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CES: Ebb device calms mind for sleep

Mind racing before bed? Ebb Therapeutics may have the technology to put its users’ mind at ease for a good night’s rest.

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At CES in Las Vegas this week, Sleep tech company Ebb Therapeutics debuted a wearable sleep device with proprietary technology that targets the root cause of sleeplessness: a racing, or overactive, mind.

The tech was developed after Ebb founder and chief medical officer Dr Eric Nofzinger spent 35 years studying the brain mechanisms of healthy sleep. Studies suggested that reduction in metabolic activity in the frontal cortex (the thinking part of the brain) is key to the restorative properties of sleep. 

Higher-than-normal brain activity when the body is at rest leads to hyperarousal, which is often associated with clinical complaints of not being able to turn off one’s mind when trying to sleep. While researching this, Nofzinger discovered that when the forehead is cooled, brain activity decreases and the mind can relax. This finding inspired Ebb.

“Sleeplessness is an epidemic. More than ever, people are struggling with being able to ‘turn off’ their minds in order to get to sleep,” says Nofzinger. “Lack of sleep can have a dire effect on one’s ability to function mentally, emotionally and physically, so it is critical that we keep innovating in this space in order to offer safe, drug-free solutions that work.”

Ebb says it’s the first sleep solution that uses precise cooling, called PrecisionCool Technology, to reduce metabolic activity in the frontal cortex. A scientifically-engineered, fluid-filled headband softly wraps around the head and cools the forehead using an intelligent cooling algorithm in order to maintain an optimal temperature range over the course of the night. As brain activity declines, the mind calms and the user is able to fall into a deeper, more restorative sleep.

The device hits the consumer market after several years of research and fundraising. At the end of 2016, the company closed a $38-million Series B round led by KKR & Co. LP. These investments allowed the company to conduct the type of studies and clinical tests needed to get the technology right, and build a first-class team, which includes former executives from Respironics, a leader in sleep and respiratory markets that was acquired by Philips in 2008 for $5 billion.

“At CES, we are introducing technology that is truly first-of-its-kind,” says Ebb Therapeutics CEO Eduard Roosli. “As consumers, finding a solution for any issue concerning health can be both emotional and overwhelming. We are proud to be able to provide a product that is backed by decades of science, has been clinically tested for efficacy, and is completely safe.”
At the show, the startup will also tease another innovation, set to hit the market in late 2020: a second-generation device with similar cooling technology that is battery-powered and portable, for consumers who don’t always sleep in the same place.

Ebb Therapeutics will be at CES 2020, at booth # 43824 in the Sands Expo. 

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Samsung to release Galaxy Note10 Lite in SA

The Samsung Galaxy Note10 Lite, unveiled at CES 2020 two weeks ago, will be released in South Africa next month.

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Samsung has unveiled the new Galaxy Note10 Lite at a preview event in Johannesburg. Building on the legacy of the Galaxy Note series, this Lite model brings key premium features like the latest camera technology, signature S Pen, immersive display and a long-lasting battery, at a more accessible price point. The Galaxy Note Lite is positioned between the Galaxy A Series and Samsung’s flagship devices. It will be launched in South Africa in February, with a recommended retail price of R12,999.

What’s different from the Note10?

The Note10 Lite drops support for wireless charging, waterproofing, and a curved screen. Other than that, it’s a very capable device at a far lower price

“The Galaxy Note devices have met consumer demands around the world and has proven to be popular in South Africa,” said Justin Hume, director of integrated mobility at Samsung South Africa. “These devices represent our continuous effort to deliver industry leading innovations, from performance and power to intelligence and services. The Galaxy Note10 Lite will make the experience more accessible to South Africans.”

To read the full breakdown of device specifications, click here.

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Sony Xperia 5 scores high

The latest compact flagship from Sony, the Xperia 5, scores a high 95 in DxOMark.

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The Sony Xperia 5, announced in September 2019, is the latest compact flagship, intended as a more affordable, pocket-friendly alternative to the full-sized Xperia 1. Key features on the Xperia 5 include a 6.1-inch OLED display, as well as the high-end Snapdragon 855 chipset with 128GB of internal storage and 6GB RAM. Storage is expandable up to 1TB via micro SD.

The main camera boasts the same triple sensor and lens setup as on the Xperia 1. All three sensors offer 12MP resolution, with a large 1/2.55-inch sensor for the main camera, and a smaller 1/3.4-inch sensor for each of the ultra-wide and telephoto modules. The main sensor is coupled to a 26mm-equivalent f/1.6 aperture lens; there’s also a 16mm-equivalent f/2.4-aperture ultra-wide-angle lens, and a 52mm-equivalent f/2.4-aperture lens offering x2 optical zoom shots.

Other features include 5-axis optical image stabilization (OIS) and predictive Dual Pixel PDAF autofocus on the main and telephoto cameras, eye-tracking autofocus, HDR, and LED flash. 4K video is available for 2160p@24/30fps capture on the Xperia 5, but the Sony’s 5-axis gyroscope-enabled OIS only kicks in for HD video recording at 1080p@30fps.

Key camera specifications:

Triple camera

  • Primary: 12MP 1/2.55-inch sensor with 1.4µm pixels and 26mm f/1.6-aperture lens
  • Ultra-wide: 12MP 1/3.4-inch sensor with 1.0µm pixels and 16mm f/2.4-aperture lens
  • Telephoto: 12MP 1/3.4-inch sensor with 1.0µm pixels and 52mm f/2.4-aperture lens
  • Predictive Dual Pixel PDAF autofocus & 5-axis OIS (main & telephoto)
  • LED flash, HDR, eye-tracking
  • 4K 24/30fps video with HDR
  • Full HD 1080p@30fps video with 5-axis gyro-EIS
  • Although not officially launched in South Africa, it is available from some online outlets.

Click here to see samples of the photography on DxOMark’s website.

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