Apple does have one key advantage: the majority of healthcare practitioners use iOS — with over 1 billion Apple devices currently active around the globe.

Lately, Apple has been taking major leaps towards improving the everyday lives of users in areas of finance, education, and health.

Do you think Apple is revolutionizing the healthcare industry?

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