How do you imagine the technology of the future?
A few years back, I watched the movie Her which is, for the unfamiliar, the story of how a man (Joaquin Phoenix) falls in love with an operating system. The story ended (of course) with the protagonist heartbroken over the failed relationship with artificial intelligence. In the alternative world where this was all set, technology had advanced to the point where it was so well embedded in everyday life that the machined-induced connections seemed natural.
One step towards that high-tech world would be interesting new gadgets like this innocent-looking thing I stumbled upon at Computex.
This is the ORii.
ORii is the very-first voice assistant ring. This small thing connects to your phone through Bluetooth and works via gesture and voice commands; it works perfectly with Siri or Google Now. But, the best part? You can make and receive calls with just the ring on and your finger.
The ring uses bone conductor actuator technology which means that the ring sends vibrations to your ear through your finger. Yes, girls and boys, you basically hear the sound through your finger! A built-in microphone takes in your audio and voila, you can make and receive calls.
When all this was explained to me, I honestly didn’t believe it would work. (I mean would you have believed it if someone said you could call someone with your finger?) But, as technology has done time and time again, I was left amazed, surprised, and convinced.
ORii’s simple demo was connecting a smartphone to the ring and playing Spotify. A ring and a finger to my ear later, I was hearing my playlist.
What amazes me here is not that it’s wearable fashion, it’s that it enables users to utilize tech with what we already have naturally, in this case, your finger. (Though that usually gets me and it’s a plus that there are actual plans of producing it in many different colors with LED alert lighting.) This is not another tech addition like an earphone, nor are these Bluetooth headsets — this was my finger to my ear and it worked.
I guess in a way, my amazement comes with the realization that although we’re still pretty far from developing feelings for El Capitan or Windows OS, we’re not far off from technology that seems too awesome to be real. This year’s Computex has taught me as much.
This may still not mean a happy love story ending, but it involves a great piece of tech and in the wise words of Beyonce: “If you like it then you better put a ring on it.”
[irp posts=”14255″ name=”Things I’m excited to see at Computex 2017″]
Redmi Earbuds S are the most affordable TWS offering
The price is unbelievable
In India, Xiaomi’s Redmi division looks after the affordable segment while Mi-branded products are for the premium segment. On the side, POCO is now an independent brand. Continuing with the new strategy, Redmi today announced the launch of their new TWS earbuds, the Redmi Earbuds S.
Just a couple of weeks ago, the Mi True Wireless Earphones 2 were announced in the country but they are far from affordable. To bridge this gap, the Redmi Earbuds S has been unveiled. It’s worth noting that they are the same as the Redmi AirDots S, which were launched in China earlier.
The Earbuds have 7.2mm drivers and are IPX4-rated for water resistance. The individual buds weigh only about 4.5g each. The company’s marketing has focused on how good their bass is, but we’ll be able to confirm that in our review later.
For connectivity, it leverages SBC codec, a commonly used protocol via Bluetooth. However, a low-latency mode has also been added to aide gaming. The earbuds are said to deliver four hours of playback on a single charge and the case can extend this to 12 hours.
The Earbuds S also has a physical button on either side to control media playback or skip tracks. The gaming mode can be triggered by pressing the function key thrice.
The Redmi Earbuds S will cost INR 1,799 (US$ 23) and will go on sale starting May 27 via Mi.com and Amazon.
These earbuds are an entry-level option for someone who’s looking for a pair of TWS earbuds. Instead of rich features, the point of this product is to offer an affordable option to the end-user.
Apple moving its AirPods assembly line to Vietnam
iPhone production is next in line
Apple has started shifting its iPhone production line to India but it doesn’t end there. With the ongoing trade war between China and the US, more companies are slowly finding alternatives — such is the case with Apple moving AirPods assembly to Vietnam.
Asia Nikkei‘s report indicated that Apple has already done production trials of the AirPods line in Vietnam last year. Just this month, numerous buyers (including a MacForums user) have pointed out the sudden change. The ‘Assembled in Vietnam’ engraving at the back of the AirPods Pro is prominent since loyal users know that Apple products are assembled in China.
Apple is now selling AirPods Pro models that are Assembled in Vietnam pic.twitter.com/UZWNHtcBi4
— Alireza (@alixrezax) May 20, 2020
A Reddit user initially shared his concern about the product’s authenticity, even before the mentioned tweet started gaining attention.
Even a staff from The Verge shared a photo of her recently bought AirPods Pro with the same engraving.
A follow-up report stated that the mass production of the new AirPods units took place in Vietnam last March. Despite the pandemic, they were able to secure permits from Vietnamese officials to bring in engineers for better and smoother production.
Some of the old EarPods were also assembled in Vietnam, which means the country isn’t exactly new to assembling Apple’s audio accessories. Even Apple’s long-awaited AirPods Studio might be produced there as well.
A recently-published article by DigiTimes states that other than India, they’re also moving the iPhone production line to Vietnam. It makes sense considering Foxconn has already built factories in the northern province of Bac Giang.
OnePlus TWS earbuds could look like the AirPods
Why are we not surprised?
Apple was the first company to remove the 3.5mm headphone jack in iPhone 7 and release a wireless solution, the AirPods. Now, every phone maker wants a piece of the pie, and now a OnePlus TWS is coming our way as well.
Reliable leakster Max J. has revealed an illustration of the upcoming OnePlus truly wireless earbuds and they look eerily similar to the Apple AirPods. The signature in-ear design without rubber tips is considered to be Apple’s design language and many makers have tried to replicate it.
Realme launched the Buds Air this year and they look exactly like the AirPods. Even the charging case is a lookalike. Even the OPPO Enco Free wireless earbuds have a cop-cat design and are indistinguishable.
— Max J. (@MaxJmb) May 15, 2020
On the other hand, Xiaomi unveiled the Mi True Wireless Earphones 2 and they have an entirely different design. The brand seems to have focused more on functionality than looks.
OnePlus has already released wireless earphones in the past, but they haven’t been truly wireless. The OnePlus Bullets Wireless and Bullets Wireless 2 had their own design language and were built to offer a premium experience. Along with the OnePlus 8 series, the company announced an affordable version called the Bullets Z.
Rumors suggest OnePlus could launch a midrange phone dubbed the OnePlus Z or OnePlus 8 Lite in July. These earbuds are expected to launch alongside the phone.
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