Scientists figure out how to project 3D images into thin air, Google Chrome now lets you mute annoying websites, and Apple’s latest operating system update lets you save all your medical records.
First up from Reddit, if you’ve ever wondered how exactly R2D2 was able to project a 3D video of Princess Leia into thin air in Star Wars, a new study published in international science journal Nature may have the answer for you. Apparently, researchers have figured out how to manipulate tiny specks in the air and use them to create 3D images that are more realistic and clearer than holograms. The tiny specks are controlled with laser light, which changes the air pressure in a way that they stay aloft to form a 3D image. The study’s lead author says the new technology is called volumetric display and is basically printing something in space and then erasing it quickly. It lets people standing in a circle see the image from their own perspective, which is something holograms have yet to accomplish. It’s still years away from daily use, however, so don’t get your hopes up.
Next up from Google Trends is news that the latest version of Google Chrome will be launched this week and it includes a number of interesting new features, like one that lets users mute entire sites that autoplay videos. Videos that start as soon as you click on a site and follow you as you scroll have become a popular advertising trend recently, but the new update lets you right click on the offending tab and mute the site for good. This replaces the previous mute tab feature that was only temporary. Other new features include HDR support for Windows users and protection for Mac and Windows users against Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities.
And last but not least, Apple has unveiled updates to iOS11 that allow users to gather and view all their medical records in the new Health Records section of the Health app. The company released the beta yesterday and will be in beta testing for a couple months before being available to download for all users. Apple has also announced its partnered with several hospitals and clinics across the US for this, including John Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore, Cedars-Sinai in LA, and ten others. While the list doesn’t include Canadian facilities yet, if testing goes well, this feature will likely be expanded to other countries. The idea is that hospitals will be able to push any health data to your phone directly for you to see. All data is encrypted on your phone and protected by your passcode, similar to how financial apps work.