On February 2, Zoom's Vision Pro software—which allows users to employ a digital avatar created by the app based on facial scans—will go live with Apple's new headset. It works similarly to Apple's FaceTime app for the Vision Pro in that the person making the call will be able to view their hand gestures and facial expressions as though they are not wearing a headset.

The augmented reality features of the Vision Pro will also be utilized by the forthcoming Zoom app, which will enable it to appear as a floating window and integrate seamlessly with users' physical surroundings. On Friday, February 2nd, these functionalities will be accessible when the app and headgear launch.

But Zoom says it will be adding new capabilities to the app later in the spring, one of which is "real-world pinning." By enabling Vision Pro users to pin up to five Zoom meeting participants in their physical environment and hiding the callers' backgrounds, this feature is meant to enhance the immersive experience of calls.

Additionally, 3D object sharing will be added to the videoconferencing software, enabling users to share 3D files and view how they appear in their surroundings. It also intends to integrate Team Chat, a rival to Slack, inside the Vision Pro software.

While Apple has already declared that native Vision Pro apps will be available at launch for streaming services like Disney Plus, Max, Paramount Plus, Peacock, and others, several noteworthy services are still absent. Because Netflix and YouTube won't have Vision Pro apps available at launch, users will have to access them through a web browser, which will make for a less engaging experience.

Changes to Zoom meetings as a result of the Vision Pro.

 The new security feature in iOS 17.3 is meant to deter thieves from stealing your iPhone and swiftly gaining access to all of your iCloud data as well as other crucial accounts, such as your bank or email. Rather than depending solely on your lock screen passcode to ensure security (since thieves have figured out how to make people enter it in front of them before they take off with the phone), Stolen Device Protection forces you to use Face ID or scan your fingerprint when completing specific tasks, like accessing stored passwords or requesting a new Apple Card.

A waiting period is also imposed by the feature when carrying out more sensitive tasks, such altering your iPhone passcode or Apple ID password. Apple states that in order to finish the procedure and make sure this is indeed you, "Security Delay requires Face ID or Touch ID, an hour wait, and then an additional successful biometric authentication" in the iOS 17.3 update notice. Apple states that this additional layer of identification for your iPhone will only be needed when you're not in "familiar locations such as home or work."

Go to Settings and choose Face ID & Passcode to activate Stolen Device Protection. From there, toggle the function on by entering your device's passcode. Visit Apple's website to find out more about Stolen Device Protection.

In addition, Apple is adding the ability for friends to join and contribute to playlists in the Apple Music app with collaborative playlists to macOS 14.3 Sonoma and iOS 17.3 users. With iOS 17.3, Apple is now introducing the capability to stream media to TVs in specific hotels. Apple also released updates for iOS 9, 15, and 16 devices, which might have security fixes, in addition to iOS 17.3.

iOS 17.3 brings Stolen Device Protection to your iPhone

 These days, artificial intelligence is present in pretty much everything, thus for AI developers, differentiating their products from the masses is no easy task. Few companies have garnered as much attention as Rabbit, an AI firm that sold 40,000 units of its standalone $199 R1 device in only eight days after its January CES debut.

In essence, the AI-driven Rabbit OS, which powers the Rabbit R1, is a specialized virtual assistant made to function as a sort of universal controller with your favorite apps. The operating system is based on a "Large Action Model" that has been taught to work with popular apps like Uber and Spotify to accomplish tasks like messaging, music control, online shopping, and more.

The orange Rabbit R1, a device built in partnership with Teenage Engineering, is about half the size of an iPhone and has a 2.88-inch touchscreen, a revolving camera, and a scrolling navigation wheel. It has some similarities to the Playdate portable game system.

Assuming the device meets up to its high expectations, we're keeping track of all the most recent information surrounding the Rabbit R1's launch below to ensure nothing gets lost in the excitement.

The latest news on Rabbit R1 AI device

 According to IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, Apple surpassed Samsung for the first time ever to ship the most smartphones in a year. A second research firm, Canalys, likewise projects Apple to be the number one company for the entire year 2023, despite IDC's warning that its data is preliminary and liable to change. According to IDC, Apple shipped 234.6 million mobile devices overall, while Samsung shipped 226.6 million. With 145.9, 103.1, and 94.9 million smartphones supplied, respectively, Xiaomi, Oppo, and Transsion complete the top five.

According to IDC, Samsung last missed the top spot on the annual board in 2010, which was thirteen years ago. Apple didn't even make the top five lists back then. As an alternative, the top five positions were held by Nokia, Samsung, LG Electronics, ZTE, and Research in Motion, the company that makes BlackBerry smartphones. This list of firms should serve as ample proof that 13 years is a long time in the smartphone industry.

Research director Nabila Popal of IDC's Worldwide Tracker team stated, "Not only is Apple the only player in the Top 3 to show positive growth annually, but it also bags the number 1 spot annually for the first time ever." "The growing trend of premium devices, which now account for over 20% of the market and are driven by aggressive trade-in offers and interest-free financing plans, is largely responsible for Apple's continued success and resilience."

While IDC acknowledges that Apple was a major factor in Samsung's fall from grace, the business also faced fierce rivalry from other Android makers, including Google, Huawei, OnePlus, Honor, and Honor. Not only is Samsung facing competition from these firms, but Canalys also points out that Apple's expansion into the Chinese market may face obstacles due to Huawei's "growing strength." According to allegations that surfaced last year, Huawei was able to get over US sanctions and include a cutting-edge 7nm processor from Chinese chipmaker Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (SMIC) into its 5G-capable Mate 60 Pro smartphone.

The market appears to be rebounding from its previous downturn, despite the fact that worldwide smartphone shipments fell 3.2% in 2023 compared to 2022. Shipments increased 8. percent in the fourth quarter compared to the previous seven quarters of losses, according to Canalys and IDC's respective reports.

Apple overtakes Samsung in the global smartphone shipments for the first time.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission authorized Bitcoin exchange-traded funds fifteen years after the genesis block was mined (and following one misleading announcement). The financial system that Bitcoin was designed to disrupt has accepted it entirely. Thanks to this decision, investors can now purchase 11 spot Bitcoin ETFs, including products from Grayscale, Fidelity, BlackRock, and other companies.

“While we approved the listing and trading of certain spot bitcoin ETP shares today, we did not approve or endorse Bitcoin,” said SEC chairman Gary Gensler, in a statement. "As a result of the numerous hazards connected to bitcoin and products whose value is dependent on cryptocurrency, investors should exercise caution.

Every attempt to establish a Bitcoin ETF—a collection of assets that functions much like a mutual fund—has been rejected by the SEC for the past ten years. These vehicles, on the other hand, trade on exchanges where stock market participants can easily purchase and sell them, unlike mutual funds. It basically implies you can invest in Bitcoin without having to bother setting up your own wallet, which is important in this case.

For some types of investors who have been hesitant to invest in cryptocurrencies, that might be sufficient. The news that the companies issuing ETFs will need to purchase equivalent amounts of Bitcoin in order to back their funds has cryptocurrency investors salivating.

In response to today's news, the price of Bitcoin barely moved. But in the long run, traditional institutional investors will find it easier to get into cryptocurrency thanks to Bitcoin ETFs. For example, pension funds and insurance funds may be able to speculate on the price of Bitcoin for the first time, which would increase demand for the cryptocurrency.

Currently, investing in cryptocurrency is proxied by purchasing stock in cryptocurrency-focused businesses like Coinbase and MicroStrategy, which as of January held more than $8 billion in Bitcoin. Those companies might lose value if a Bitcoin ETF launches.

The SEC has up to now denied requests for Bitcoin ETFs on the grounds that they aren't sufficiently secure for investors. But last April, a judge decided that the SEC’s refusal of a Grayscale ETF was “arbitrary and capricious,” clearing the path for today’s clearance. After all, there is already an ETF of Bitcoin futures.

US regulators have approved the first Bitcoin ETFs

 Microsoft's original Xbox Controller S is being revived by accessory manufacturer Hyperkin as a contemporary gamepad that comes with Hall effect joysticks and triggers. While other regions received the oversized "Duke" controller, the Japanese version of the PlayStation came with the original Controller S. The smaller controller eventually replaced the Duke as the standard. The smaller gamepad that Hyperkin has created is dubbed the "DuchesS."

This is going to be Hyperkin's third attempt at creating a vintage Xbox controller. It launched its version of the Duke in 2018 and, the previous year, debuted the Xenon, an upgraded Xbox 360 controller.

The DuchesS is fully licensed to operate with the Xbox Series X and S, Xbox One, Windows 10 and 11, and other current platforms, just like its earlier retro Xbox controllers. For Series consoles, there is a USB-C port, a 3.5mm headset jack, and a share button integrated in. The most intriguing part, though, may be that it has Hall effect triggers and joysticks, which should prevent them from becoming increasingly erroneous with time.

The controller is only now being developed, according to Hyperkin, and the designs shown in the above images may change before the device is released. There is no known price or release date as of yet.

Hyperkin set to rerelease the original Xbox ‘Controller S’

 According to a press statement from Hyundai and a blog post from Samsung, Samsung and Hyundai are collaborating to integrate Samsung's SmartThings smart home platform with Hyundai and Kia's connected automobile services. (Kia's parent company is Hyundai.) The two businesses will collaborate on "home-to-car" and "car-to-home" services as well as "as an integrated home energy management service," according to Samsung.

This effectively implies that you will be able to control your TV or your home's air conditioning from your car, and you will be able to use SmartThings to control the windows and air conditioning in your car while you are driving. Additionally, you will be able to integrate your automobile with your SmartThings routines.

You might have to wait a while to experience the complete Samsung and Hyundai lifestyle because only recently did the two companies sign a memorandum of understanding. Hence,  it appears that this effort is still in its very early phases. 

Although one of Samsung's graphics prominently features an Ioniq, so it seems like a safe bet, it's unclear exactly which Hyundai and Kia automobiles will support SmartThings at this time. Nonetheless, Hyundai and Kia claim to "develop stable service-providing infotainment systems" and will (though they do not name which vehicles) add the functions to current models through OTA upgrades and USB-based updates.

Samsung and Hyundai are collaborating to add SmartThings to cars