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Gorilla Glass-maker Corning typically only announces a new iteration of its device protection glass every couple of years. These announcements historically occur when a major breakthrough is achieved. These typically occur in either scratch resistance or drop protection – the twin pillars of mobile glass – but never both.
Corning’s latest glass, Gorilla Glass Victus, achieves significant improvements on both critical fronts at the same time, a first in the company’s history. In short, Gorilla Glass Victus promises 2m drop protection and doubles the scratch resistance of Gorilla Glass 6. This is big.
Related: How much does it cost to replace a foldable phone’s screen?What about Gorilla Glass 7? What sorcery is this?
As a self-confessed glass nerd (sad, I know), I was intrigued to know what revolutionary new production process or previously unheard-of materials afforded such a major breakthrough. The answer? Hard work and over a decade of smart people doing smart things. Not as exciting, perhaps, as a new mineral found in an asteroid or developments in nanotechnology, but much more pragmatic.
Gorilla Glass Victus promises 2m drop protection and doubles the scratch resistance of Gorilla Glass 6.
Corning as a glass company turns 170 next year, and its Gorilla Glass division has been putting custom glass on phones since the original iPhone in 2007. The company’s scientists “spitball” thousands of potential glass compositions on paper, then run small batches of the most promising. Those samples then provide the concrete data that eventually lets Corning hone in on a product like Victus. It’s the product of years of accumulated knowledge with a dash of alchemy.
Corning has been focusing on drop protection and thinness for the last several years in response to consumers’ and manufacturers’ demands. Scratch protection had for several years been deemed “good enough.” Now that consumers are holding onto phones for longer, scratch resistance is back on the list of priorities. Rather than just switch its focus to the other side of the coin as it usually does, Corning decided to tackle both scratch and drop at the same time.
The current generation of mobile glass from Corning, Gorilla Glass 6, can survive multiple drops from 1.6m and provides baseline scratch resistance. This level of scratch resistance has remained pretty much unchanged since Gorilla Glass 3 (subsequent generations focused more on reducing the thickness required for the same strength or on improving impact resistance).
According to Corning, Gorilla Glass Victus can withstand multiple drops from a height of 2m. Alongside this, Victus offers 2x the scratch resistance of Gorilla Glass 6 and 4x the resistance of competitors’ aluminosilicate glasses. Amin tells us this all comes without any necessary increase in thickness.
Manufacturers can improve strength using the same thickness of Victus or reduce glass thickness while maintaining current levels of durability.
Corning tests its glass at the same thicknesses internally for consistency’s sake but the company tells Android Authority that an (unnamed) partner is currently looking at how thin it can make Victus while still offering competitive levels of strength and scratch resistance. This will likely be the thing to look out for in future – how thick the Victus layer on upcoming phones is, compared to previous smartphones using Gorilla Glass 6.
Wherever manufacturers can scrape out additional internal space while maintaining device thinness, they’ll do it (RIP the headphone jack). So just because a phone uses Victus doesn’t necessarily mean exponentially better performance. Manufacturers may well “thin it down” to provide Gorilla Glass 6-levels of strength by using a thinner layer of Victus. It’s all a question of rigidity, thinness, and potential space savings but is something to be aware of when you see “Victus” appearing in marketing materials.Who’s signed on?
Sapphire is a strong, but brittle glass (not to mention expensive). Amin explains that it needs to be relatively thick to achieve its strength, but scratches comparatively easily compared to Gorilla Glass using the industry-standard Knoop Diamond Test. According to Amin, sapphire typically scratches under a diamond pick at 1 or 2 Newtons of force. This is due to its synthetic crystalline structure, with scratches typically appearing along the planes of the crystals.
Most aluminosilicate glass solutions and previous generations of Gorilla Glass scratch at between 2-4 Newtons in the Knoop hardness test. Gorilla Glass Victus scratches between 7-10 Newtons. Combine that with a 25% improvement in impact resistance and you can see why Corning is so eager to get Victus into your hands. Even if it occasionally slips out of them.
Consumers are willing to pay a premium for better durability but Victus costs the same to make.
Interestingly, Corning’s press release states that consumers are willing to pay a premium for better durability. Knowing Victus’ pricing, we’ll just have to wait and see if manufacturers bump their prices, citing “improved durability.” The proof is in the pudding, so we’ll reserve judgment for now. But if you’re due an upgrade and Victus is everything Corning claims it is, your next phone might just last the distance.
Up next: Gorilla Glass vs Dragontrail vs Sapphire glass
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A couple of years ago, we showed you a jailbreak tweak called Velvet by iOS developer NoisyFlake that could be used to personalize your handset’s notifications with unique color experiences that would make any ordinary iPhone user drool over your setup. Now, that same developer is out with Velvet 2, the latest iteration of their magnificent UI customization tweak for pwned iOS & iPadOS 15 devices.
Apple appeared to draw a lot of inspiration from the original Velvet jailbreak tweak when designing the interface for banner notifications in iOS & iPadOS 15, but they left out the customization bit that many users hold near and dear to them. With that in mind, it’s not surprising to see NoisyFlake coming at us with Velvet 2, which focuses primarily on this specific concept.
As you can see in the screenshot examples above and below, Velvet 2 lets the end user customize the colors of the following elements with respect to the banner notification interface:
The banner’s background
The banner’s border
The banner’s message title text
The banner’s message content text
The banner’s date text
But colors aren’t the only thing you can do with Velvet 2; you can also customize the appearance of banner notifications in the following ways:
Apply a glow effect to the notification banner
Apply horizontal or vertical colored lines to the notification banner
Adjust the notification banner’s corner radius
Make the notification banner’s app icon round
For the notification banner to have a dark or light mode appearance, regardless of system setting
Colorize notification banners based on the dominant color of the app icon
Colorize notification banners based on a static color of your choosing
Colorize notification banners based on a gradient of two colors of your choosing
As you’re about to see in the screenshot example below, Velvet 2 adds a completely redesigned preference pane to the Settings app when compared alongside the original Velvet jailbreak tweak:
The new interface makes each setting easier to understand by carefully categorizing everything and illustrating all the options discussed above. It’s important to note that options can be configured for all apps, or on a per-app basis, which is actually pretty cool given how unique some people like to be with their tweak customizations:
Digging deeper into the meat and potatoes of the preference panes, you can see there’s a lot going on here:
It’s worth saying that the developer says all changes take effect on the fly without the need to respring your device. This means you can see all your changes in real time with no wait, and this is assisted by the live preview at the top of each preference pane shown above.
If you’re interested in trying Velvet 2 out for yourself, either for customization purposes or to make important notifications pop from all the noise of every other notification you get, then you can purchase it for $2.99 from the Chariz repository via your favorite package manager app. If you already own the original Velvet jailbreak tweak for iOS or iPadOS 13 or 14, then you get a discounted price of $1.99 to get your hands on Velvet 2. Please note that Velvet 2 is only compatible with jailbroken iOS & iPadOS 15 devices, and that rootless is also supported.
Imagine you’re 74 years old. You have impaired mobility and balance caused by a recent stroke and mild dementia. Walking has become frustrating and painful.
What if the simple act of sitting in a chair made you feel 17 again? And that same chair gave you perfect balance and a sense of weightlessness?
While in the chair, what if you used VR technology in an immersive experience? With the help of technology, you could fly over a beautiful landscape and control your twists and turns with the natural motion of your legs and back.
While this might sound like a possibility of the future, it’s actually already technology that’s making its way into healthcare applications today.
Returning the Joy of Movement to the Mobility Impaired
These are some of the questions Dr. Patrik Künzler, CEO of Limbic Life, is trying to answer with his work. Künzler, in an open collaboration project, has paired his company’s Limbic Chair with the Samsung Gear VR in the VITALICS research project being conducted by RehaClinic.Create a VR Healthcare Pain Management Program
Explore the key drivers of using VR for pain management and get tips for implementation. Download Now
“Patients enjoy being in the chair and the freedom of movement it allows. They enjoy VR a lot, especially the flying games. When they get up from the chair, they’re in a good mood and feel happy,” says Künzler. “They feel like kids again.”
Künzler explains why the Limbic Chair was a good candidate for the VITALICS project with a mini-lesson in human evolution. He says humans evolved two separate pathways that work independently but also together. One pathway is our hand-eye coordination. The other is peripheral vision-spine coordination.
Think about walking down the street while checking your smartphone. Your eyes and hands work together as you send a text message, placing a high cognitive load on your brain. All the while, your peripheral vision and your spine keep your body moving forward. This is a reliable form of locomotion that works almost subconsciously without much focus required from your brain.
Künzler, as he developed the chair, observed how people moved. When we move, our spine is constantly making micro-movements, small adjustments that help us navigate through our world.
In the Limbic Chair, you still make those small adjustments, while keeping the spine straight and relaxed. The motion feels natural because it mimics our innate navigation systems, and also helps reduce the brain’s cognitive load, allowing patients to focus on the current therapy task when they’re in the chair. With the VITALICS collaboration, Limbic Life is currently working with Samsung to develop movement and task-functional games that can help patients recover in a more interactive way.
A New, Natural Navigation Platform for VR Technology
Navigation inside VR apps typically relies on hand motions or gaze tracking. Some people find this type of navigation feels unnatural or causes nausea. This can be especially true in healthcare applications. As he watched his team use the chair, Künzler wondered if placing sensors on it could provide a better navigation system inside VR applications.
“We don’t use our hands or our gaze to navigate in real life,” Künzler explains. “The design of the Limbic Chair allows the use of both systems in parallel. It’s really a novel movement platform that translates our natural body motion into VR navigation.”
However, the opportunity to work with RehaClinic opened up when a Samsung employee used the chair with the VR application. Seeing the possibilities, Samsung Switzerland promoted the collaboration. “Without those two partners, we would have waited before trying this,” Künzler says.
Künzler, who trained as an MD, imagines an exciting future in healthcare applications of VR technology. “Smartphones will change how healthcare is done. As everyday devices enter the healthcare field, there will be big changes,” he says. “All hospitals want to improve patient lives and lower long-term treatment costs. When you’ve got affordable technology that’s also good, fun and easy to use anywhere, even in your own home, you can transform healthcare into something people enjoy.”
Künzler is speaking about the VITALICS partnership at this year’s Samsung Developer Conference. Get more info about his session and the conference to see what innovation will be on display.
BU Shakespeare Society Brings the Bard to Campus Theater group puts on Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead this weekend
Bianca Nicolosi (CAS’18) (from left) as the Player, Jeremy Altman (CAS’18) as Guildenstern, and Courtney Moller (CAS’20) as Rosencrantz at a dress rehearsal for the BU Shakespeare Society’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. Photo by Cydney Scott
Shortly after 6 p.m. on a recent weeknight a dozen students gather in a rough circle in a cavernous rehearsal room at 700 Beacon Street (the former Art Institute of Boston building) in Kenmore Square, reciting in unison: “One hen, two ducks, three squawking geese, four limerick oysters…” No, they’re not reading from a children’s counting book. Rather, it’s the opening exercise at a Boston University Shakespeare Society (BUSS) rehearsal.
Like many performance groups, members kick off every rehearsal with a quick round of warm-ups to loosen up and energize the actors. “It’s always super-important to have everyone at high energy during rehearsals because otherwise the atmosphere completely changes,” says frequent warm-up leader Rabiah Rowther (COM’18), the club’s vice president.
Tonight’s exercise, an 80-plus word tongue twister known as the radio test, originally designed for prospective radio announcers, has been adapted to help actors practice their enunciation and projection.
The student-run theater troupe is preparing for its final mainstage show of the semester, a production of Tom Stoppard’s Tony-winning existentialist tragicomedy Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, about the exploits of two minor characters from Shakespeare’s Hamlet: the courtiers Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. The show opens tonight and continues through Saturday at the Agganis Student Theater. For this production, BUSS is collaborating with the student theater group Wandering Minds. The two groups previously worked together on The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) in fall 2023.
At first glance, it might seem odd for a theater group dedicated to the works of the 16th century’s most famous playwright to be putting on a play by one of the 21st century’s most celebrated. But as the Shakespeare Society website makes clear, the group also stages plays inspired by Shakespeare’s works, as well as scene festivals (scenes directed and performed by undergraduates), staged readings, and more recently, parodies of well-known works by the Bard.
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern is the semester’s third BUSS production, preceded by SceneFest 2023 and the mainstage show Romeo, You Idiot, a modern-day spoof of Romeo and Juliet.
The troupe produced its first Shakespeare parody last year, when Rowther directed Hamlet II: Better Than the Original, a comedic adaptation by Sam Bobrick of the Bard’s most renowned tragedy. It presents the moody Danish prince as a petulant teenage-like 30-year-old, and his mother, Gertrude, as a lusty cougar mom. BUSS members think the modern-day English parodies make Shakespeare’s works more accessible to those intimidated by the period language. Rowther says that although people know that Shakespeare is acknowledged as the world’s greatest dramatist, “people still get very scared by the language.”
The strategy seems to be working. The spoofs have yielded record-breaking ticket sales for BUSS, including last year’s sold-out performance of Hamlet II. The audience members at the recent Romeo, You Idiot were so enthusiastic that after the shows they came up to Rowther and BUSS president Alexia Chiclana (ENG’18) to ask how they could get involved.
The attention these shows bring to the club is a huge step forward for BU’s newest theater troupe, launched in 2003. At one point, BUSS lost its status as an official student club because it couldn’t put together a full e-board. Rowther, Chiclana, and their immediate predecessors have been working tirelessly to rebuild the organization, and its growing ranks are evidence that their efforts are paying off.
The troupe emphasizes the importance of community; no matter what your role is—leading lady, costume designer, or stagehand—everyone is valued. “It’s an incredible experience to be able to create with people who genuinely care about each other,” says member Claire Doire (COM’20). “I always look forward to rehearsals. Everyone actually wants to be there and no matter what kind of day I’ve had, everyone has lots of laughs and I always come out feeling better than when I came in.”
BUSS is open to all students interested in acting, directing, or working on one of the technical crews. Current members represent nearly every school at BU. And best of all, no previous Shakespeare experience is required.
Two mainstage shows are on the docket for next semester: Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors, directed by Chiclana, and another parody, A Midsummer Vacation’s Nightmare, directed by Rowther.
“We’re trying to engage the community, to bring people together,” Chiclana says, “and we’re sharing Shakespeare with the world because Shakespeare shows are not as hard to relate to as people think.”
The BU Shakespeare Society and Wandering Minds production of Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead runs Thursday, December 7, through Saturday, December 9, at 8 pm at the Agganis Arena Student Theater, 925 Commonwealth Ave. Tickets are $7; purchase on Eventbrite or at the door.
Learn more about BUSS here; find out how to join here or email to [email protected].
Madeleine O’Keefe can be reached at [email protected].
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A big part of any virtual entertainment experience is audio and how it’s delivered to the user. Done right, good sound is key to making sure your Netflix binging and gaming sessions are fun. However, not all audio is created equal. In order to truly experience 3D audio, one would need to spend a good chunk of money on the right headphones, DAC, and more. Or that was the case anyway. Now, there are apps out there that intelligently take traditional stereo audio and transform it into a 3D and spatial experience. Boom 3D is one such app, which includes a host of features while being light on the wallet. But how does Boom 3D help breathe life into your audio experience? Well, I have been using the Boom 3D app for the past few days, so let’s talk about it.Boom 3D: An Audio Experience for Headphones
Since Boom 3D has more features than 3D Audio, I have divided this article into various sections that talk about the app’s key features like the 31-Band equalizer, spatial tracking, and more. Depending on what you’re looking for, use the table below to navigate this guide.Boom 3D: Cut to the Chase
In a market with not a lot of options, Boom 3D comes as a solution that breathes life into sound. Using any pair of headphones, Boom 3D turns your stereo audio into a full 3D surround sound experience. Combine this with adjustable spatial sound, and this app is now a must-have for those looking to elevate their listening experience.
Audiophiles will greatly appreciate the 31-band massively customizable EQ (detailed below in the article) they can tinker with. Boom 3D also comes with added features like a worldwide radio and customizable presets. Topping it all off is an easy-to-use UI that packages the entire thing neatly. If you’re someone tired of the old audio ways and want to level up, it’s time to switch to Boom 3D.Boom 3D: Pros and Cons
PROS CONS System-Wide 3D Surround Sound N/A Works with any pair of headphones31 Band Equalizer; highly customizable Worldwide Radio Supported on Windows, Mac, Android, and iOSBoom 3D: Pricing and Platforms
I did think the pricing was a bit steep initially, but then I saw Boom 3D hosting a Christmas Sale, which effectively slashes the price down to $12.5 (discounted by 75%). As someone who loves only paying once and being done with it, along with this huge discount, it was a no-brainer buy for me. For those with commitment issues, Boom 3D even offers a free 30-day trial, so you can test out all the features. Once satisfied, simply buy the license and begin booming.Boom 3D: Set Up Experience
If you have used a nuanced EQ app, you must have gone through a grueling process that has you installing drivers and configuring things in an app thereafter. I have experienced the same, so naturally, I was a bit hesitant going into this review. Surprisingly, all Boom 3D requires is a download and an easy installation process. All the app needs from your side is a few taps and you’re there.
Once done, Boom 3D greets you with a video showcasing how a normal audio experience can easily transform into a 3D one. You can skip the demo video if you want but it’s kind of cool, so I recommend keeping it on. From then it is easy. All you need to do is navigate through the app and use it to your liking.Boom 3D: Key Features User Interface
Boom 3D has optimized its desktop app in a way that it can be used by both amateurs and professional users. I was greeted by a simple yet sleek window that was neatly divided into categories. Besides the handy Boom On/Off button and volume slider, the app has sections for its equalizer, presets, and 3D effects on the top taskbar.
Overall, I found the user interface of Boom 3D attractive and simple to use. As someone who knows just a fair bit about audio, I thought I would be overwhelmed by the app’s options. However, it’s obvious that the app makers have kept people like me in mind and created an experience for us.Built-in 31-Band Equalizer
While I’m not an expert in audio manipulation, I do love to customize and tinker with stuff. Fortunately, Boom 3D not only comes with 3D sound but a full-fledged equalizer that let me fully customize the sound experience. Remember the pre-sets I mentioned above? All of those are fully customizable and feature a whopping 31 Band EQ control panel.3D Audio and Spatial Tracking
A big gripe with most headphones is that they are restricted to a traditional stereo setup. For those unaware, a stereo setup is basically when the audio comes from a traditional left-right scenario. To experience 3D audio and spatial sound without an app, one would need to buy an expensive pair of headphones like AirPods. However, Boom 3D comes with 3D surround sound support natively. In short, the Boom 3D app enables you to experience audio that feels like it’s coming from all around you.
How Does Boom 3D Bring Surround Sound to Your Headphones? Let me explain.
Once I was done being amazed, I did contact Boom 3D asking how they achieved this. Global Delight uses what it calls a patented sound staging algorithm that can transform any pair of headphones into a 3D one. This algorithm not only works system-wide but even across platforms and onto macOS as mentioned above.Perfect for Entertainment
Now naturally, a big part of consuming entertainment is audio. From a sci-fi experience like Interstellar to even a show like Friends, I like good sound. Netflix recently announced the availability of spatial audio in select content. However, as mentioned one would need high-end headphones for them. Luckily, Boom 3D’s spatial sound is system-wide and applied here too.
Throughout my time with Boom 3D on Netflix, I had lots of fun as my audio experience was turned into something new. Now, to be honest, the change was a little weird at first since I am not used to 3D audio. However, I quickly got accustomed to it, as I practically heard sounds from everywhere in movies and TV shows.Worldwide Radio Support
Besides all its audio capabilities, Boom 3D comes with a functionality that a few still might care about. The app comes with a radio player that has more than 20,000 stations. As someone who does listen to the nostalgia box from time to time, this is a welcome feature. The stations have been divided into categories, including by country.High-Quality Surround Sound on Mac Too
While I use Windows as my daily driver, I did install Boom 3D on macOS to see if its benefits are present for Apple users too. And indeed, Boom 3D does offer 3D and spatial audio support on macOS. And this is good timing, as Apple’s announcement of spatial audio on selected music content means you can reap the app’s benefits here.
The best part is that you can use any old pair of headphones and don’t really need to shell out money. As before, macOS users can use the Boom 3D app to fine-tune this virtual surround sound feel by setting the system on/off, adjusting intensity, and even adjusting subwoofer volume. macOS users even get a Boom volume booster function that safely increases the volume beyond its limit for a better experience. So if you’re someone on macOS, go ahead and try it out.Boom for iPhone and Android Phones
While Boom is an excellent audio companion for PCs, there are times when you need to go mobile. For those times and more, Boom has a dedicated app that doubles up as a music player for your phone. Available on iPhone or Android phones, Boom: Bass Booster & Equalizer does what it says. The app recognizes and syncs your tracks from Apple Music and even has a partnership with Tidal for you to stream your music from there.Boom 3D Is Here to Level up Your Audio Game
Download Boom 3D on Windows and Mac
Halloween is right around the corner and trick-or-treaters can fill their bags with more than free candy. BLUETTI, a portable power station leader, has announced exciting Halloween deals, and you can’t miss out on them. From up to $700 in discounts and up to $299 in freebies, BLUETTI offers some amazing deals on power generators, batteries, and solar panels this Halloween season.BLUETTI Halloween Discount Offers (2023)
BLUETTI’s Halloween sale is on and will go on until November 5. Check out the complete details about the deals below.EB3A Solar Power Station
The EB3A is a compact and portable solar generator. It weighs only about 10 pounds and can be easily carried around on road trips. The EB3A sports a 268Wh LiFePO4 battery and 9 outlets, including 2 120V /5A AC outlets, 3 DC outlets, 2 USB-A, and a USB-C port here. There’s a wireless charging pad (up to 15W) on the top, which is a nice perk.
There’s also support for fast charging, which can charge the power station by up to 80% in 30 minutes. The generator comes with 6 ways of recharging. Plus, it has support for smart controls via the BLUETTI app.
original price: starts at $239
discounted price: starts at $209 (save $30)AC200 Series Portable Power Stations AC200P Combos
The AC200P has a 2,000W inverter and a 2,000Wh LiFePO4 battery. These parts add to the power station’s long lifespan (10 years at a circle per day) and superb performance. There are 17 versatile outlets available here, so all your different devices can get the juice timely.
The power station has seven ways to charge the unit, including a wall outlet, car, gas generator, and solar panel. And an interesting thing about the AC200P is that its capacity is expandable. It takes up to 6 hours to recharge.
original price: $1,599
discounted price: $ 1,399 (save up to $200)AC200MAX Combos
The AC200MAX portable power station comes with a 2,048Wh LiFePO4 battery pack and a 2,200W pure sine wave inverter. There are 16 outlets to charge multiple devices simultaneously.
To recharge, the AC200MAX is capable of accepting up to 900W solar input and 500WAC input, and it takes up to 6 hours for this. It also comes with support for the BLUETTI app for smart controls and monitoring. You can check out the combo deals below.
original price: $1,899
discounted price: $1,799 (save up to $100)
And if you would like some solar panel options, you can consider the AC300 Modular Solar Generator and the B300 battery pack combo at $3,399 during the BLUETTI Halloween deals event underway. You can also combine the B230/ B300 batteries with PV200/ PV350 sunlight-catcher panels, starting at $1,699.EP500 Series Home Power Backup
The EP500Pro comes with a 5,100Wh capacity, 3,000W AC output power, 2,400W solar input, and a flexible UPS function. Similar to the structure of the EP500, it is mobile and can be monitored remotely by BLUETTI APP. There’s an option to get a discount of up to $500 for two units and a $299 fusion box will be sent as a freebie.
EP500: original price: $9,198, sale price: $8,699
EP500Pro: original price: $9,998, sale price: $9,499BLUETTI Combo Deals Roundup
BLUETTI’s Halloween combo deals are the most lucrative, offering you discounts of up to $650. In case you are looking to go for combos, check out the available options below during the ongoing Halloween sale.BLUETTI Halloween Sale Is Now Live
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