Samsung will unveil the Galaxy S9 next month

Samsung will unveil its next flagship handset, the Galaxy S9, next month at Mobile World Congress (MWC). The company’s smartphone chief, DJ Koh, confirmed the launch to ZDNetat CES yesterday. Koh didn’t offer a specific date, but MWC will run from February 26th to March 1st this year, so expect the unveiling to fall somewhere in that time frame.
The S9 (and, presumably, an S9 Plus) will be the successors to the S8 and S8 Plus, which launched at a Samsung event in New York last March before going on sale in April. The S8 and its bigger brother were a hit with critics, who praised the phones’ gorgeous design and brilliant cameras. The phones were even good enough to make consumers forget about the disaster of the Galaxy Note 7 and its exploding batteries.

Not much is known about the Galaxy S9 at this point, though we’re not expecting any radical departures from the S8. A handful of leaked renders suggest it will look near-identical to its predecessor, with a slight tweak moving the rea…

Your smartphone's next trick? Fighting cyber-crime

Like bullets fired from a gun, photos can be traced to individual smartphones, opening up new ways to prevent identity theft.

A University at Buffalo-led team of researchers has discovered how to identify smartphones by examining just one photo taken by the device. The advancement opens the possibility of using smartphones -- instead of body parts -- as a form of identification to deter cybercrime. "Like snowflakes, no two smartphones are the same. Each device, regardless of the manufacturer or make, can be identified through a pattern of microscopic imaging flaws that are present in every picture they take," says Kui Ren, the study's lead author. "It's kind of like matching bullets to a gun, only we're matching photos to a smartphone camera." The new technology, to be presented in February at the 2018 Network and Distributed Systems Security Conference in California, is not yet available to the public. However, it could become part of the authenticatio…

Philips releases a headband that plays white noise to help you sleep

Philips just came out with a new headband that plays white noise to help your brain get to sleep.Although Philips’ headband looks like an ill-formed diaper, its weird design attaches built-in sensors to your forehead in order to detect brain activity. Then it shares that data with a connected mobile app. When deep sleep is detected, the headband’s speakers will start playing white noise in a slowly repeating pattern, which Philips claims will reinforce a good night’s sleep.

A startup announced a similarly strange-looking headband called Dreem built for the same purpose of playing white noise as you sleep last June, and it’s currently on sale for a hefty $499.While the Philips headband doesn’t look that comfortable or reliable, small pilot studies on the effect of noise on deep sleep have suggested that it might help older adults achieve better sleep and stronger memory. But since those studies are in really small groups, the findings may not hold up.What we do know is that sleep is imp…

Sophia the robot takes her first steps

With a new set of legs, this humanoid robot now has enough mobility to take a few steps and even bust out some dance moves.
It's one small step for Sophia, one giant leap for robot-kind. Sophia is a humanoid robot built by Hanson Robotics that debuted in 2016. Thanks to the addition of legs from DRC-HUBO (the same company that won the DARPA robotics competition in 2015), Sophia can now walk -- albeit slowly. Currently the legs are capable of moving at up to 0.6 miles per hour. Her skin is surprisingly lifelike, using a material called "frubber" that lets her blink, move her mouth and turn her head relatively naturally. She's even appeared on the cover of Elle Brazil. With a more human-like form, Hanson hopes that eventually Sophia will have applications in fields like medical therapy and could work alongside humans in factory situations.

"We think of her as an infant, she's really a baby," said David Hanson, CEO of Hanson Robotics and Sophia's crea…

Vuzix Blade AR glasses are the next-gen Google Glass we’ve all been waiting for

Vuzix, a Rochester, New York-based display provider, has been trying to resurrect the promise of Google Glass for years now, but this year’s iteration finally feels ready. The company’s new product, called the Vuzix Blade, was unveiled at CES this week in Las Vegas. It’s a pair of augmented reality smart glasses that float a screen in the upper right corner of your vision. But unlike previous iterations, in which the technology protruded in ugly and apparent fashion, the Blade is the first device Vuzix has developed that contains nearly every aspect of the display and its power source within the eye wear frames.
The company has partnered with Amazon to bring Alexa integration to the device, making the Blade the first pair of AR glasses to make use of Amazon’s voice-based digital assistant. And the glasses are not just a prototype. Vuzix plans to deliver a developer version of the product in the next few months, with a consumer version coming in the second quarter of this year. The pr…