ABI Research: for visionaries
Meta and Snap sued over allegedly contributing to 11-year-old's suicide - CNET

CNET | Jan. 21, 2022, 7 p.m.

A lawsuit alleges that the social media platforms "have invested billions of dollars to intentionally design their products to be addictive and encourage use that they know to be problematic."

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Daily Crunch: IBM sells off Watson Health unit to private equity firm Francisco Partners

TechCrunch | Jan. 21, 2022, 6:17 p.m.

I normally try to bring some pep to my little intros in this missive. But today I am going to avoid astruturning my own mood to simply say, hey, what's up with the stock market?

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AI Weekly: Watson Health and semi-autonomous driving failures show the dangers of overpromising AI

VentureBeat | Jan. 21, 2022, 5:30 p.m.

AI technologies can fall short of their promise, as news from this week about Watson Health and semi-autonomous driving systems showed.

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3 ‘dark’ trends likely to power smart technology and communities by 2030

VentureBeat | Jan. 21, 2022, 5:20 p.m.

Whether over-hyped or under-marketed, here are three "dark horse" technology trends that are likely to power the smart technology of 2030.

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Layla Hybrid mattress review: A supportive hybrid bed with a flippable design - CNET

CNET | Jan. 21, 2022, 5:17 p.m.

Boasting two firmness levels, the Layla Hybrid mattress is just as versatile as it is comfortable. But is it worth the money? Here's our honest verdict.

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GhostBed Flex Hybrid mattress review: Responsive memory foam for all body types - CNET

CNET | Jan. 21, 2022, 3:34 p.m.

GhostBed's premium mattress, the Flex Hybrid, accommodates a wide range of sleepers. Find out if you're one of them.

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Netflix: 45 of the absolute best TV shows to watch - CNET

CNET | Jan. 21, 2022, 3:05 p.m.

From the new season of Ozark to German sci-fi thriller Dark, these are the TV shows to spend a lot of time with.

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Light sensors on wearables struggle with dark skin and obesity

The Verge | Jan. 21, 2022, 1:37 p.m.

Apple Watch | Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge Light sensors used to track heart rate in wearable devices like the Apple Watch Series 5 and the Fitbit Versa 2 don’t work as well on darker skin or people with obesity, according to modeling done in a new study. That’s a problem for features currently built into devices — but it’s also a bad sign for efforts to use light sensors for new applications in wearables, like monitoring blood pressure, says study author Jessica Ramella-Roman, an associate professor studying bioimaging sensors at Florida International University.“The architecture of the device has to change,” she says. The study looked at the photoplethysmography (PPG) signal, a technique that uses changes in how light is reflected to measure blood flow, on three wearable devices: the Apple Watch Series 5, Fitbit Versa 2, and Polar M600. The research team used a model that simulates how light moves through tissue to show how the sensors on those devices would behave with different skin properties. Darker skin has higher melanin and absorbs more light, while skin from people with obesity tends to be thicker, have less water, and have less blood flow than skin from people who are not obese. While previous research on accuracy and bias in wearables has focused on skin tone, Ramella-Roman says that many studies haven’t included a lot of people with obesity despite these physiological differences.“That’s why we think it’s necessary to focus there,” she says. The PPG signal didn’t change much as skin tone changed, the researchers’ model found: it varied less than 10 percent across the devices. But modeling obesity, both alone and together with skin tone, caused up to a 60 percent variation in the signal. Signal loss appeared to be because of the changes in skin thickness in people with obesity, the authors said in the study. There were changes in the peak of the PPG signal, which is used to calculate heart rate but whose signal strength should not change based on the heart rate value. There were also changes in the shape of the signal — which different groups are using as a way to track blood pressure.“As we increased the BMI level and increased the skin tone, the signal diminished, and then other features started disappearing as well,” she says. The Fitbit, which had fewer sensors, had a more dramatic loss of signal than the Apple Watch, the study found.This study only modeled how these wearable devices would detect signals in the lab, Ramella-Roman stressed. The team still has to check the devices on actual people in order to confirm the findings. They’re in the process of doing that study now and have enrolled around 100 people so far, she says. But the problems revealed by analyses like this complicate projects looking to use wearables to track cardiovascular health for underserved groups, Ramella-Roman says. The new study indicates researchers have to be careful using PPG, particularly for projects aiming to use the devices to help monitor people at higher risk of cardiovascular issues — which includes people with obesity. “The holy grail in this context is looking at blood pressure,” she says. “But many, many studies looking at blood pressure use some combination of PPG and other modalities.” The findings also suggest that other devices that use light sensors and PPG, like the blood oxygen measures in hospitals or doctors’ offices, might not work as well for people with obesity. There are very few studies that evaluate the devices in those groups. The good news is it should be possible to adjust devices (like by moving around the spacing of the sensors) so that they are more accurate on people with darker skin or with obesity without compromising accuracy for other groups, Ramella-Roman says. “The way the systems were designed initially maybe didn’t account for these individuals, but they could definitely make changes,” she says. “I don’t see anything that would limit that.”

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Exoskeleton developer Wandercraft raised $45M in funding

The Robot Report | Jan. 21, 2022, 1:15 p.m.

Atalante is a self-balanced, lower-body exoskeleton that emulates the way humans walk. The company began clinical trials for the exoskeleton in 2017. It was CE marked in 2019.The post Exoskeleton developer Wandercraft raised $45M in funding appeared first on The Robot Report.

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Francisco Partners scoops up remains of IBM’s Watson Health unit

TechCrunch | Jan. 21, 2022, 10 a.m.

In what has to be considered an anticlimactic ending, IBM sold off the data assets of its Watson Health unit to private equity firm Francisco Partners today. The two firms did not share the purchase price, but previous reports pegged the value at around $1 billion. Under the terms of the deal Francisco is grabbing […]

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Stearns & Foster mattress reviews: Trust this industry veteran for premium sleep - CNET

CNET | Jan. 21, 2022, 9:03 a.m.

Find out the differences between Stearns & Foster's mattresses and decide which one's right for you.

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The Internet Is Failing Moms-to-Be

Wired | Jan. 21, 2022, 8 a.m.

Even as a disinformation researcher, I was surprised and overwhelmed by the amount of manipulation in pregnancy apps.

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Europe’s top privacy regulator calls for ban on political microtargeting

TechCrunch | Jan. 21, 2022, 6:58 a.m.

The European Union’s chief privacy and data protection regulator has urged EU policymakers to strengthen proposed ‘transparency’ rules for political ads — calling instead for meaningful limits that would fully ban microtargeting for political purposes. The Commission proposal to regulate political ads, last fall, fell very far short of that — offering what this publication […]

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The Bathroom of the Future Is Here: From High-Tech Toilets to Self-Filling Tubs

Wall Street Journal | Jan. 21, 2022, 6 a.m.

After two stress-filled pandemic years, some Americans are turning their bathrooms into spa-like sanctuaries complete with interactive makeup mirrors, chromotherapy showers, no-touch faucets and smart showers.

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Netflix: 45 of the absolute best TV shows to watch - CNET

CNET | Jan. 20, 2022, 6:23 p.m.

From the new season of Ozark to German sci-fi thriller Dark, these are the TV shows to spend a lot of time with.

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Daily Crunch: Following ‘significant reduction’ in demand, Peloton puts brakes on production

TechCrunch | Jan. 20, 2022, 6:19 p.m.

Hello friends and welcome to Daily Crunch, bringing you the most important startup, tech and venture capital news in a single package.

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