Apple is exploring the possibility of equipping the much-rumored 12.9-inch “iPad Pro” with an improved touch panel that uses silver nano wire (AgNW) material instead of ITO-based clear film, according to South Korea’s Electronic Times (via G4Games). The flexible touch panel would reportedly have greater accuracy and sensitivity and be able to recognize multiple pressure levels, which could allow for Force Touch.
The report claims that Apple requested samples of the touch panel ready for mass-production from LG Display, Samsung Display, Japan Display and other major display manufacturers at the start of this week, and predicts that the company will release a new 12.9-inch iPad next year as the first device utilizing the new touch panel technology. Recent rumors have pointed towards a late 2015 unveiling of the iPad Pro.
Apple could benefit from lower production costs by using AgNW touch panels, according to the report, since the technology does not require using a scarce metal like indium. The report adds that Apple is also considering applying a thin layer of sapphire crystal to the touch panel, but it remains questionable if the company’s suppliers are capable of effectively producing the material for large-screened tablets yet.
The 12.9-inch iPad is rumored to feature a built-in NFC chip, pressure-sensitive Bluetooth stylus, Force Touch, one USB-C port and Apple’s latest A-series processor. Rumors suggest that the NFC chip will enable the iPad to be used as a payment terminal, while the single USB-C port will either replace or supplement the Lightning connector equipped on other current iPads.
Dutch firm Marc Koehler Architects recently completed a striking luxury vacation home in the island of Terschelling, Northern Netherlands. The aptly-named Dune House boasts sustainable design and is sympathetic to the surrounding landscape, rising like a diamond out of the sand.
NASA has launched a public challenge with the aim of innovating technologies vital for the establishment of a colony on Mars. The agency is focused on a mission to the Red Planet, and has already taken the first vital steps. However, whilst simply reaching Mars with a cargo of healthy astronauts would be a monumental triumph, maintaining a permanent presence on so inhospitable a planet could prove to be a much greater technological challenge.
Apple today announced a new multi-year project with World Wildlife Fund to protect up to 1 million acres of responsibly managed working forests in China, which the company says provide fiber for pulp, paper and wood products. The new forestland program is part of Apple’s goal to run its worldwide operations on 100% renewable energy.
Apple’s 40-megawatt solar farm in Hongyuan, China
Apple also confirmed plans to expand its industry-leading renewable energy projects to manufacturing facilities in China, three weeks after the company announced a partnership with SunPower Corporation to build two 20-megawatt solar power plants that will provide more than enough energy to power all of Apple’s corporate offices and retail stores in the world’s most populous country.
“We’ve set an example by greening our data centers, retail stores and corporate offices, and we’re ready to start leading the way toward reducing carbon emissions from manufacturing,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “This won’t happen overnight—in fact it will take years—but it’s important work that has to happen, and Apple is in a unique position to take the initiative toward this ambitious goal. It is a responsibility we accept. We are excited to work with leaders in our supply chain who want to be on the cutting edge of China’s green transformation.”
Apple shared its 2015 Environmental Responsibility Report in April, reflecting on the company’s environmental progress during the 2014 fiscal year. The report highlights that 100% of the company’s U.S. operations and 87% of its global operations are run on renewable energy. The report also reveals that Apple emitted 34.2 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions during the 12-month period ending September.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt developer CD Projekt Red has teamed up with Caseking and Dark Horse Comics to launch contests for Witcher fans before the title hits stores. You could win a signed collector’s edition of the game, skateboard or even a brand new PC.
A new type of medical device could one day put the minds of chronic pain sufferers at ease by distributing the body’s own natural pain relief signals at just the right time. Developed at Linköping University in Sweden, the tiny “ion pump” is made from organic electronics and could be implanted in patients, serving to cut off pain signals in the spinal chord before they make their way to the brain.
Royal Enfield is going from strength to strength in 2015, overtaking Harley-Davidson in sales and growing at a remarkable rate both in India, where the brand is a revered and well-loved icon, and abroad, where Enfield’s classic looks and simple, rootsy approach to motorcycling is finding favour with old-school riders and younger fashionistas alike. The Continental GT cafe racer is the fastest, lightest and most powerful Royal Enfield ever built, but it’s definitely not fast, light or powerful. What it’s got in spades is character. Enjoy our full review and a very tongue-in-cheek video below.
Drone deliveries hey? What could be more convenient than having the milk for your cereal arrive fresh each morning, or that forgotten dinner ingredient plonked down on the doorstep just as you fire up the stove? Well, details now revealed in an Amazon patent application suggest that if its Prime Air drones do materialize, they mightn’t just be limited to making house calls. The application outlines plans for drones that track a customer’s GPS position, flagging the possibility of having items brought to you even when you’re out and about.
Across the world many millions of people suffer from inherited conditions that progressively degenerate the light-sensing cells in their eyes, and eventually send them blind. Recently, however, researchers from the University of Bern and the University of Gottingen have developed a way to possibly reverse this damage by using a newly-developed, light-sensitive protein embedded into other cells in the retina to restore vision.