Health

Elon Musk’s Neuralink wired up a monkey’s brain to play video games

The tech will help someone with paralysis to use a smartphone

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Elon Musk is trying to establish a human colony on Mars, believes that the future of currency is Bitcoin, and is churning out more electric vehicles than ever. But that’s still not enough. The billionaire has also wired up a monkey’s brain to control a video game via his startup Neuralink.

Neuralink put two computer chips into a monkey’s skull and used microwires to connect it to its brain. It sends brain signals from the monkey through a 1,024 electrode transmission device called the N1 Link. This neural activity is then decoded and calibrated to predict the monkey’s intentions.

Basically, if the nine-year-old monkey can mentally operate a video game and there’s no need for external pointing mechanisms like a mouse, trackpad, joystick, or even a touchscreen. After just six weeks of practice, the monkey had learned to play the 1970’s video game classic Pong in return for a banana smoothie reward.

Neuralink’s primary target is to make the computer-brain interface directly possible. According to Musk, people are already “cyborgs” because they have a tertiary “digital layer” thanks to phones, computers, and applications.

Musk claimed in a tweet that the first product from the startup would allow “someone with paralysis to use a smartphone with their mind faster than someone using thumbs.” His goal is to help people with brain or spinal injuries since they can’t directly communicate.

The video ends with a recruitment callout, imploring anyone who’s “good at solving hard problems” to contact Neuralink, even if they’re not in the neurological field.

Health

5 workouts you can do anywhere to get you “In the Zone”

Together with Samsung, Rebel, and #TeamGalaxy coaches

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Samsung Philippines teamed up with Rebel, a popular fitness app, to co-create a 5-part workout series called “In the Zone” comprised of yoga, meditation, cardio, and strength training.

The workouts are accessible through the Rebel app, led by coaches and #TeamGalaxy members, Carla Piscoso and Eduardo Lara. In this story, Piscoso and Lara demonstrated the routines while sharing their experience working out with the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro.

Full Body LIT

Short for low-impact training, the Full Body LIT is a 20-minute routine that’s perfect for beginners. It consists of 10 moves — most of which are dreaded by most people — guaranteed to make you stronger. For instance, reverse lunges to deadlifts, modified burpees, bicycle crunches, and more.

Piscoso was able to immerse herself into the workout when she used the Galaxy Buds Pro’s 360 Audio feature. The surround sound experience pumped her up, allowing the sound to match all her dynamic movements.

Upper Body HIIT

If you’ve been working out for a while now, you probably know HIIT or High-Intensity Interval Training — the workout that gives fitness newbs mixed feelings. It’s a mix of short bursts of intense exercise with periods of rest squeezed in between.

This intense workout was led by Lara through a 16-minute routine that focuses on the chest, back, shoulder, and arms. And what better way to enjoy a sweaty session? A piece of heart-pumping music delivered with superior sound quality.

Running

In the Rebel app, “Basics of Running” introduces you to a program where Lara guides you on proper form, skip drills, and warmups designed to condition the body.

If you’re starting to keep an active lifestyle for a while now, this workout is the perfect routine to start. Per Lara, the Galaxy Buds Pro’s Active Noise Cancellation helps tune out the background noise effectively, so he can focus on running.

Vinyasa Yoga

To Piscoso, doing a Vinyasa sequence can help improve energy levels, promote relaxation, and lower stress — perfect for ending a tiring day or week.

Like Lara, Piscoso found the Active Noise Cancellation helpful in keeping her focused, too, especially during meditation.

Jump Rope Workout

Whoever told you jump ropes are boring surely hasn’t seen Piscoso in action. The fitness instructor took jump rope workouts up a notch with variations such as butt kicks, high knees, and double unders.

She didn’t even worry about the Galaxy Buds Pro falling off due to its comfortable and secure fit, which definitely stayed in place despite having an insanely vigorous workout.

Photo by GadgetMatch

A chance for a healthier you

If you decided to turn your life around this year but got derailed, fret not. Rebel community members get an exclusive 20% discount voucher when they buy the Galaxy Buds Pro until July 31, 2021.

Non-members who want to get their hands on the limited-time voucher can download the Rebel app and sign up for an account to get the promo code on the “In the Zone” series’ description. Promo code can be used to purchase the device via Samsung Online Store.

On another note, Samsung is also holding an online contest for Samsung Members and the Rebel community. Five lucky winners can get a chance to take home a Galaxy Buds Pro and one-month free Rebel+ subscription, and 25 winners of a one-month free Rebel+ subscription. For more information on the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro, visit samsung.com/ph.

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Health

Android will soon support COVID-19 vaccine cards natively

The handiest feature of 2021?

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vaccine

Google has revealed it’ll open up Android’s built-in passes system to let users digitally store their vaccine cards. The company calls it “COVID Card,” and the feature will first roll out in the US with support for healthcare providers, regional governments, and other authorized agents.

Users will not be required to install any particular app to store or access the digital card on their devices. The native supports means that the operating system can seamlessly load the card, and health agencies can leverage its APIs to deliver confirmations.

Once a digital version of the COVID Card is stored in a device, users can easily access your vaccine data via a shortcut on their device home screen, even when offline or in areas with no data service. The real-life experience will be similar to iOS’s Wallet, which acts as a central repository to store tickets, confirmations, and other cards from third-party apps.

The information stated on the card will not be synced with Google’s cloud, and no ads will be delivered based on its content. The COVID Card will show information such as the name of the vaccine and when you took its first and second doses. If a user wants to access this information on multiple devices, they will need to store it on each device manually.

In April 2020, rivals Google and Apple made an unprecedented announcement. The two rivals joined hands to help governments in tracing contacts of Coronavirus-positive people. In other words, the software links up to the government’s own contact tracing applications through an API or application programming interface. The joint effort bore positive results for many smaller governments that couldn’t afford to create a new solution from scratch amid a raging pandemic.

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Health

Fitbit’s special edition of the Ace 3 makes physical activities fun for kids

Time to get them active!

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With the advent of smartphones and other distracting technology, keeping kids active might be a challenge — especially if you aren’t the type to engage in physical activities. But starting ’em young can help build a healthy, fit, and sustainable lifestyle.

Fitbit’s kid-oriented smartwatch, the Ace 3, comes with a special edition that will catch your kid’s attention. And it might just make them excited to do a bit of sport and exercise.

Meet the Fitbit Ace 3 Special Edition: Minions. It comes with an engraved band with an embossed Minions design that will make any kid eager to wear it. Built with a kid’s behavior in mind, the watch is comfortable and secure to wear even when using a silicone band and bumper. Moreover, it can be even submerged in water with its swim-proof design!

Fitbit Ace 3

For those who aren’t keen on having yellow on their wrists, there are two more Minions-themed bands that kids can wear: Despicable Blue and Mischief Black.

Smart features

Just like every adult’s smartwatch, it comes with nifty features we need. There are hourly alerts to move and reminders to reach your daily goals. More importantly, the Ace 3 Special Edition: Minions ensures there are extensive safeguards to secure a kid’s privacy.

Fitbit Ace 3

Parents, for instance, can set up a family account to have more control over privacy and protection. The Parent View in the app will let parents track their kid’s activity and manage the kid’s app experience.

Kids, on the other hand, can enjoy Minions-themed activity badges in the app. The badges serve as a reminder for kids to keep chasing daily activity goals. Along with that, the Kid View allows kids to view important data such as their activity and sleep stats, as well as parent-approved friends, clock faces, and avatars.

Price and availability

The Fitbit Ace 3 Special Edition: Minions is powered by eight days of battery life. It’s available in the Philippines at Fitbit.com, Digital Walker, and Lazada for PhP 4,790. Meanwhile, accessory bands are sold exclusively on Fitbit.com at PhP 1,390.

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