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Facebook is working on a smartwatch with two cameras

The company has ambitious goals

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Facebook Reality Labs

Reports emerged earlier this year that Facebook is planning to launch a smartwatch next summer. The watch will have a display and two cameras that can be detached to take photos and video like you would on a smartphone or GoPro camera.

According to The Verge, one camera on the front of the watch display will be used for video calling. In contrast, the other 1080p camera with auto-focusing will be detachable for capturing pictures and videos. The content could then be shared on Facebook and Instagram and other apps owned by the company.

Facebook is working with third-party companies to create accessories attached to the camera, such as backpacks. It is also working with wireless carriers in the US to support wireless connectivity.

With a camera system designed in-house, Facebook could offer a new feature that’s not usually found on a smartwatch. The wearable segment is already very saturated, making it quite difficult for newcomers to justify their existence. Backed by Android’s custom version, the wearable will feature a heart rate monitor and other features that have become standard across the segment.

The Verge also notes that future iterations of the smartwatch could “serve as a key input device for its planned augmented reality glasses.” It’ll be available in three colors: white, black, and gold.

In terms of pricing, Facebook has reportedly “discussed pricing the device at roughly US$ 400,” which will put it up against offerings from other established makers such as Apple and Samsung. Facebook is working on second and third generations and plans to use technology it acquired from CTRL-labs to achieve its vision.

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Instagram will start to put ads on a user’s profile

And on the Explore page

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Ads are everywhere. Several platforms are testing where and how much they can put without raising a lot of fuss from their users. On a few occasions, a platform can cross the line, prompting a wave of reprisals. Instagram, for example, backtracked on a controversial decision to pump out more recommended posts and ads after massive backlash. Despite the recency of the controversy, Instagram is back again with another ad-fueled decision: ads on user profiles.

This week, Meta announced that two more types of ads are coming to Instagram. The first type is a natural extension of what the platform already has. Instead of hiding video ads deep within the Explore section, these short videos will start popping up right on the section’s landing page. Since the section already has ads, it might not be as intrusive, especially when compared to the second type.

Besides a new spot in the Explore feed, Instagram is also adding ads to a user’s profile. Likely to a lot of users’ dismay, it is what it says on the tin. Offering some consolation, the platform won’t spoil a profile’s grid with an ad. Instead, when a user clicks on a post on the profile, the vertical feed, which usually shows a timeline of the profile’s content, will contain spots for ads.

Instagram has not officially confirmed which users will get the feature. However, the company is currently testing it for select creators. It also assures users that it will come only on public profiles, not private individuals.

SEE ALSO: You can snooze recommended posts on Instagram

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YouTube might ask users to pay to watch in 4K

In testing phase

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Despite offering a mostly free service, YouTube is finding new ways to monetize parts of its platform. Now, ads are a lot more prevalent while watching videos. A less popular way is gating some features behind the platform’s YouTube Premium banner. YouTube is trying it once again, though. The platform is currently testing whether to keep 4K viewing behind a paywall.

With the capabilities of displays today, YouTube and its creators can offer content in stunning 4K resolution. Though not everyone can enjoy the feature, 4K viewing was a welcome one.

However, as spotted by some users on social media (via TechCrunch), the video-sharing site is reportedly making the viewing option exclusive for Premium users. The company has not officially announced any change yet. However, YouTube’s other accounts on Twitter replied to some concerned users on the site, citing an “experiment” to test what works for Premium and non-Premium users.

The company is still gathering responses to the experiment. However, if the initial social media response is any indication, a good chunk of YouTube’s users isn’t pleased with having to pay more to enjoy high-quality content.

Currently, YouTube Premium comes at US$ 11.99 per month for interested customers. The paid subscription offers ad-free viewing and offline viewing. If the company sees some progress with the experiment, they might ad 4K viewing to Premium’s mix.

SEE ALSO: YouTube has quietly launched a Podcasts hub

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Xiaomi 12T series now official

The brand’s latest flagship

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Xiaomi 12T Pro

Xiaomi announced the global launch of its latest smartphones: The Xiaomi 12T and Xiaomi 12T Pro.

The pair is set to rival other phones in the flagship category. The Xiaomi 12T Pro is powered by an SM8475 Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 (4nm) processor. Meanwhile the standard 12T houses a Dimensity 8100-Ultra (5nm) chipset.

Both phones have a 5,000mAh battery and support Xiaomi’s 120W HyperCharge which can promise 100 percent charging in just 19 minutes, and 13.5 hours of screen-on time.

The 12T Pro has up to 12GB RAM for seamless performance, on top of a 256GB internal memory while the 12T isn’t that far behind with an 8GB RAM and the same storage capacity.

The devices also have a 6.67-inch AMOLED HDR10+ screen which comes with a 120Hz refresh rate and supports Dolby Vision and AdaptiveSync. In addition, the Pro model has an IP53 dust and splash resistance rating.

Exceptional smartphone photography

When it comes to photography, the 12T Pro features a pro-grade 200MP camera which has a large 1/1.22-inch sensor. It is capable of filming 8K videos and 4K at up to 60fps.

The 12T has a 108MP main shooter that can also record 4K videos and standard HD clips in 60fps.

With Xiaomi’s ProCut and Ultra burst, as well as advanced AI algorithms, smartphone photography will definitely be taken to the next level. Both devices likewise have 20MP selfie cameras.

Price and availability

In Singapore, the Xiaomi 12T Pro starts at SG$ 1,099 while the Xiaomi 12T retails for SG$749.

Pricing and availability details in the Philippines have yet to be revealed.

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