April 10, 2017

In case you missed it: Nike 3D printed shoes and other news

Every week, there’s always something interesting going on in the tech world that are too short expound upon, but worthy of being mentioned. Here’s some 5 things you might have missed this week.

  1. Western Digital unveils first portable SSD

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Western Digital announced last week that they are releasing a new WD My Passport SSD, the company’s first portable SSD.

“The WD brand is focused on delivering fresh, new personal storage devices that offer amazing performance in a beautiful, yet durable design,” said Sven Rathjen, Western Digital’s vice president of marketing in Client Solutions. “Our fastest portable drive yet, the My Passport SSD is a powerful solution for people who need to move content quickly and easily wherever life takes them.”

The palm-sized portable drive has a USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C port and a USB Type-C to Type-C cable. And since Type-C ports are not widespread yet, the drive will also come with an adapter for USB Type-A ports.

The drive comes in a variety of sizes: 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB, can go up to speeds of 515MB/s. The drive also comes with 256-bit AES hardware encryption and password protection for better data security. WD said that the new SSD drive can withstand 1500G of force at a height of 6.5 feet.

WD’s new SSD drive will become available sometime during the next month or so at $100 for the 256GB model, $200 for 512GB, and $400 for 1TB.

2. Persona 5 sells 1.5 million units after its release last week

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Atlus Japan announced last week that Persona 5 has shipped 1.5 million units worldwide last week. The game was first releasedfor PlayStation 3 and 4 in Japan on September 15 of last year and was released worldwide on April 4.

Persona 5 received great reviews a week within the game’s release, scoring 5 out of 5 stars in Caty McCarthy’s review in US Gamer.

“With the most bewitching tale the series has ever told and an incredibly likable cast that rises above their typical archetypes, Persona 5 sings a song of rebellion,” she writes. “Not just against the norm of JRPGs, but of society’s oppressive grasp, inspiring its players to rise up as the Phantom Thieves would. In the end, in spite of its minor missteps, Persona 5 has the power to steal the hearts of longterm fans of the series and newcomers alike.”

Atlus Japan also announced a large-scale Persona live concert event on August 2 this year at the Yokohama Arena, almost two years since a similar Persona concert back in 2015. It’s possible that they will release a DLC or a new Persona announcement during the event.

3. Adidas releases first 3D printed shoes

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Adidas has unveiled its latest creation, the Futurecraft 4D, their first 3D-printed shoe. The shoe company has been tinkering with 3D printing technology as a way to manufacture shoes in recent years, but this is the first one they are most confident about.

The shoe’s mid-sole is created through a process called Continuous Liquid Interface Production, where the design is taken out of a vat of liquid polymer resin and then “frozen” into its desired shape using ultraviolet light.

The method was created by a Silicon Valley company, Carbon, and is considered faster and more adaptable than traditional additive printing by the company. It also makes 3D printing as a means of mass production closer to reality. The company is financed by a fund set up by Google and General Electric, allowing them to create methods that lets them go from design to product at a faster rate.

This technology is still new so Adidas isn’t putting all their chips on the method yet. Only 5,000 pairs of Futurecraft 4D are set to be available to the market later this year, but Adidas promises 100,000 pairs made by the end of 2018.

4. Catalyst releases answer to the problem of Apple’s AirPods

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Catalyst, a waterproof iPhone case maker, released an Apple accessory called the AirPods Case for $25 or 92 AED. The case protects the AirPods’ case by making it waterproof, because apart from delivering sound from an iPhone to our ears wirelessly, the AirPods are also very good at being lost an water-damaged.

The AirPods Case really is quite useful as it not only keeps the AirPods waterproof, it’s really good at making sure we never lose the AirPods more easily. The AirPods’ original case is smooth and slippery so a case that makes it less likely to slip is a tad useful, apart from the clip-on carabiner it comes with.

The silicone sleeve features a gasket that securely seals the AirPods case’s Lightning port. The case is IP67 certified, meaning it can keep water out under 1 meter of water for 30 minutes. It can also withstand drops and shocks, and made from silicone to protect the inside from dirt and scratches.

It’s available for preorder and will ship this May in a few different color options including a glow-in-the-dark version that costs $5 more than the basic unit.

5. Facebook unveils Messenger AI assistant

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Facebook recently announced the release of an AI assistant for its Messenger app, known simply as “M”. The new AI assistant will appear in chats and suggest actions that it can perform for the user depending on the content of the user’s chats.

The AI will analyze conversations in the background and in real time, and will pop up when certain keywords trigger it. Right now, M is only able to send stickers and payment requests, and start apps like Uber and Lyft, start polls, share your location (to whoever you’re talking with), and formalize plans, even going so far as remind you of a plan you made using M.

Of course, M’s actions are optional and will remain as mere suggestions when they pop on your chat window, so you can disregard them. The feature has been rolled out to iOS and Android users across the US, with an eventual global release if things go well.