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The week in tech: from Nasa’s Dart Mission to 5G in India

News and launches this week from the world of science and tech

Meta unveiled the Quest Pro virtual and mixed reality headset
Meta unveiled the Quest Pro virtual and mixed reality headset

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Meta's new mixed reality headset

There’s a new virtual reality and mixed reality headset in town. On 11 October, Meta unveiled the Quest Pro virtual and mixed reality headset, which will hit the market on 25 October at a price of $1,500 (around 1.2 lakh). According to Reuters, this new headset will offer consumers a way to interact with virtual creations overlaid on to a full-colour view of the physical world around them. The Quest Pro comes with outward-facing cameras that capture a 3D livestream of the physical environment around a user. Meta is pitching the Quest Pro as a productivity device, aimed at designers, architects and other creative professionals, the report adds.

Early 5G woes for India

While 5G services were launched in India at the beginning of October, the rollout hasn’t exactly been smooth. Leading telecom operators Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio outlined plans for the rollout in a select few cities but most users in these locations are yet to access 5G services owing to patchy networks and a delay in smartphone companies pushing out required software patches over-the-air, a PTI report notes. The likes of Apple and Samsung are expected to upgrade software for their 5G-enabled smartphones in India only by November-December, the report adds.

DART mission a success: Nasa

Nasa, the US space agency, said on 12 October that its mission to test a planetary defence system to avoid a future doomsday meteorite collision with Earth was a success. The $330 million proof-of-concept DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test) spacecraft successfully changed the direction of the egg-shaped asteroid Dimorphos through sheer kinetic force, Nasa administrator Bill Nelson said. The test was conducted on 26 September and Nasa said, based on astronomical measurements over the past two weeks, that the target asteroid was bumped slightly closer to the larger parent asteroid, Didymos, it orbits; its orbital period was shortened by 32 minutes, a Reuters report adds.

Google Pixel 7 Pro review: For those who believe in AI

“But Pixel phones really aren’t about the camera anymore. They’re about Google’s new Tensor chip, a second version of which is fitted in the Pixel 7 Pro and Pixel 7,” writes Prasid Banerjee in his review of the Google Pixel 7 Pro. All the camera’s software is powered by the new chip, and you can tell that Google really cares about the software, because the camera will prompt you to update the app if there’s one pending when you’re clicking an image.

Apple iPhone 14 review: Does it warrant an upgrade?

The iPhone 14’s display does feel smoother, since the new phone has gotten more memory to process heavier apps and games, writes Shouvik Das in our review of the new iPhone. The difference isn’t really a big one, and is something that you’ll only feel if you compare it alongside an iPhone 12. For all practical purposes, the iPhone 13 feels just as smooth. It does feel faster to game on, and even without a new processor, Apple seems to have eked out marginally better performance thanks to more memory at hand.

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