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CES: Mixed-reality windshield

In-vehicle information and entertainment is set to change thanks to the world’s first mass-market Interactive Mixed Reality Windshield technology, launched at CES in Las Vegas last week by Futurus Technology.

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Going beyond existing augmented-reality vehicle and navigation information incorporated in today’s models, Futurus Technology’s new Mixed Reality technology marries real-world environments and hazards with contextual information about a vehicle’s status, performance and surroundings.

Futurus, which received a CES Honoree Award in the In-Vehicle Entertainment and Safety category, is currently collaborating with some of the world’s leading car manufacturers, and showcased its new product at CES 2020.

The interactive windshield benefits from two independent layers, one of which allows drivers to detect potential hazards up to 50 meters in the distance, including cyclists, pedestrians and objects on the road. Simultaneously, passengers can enjoy entertainment such as TV shows and movies, music and social media, without distracting the driver.

Uber Wu, chief-scientist at Futurus, says: “Vehicle manufacturers must adopt MR technology if they want to offer a truly safe yet immersive experience in the next generation of vehicles. The in-cabin experience has not changed radically in decades; our windshield transforms the driver and passenger journey.

“The technology is the first step towards a smart windscreen that delivers personalised, interactive in-car entertainment, e-commerce and enhanced safety features, thanks to split-screen technology that doesn’t distract the driver.”

Alex Xu, chief executive officer of Futurus Technology, says: “In-car AR heads-up-displays (HUD) are installed in relatively few models and offer limited performance but, in the next few years, we will produce a smarter hybrid reality windshield display that provides the safest ride to mass-market vehicles”.

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Product of the Day

Leak reveals Huawei P40 Pro

A high-resolution render of the Huawei P40 Pro, released by Evan ‘Evleaks’ Blass, shows that it will probably include five rear lenses, two front lenses, and a ceramic build. BRYAN TURNER investigates

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The highly-anticipated Huawei P40 Pro is set to be unveiled in Paris in late-March. Many rumours surround its hardware build as well as its software capabilities since Huawei lost the rights to preload Google Apps on the phone.

From the leak, it seems the P40 Pro will feature a near-bezelless screen, like the Mate 30 Pro, which debuted late last year. The screen drops the notch, in favour of a dual-camera cut-out, similar to the Samsung Note 10+. The leak also shows there are small buttons on the side of the device for volume control and locking the device. This is an interesting step back from the buttonless Mate 30 Pro.

The most impressive aspect is the seven cameras which this device will house, five on the back and two on the front. The rear camera system seems to showcase a slight bump, and features a new type of periscope-style telephoto camera. This is expected to provide an 18-240mm equivalence between ultrawide and telephoto. The device is also expected to provide a whopping 13x optical zoom, thanks to the periscope camera.

The build is expected to be glass on the front and back, both of which are curved for ergonomics. From the render, it showcases classy design using ceramics. On the bottom, there’s a USB Type-C port with a speaker grill. And there’s no surprises about the absence of a headphone jack, which hasn’t featured for a while now.

The only real question-mark hanging over this device is: what about Google apps? Huawei is currently touring Europe, showing off the power its smartphones still have without having Google apps installed. Hopefully, they will fill that education gap before the release date of the P40 Pro, less than two months away.

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Canon announces Robotic Camera System

True remote control photography is now possible, thanks to a Canon Robotic Camera System called the CR-S700R.

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Canon has announced a remote control system for still image shooting, to be available in February 2020. Sports photography and news media use remote photography extensively to capture still images from various viewpoints or angles that cannot be achieved with conventional photography methods. The Robotic Camera System CR-S700R is a release driven by the needs of professional photographers to operate cameras remotely for still images.

The system revolves around a remote pan head that can be used to remotely control and shoot still images using an EOS camera. The system includes a small and lightweight gateway box, an IP camera controller called the CR-G100.

The Camera Remote Application CR-A100 (not included in the package) enables users to control multiple cameras from a PC, display live view images, and remotely trigger a camera or simultaneously shoot with multiple cameras.

The remote pan head uses a centre-type rotational axis that makes the optical axis of the camera perpendicular to the rotational axis of the remote pan head, enabling smooth remote operations like zooming, panning, tilting, and rolling. Ideally suited to follow subjects that move at high speed during sporting events, the remote pan head benefits from a compact design with a turning radius of approximately 260mm, and can be used upright or underslung.

The IP camera controller CR-G100 is a gateway device to connect the camera and the remote pan head. It connects to a PC for remote operation using a wired LAN (Ethernet) cable. The extremely compact and lightweight design has been developed specifically for still image shooting. Various terminals (digital terminal, Ethernet terminal, remote control terminal, among others) necessary for connecting to cameras and pan heads are grouped together to organise previously complicated and bulky wired connection.

The Camera Remote Application CR-A100 software controls the Robotic Camera System CR-S700R and cameras via a PC. It displays live view images from multiple cameras using the IP camera controller CR-G100 and can control a single camera or simultaneous shoot using multiple specified cameras, streamlining the workflow of still image shooting at the news site.

The Robotic Camera System CR-S700R and the Camera Remote Application CR-A100 will be available from mid-February 2020.

For more information and details on product specifications, visit: https://www.canon-europe.com/pro/remote_ptz/CR-S700R

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