A lot can happen in a week when it comes to tech. The constant onslaught of news makes it nigh impossible for mere mortals with real lives to keep track of everything. That’s why we’ve compiled a quick and dirty list of this week’s top tech stories, from our 2017 Outdoor Awards to a tiny iPhone — it’s all here.
Technology is transforming every aspect of our lives, making it easier to follow a winding hiking trail, helping us swing a baseball bat more accurately, and keeping us in touch with our friends even as we get away from it all. For the first annual Digital Trends Outdoor Awards, we aim to spotlight and reward the many companies embracing tech and spearheading this revolution.
To do this, we stepped out of the office and onto the mountains, rivers, forests, and trails of the Pacific Northwest to field test a variety of gear designed to not just alter your experience outdoors but to improve it. Be it a footwear company’s dedication to understanding exactly how the human body moves or a phone case brand’s commitment to designing the bear-proof cooler of the summer, outdoor innovation and technology doesn’t fit one definition but features a wealth of benefit.
Luxury comes in many different shapes and sizes, but it’s never taken on a form like this. With the Bentayga, Bentley set out to create a new type of vehicle that takes the no-compromise strand of opulence it is famous for to the SUV segment. We spent a week living with the British company’s only high-riding model to evaluate what it brings to the market.
Diehard Bentley historians will enthusiastically dispute claims that the Bentayga is Bentley’s very first SUV. They’re completely right. Here’s a quick fun fact: in the early 1990s, the Sultan of Brunei commissioned Bentley to build approximately six examples of a Range Rover-esque 4×4 named Dominator. All six are gathering dust in his mind-blowing collection, and the model has never been seen in public. He’s not the cars and coffee type, apparently. It’s true that the Dominator is the original Bentley SUV, but the Bentayga is the first one designed and produced for motorists who do not preside over a microstate.
A smart, stamp-sized “shape memory” bandage developed by engineers at the University of Toronto could help fix damaged organ tissue without the need for surgery. As its creators explain, it could help mend broken hearts — literally!
“Once engineered tissues are made in the lab, the only way for them to get into the human body is by a surgical approach, by opening the chest to place the tissues in,” biomedical engineering professor Milica Radisic told Digital Trends. “In this work, we were able to marry minimally invasive delivery with tissues engineering [to develop] shape memory polymer scaffolds that enable us to inject fully functional tissues into the body.”
Just as when puppies do something unspeakable on your new carpet, it’s very easy for forgive the Soyes 7S for looking almost exactly like an Apple iPhone, because it’s just so damn cute. It’s cute because it’s tiny — no more than half the size of an iPhone 7 Plus, but perhaps twice as adorable. It’s not an iPhone challenger though, and the specification is slightly lacking in this unusual Chinese phone. Also, it doesn’t run iOS, obviously, but Google Android with a user interface to make it look something like an iPhone.
Soyes has a history of making small smartphones, which are sold through eBay and Chinese device importers, and a quick browse of its (outdated) website reveals in the past it has made phones the same size as a credit card. However, none are as visually interesting as the Soyes 7S, its miniature iPhone clone.
Of all the technological leaps Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have enabled, arguably their biggest impact has been the creation and proliferation of blockchain technology. The blockchain has many manifestations, though, and a new one is looking to leverage it to create a new outlook for … the dental industry.
Yes, that’s right. It’s cryptocurrency for your teeth.
Called Dentacoin, it pitches itself as a way to improve dental health, cut out insurance companies as middle men, and foster cooperation between dentists and patients. But can a currency with so specific a role possibly hope to compete in a space with 700+ other crypto coins, including the granddaddy of them all, Bitcoin?
Smartphones have allowed us to easily capture intimate and memorable moments, such as a baby’s first steps or a graduation ceremony. But too often we’re looking through the smartphone, rather than simply being present. Ubiquiti Labs‘ FrontRow is a wearable camera that wants to help by capturing and sharing the moment, so you can stay in the moment hands-free.
The FrontRow looks like a pocket watch, except instead of a watch face there’s a 2-inch circular display. There are two cameras, one on the back with the display, and one on the front. On the side, you’ll find a power button, and a media button that lets you start and stop recording.
Want an Apple Watch? You may want to talk to Aetna. According to a report from CNBC, Apple and the insurance company held a number of “secret discussions” last week in order to make the wearable more widely accessible to Aetna customers. And with millions of individuals (23 million, to be exact) using Aetna’s services, that could mean a lot more Apple Watches for a lot more people.
Currently, Aetna already offers its 50,000 employees the smartwatch as part of its corporate wellness program. But while we may not all work for Aetna, even working with Aetna could pay off in the form of a wearable. Apparently, Aetna hopes to work with Apple to offer either a free or discounted Apple Watch as a perk to members.