Faster Intel, Qualcomm Modems for 2018 iPhones?

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iPhone XAccording to well connected KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the next iPhone models feature a modem upgrade-- specifically to Intel XMM 7560 and Qualcomm Snapdragon SDX 20 chips, allowing faster LTE speeds.

As seen in a note acquired by MacRumors, the analyst says both Intel and Qualcomm modems support 4x4 MIMO antenna technology (compared to the 2x2 MIMO in the latest iPhones), which should bring a boost in LTE transmission speeds. Kuo adds Intel should supply 70-80% of the required baseband chips, with Qualcomm handling the rest.

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Apple Buys AR Headset Maker Vrvana

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TechCrunch reports Apple has quietly acquired another small startup-- Vrvana, a augmented reality specialist and maker of the unreleased Totem headset. The price for the company is reportedly $30 million.

VrvanaApple has no comment on the story, but does not deny it either. Vrvana similarly has no comment on the story, but TechCrunch says it has "sources close to the deal" confirm the acquisition. The news site also says a number of Vrvana employees are now working with Apple in California, and while the Vrvana website is still running it stopped updating any social media accounts and news on August 2017.

Vrvana's AR offering is the Totem, a headset combining AR and VR technology through pass-through cameras able to project real world images into a built-in 1440p OLED display. The cameras track the position of the user in both real and virtual space, while additional IR cameras detect the user's hands.

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Apple Delays HomePod Speaker

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Customers eager to get the first Apple smart speaker are to receive some bad news-- the HomePod's initial release in the UK, US and Australia has been delayed until "early 2018."

HomePodApple does not give reason for the delay, other than it needing a "little more time" before the device is ready for launch. It is also unclear as to whether the delay will affect launch in other countries, but we can assume that will be exactly the case.

"We can't wait for people to experience HomePod, Apple's breakthrough wireless speaker for the home, but we need a little more time before it's ready for our customers," the full Apple statement reads. "We'll start shipping in the US, UK and Australia in early 2018."

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How to Add Cooling to the iPad

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Customers demanding a solution for any overheating issues faced by the iPad? X-naut offers a solution with the Active Cooling Mount, an accessory designed to allow iPad use in extreme situations.

X-naut mountAvailable in versions fitting the iPad Air, 9.7-inch iPad Pro and iPad Mini, the Active Cooling Mount fights overheating through an array of four cooling fans. It attaches on the back of the tablet via spring-loaded fans, is powered through either micro USB port or x8 AA batteries and promises relatively low noise levels at 26 DBA.

A battery test button indicates power levels, with green meaning high, yellow low and red battery replacement).

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Sony Readies Robotic Smart Speaker

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Sony looks to differentiate its take on the smart speaker with a spot of cuteness-- the Xperia Hello is an Alexa-compatible number featuring a 4.55-inch display and a round, animated face.

Sony Xperia HelloFirst presented in concept form back at MWC 2016, the Xperia Hello is an Android-based device able to recognise facial expressions and gestures as well as voice through a camera on top of the swivelling "face." The camera is paired with 7 microphones and 4 motion sensors, allowing the Hello to detect people approaching within a 3m radius.

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