T-Mobile and Sprint offer select LG devices for less under payment plans

Why it matters to you

If you’re interested in purchasing the LG G6 or LG V20, you could get them at a reasonable price under Sprint or T-Mobile’s payment plans.

On Friday, August 18, both T-Mobile and Sprint announced new summertime deals for customers right before the season comes to an end. If you’ve been eyeing an LG phone lately — particularly the LG G6 or the LG V20 — you could be in luck.

For a limited time, T-Mobile is offering both models on its Equipment Installment Plan. When you add a line as well, you’ll also receive another LG V6 or V20 for free after rebate. To receive the rebate, The Un-carrier is offering a prepaid MasterCard of up to $500 if you register on the T-Mobile Promotions Hub.

If you’re leaning toward the LG G6 which has a full retail price of $500, it’s available for $20 down and $20 a month in the Ice Platinum and Black color options. As for the LG V20 that normally runs for $480, the device is available for $0 down and $20 a month in Titan.

Over at Sprint, the carrier has dropped the monthly price for the LG G6 from $29.50 per month to $20 per month instead — under its Sprint Flex plan. The announcement comes one day after the company opened up pre-orders for the Essential Phone in black. For a limited time, the phone is 50 percent off its Flex Lease payments if you purchase the phone under the plan.

The Sprint Flex plan was introduced back in July, in order to provide customers with the latest smartphone without having to shell out a ton of money on the spot. After choosing a phone under the Flex plan, you can lease it for 18 months and exchange it for a new phone. If you’re set on keeping the one you already have, then you can pay it off completely in one installment instead.

T-Mobile and Sprint are slashing prices on its LG G6 and V20 only weeks ahead of the LG V30 launch. Rumored to be unveiled at the end of August or early September, there have already been a number of leaked images surfacing. Based on the renders, it’s very likely the device will be similar to the V20 but with minimal bezels and rounded edges instead. The V30 might also include a dual camera on top, fingerprint scanner on the bottom, and a metallic backing.

Make sure your accessories are charged with the updated Microsoft Surface app

Why it matters to you

If you connect a Microsoft Bluetooth accessory to a Surface machine, then you will want to get your Surface app updated pronto.

Microsoft’s Surface lineup of Windows 10 2-in-1s, laptop, and all-in-one have come a long way since the first Surface tablet was introduced in 2012. The machines have had their share of issues but Microsoft has also worked diligently to fix them over the years. In addition, the company has tried to offer additional value to the machines, such as a Surface app that helps configure some important settings.

Now, Microsoft updated that Surface app to add some nice new functionality for anyone who connects a Microsoft accessory to their Surface machine. OnMSFT reports you will want to look for version 23.0.602.0 of the Surface app to gain the ability to easily check the battery level of your connected devices.

First, note that the new Surface app functionality only applies to Microsoft Bluetooth accessories. We confirmed that two devices work with the new Microsoft Modern Keyboard with Fingerprint ID and the Surface Pen. Other devices confirmed to be supported include the Microsoft Surface Keyboard and the Surface Mouse. We confirmed that non-Microsoft Bluetooth devices, such as the Brydge 12.3 keyboard accessory, do not show up in the Surface app.

To use the new functionality, first head over to the Windows Store and make sure you are running the most recent version. If not, update it.

Then, open the Surface app and head to the new battery icon on the left-hand side. Click on it and you will see your Microsoft Bluetooth devices that are both paired with the Surface device and also currently turned on and connected. Our Surface Pen ran out of battery life while this article was being written and it disappeared from the list. We assume it will show up again once we have installed a new battery and connected it again.

microsoft adds battery level to surface app micrososft life update

Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Today, the Surface app is not quite as useful as it once was. It used to be the place to go to configure a number of Surface Pen settings, for instance, but now most of those have made their way to the main Windows 10 Settings app. In addition to now being able to check the battery life of a connected Microsoft Bluetooth accessory, the Surface app remains the place to go to set your Surface Pen pressure sensitivity.

microsoft adds battery level to surface app pen sensitivity

Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

It is possible that Microsoft will eventually migrate all of these settings to the main Settings app. For now, however, the Surface app becomes a useful tool for keeping an eye on your Microsoft accessories to make sure you know when they need a charge or a fresh set of batteries.

Stop spam calls with the best call- and text-blocker apps

Unwanted calls and texts are a serious problem. There were almost 30 billion robocalls in the U.S. last year according to YouMail research. Thankfully, the Federal Communications Commission is acting to try and protect consumers from unwanted telemarketing calls and text messages, and manufacturers and service providers are offering various options to help you block nuisance callers on your smartphone, but it’s not always enough.

We’ve looked at how to block calls on an iPhone and how to block a number in Android before, but in this article, we’re going to highlight the best call and text blocker apps for Android and iOS. These apps are easy to use, they draw on large databases of spam numbers, and they’ll help you rid yourself of spam callers once and for all.

Should I Answer?

Should I Answer

Relying on a community-generated and fully evaluated database of problem numbers, Should I Answer provides you with the information you need to decide whether to take an incoming call or not. Telemarketers, scammers, and other unsolicited calls are divided into categories and assigned ratings, so you can see at-a-glance, as your phone is ringing, how legitimate the incoming call is likely to be. User reviews provide more detail and you can submit your own ratings and reviews on the calls you receive.

It’s easy to block numbers, so all future calls are rejected, and there are lots of useful configuration options, including the ability to block outgoing calls to premium numbers. More reasons to recommend this app include the fact that it allows you to decide what information you submit to the database, it doesn’t access your contacts, and it works offline. This is our favorite call blocking app for Android, but sadly it isn’t available for the iPhone.

Download now for:


Hiya Caller ID and Block


This a straightforward call blocking app that’s easy to use. It automatically identifies callers and flags robocalls, telemarketers, debt collectors and known fraudsters based on a huge database containing hundreds of millions of numbers. Because the app draws on such a large database of numbers it can often identify legitimate callers as well, so that you know when you should answer. You can build a block list easily and there’s a facility to reverse look-up numbers from your call log.

What we don’t like about Hiya is the fact that it accesses your contacts and uploads them to the database, albeit in encrypted form. The company promises they’re only used to match information and build a whitelist, and that it will never sell them on, but you should check out the privacy policy and decide for yourself before you install. Hiya is available for both Android and iOS, and it’s made by the same developer behind Mr. Number.

Download now for:

iPhone Android

More call and text blocker apps

Having tried a few different call blocking apps, we can recommend Should I Answer for Android users without any caveats. Hiya is very good for iOS, but you do need to consider the privacy issue. If you’re wondering about alternatives, here’s a quick look at some of your options.


If you want a call blocking app for your iPhone, but you aren’t prepared to share your contacts with the developer, then you might want to check out Nomorobo. It can identify and block known robocalls and scammers, but it costs $2 per month after the free 30-day trial period and a lot of users have encountered bugs.

Probably the biggest name in the call blocking app arena is Truecaller, which is available for Android and iOS. It has a community built database and millions of users, so it does identify spam calls quite accurately and it can block unwanted calls, but the privacy policy is a cause for concern. It collects a lot of personal information, accesses your contacts, and, rather ironically, shares that data with third parties, which is why we can’t recommend it.

There are many other highly-rated call and text blocker apps in the Play Store and the App Store, but we advise you to proceed with caution and read the privacy policies before you install. If you’re serious about protecting your privacy, then you might also be interested in the best Android security apps or the best iPhone security apps.

Three construction innovations that will change the way we build

A number of companies are competing to find ways to automate construction, using bricklaying robots and machines that can 3D print with concrete. 

These innovations are among the most successful prototypes whereby entire buildings were constructed using robots.

You can now buy and sell things on Facebook using its Marketplace feature

Why it matters to you

Facebook Marketplace allowed the social media giant to get into the ecommerce game, and now it’s expanding to other countries, and to include retail products.

Sketched out by Craigslist? Overwhelmed by Amazon? Try Facebook instead.

Last fall, the social media site expanded its functionality, dipping its toe into the waters of digital commerce. It did this via Marketplace, a feature within the Android and iOS Facebook app that is described as “a convenient destination to discover, buy, and sell items with people in your community.” Think of it as a yard sale in the palm of your hand.

As Facebook’s Director of Product Management Mary Ku previously noted, buying and selling has been taking place on the social network for years, with more than 450 million people taking to the site to barter and trade each month. So now, Facebook is attempting to streamline those processes. “Marketplace makes it easy to find new things you’ll love, and find a new home for the things you’re ready to part with,” Ku wrote. “We’ll continue to build new options and features to make this the best experience for people.”

And now, those options include a lot more than what your fellow Facebook users no longer want. Facebook Marketplace is expanding to include professional products and services offered by, you know, real retailers. Earlier in the week, Facebook Marketplace began showcasing a new Daily Deals tab in its mobile app. Only select users are seeing these deals, which are sourced from eBay. The idea is to make Facebook a bit bigger than just peer-to-peer sales, instead allowing the social network to compete a bit more with real ecommerce platforms. That said, if you find an eBay deal you like within the Facebook app, you’ll still have to go to eBay’s site to check out.

“We’re conducting a test to determine if people are interested in shopping for discounted products when they visit Marketplace,” a Facebook representative told The Verge. Should the test prove unpopular, it’s always possible that Facebook will ax the idea altogether.

In addition to this, Marketplace is also showing job postings, and Facebook will soon be adding ticket sales as well as products from other retailers’ shopping pages.

“We’ll kind of look and see what’s popular, what people want to engage with,” Deb Liu, the Facebook VP who oversees Marketplace told Recode. “So if people are searching or looking for something, we want to make that available to them.”

Apparently, one of the popular topics has actually been cars, so Facebook says that it’ll soon start offering automobiles for sale within Marketplace, sourced from local car dealerships.

So how do you access Marketplace? When you open the Facebook app on your phone, you should now see a shop icon at the bottom. When you tap on the icon, you’ll find photos of items for sale, and you can filter your results by location, category, and price. Much like other online marketplaces, you can further simplify your results by selecting categories like Household, Electronics, and Apparel. And if you don’t want to search in just your neighborhood, you can use the location tool to switch to a different region.

Once something has caught your eye, simply tap on the image for details, such as a product description, name and profile photo of the seller, and its location. If you’re ready to take the plunge, you can send the seller a direct message from Marketplace to make an offer. From there, you’re on your own — “Facebook does not facilitate the payment or delivery of items in Marketplace,” Ku noted.

Recently, the social media giant expanded its online store to 17 European countries, including Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Ireland, Portugal, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Austria, Belgium, Finland, Denmark, Hungary, Luxembourg, and Switzerland.

Update: Facebook Marketplace now includes offerings from actual retailers. 

How to put old photos in your social media stories

You can add old photos to your social media stories.
You can add old photos to your social media stories.

Image: lili sams/mashable

Stories started with Snapchat, then Instagram and Facebook added their own versions to try and win our loyalty. 

There are crazy amounts of ways to make your story unique within each app. But you might not know that you can also post old photos in your current stories.

Here’s how to put photos you’ve already taken in your stories on Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook. Just note that your followers might get a little annoyed if you do it too much.


Access Snapchat and camera roll photos at the bottom of your screen.

Access Snapchat and camera roll photos at the bottom of your screen.

Image: molly sequin/mashable

Open up Snapchat and you’ll see a little bubble on your screen directly underneath the circle button to snap a new photo. Click that and you’ll see a screen with photos you’ve saved on Snapchat and from your camera roll. 

Hit "Edit and Send" (which is covered by this caption) to jazz up your photo.

Hit “Edit and Send” (which is covered by this caption) to jazz up your photo.

Image: molly sequin/mashable

Scroll through either feed until you find the old photo you want to post. After you pick one, there will be an option asking if you’d like to edit the photo before sending. This will bring up all of the editing options you normally see on Snapchat. 

Photos from your camera roll appear with a white border around them.

Photos from your camera roll appear with a white border around them.

Image: molly sequin/mashable

When it’s all ready to roll, click the blue arrow button to send to your story or any of your friends. It’s worth noting that photos pulled from Snapchat will look normal, but the ones taken from your camera roll will appear with a white border and say they’re from your camera roll. In other words, people will be well aware of the fact that you’re posting an old photo. If that doesn’t bother you, everything’s good to go. 


Instagram works somewhat similarly. However, you can only post photos that you’ve saved to your camera roll in the last 24 hours. So, if you want to post a photo from last week you’re going to have to re-save it. 

Add photos from your camera roll to your Instagram story.

Add photos from your camera roll to your Instagram story.

Image: molly sequin/mashable

To get started, hit the camera button in the upper lefthand of the app or just hit your face icon by the rest of the stories. Choose the box next to the flash icon on the screen to see your photos. 

Camera roll photos get cropped in your story.

Camera roll photos get cropped in your story.

Image: molly sequin/mashable

Pick a photo and it’ll appear on your screen, ready to be edited. A slight downfall is that you don’t have a say in how it’s displayed. The photo will fit to the screen, so parts of it might get cut off. In the example used above, Instagram cut off a fourth person that was standing to the left of me. However, you can still edit it just like any other Instagram story. Do that and hit “Your Story” and it’ll show up in your story for the next 24 hours. 


Once again, Facebook is similar to the other two, with slight differences. 

Add old photos to your Facebook story.

Add old photos to your Facebook story.

Image: molly sequin/mashable

Hit your icon at the top of your Facebook mobile app to create a story. Then tap the little square button on the far right of the screen. It will bring photos from your camera roll to the bottom of the screen so you can scroll through to find the one you want. 

Posting old photos to your Facebook story only takes a minute.

Posting old photos to your Facebook story only takes a minute.

Image: molly sequin/mashable

All of the editing options will pop up after you select a photo. Add any stickers or filters you want, then hit “Your Story” to make it live. You’ll confirm by clicking “Add” and your old photo will appear on your Facebook. And no one will be able to tell it’s not a photo you just took. 

Now you know how to post old photos to your social media stories, so start sharing some of your best memories.

Https%3a%2f%2fvdist.aws.mashable.com%2fcms%2f2017%2f8%2f9dce19b7 c0d8 2651%2fthumb%2f00001

Here are the top schools among founders who raise big dollars

You don’t need a fancy university degree to launch a startup and secure venture capital. But looking at the data on who gets funded, alumni affiliation sure seems to be a big contributing factor.

For this back-to-school series, Crunchbase is taking a look at how top U.S. universities rank in terms of graduating entrepreneurs who go on to launch funded startups. We look at which institutions launch the most startups, as well as the most highly capitalized.

But first, a spoiler alert: If you’re looking for surprises, stop reading now. The results largely confirm what people in venture and startup circles could probably guess. Stanford graduates more founders who raise more money than any other school. The rest of the list is rounded out by large Ivy League schools, prestigious technology institutes and some big state research universities.

Who launched the most startups

First, we ranked schools according to the number of alumni-founded startups that raised $1 million or more in the past year. No big surprises here, though it should be noted that a few universities are seeing some nice year-over-gains. MIT had 134 alum-funded startups that raised over $1 million, up from 108 in the year-ago period. The University of Washington went up from 35 to 41 alum-funded startups, while University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign had 44, up from 39 in the year-ago period.

Getting down to business

Crunchbase lists business schools separately, so we ranked them here (our search is for Aug. 1 2016 to Aug. 1 2017). Again, not a lot of surprises, unless you were thinking that Stanford would once again be on top. The top spot belongs, instead, to Harvard. (Perhaps it helps that Harvard is the larger business school, with over 1,800 students, compared to a little over 800 at Stanford.)

Who raised the most money?

When you look at which colleges have startup founders who raised the most funding, the results get more mixed-up. Because unicorns and near-unicorns are gobbling up such a big chunk of venture funding, having just one or two heavily funded companies in the mix really skews the results.

Take New York’s Baruch College, for instance. It has just four alum-founded startups that raised a million or more in the past year. But one of them happens to be WeWork, founded by Baruch alum Adam Neumann, which has disclosed fundraising of close to $4 billion this past year. The University of Chicago is another case in point. A single company, South Asian ride-hailing app Grab, accounts for more than three-fourths of all funding for alum-founded startups in the past year.

Nonetheless, it’s still fun to see which schools had the most heavily funded startup founders. Here are some of the top ones we found:

At several schools, a single company accounted for 50 percent or more of total funding. These include Carnegie Mellon (Argo AI), Baruch (WeWork), Harvard Business School (Grab) and University of Chicago (also Grab).

Overall, the data shows that while founders of hot startups don’t need a specific educational background, it helps to attend a school with certain characteristics. In particular, founders tend to study at universities that are prestigious and have well-known programs in STEM and business fields. It also helps to be based in a metro area with a strong tech ecosystem and access to venture capital.


Generally, Crunchbase lists business school affiliations in lieu of the university. (For instance, alums who only attended Harvard Business School aren’t listed as Harvard University grads, too.) However, the database isn’t comprehensive in this area, so a few business school grads may be in the main university listing and vice versa. This does not significantly impact rankings, but it does create some margin of error.

Additionally, many business schools grant additional degrees and certifications beyond the traditional MBA, such as Harvard’s AMP (Advanced Management Program). For the first business school chart showing the total number of funded startups, Crunchbase includes recipients of both degree and certification programs who list themselves as alums in our database. However, we dropped short-term degree recipients for the largest rounds in the listing of funding totals.

Featured Image: Li-Anne Dias

Prisma shifts focus to b2b with an API for AI-powered mobile effects

The startup behind the Prisma style transfer app is shifting focus onto the b2b space, building tools for developers that draw on its expertise using neural networks and deep learning technology to power visual effects on mobile devices.

It’s launched a new website, Prismalabs.ai, detailing this new offering.

Initially, say Prisma’s co-founders, they’ll be offering an SDK for developers wanting to add effects like style transfer and selfie lenses to their own apps — likely launching an API mid next week.

Then, in the “next month or so”, they also plan to offer another service for developers wanting help to port their code to mobile. This was, after all, how the co-founders originally came up with the idea for the Prisma app — having seen a style transfer effect working (slowly) on a desktop computer and realized how much potential it would have if it could be made to work in near real-time on mobile.

“The first plan is ready to go solution when you have an idea and want to implement, for example, style transfer or object recognition or something like face masks… or Snapchat lenses,” says CEO and co-founder Alexey Moiseenkov, fleshing out what’s coming from Prisma Labs. “If you need this ability we can offer you a ready to go SDK that you can implement in your app.”

Co-founder Aram Airapetyan gives an example of how their AI-powered image segmentation technology could also be used to allow users of Skype — for example —  to push a button to change or blank out the background during a video call. (Meaning this wouldn’t have to happen, for example.)

The wave of augmented reality apps that are coming down the smartphone pipe, driven by more powerful hardware and active encouragement from mobile platforms, could also help generate demand for Prisma’s effects, reckons Moiseenkov, as they can offer object tracking as well as face tracking via APIs or an SDK.

“The second part [of the b2b offering] is we feel that in a lot of companies developers are struggling with porting technologies to mobile,” he continues. “And we feel that we can offer them our own solution that we use internally — internally we have… a platform that can help us to experiment with our research and producing a lot of demo apps for internal usage and choosing the right one.”

They say they’ve been testing the developer tools with “some very big companies” — but won’t name any names as yet.

“We want to explore the CV [computer vision] area and help companies also produce a greater user experience with AI — helping people to communicate easier, to solve their tasks,” adds Moiseenkov.

“We feel that AI can help a lot of companies to improve the user experience a lot. The camera, working with images, filtering, de-noising, a lot of different stuff can happen — and that’s cool. I feel it can improve the overall quality of apps in App Store and Google Play.”

Prisma’s consumer app shot to painterly popularity last summer, offering smartphone users the ability to transform a standard smartphone photo by quickly and easily applying different graphical styles — to create, for example, a pastiche of a particular artwork or graphical effect.

The app achieved its effects not by applying filters to the photo but by utilizing neural networks and deep learning to process the original photo in the chosen style — generating a new image that combined both input sources.

By December last year, Prisma had racked up around 70 million downloads and earned itself a bunch of app store accolades. But it also attracted the attention of platform giants like Facebook who quickly rolled out style transfer features of their own — helping to cap the app’s momentum.

The team then experimented with adding social elements to the style transfer tool, to see if they could turn Prisma into a social platform in its own right — although, given how dominated the consumer social/messaging space is, by giants like Facebook and WeChat, that always looked like a forlorn hope.

Branching into b2b looks a more solid strategic step for Prisma, positioning the team to offer developers an accelerated route for burnishing the feature-set/UX of their own apps, and selling these b2b services with the help of demonstrable AI-powered visual effects expertise.

So although Prisma is shifting its monetization strategy (likely a usage-based SDK for the visual effects; and maybe a licensing model for the platform, it says), its consumer apps aren’t going away. Indeed, they now double as both testing ground and showcase for what its tech can do for other developers.

“Since the start of this year we were thinking about exploring our opportunities in terms of how to earn money in an efficient way, and we decided to go where we can help companies with computer vision or AI — in terms of more consumer-oriented applications,” Moiseenkov tells TechCrunch.

“We focus on effects; video effects on a mobile camera… We feel this is a really rich area for a company like ours. And also we feel that with our apps in the market we can experiment a lot with different technologies and this pairing can do a lot for us in terms of earning money.”

“We have a very strong R&D team,” adds Airapetyan. “We have lots of guys who are researching and investigating what we can do in terms of different technologies and AI-based products so we’ve been working on these technologies for a while.”

The team launched a second consumer app in July: a sticker-maker called Sticky that uses AI algorithms to perform quick cut-outs of selfies so they can be easily repurposed as colorful stickers.

Across both apps they say they’re getting between 5M to 10M MAUs [monthly active users] and ~500,000 DAUs [daily active users] at this point — with Airapetyan describing their user base as “very stable”.

Prisma’s own team is around 25-strong, split between offices in the Bay Area and Moscow. Though they say they’re also eyeing setting up a base in China — seeing “huge” potential to sell AI-related services in such a large and visually engaged app ecosystem.

The team has previously raised seed funding, although it has never disclosed how much. According to Crunchbase investors in its seed include Gagarin Capital Partners, Haxus and Nikolai Oreshkin. (Notably Haxus was also an investor in Fabby, a computer vision app recently acquired by Google.)

Moiseenkov says Prisma hasn’t raised any funding since the end of last year, and is not currently looking to raise — they want to see how their b2b play plays out first, he adds.

On the competition front for b2b CV/AI tools, he points to a couple of big companies in Asia offering similar services already — such as Face++.  He also name checks Clarifai as another competitor offering image recognition, as well as Google’s image processing APIs — though he claims Google isn’t offering developers a lot of choice vs the plan for Prisma Labs.

“We are working on a very, very wide-range of AI-based technologies,” adds Airapetyan.

Weekly Rewind: Tiny iPhones, injectable bandages, Bitcoin for dentists, and more

A lot can happen in a week when it comes to tech. The constant onslaught of news makes it nigh impossible for mere mortals with real lives to keep track of everything. That’s why we’ve compiled a quick and dirty list of this week’s top tech stories, from our 2017 Outdoor Awards to a tiny iPhone  — it’s all here.

Digital Trends 2017 Outdoor Awards

2017 outdoor awards feature

Technology is transforming every aspect of our lives, making it easier to follow a winding hiking trail, helping us swing a baseball bat more accurately, and keeping us in touch with our friends even as we get away from it all. For the first annual Digital Trends Outdoor Awards, we aim to spotlight and reward the many companies embracing tech and spearheading this revolution.

To do this, we stepped out of the office and onto the mountains, rivers, forests, and trails of the Pacific Northwest to field test a variety of gear designed to not just alter your experience outdoors but to improve it. Be it a footwear company’s dedication to understanding exactly how the human body moves or a phone case brand’s commitment to designing the bear-proof cooler of the summer, outdoor innovation and technology doesn’t fit one definition but features a wealth of benefit.

Read: Digital Trends 2017 Outdoor Awards

2017 Bentley Bentayga review

2017 Bentley Bentayga review

Luxury comes in many different shapes and sizes, but it’s never taken on a form like this. With the Bentayga, Bentley set out to create a new type of vehicle that takes the no-compromise strand of opulence it is famous for to the SUV segment. We spent a week living with the British company’s only high-riding model to evaluate what it brings to the market.

Diehard Bentley historians will enthusiastically dispute claims that the Bentayga is Bentley’s very first SUV. They’re completely right. Here’s a quick fun fact: in the early 1990s, the Sultan of Brunei commissioned Bentley to build approximately six examples of a Range Rover-esque 4×4 named Dominator. All six are gathering dust in his mind-blowing collection, and the model has never been seen in public. He’s not the cars and coffee type, apparently. It’s true that the Dominator is the original Bentley SUV, but the Bentayga is the first one designed and produced for motorists who do not preside over a microstate.

Read: 2017 Bentley Bentayga review

Unfolding injectable bandage can patch up a damaged heart


A smart, stamp-sized “shape memory” bandage developed by engineers at the University of Toronto could help fix damaged organ tissue without the need for surgery. As its creators explain, it could help mend broken hearts — literally!

“Once engineered tissues are made in the lab, the only way for them to get into the human body is by a surgical approach, by opening the chest to place the tissues in,” biomedical engineering professor Milica Radisic told Digital Trends. “In this work, we were able to marry minimally invasive delivery with tissues engineering [to develop] shape memory polymer scaffolds that enable us to inject fully functional tissues into the body.”

Read: Unfolding injectable bandage can patch up a damaged heart

We now know what a tiny iPhone would look like, and it’s adorable

Soyes 7S

Just as when puppies do something unspeakable on your new carpet, it’s very easy for forgive the Soyes 7S for looking almost exactly like an Apple iPhone, because it’s just so damn cute. It’s cute because it’s tiny — no more than half the size of an iPhone 7 Plus, but perhaps twice as adorable. It’s not an iPhone challenger though, and the specification is slightly lacking in this unusual Chinese phone. Also, it doesn’t run iOS, obviously, but Google Android with a user interface to make it look something like an iPhone.

Soyes has a history of making small smartphones, which are sold through eBay and Chinese device importers, and a quick browse of its (outdated) website reveals in the past it has made phones the same size as a credit card. However, none are as visually interesting as the Soyes 7S, its miniature iPhone clone.

Read: We now know what a tiny iPhone would look like, and it’s adorable

Smile! Dentacoin wants to become the Bitcoin of the dental industry

Dentacoin Cryptocurrency for Dentists

Of all the technological leaps Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have enabled, arguably their biggest impact has been the creation and proliferation of blockchain technology. The blockchain has many manifestations, though, and a new one is looking to leverage it to create a new outlook for … the dental industry.

Yes, that’s right. It’s cryptocurrency for your teeth.

Called Dentacoin, it pitches itself as a way to improve dental health, cut out insurance companies as middle men, and foster cooperation between dentists and patients. But can a currency with so specific a role possibly hope to compete in a space with 700+ other crypto coins, including the granddaddy of them all, Bitcoin?

Read: Smile! Dentacoin wants to become the Bitcoin of the dental industry

FrontRow is a wearable camera that lets you live in the moment, and capture it


Smartphones have allowed us to easily capture intimate and memorable moments, such as a baby’s first steps or a graduation ceremony. But too often we’re looking through the smartphone, rather than simply being present. Ubiquiti Labs‘ FrontRow is a wearable camera that wants to help by capturing and sharing the moment, so you can stay in the moment hands-free.

The FrontRow looks like a pocket watch, except instead of a watch face there’s a 2-inch circular display. There are two cameras, one on the back with the display, and one on the front. On the side, you’ll find a power button, and a media button that lets you start and stop recording.

Read: FrontRow is a wearable camera that lets you live in the moment, and capture it

Are you an Aetna customer? There could be an Apple Watch in your future

apple watch

Want an Apple Watch? You may want to talk to Aetna. According to a report from CNBC, Apple and the insurance company held a number of “secret discussions” last week in order to make the wearable more widely accessible to Aetna customers. And with millions of individuals (23 million, to be exact) using Aetna’s services, that could mean a lot more Apple Watches for a lot more people.

Currently, Aetna already offers its 50,000 employees the smartwatch as part of its corporate wellness program. But while we may not all work for Aetna, even working with Aetna could pay off in the form of a wearable. Apparently, Aetna hopes to work with Apple to offer either a free or discounted Apple Watch as a perk to members.

Read: Are you an Aetna customer? There could be an Apple Watch in your future

The Nest thermostat might be getting a facelift

The Nest Learning Thermostat is now in its third generation, and aside from software updates, the device has largely retained its appearance since it was first introduced in 2011. That could be changing. According to gadget leak specialist Evan Blass, the device could be in for a whole new look.

Blass tweeted an image of the device, which shows off a whole new look. It retains its circular shape, but comes with a white ring and screen. While you can purchase a Nest thermostat with a white, copper, black, or silver ring, this looks to be a complete redesign: the traditional glass display looks to be replaced by a plastic one.

This fits with rumors from earlier this year that the Alphabet-owned company is developing a cheaper version of the thermostat, along with some other products like a home security system and smart doorbell. According to Bloomberg, the cheaper thermostat would retail for under $200, which is a drop from the present $247 that it currently retails for, and it’s expected to be released next year.