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The week in tech: A brain-sensing headband, smarter note-taking and more

Here's a look at what else made news in the world of science and technology

The Muse S headband  (choosemuse.com)

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New updates from Samsung and Microsoft, as well as from the James Webb telescope, and other stuff that moved the needle this week:  

SAMSUNG GALAXY S22 AND MORE SOON?

The Galaxy Unpacked event on 9 February
The Galaxy Unpacked event on 9 February

Earlier this week, Samsung Electronics officially confirmed 9 February as the date for its next “Galaxy Unpacked” event. The company is likely to unveil the Galaxy S22, Galaxy S22+ and Galaxy S22 Ultra smartphones, apart from the next iteration of its Galaxy Tab. One of its most recent releases is the Galaxy S21 FE. But in an invitation note released on 25 January, Samsung said it was ready to “set an epic new standard for smartphones with the most noteworthy S series ever created”. All eyes on 9 February.

NOW, ANDROID APPS ON WINDOWS 11

Many Android apps will soon be available on Windows 11 
Many Android apps will soon be available on Windows 11 

Microsoft announced this week that it plans a public preview of its Android apps for Windows 11, alongside some taskbar improvements and redesigned Notepad and Media Player apps. Microsoft first started testing Android apps on Windows 11 with testers in October, and the feature allows users to install a limited number of apps from Amazon’s Appstore. PC use has gone up substantially during the pandemic, says Panos Panay, chief product officer for Windows. “The PC market saw the biggest growth in a decade. Global PC shipments surpassed 340 million in 2021…that growth is 27% more than 2019,” he wrote in an official blog post. The integration with the Google Play Store is an indication that Microsoft wants the PC, and Windows, to be in on the action in the tech world. “Windows will continue to be the backbone for innovation, a destination for gaming, creativity and exploration, and a gateway to the Metaverse,” wrote Panay.

WEBB REACHES ITS NEW HOME

The space telescope 
The space telescope 

US space agency Nasa confirmed this week that the James Webb Space Telescope, one of the most powerful and expensive space observatories ever made, successfully reached its destination in solar orbit from where it will begin its major science observations. Webb will orbit at what’s called the Lagrange point 2 (L2), a point in space that balances the gravitational pull of the Earth and Sun. The telescope was launched on Christmas Day after prolonged delays and is expected to transmit its first images back in June or July.

A DEVICE THAT READS YOUR MIND

The Muse S Gen (2)
The Muse S Gen (2)

Or, well, at least your moods. The Muse S (Gen 2) headband launched this week uses EEG (electroencephalogram) technology to track your physical health and state of mind, using a number of parameters such as heart rate, pulse rate, breath, and movement. But what really stands out is its sleep tracking and guided meditation support, using biofeedback to create an immersive meditation environment that helps you calm down, fall asleep—and stay asleep. It also provides overnight sleep tracking, deep sleep insights, position tracking and a personalised sleep score. There is, of course, the mandatory phone app that lets you read and understand the data and also offers interpretations that gently nudge you to adopt a better lifestyle. Well, that’s the dream.

For more information, visit Choosemuse.com

Thumb Rule: On a smart note 

Convert handwritten notes to a digital format
Convert handwritten notes to a digital format

Taking notes on a smartphone can be tricky, forcing you to write. Now Wacom Notes, a new app, converts your handwritten notes into a digital format. It uses the technology “semantic ink function”, which analyses your handwriting and notes as you write. Apart from converting them into digital documents, the app chips in with additional contextual information on your notes so that you don’t have to rely on the internet. This free Android app has a clean, uncluttered user interface and supports text recognition for several languages. Once your notes have been converted, you can easily search and organise them on Wacom Notes.             

—Compiled by Nitin Sreedhar and Shrabonti Bagchi

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